A passenger affected by a lengthy takeoff delay involving an
Air New Zealand Boeing 737 flight on Friday has raised
questions over the availability of de-icing equipment at
Dunedin International Airport.
Dunedin optometrist Jack Crawford, who was a passenger on the
scheduled 6.50am flight, contacted the Otago Daily Times,
saying the flight, to Wellington and Auckland, had been
delayed more than an hour.
This was because of ''ice formation on the wing tips'' and
because de-icing equipment at the airport was
''away being serviced'', he said.
Mr Crawford asked why the airport appeared to have only one
set of de-icing gear.
Dunedin International Airport Ltd chief executive John McCall
said ground frost at the airport during summer was highly
An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said there was sufficient
overall de-icing gear available, but the associated lifting
equipment to enable staff closer access to aircraft was not
usually leased until March.
''Safety is paramount and non-negotiable at Air New Zealand
and in this case the pilot made the call to delay the flight
until the ice on the aircraft had thawed and it was safe to
Airlines operating out of the airport all had de-icing
equipment which they used, but also shared equipment as
The airlines worked collaboratively, but in this case backup
equipment owned by a third party was away being serviced, she