Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

New Zealand aviation news

September snow cancels flights in and out of Queenstown

While the early autumn cyclones and heat continued to cause delays and cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere, New Zealand’s most popular skiing destination delivered a winter blast last month, blanketing the airport with unusual spring snow and grounding all Queenstown flights on 17 September.

Flights into and out of Queenstown Airport were cancelled and both Air New Zealand and Jetstar had lengthy delays.

The airport made it clear to passengers they would need to contact airlines directly, reminding them that even though the runway was being continually cleared as snow fell, it was up to airlines to decide when to resume flights.

Check out shots by local photographer Debbie Jamieson and the full story HERE.

Pilot drug and alcohol test failure cancels MEL/WEL return service

A number of rugby fans missed last month’s Wellington international clash between the All Blacks and Springboks after their Singapore Airlines flight from Melbourne was cancelled following the pilot’s failure of a drug and alcohol test.

Newshub reported the Australian Civil Aviation Authority screened the crew about to travel on the Boeing 777-200 as part of their random drug and alcohol screening programme. The Melbourne-Wellington route had only been operating since May.

"The pilot in question was stood down and has been suspended from all duties effective immediately. He has returned to Singapore where a full investigation will be undertaken," said a Singapore Airlines spokesperson.

The airline apologised saying passenger safety was their highest priority. It also had to make alternative travel arrangements for passengers on the return flight from Wellington to Singapore, via Melbourne, which was also cancelled as a result.

Read the full story HERE.

Air NZ aircraft shuts down engine for landing

Oil pressure issues were the likely cause of an Air New Zealand aircraft landing at Auckland Airport with one engine down on 16 September.

The pilots of NZ6092 shut down the engine as a precaution on descent after noting issue signals. The New Zealand Herald reported Air New Zealand has since confirmed the issues related to oil pressures and not the engine itself.

The aircraft was not carrying passengers at the time of landing and did so without issue.

Read the full story HERE.

Member of Parliament refers to ATC as a ‘clown’

Air Traffic Control staffing shortages have been brought back into mainstream debate after Police Minister Stuart Nash described an Air Traffic Controller as a “clown” for being late for work and delaying a flight, reported NewstalkZB.

NZALPA president Tim Robinson said in interviews that reference to an air traffic controller, the only one rostered to work at Napier Airport that morning, as a “clown” for being late for work was “upsetting and unnecessary.”

“Staffing the network with the smallest number of controllers to save costs makes regional aviation services vulnerable and creates a single point of failure.

“This puts considerable pressure on those staff to cover each other’s shifts, sometimes at very short notice if there is a family problem or illness, for example,” said Robinson.

For the full story go HERE.

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