Fewer flights can­celled

Air NZ ser­vice out of Ro­torua more re­li­able as ef­forts made to mit­i­gate bad weather

Rotorua Daily Post - - Front Page -

Air New Zealand is can­celling fewer flights in and out of Ro­torua, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by Ro­torua Air­port Lim­ited.

The coun­cil­con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tion’s can­cel­la­tion data for Air New Zealand, re­leased un­der the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion and Meet­ings Act, shows the per­cent­age of can­celled flights each month has been lower this year, with the ex­cep­tion of Fe­bru­ary and Septem­ber.

A spokes­woman for the air­line said the most com­mon rea­son for flight can­cel­la­tions in Ro­torua was weather.

“Air New Zealand strives to op­er­ate all ser­vices as sched­uled, how­ever, some­times we need to can­cel or resched­ule flights for rea­sons such as weather or en­gi­neer­ing re­quire­ments.”

On Fe­bru­ary 12 Ro­torua Air­port was closed for three­and-a-half hours and two flights were can­celled when a high-pow­ered hunt­ing cross­bow was fired from out­side the air­port. Air­port staff found the ar­row stick­ing out of the grass near the north­ern end of the run­way dur­ing a rou­tine in­spec­tion, but po­lice did not find who was re­spon­si­ble. Upon re­leas­ing the can­cel­la­tion data, Ro­torua Air­port chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Gibb said, “on-time per­for­mance is an item that we as an air­port have no con­trol or in­flu­ence over”.

“There is a broader ini­tia­tive that looks to more ef­fec­tively use our ex­ist­ing nav­i­ga­tion in­fras­truc­ture in par­al­lel with air­craft that have what is re­ferred to as RNP ca­pa­bil­ity, this will help re­duce the im­pact of bad weather on ser­vices.

“This is, as I un­der­stand it, an ini­tia­tive that Air New Zealand is look­ing to de­liver across its ATR fleet in the short to medium term.”

The air­line’s spokes­woman con­firmed it was pre­par­ing for the in­tro­duc­tion of Re­quired Nav­i­ga­tion Per­for­mance (RNP-AR).

“RNP-AR en­ables spe­cially-trained pi­lots to fly to lower al­ti­tudes with a more pre­cise and ef­fi­cient route into the air­port, sav­ing fuel and emis­sions and help­ing re­duce the im­pact of bad weather on ser­vices. We will ini­tially op­er­ate RNP-AR ap­proaches to Queen­stown.”

Gibb said Ro­torua Air­port would con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for a zero flight can­cel­la­tion per­cent­age.

Saman­tha Ol­ley

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