Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Air safety at risk after radar removal

Simon Power MP National Party Defence Spokesman

18 September 2003

Air safety at risk after radar removal

National Party Defence spokesman Simon Power fears the safety of air travellers is being put at risk by the removal of Ohakea's primary surveillance radar by Airways Corporation.

Mr Power is commenting after SOE and Defence Minister Mark Burton was unable to offer safety assurances following questions in Parliament today.

"The only conclusion I can reach from Mr Burton's non-answers in the House today is that safety will indeed be put at risk.

"The Wilsons Road primary radar provided the ability for air traffic control to track all aircraft, whether they had transponders or not, in the approaches to Ohakea airbase and Palmerston North airport," Mr Power says.

"Air traffic controllers will now be totally reliant on secondary radar systems that simply pick up transponder emissions - so any aircraft that has its transponder switched off, or malfunctioning, will not be seen by air traffic control.

"The chances of somebody in a small private plane straying into an area where they should not be is now very real around the Manawatu.

"Ohakea and Palmerston North together account for 100,000 air movements a year - the fourth largest number in NZ after Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.

"These numbers will probably increase by about 15,000 to 20,000 movements once the Air Force's heavy fleet of 757s, Hercules and Orions relocate from Whenuapai in 2007," Mr Power says.

"The removal of the radar also limits the ability of a future government reconstituting the strike wing.

"This is being seen as a major impediment to any future increase in the capability of our air force," Mr Power says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news