Statement From The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association
Today New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) President Captain Andrew Ridling said:
“The announcement by State Owned Enterprise Airways to remove air traffic services from seven regions* is a decision to put money ahead of the safety of the travelling public.
“This decision lacks integrity, is reckless and is an ill-informed approach by an inexperienced group of aviation leaders.
“Airways have already been given $107 million of tax payers’ money either directly or via rebates, and also applied for $5 million in wage subsidy in order to prevent redundancies.
“Where is the essential safety case to close these regional air traffic towers? Let alone the thought given to the regional economic impact?
“NZALPA Pilot and Air Traffic Controller members are absolutely fearful for themselves and the travelling public that this decision with only tacit discussion can be made by the so-called Airways leadership.
“This means the Civil Aviation Authority CAA requirement to have Air Traffic Control in attendance will be unable to be met for typical propeller aircraft such as ATR and Q300.
“Airways is now proposing to move the safety level of our National Airspace System (NAS) back to the levels seen in developing nations.
“To date, Airways have not conducted any significant form of stakeholder consultation including input into safety cases. Both the CAA and NZALPA require robust safety cases, including the crucial talks with those who will be significantly impacted,” Captain Ridling said.
*Rotorua, Napier, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Invercargill, Kapiti Coast, Milford Sound.