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

Air New Zealand using drones to inspect aircraft 

Air New Zealand is trialling the use of drones to inspect aircraft having heavy maintenance checks in Singapore. 

The airline has teamed up with ST Engineering’s aerospace arm to use the drones at its facility next to Singapore’s Changi Airport, according to a report on Stuff

The drones travel around the plane capturing images that are processed using software, which can identify and classify defects that may have happened after a lightning strike or other incident. 

A drone inspection can take one or two hours, compared to up to six hours for a manual inspection. Faster inspections mean any required repairs can start sooner and the aircraft can get back into service more quickly.

Read more HERE.


Other Air New Zealand news 

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Christopher Luxon has announced his resignation, taking effect at the end of September, after seven years in the job.

Stuff reports that it’s rumoured Luxon will go into politics, potentially standing for National in the Botany electorate.

Luxon himself has confirmed that politics is an option, but says he will take some time out and ponder the future.

Read more HERE

Air New Zealand was named the country’s most attractive employer in the annual Ranstad Employer Brand Research. It is the third year in a row the airline has achieved top ranking in the research, according to Stuff

Read more HERE

The airline was also awarded the inaugural diversity and inclusion team award at the 2019 International Air Transport Association annual general meeting in Korea last month, reports the New Zealand Herald

The news site reports Air New Zealand also recently acknowledged diversity by rolling back its ban on visible tattoos.

Read more HERE and HERE.

Air New Zealand is cutting off-peak frequency of flights to Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston, Blenheim and Tauranga from July as tourism slows and operating costs rise, according to a report on Stuff. The overall effect will be a reduction of around two percent from the same time last year. 

Read more HERE.


Auckland International Airport news 

Auckland International Airport is about to begin work on a major expansion that includes construction of a new domestic jet terminal and a second runway parallel to, and north, of the current runway.

There are eight anchor projects that will begin over the next 10 years. They are: 

  • taxiway and remote stand airfield development 
  • second runway 
  • new cargo facility
  • new international arrivals area
  • rejuvenation of the domestic terminal 
  • new domestic jet terminal 
  • reconfiguration of international forecourt drop-off and pick up facility 
  • further development of the road network north of the terminals. 

Stuff reports that earthworks will begin in mid-2019.

Read more HERE.


Electric aircraft coming to New Zealand skies 

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Christopher Luxon says the airline could be flying electric aircraft in regional New Zealand within 7-10 years, according to Stuff.

Luxon says the engines will have benefits for the environment and will also be cheaper to run, making the airline more profitable. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has already pledged that by 2050 its members will have halved their carbon output from what it was in 2005. Stuff reports that starting next year, airlines will use a scheme set up with the United Nations' aviation body to offset emissions growth with credits from activity like growing trees, which sucks carbon from the atmosphere. 

After 2035, technological and engineering advancements will reduce the amount of carbon aircraft put into the atmosphere. 

Virgin Australia has been trialling a mix of traditional and sustainable fuel at Brisbane Airport, and Qantas has operated an international flight using a 10 percent blend of biogas derived from Ethiopian mustard seeds – resulting in a seven percent reduction in carbon emissions from Los Angeles to Melbourne. 

Read more HERE.



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