About Golden Bay Air

Richard and Lisa, owners of Golden Bay Air

Welcome to our family-owned flight, shuttle and rental car service, based in Takaka, Golden Bay. We began Golden Bay Air with an idea that came to us when we were flying a Piper Warrior we owned from Wellington to Takaka in 2004. We thought—why not set up an air service that flies between Wellington and Takaka—surely people would want to fly that route? Turns out they did!

In 2005 we partnered with the Wellington Aero Club and a private party to achieve certification as Capital Air, initially operating out of Wellington Airport. In 2009 we moved our base to Takaka and rebranded as Golden Bay Air.

We want you to experience the thrill of flight the way it should be—with personalised and genuine Kiwi service from our friendly, professional, can-do team. We are committed to providing complete transport solutions from the moment you contact us to the point we say farewell. We work hard to make sure that every passenger gets safely to where they need to be, and has fun along the way ...

We hope to see you soon!

Richard and Lisa
Golden Bay Air owners

Golden Bay Air team in front of the company’s Britten Norman Islander at Karamea Aerodrome
Golden Bay Air Team Christmas trip to Karamea and Oparara 2023

Meet our Team

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher
Chief Pilot

Kia Ora—I’m Mike Gallagher, the Chief Pilot/Operations and Training Manager at Golden Bay Air.

I’m a local of sorts, I’m from Tasman Bay and make the trip over Takaka Hill for my days of fun. Flying is still fun, even after more than 40 years in the air. Starting out learning to fly in Motueka many moons ago, I recently returned home after a couple of decades living and working overseas for an Airline in Dubai. To be back home flying the routes where I started my career and working for the amazing Golden Bay Air team, albeit in slightly smaller aircraft, is an incredible experience.

When I am not flying, I enjoy hiking, mountain-biking and sailing, and enjoying as much time as I possibly can with my grown-up daughters and the rest of my family.

Michael Sott
Michael Sott
Pilot

Hi—I’m Michael. I’m an instrument-rated pilot for Golden Bay Air, flying both our twin Britten Norman Islander and our two single engine aircraft. Before joining the company I flew extensively throughout the South Island flight instructing, and landed at almost every aerodrome.

I have a great love of the place which I hope to share with you all. I’m also a keen tramper and current member of LandSAR. One of the things I love about Golden Bay is the incredible range of tramping trails in the area and I try to get out exploring as much as I can.

Tyler Palmer
Tyler Palmer
Pilot

Hey everyone, I’m a true Golden Bay local having lived here in the bay my whole life. After growing up on a farm and wearing gumboots for many years, I have now swapped them for a nice pair of shoes. I have a friendly smile, lots of local knowledge and love flying all round the place.

I enjoy hunting, water sports, the general outdoors and spending time on the golden sand beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park. Flying has been a dream of mine for a long time and it’s always exciting when I get in a plane. I look forward to welcoming you on board and showing you some of Golden Bay’s best kept secrets.

Anne Bandoli
Anne Bandoli
Tour Driver/Customer Service

I am your friendly, informative shuttle driver based in Nelson. Be it to the beautiful Abel Tasman Park, Golden Bay or a pick up from Karamea, I enjoy driving and feel very lucky that the top end of the South Island is my office. During the quieter month or when not on the road, you will catch me at the end of the phone or e-mail, as I answer your queries or make bookings for you.

I am a German-Kiwi, with Czech and Polish roots, married to an Italian, living in Nelson, New Zealand. I grew up in Leipzig, former East Germany and been living in the top of the South Island since 1996. In my spare time I enjoy oil painting, traveling, hiking, running, baking, gardening, good food and wine. I have two Ginger cats, Leopardo and Champagne.

Stella Molloy
Stella Molloy
Customer Service

Kia Ora! I'm Stella, an admin assistant at Golden Bay Air. You'll find me on the other end of the phone or email, answering your questions and ensuring smooth operations. I also take charge of our social media presence, capturing and sharing your flights, shuttles and destinations!

I grew up in Golden Bay, so I love being able to help people see and experience the best place in the world. Outside of work I go to university in Wellington, I love swimming in rivers, making music and facetiming my parents.

Emily Wilson
Emily Wilson
Customer Service

Kia ora, I am a Customer Coordinator at Golden Bay Air and here to help with all bookings and queries. It’s a pleasure to be able to assist you in getting out and enjoying our slice of paradise and I look forward to connecting with you!

I am originally from the UK but am happy to call Collingwood in Golden Bay home. I grew up with hot-air balloons and have a hot-air balloon licence so being in the skies has been a passion from a young age. You’ll also find me hiking, kayaking and cycling around our beautiful backyard or in the garden!

Dave Myall
Dave Myall
Tour Driver

I’m Golden Bay Air’s ‘officially retired’ part time shuttle driver. I drive local school bus routes, am chairman of the local Menz Shed Group and is currently converting my Toyota Coaster bus to a mobile home.

I’ve lived in Golden Bay for over 20 years so I’ve got a wealth of local knowledge to share.

Lisa Sheppard
Lisa Sheppard
Safety Coordinator

Kia ora koutou katoa – I’m part owner of Golden Bay Air with Richard. My main role is safety coordinator. I used to be Principal Policy advisor for the CAA, now I contract to the Pacific Aviation Safety Office, so I’m well placed to make sure that Golden Bay Air has everything in place to make your journey as safe as possible. It is really important to me that we have a positive impact on our planet and the wellbeing of our community – so I also keep an eye on Golden Bay Air’s sustainability commitments.

I got my private pilot’s licence before I could drive (my dad had to drive me to my flying lessons!) and I love getting out amongst it, skiing, tramping or travelling with Richard and our two girls, Stella and Hazel who have now grown up in Golden Bay just like our business.

Richard Molloy
Richard Molloy
Chief Executive

I’m Chief Executive and part owner of Golden Bay Air. I look after the overall running of the company and I also still do a lot of the background design work for our marketing as in my early days I was also a graphic designer.

I also been a private pilot for 30 years, although lately I have been too busy to stay current! My interest in flying is partly why we started Golden Bay Air. My partner Lisa and I flew ourselves to Takaka in our Piper Warrior in the early 2000's. We arrived on a picture-perfect day and immediately decided we should live in Golden Bay

I’m also a keen skier, tramper, biker, musician and traveller

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