Mountain Air, a well-established scenic flight operation situated at Chateau Airfield on the border of the stunning Tongariro National Park Dual World Heritage area within the realm of Te Kahui Tupua – the Sacred Peaks, has a rich history. Founded in 1988, it has risen to prominence as the foremost scenic flight operation in the central North Island. While initially focusing on the breathtaking volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro National Park Dual World Heritage Area, Mountain Air is now set to introduce captivating flights along the enchanting Whanganui River, offering journeys that follow the footsteps of the Prophets.
The proprietors of Mountain Air are Bhrent and Kathy Guy. Kathy, boasting 25 years of experience in the tourism industry, currently serves as the General Manager of the iconic Bayview Chateau Tongariro at Mt Ruapehu and the charming resort complex of the Bayview Wairakei at Taupo. While Bhrent is not directly involved in the management or operation of Mountain Air, Kathy’s extensive knowledge of the tourism industry proves invaluable in providing guidance for domestic and international marketing efforts.
Bhrent Guy, the Chief Executive of Mountain Air and its Operations Manager, is a highly skilled pilot with a lifelong passion for flying. He began flying gliders at the age of 19 and continues to pursue his love for aviation by participating in gliding competitions with his own glider. Since 1990, Bhrent has been actively engaged in scenic flight operations in the central North Island, accumulating extensive knowledge about the region’s cultural and natural environment. Bhrent’s enthusiasm is evident in his love for flying, his dedication to the Tongariro National Park Dual World Heritage Area, and his strong connection to the local community. He remarks, “The environment of Tongariro National Park is amazingly dynamic and exciting, with changes occurring daily and from season to season. We never tire of showcasing and discussing its marvelous natural and cultural heritage.”
Charter flights represent a vital aspect of the company’s endeavors. Notably, gas sampling flights around the summit of the active crater of Ruapehu play a crucial role in monitoring the volcanic activity of the mountain. Additionally, a significant part of the company’s mission involves tracking New Zealand’s iconic kiwi from the air, utilizing radio tracking devices attached to the kiwi.
Bhrent is an ardent environmentalist who recently introduced a native plant restoration initiative at Chateau Airfield. Passengers are encouraged to purchase red tussock or oleria plants for planting in the vicinity of the airfield, with Mountain Air subsidizing 50% of the plant costs. Bhrent shares, “The area around the airfield was once covered by beautiful tussock grasslands, and it is our hope to restore some of this around the airfield.” Mountain Air is dedicated to conservation and sustainable tourism, providing support to two kiwi tracking programs for the Department of Conservation and Whakamanu Wildlife Trust through subsidized flights. Furthermore, the company is an active member of the Tongariro Natural History Society, a prominent volunteer conservation organization.
When Bhrent is not piloting aircraft or gliders, he can be found enjoying the beach and fishing expeditions with Kathy, their children, and grandchildren, relishing quality time spent by the sea.