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New Zealand Pilots voice safety fears following Wellington runway announcement

Pilots concerned about safety following announcement to have a runway extension under the recommended international regulation

The New Zealand Airline Pilots Association (NZALPA) has raised fears over the safety of Wellington Airports proposed runway extension following the City Councils announcement on Wednesday, that it will contribute some $1.95 million towards its consent process.


Responding to the announcement Captain Rob Torenvlied, NZALPA Technical Director said: “Although we welcome the economic prosperity that such an extension may bring to Wellington, this must not be at the cost of passenger safety.”


“Concerns are growing amongst pilots that the development of Wellington and the nation’s airports as a whole, are increasingly being developed on the basis of economic benefit and not on the basis of safety,” said Captain Torenvlied.


Wellington’s proposals have specifically excluded the provision of runway safety areas to the internationally recommended length of 240 metres which ensure that an aircraft is able to stop in an emergency.


Wellington remains one of the world’s most challenging airports for pilots with almost 2500 flight cancellations and diversions alone during 2013.

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