Most Frankton residents are likely to oppose night
flights into Queenstown because of safety concerns, its
community head says.
Frankton Community Association chairman Scott Freeman said
safety concerns rather than noise issues were paramount for
people living close to Queenstown Airport.
''I suspect most are not in favour, purely from a safety
point of view,'' Mr Freeman said.
''The noise issue is basically done and dusted. It's
primarily a safety issue.
''The reality is Queenstown Airport Corporation and the
airlines need to satisfy people that safety is not an
Queenstown Airport chief executive Scott Paterson said QAC
was not legally required to consult residents, but would ask
for their views.
Airport neighbour Barbara Williams said yesterday's
announcement was a ''disaster''.
''Mark my words - there will be a major accident.
''The issue now goes beyond Frankton; it's now a Basin
She referred to a newspaper report in May 2012, which quoted
a veteran commercial jet captain, who could not be named,
saying: ''There are a lot of issues presenting during
daylight operations, let alone at night.''
''I'm sorry but our greed is putting the lives of locals in
jeopardy,'' she said.
Fellow Frankton resident Deryck Marshall (63), a retired air
traffic controller, said he believed night flights would be
''Nowadays with the systems it's no different to landing in
bad weather,'' he said.
''I don't think there will be any safety issues and as for
noise, I wake up early and I'm usually up at 10pm too, so it
won't be a problem.
''I live here so I can watch the flights take off.''
In February, the QAC outlined plans to soundproof homes
affected by aircraft noise.
More than 150 homeowners near the Frankton aerodrome will
receive money for noise reduction home improvements during
the next two years.
Representatives of airlines serving Queenstown refused to
commit to night flights yesterday after the announcement.
''Air New Zealand hasn't yet made a decision that it will
operate into Queenstown after dark but that is being
considered at the moment,'' Air New Zealand chief flight
operations and safety officer Captain David Morgan said.
''I think the first issue for us is to fully understand the
implications of the foundation safety case for Queenstown
''Air New Zealand operations will then need to consider what
it will have to do to put an application to the CAA in order
to get its approval.
''The commercial implications of this decision will be
considered at the same time.''
Qantas and Jetstar spokesmen said their companies held
similar positions to Air New Zealand.