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Queenstown Airport granted safety approval for year round night flights

May 7, 2014 Airport No Comments Email Email

The Civil Aviation Authority has accepted in principle the foundation safety case for night flight operations at Queenstown Airport, subject to infrastructure improvements.

The safety case was presented jointly by Queenstown Airport Corporation and Navigatus Consulting. Its approval shows the benefits of participants taking a collaborative approach, says Director of Civil Aviation Graeme Harris.

“This approval is the result of much hard work and dedication from airline operators, Queenstown Airport Corporation, CAA and Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority.”

Flights are currently only permitted to take-off and land during day-light hours.

“The size and configuration of Queenstown Airport and mountainous surrounding terrain has meant limiting flying to daylight hours has been appropriate until now.

“Queenstown Airport Corporation and operators have shown a willingness to improve infrastructure and develop operational procedures to gain this approval,” he says.

The main elements required to be in place before night flight operations are:

·        Widening the runway to 45m (from the current 30m)

·        A comprehensive aeronautical lighting package (runway, taxiway, approach and off-airport lights)

·        A customised crew selection and training package

·        Employing the full capability of the existing RNP technology

·        Changes to on-board flight procedures to reduce pilot workload on final approach.

Once these changes are made, the Civil Aviation Authority will approve night flight operations. These elements are not likely to be in place before mid-2016.

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