The Government is to spend $24 million as part of an upgrade of the Whenuapai airfield in Auckland.
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says the project will give the Defence Force base a new lease of life.
The main runway and taxiways will be upgraded, stormwater drainage improved and new airfield lighting installed.
Dr Mapp says the work will ensure the runway will last at least another 40 years.
The airfield will stay operational while the work is carried out.