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Monday, April 16

Auckland Airport is auctioning pieces of aviation history in a bid to raise money for charity

The auction, which begins tomorrow on Trade Me, will see pieces of the solari board (affectionately known as the ‘old school flight information board’) from Auckland Airport’s international terminal sold to the highest bidders to raise money for the Foundation for Youth Development charity.

 The board, which features the old style split flap flight information details - the type that flick through the alphabet to find the right letter - was decommissioned in December last year after more than 30 years of service at Auckland Airport’s international terminal. It is believed that this is the last of its kind in NZ, and that this type of solari board is now so rare that parts for it ceased to be made several years ago. 

 There are over 100 units up for auction, so there will be plenty of opportunities for keen bidders to secure their piece of airport history. There are a variety of options available, including: single units with an array of flight status updates such as ‘CANCELLED’, ‘RESCHEDULED’ and ‘FINAL CALL’; single units featuring over 50 current and historical aviation images, bundles of letters and a 24 hour clock. “Over the years we have seen a lot of interest registered from people in obtaining pieces of this board, from staff to design agencies to retired pilots,” says Charles Spillane, Auckland Airport general manager corporate affairs. 

“The idea for the Trade Me auction came about when the board was decommissioned. We thought an auction would be a great way to allow people the chance to have a piece of aviation history whilst at the same time raising money for a very worthy cause.” 

 The Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) is a charity that helps young people develop confidence and self-belief and create goals for the future. The money raised will fund children in South Auckland to participate in FYD programmes such as Kiwi Can, Stars of Project K. The auction will run for two weeks with all items at a dollar reserve - the goal being to raise as much money as possible for the charity.

 Urgent Couriers are also right behind this auction and have shown their support by providing free shipping for Auckland deliveries and excellent shipping rates nationwide for all successful bidders. There is only one of these boards known to remain in NZ, so this is a chance of a lifetime. To secure your piece of airport history, please go to and search for the Auckland Airport solari board. The auction will begin at 9.00am, 17 April 2012. Alternatively, for more information about the auction, please go to