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Safety Problems Loom at Paraparaumu Airport

Media Release From: Paraparaumu Airport Coalition

Safety Problems Loom at Paraparaumu Airport

The Paraparaumu Airport Coalition says developer.s plans to close the alternate Paraparaumu runway could endanger safety.

The Coalition says developers have announced in a memorandum to the Environment Court (5/11/08) that they will close the runway even before the Court rules on an appeal which covers this issue.

“This is outrageous,” says Coalition spokesman Alan Tristram. “The developers. claims that the closure will increase safety are complete nonsense.” “Expert pilots are telling us that, far from increasing safety, closing the East/West runway will significantly reduce it,” he says.

“Firstly, it will force the majority of aircraft to regularly operate off the main runway in cross-winds that are near, or above, their pilots. capabilities,” Mr Tristram says.

“Secondly, winds are often gusting at right angles to the main North/South runway.”

Mr Tristram says: “As there is no air traffic control at the airport, pilots will have to use their own discretion as to which direction they take off from -- and land on -- the main runway.

“This could potentially mean aircraft approaching each other in the same circuit.”

The Airport Coalition also says the developers should wait for the report of the official inquiry into the tragic accident which claimed three lives at the airport earlier this year.

And it says the real reason for the developer.s plans to close the alternate runway is to allow commercial „big box. development of the land.

Mr Tristram adds:”It is nonsensical to replace a significant sealed runway that has proved its worth over 60 years by a „Claytons. marginal grass runway with no approved approach or departure „fans. – which could only be used in emergencies!”


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