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Pilots Welcome Changes to Queenstown Airport Hours

New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association

Media Release: For Immediate Distribution

6th May 2014

Pilots Welcome Changes to Queenstown Airport Operational Hours

The New Zealand Airline Pilots Association (NZALPA) welcomes today’s announcement by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ) concerning the extension to the operational hours of Queenstown Airport.

In particular, NZALPA welcomes the associated package of safety improvements. Once implemented these will improve safety at one of New Zealand’s most challenging airports for pilots in terms of airline operations, for reasons of both its geographic location and changeable weather.

Rob Torenvlied NZALPA Technical Director explains: `NZALPA has long campaigned for much needed safety improvements at Queenstown and has worked closely with the CAANZ, Airways New Zealand (the nation’s and Queenstown’s air traffic control provider), Airlines and Queenstown Airport in an attempt to implement these.’

He adds: ‘The widening of the runway, installing of an approach lighting system, improved runway lighting and installing of additional obstacle lighting are all most welcome improvements for pilots operating into and out of the airport.

‘Although these improvements are being made to facilitate night-time operations, they will, in addition, provide significant safety benefits for daylight operations as well.’

Following these improvements and prior to being able to operate into Queenstown during these extended (night time) hours, each airline will then be required to individually gain ‘approval’ from CAANZ to operate within them. This will involve providing additional training to pilots and safety updates to aircraft and equipment. NZALPA looks forward to working closely with both the airlines and CAANZ in achieving this.

NZALPA and its members are committed to involvement in improving the safety of operations at not only Queenstown, but at all of New Zealand’s airports.


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