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Date of Air Line Pilots appeal regarding proposed WIAL runway extension ‘fast tracked'

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) today said it was thrilled that the Court of Appeal has fast tracked the hearing of its appeal against the recent High Court’s decision to turn down a review of the 90-metre safety area for an extended Wellington International Airport (WIAL) runway. 

The Court of Appeal has set aside Thursday,  20 October 2016 to hear the case in Wellington.

The Appeal has been fast tracked due to proceedings before the Environment Court relating to the proposed runway extension, due to be heard in early 2017.  Any appeal outcome will impact on the scope and nature of any evidence before the Environment Court, NZALPA were informed by the Court of Appeal.

Earlier this month NZALPA’s concerns were also outlined in its submission to the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and Wellington City Council (WCC) on WIAL’s application for resource consents for its proposed runway extension. 

“There is only one factor driving our decision, and that’s public safety and the safety of our members,” NZALPA President Tim Robinson reiterated again today.

“Under international aviation safety requirements a Runway End Safety Area (RESA) shall be 240 metres, or an equivalent consisting of a mechanical system known as EMAS.”

“The proposed 90 metres falls well short of international standards. Add to this Wellington airport’s challenging environment, and it becomes clear why pilots are so concerned.”

“This has never been simply about consultation.”

Tim Robinson said that in the last six weeks NZALPA had gained considerable further public and wider aircrew support for their safety stance and the EMAS solution that they have suggested as a viable alternative. 

“As commercial pilots and air traffic controllers our members have much to gain from an increase in flights arriving and departing from Wellington airport, but not at any cost – especially if that cost is to the safety of passengers, local people, airport staff, and our land and flight crews,” Robinson said. 

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