Tech touted as fog solution

IMAGE: MAT PATCHETT
IMAGE: MAT PATCHETT
If the question is "how will aircraft land at Tarras Airport in the fog?", then the answer seems to be Honeywell SmartPath.

A number of people have raised the fog issue during discussions about Christchurch International Airport Ltd’s plans to establish an international airport on its land at Tarras.

Christchurch Airport spokeswoman Yvonne Densem said this week the company was in the early stages of investigating the "aeronautical performance" of the site, including factors such as fog.

Ms Densem said fog was a factor at many New Zealand airports but with new technology it was unlikely to be insurmountable.

"GPS guided systems and airport lighting are two of the technologies that can be built into a new runway."

She provided links to a "ground-based augmentation system" marketed in Australia as Honeywell SmartPath.

The system uses GPS signals to provide aircraft with "very precise" positioning guidance during the final stages of an approach.

It can accommodate approach flight paths for up to 26 aircraft simultaneously within a 42km radius, and is in use at airports in the United States and Europe.

mark.price@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

Yep, Boult is telling porkies. I'm glad he ranks as a former airport CEO because he doesn't know anything about the technical aspects of airport operations. A CAT III C ILS landing system allows aircraft to land with no visibility of the runway. Combine that with an auto-landing system and weather isn't a problem. This isn't NEW technology, its been used around the world for years. Many of us Kiwis have probably been on aircraft using these systems and just don't know it. Operation in fog isn't an issue. Boult is just shooting his mouth off and bloviating on things he doesn't know anything about. I appreciate he wants to keep all the money and tourism in Queenstown but comments like this make him look like a real dunce! I havent looked at the weight-bearing capacity of runways, taxiways or navigational aids at Queenstown airport but would assume that it can not accommodate wide-body aircraft without major modifications. I suspect the taxiways and runways wouldn't be able to support the weight of these aircraft, runways would need to be lengthened, terminals would need to modified etc. What's good for US isn't good for Boult so hes against it!

Yep...the landing gear for most of the the large body aircraft would punch right through most of Queenstowns taxiways and aprons. It would need major work on that alone. An A380 would require signify modifications to the terminal, it's not configured easily to load/unload on the apron and would present significant safety issues for passengers. Face it, Queenstown was designed as a "feeder" airport and is illsuited for widebody operations. Tarras is ideally suited for widebody operations and could be built for purpose to serve as a major international hub on the south island. Queenstown lacks the ability to expand it's flight operations and lacks the physical space to increase infastructure to support passenger numbers associated with widebody operations. Boult can't come to terms with the rapid decline of Queenstown as a tourist destination. It's crowded, expensive and no longer a destination most tourist want to go to. It was great 15 years ago but has become a tourist trap. My overseas friends who come to visit want to avoid it at all costs.

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