Pilot at odds with air­port’s stance

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

An air­line pilot who reg­u­larly flies into Auck­land Air­port has slammed new run­way ap­proaches be­ing tri­alled to find ways of re­duc­ing emis­sions and noise.

The air­port says it is test­ing the new ap­proaches so air­craft fly fewer miles, re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and car­bon emis­sions, and im­prove noise man­age­ment for com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing close to the air­port, Cen­tral Leader, May 3.

An on­line in­for­ma­tion sheet on the changes says the tracks of the new ap­proaches to Auck­land Air­port were de­signed to max­imise highly ac­cu­rate satel­lite based nav­i­ga­tion to fly over in­dus­trial and light in­dus­trial ar­eas and the Manukau Har­bour.

Res­i­dents in Epsom and other sub­urbs have no­ticed an in­crease in air­craft noise and are wor­ried about the pos­si­ble im­pli­ca­tions on their properties and life­styles if the new ap­proaches be­come per­ma­nent.

The Epsom-based pilot, who asked not to be named, claims the air­port is be­ing ‘‘par­tial with the truth’’ when it says the new ap­proach is not go­ing over res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

‘‘As an air­line pilot who has flown this ap­proach sev­eral times I am well aware of the flight path that the ap­proach takes and it is not over the wa­ter and in­dus­trial ar­eas as stated,’’ he says.

Us­ing Google Maps he says he roughly tracked the co-or­di­nates of the new ap­proach to see where they fly over.

He found it is not sur­pris­ing peo­ple are com­plain­ing about new noise.

He says planes ap­proach­ing from the west travel over the cor­ner of Lou­vain Ave and Mons Ave in the Mr Roskill area, then head ap­prox­i­mately east along Tor­rance St, then in a straight line to the in­ter­sec­tion of Moata Rd and Nga­ti­awa St in One­hunga.

From there the ap­proach curves around to the fi­nal stretch to the run­way.

‘‘Due to the way the ap­proach is de­signed the air­craft re­quire to be at a low speed and there­fore mak­ing a lot of noise, be­cause of high drag con­fig­u­ra­tion, es­pe­cially as they fly over Epsom and One Tree Hill Do­main.’’

The pilot

claims

the

new ap­proach will even­tu­ally be­come the norm for all large in­ter­na­tional flights from Asia and Aus­tralia. ‘‘It’s been in­tro­duced by stealth. ‘‘It was just two flights a day at first, it’s now opened up to quite a few. It will soon be like liv­ing in Beach­lands.’’

Auck­land Air­port spokes­woman Katie Moore says the pilot should re­port his feed­back through the air- port’s noise com­plaint process so the mat­ter can be in­ves­ti­gated prop­erly.

‘‘Un­til a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion is com­plete we are not in a po­si­tion to spec­u­late,’’ she says.

‘‘How­ever, at this stage, Air­ways New Zealand has con­firmed that aside from the SMART ap­proach trial, flight paths over Epsom have changed lit­tle over the past 10 years and there has been no change at all in the last few weeks.’’

She says one flight path passes over Epsom be­fore slowly de­scend­ing be­low 4000 feet east of One Tree Hill, with air­craft en­gines at a low power set­ting. It then makes a gen­tle banked turn over com­mer­cial and light in­dus­trial land near High­brook and Botany Downs which is when the air­craft as­sumes a higher drag con­fig­u­ra­tion be­fore align­ing with the run­way at Auck­land near Manukau.

Ms Moore de­clined to pro­vide the Cen­tral Leader with copies of maps show­ing the new ap­proach routes.

‘‘We have not re­leased any de­tailed maps of the new SMART ap­proaches as a sig­nif­i­cant as­pect of this trial is gaug­ing pub­lic reaction and we con­sid­ered that re­leas­ing a de­tailed map could po­ten­tially in­flu­ence this pub­lic reaction.

‘‘As this is a trial, Auck­land Air­port and Air­ways are very in­ter­ested in re­ceiv­ing any feed­back from the pub­lic.’’

Photo: LAWRENCE SMITH

Air­port ap­proach: Auck­land Air­port says it is test­ing new run­way ap­proaches so air­craft fly fewer miles, re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and car­bon emis­sions, and im­prove noise man­age­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.