Green light for emergency fuel
‘‘At the moment they're looking to see if they can ship the jet fuel to Wynyard Wharf in the middle of Auckland, then get it trucked to the airport.’’
Fuel trucks will have a clean run of green traffic lights as they rush vital fuel across the city to Auckland Airport.
New Zealand’s aviation network is still under enormous strain after the primary jet fuel line to the country’s largest airport sprung a significant leak in rural Northland.
Scores of flights have been cancelled because of the fuel shortage, and thousands of international and domestic air passengers have faced disruption as a result.
A contingency is being worked on to open up the jet fuel terminal at Wynyard Wharf and synchronise traffic lights so that fuel trucks can reach the airport as quickly as possible.
Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins said on Tuesday morning that Auckland Transport and the Transport Agency were working to get the trucks travelling around the city more efficiently.
‘‘One option with jet fuel is opening up the jet fuel terminal at Wynyard Wharf,’’ Collins said.
‘‘At the moment they’re looking to see if they can ship the jet fuel to Wynyard Wharf in the middle of Auckland, then get it trucked to the airport.’’
A plan to assist the trucks involved the phasing of traffic lights, along with other concessions.
‘‘The army’s got the qualified and experienced tanker drivers. The Transport Agency is making it easier for the carriers to get overweight permits, so carriers can safely carry fuel.’’
Meanwhile, Auckland Council was going to enable service stations to extend the time that they can get their fuel from the trucks under the Resource Management Act.
Collins said the Defence Force was providing 890,000 litres of fuel from their Whenuapai and Ohakea airbases.
‘‘They’re allowing turbo prop aircraft to be able to refuel at Whenuapai and Ohakea, so that’s particularly helpful for regional airlines,’’ she said.
The HNMZS Endeavour had also been deployed to transport 5 million litres of diesel fuel from Marsden Point to Lyttleton.
Alongside this, on Tuesday afternoon Refining New Zealand said efforts to repair the pipe were ‘‘progressing well’’ and fuel delivery was expected by September 26.
HNMZS Endeavour has been deployed to transport 5 million litres of diesel fuel to Lyttleton.