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

Erebus National Memorial delayed 

 The Erebus National Memorial will not be ready for the 40th anniversary of the accident on 28 November 2019, reports NZ Aviation News

 According to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage chief executive Paul James, the scale and complexity of the memorial means it will be delayed until at least mid-2020. 

The crash, on the slopes of Antarctica’s Mt Erebus on 28 November 1979, with 257 fatalities, is New Zealand’s worst civil disaster and still the southern hemisphere’s worst aviation accident. 

According to NZ Aviation News, the Erebus National Memorial group has been advocating for more than two years for the long overdue national memorial. 

The Erebus National Memorial group first proposed the national memorial in early 2016, which would have given ample time for the national memorial project to be completed in time for the 40th anniversary. 

To read the full article see HERE.


New technology explored to create hybrid electric planes 

Air New Zealand (Air NZ) is working with European planemaker ATR on hybrid electric aircraft and the new technology that is needed to support them, the NZ Herald reports. 

Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon said with this country's large volume of renewable electricity, and Air NZ’s regional network, the country is seen as the ideal test bed for these technologies.

"Our regional fleet accounts for approximately 40 percent of our domestic emissions so there's an enormous opportunity for carbon savings,” he said. 

“It could be a significant contributor to us reaching our twin goals of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and reducing emissions to 50 per cent of 2005 levels by 2050."

According to NZ Herald, under the agreement between Air NZ and ATR, the partners will investigate the development of these new solutions and the required systems to support them such as airport and regulatory infrastructure and maintenance.

Luxon said hybrid aircraft are expected to enter the market in the ''next decade or so”. 

To continue reading the full article see HERE



Drone delays flights at Wellington Airport 

A drone seen in Evans Bay led to Wellington Airport closing airspace for 30 minutes, delaying flights. 

The drone was spotted on November 11, just after 6.30pm, and was about 200 metres in altitude, less than three kilometres from the end of the runway, Stuff reports.

A spokeswoman for Airways NZ, which provided air traffic control services, said that was well within the airfield’s control zone.

The drone was seen in the Evans Bay Parade area, and police were called to the scene, though the drone was not located. 

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said its jet fleet was unaffected; however, two regional flights were delayed arriving into Wellington, and one was delayed departing. 

For more, please see HERE.


A record number of drones caught near New Zealand airports this year

A record number of drones have been caught flying near airports in the last year – with the latest statistics showing that 55 drones have been recorded flying closer than four kilometres to an airport, One News reports. 

The total number of drone complaints have also shot up to more than 420 this year, which is more than double the number two years ago. There were just 10 complaints in 2013. 

One News spoke to UAVNZ, an organisation representing drone users, which says a drone crashing into an aircraft could be catastrophic. 

“They are very hard parts; metal, carbon fibre, and once you start having impacts with those sorts of objects, I can imagine it can cause catastrophic problems, no doubt,” chairman Andy Grant said. 

Airway NZ's General Manager Air Traffic Services Tim Boyle told One News that current radar systems can’t detect drones.

Mr Boyle said the laws are now four years old and could be improved with the compulsory registration of drone owners. 

The Ministry of Transport says it’s considering changes and reviewing laws overseas.

For the full story, see HERE.


Newsroom investigates the battle for Queenstown’s skies

A proposed expansion of air-noise boundaries by the Queenstown Airport Corporation ruffled some feathers earlier this year.

Newsroom reports that the plan prompted a petition and public posturing about alternative airport locations. The expansion, affecting thousands of additional houses in surrounding residential areas, would have allowed the airport to double aircraft movements by 2045. 

It seems to have been a tipping point for many local people, already worried about the population and tourism booms that have led locals to question a growth-at-all-costs attitude, the article says. 

The airport, majority-owned by the local council, backed down earlier this month. 

To read more about the ‘Battle for Queenstown’s Skies’ see HERE.



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