10 APRIL 2017
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Airports across New Zealand may have to extend runways or face new restrictions on the type of aircraft which can operate there, the NZ Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has warned.
The news website Stuff said the authority believed a recent court ruling could “affect the viability of operations at a number of airports", chiefly those with international operations or domestic services using aircraft with more than 30 passengers.
The ruling involves the runway safety area (RESA) at Wellington Airport, which at 90m is the minimum allowed under international aviation rules. This is not unusual since most NZ airports have RESAs less than the recommended 240m.
The CAA had indicated that if Wellington’s runway was extended for direct long-haul services, the current RESA would still be acceptable. The NZ Court of Appeal has now ordered a review.
Although the decision related to Wellington’s $300m runway extension plan, the aviation sector is concerned the decision will force the CAA to take a different approach when considering airport operating certificates, which are renewable every five years.
Wellington has warned the case, brought by the New Zealand Airline Pilots Association, means it may have to extend its runway by 300m simply to maintain its existing jet services.
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