CAA happy with airport safety plan

QLDC requested an analysis from CAA after concerns raised at public forums and council meetings...
QLDC requested an analysis from CAA after concerns raised at public forums and council meetings about how safe the airport, which is flanked by mountains, is. Photo: Getty Images
The Civil Aviation Authority has given Queenstown Airport safety plans a tick of approval, after residents raised concerns about the facility.

Queenstown Lakes District Council requested an analysis from CAA following concerns raised at public forums and council meetings about how safe the airport, which is flanked by mountains, is.

Residents were especially concerned about aircraft icing, but also questioned issues such as birdstrike, geography and the mix of aviation activities based out of the airport.

CAA chief executive Graeme Harris said today that all airports, including Queenstown, posed safety challenges, but he believed appropriate risk mitigation plans were in place there.

"The CAA recently conducted a comprehensive review of risk controls in place to support safe air transport operations at night into Queenstown Airport,'' Mr Harris said.

"Many of these controls also apply to daytime operations.

"This review concluded that the risk controls are fit for purpose and are being effectively applied in practice.''

The risk of aircraft icing up on approach to Queenstown had been analysed and there was believed to be no cause for concern, Mr Harris said.

The issue was regularly monitored, and CAA would conduct a more in-depth analysis.

"So far there is nothing to suggest that Queenstown presents a higher risk profile than normal from an aircraft icing perspective.''

There had been numerous occasions where airlines had cancelled flights rather than operate in severe weather, Mr Harris said. 

- Staff reporter 

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