Runway Lights Turned on at Queenstown Airport
Queenstown Airport today officially turned on its runway lights in July.
TVNZ weatherman and keen pilot, Jim Hickey, had the honours of giving the go ahead to ‘officially’ switch on the lights, the first set of runway lights to be installed from scratch in New Zealand in several decades.
A joint venture between Airways NZ and Queenstown Airport, the 124 lights will minimize the number of disruptions and further enhance safety in poor weather conditions.
“The installation of these lights is very important for Queenstown. In low cloud and rain the lights help define the runway enabling pilots to see it more clearly,” said Mr Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive Officer, Queenstown Airport.
Airlines recent investment in Required Navigation Performance (RNP) technology has already reduced the number of Queenstown flight diversions. The lights will help reduce disruptions even further.
“As well as reducing disrupts, we hope that the lights open the door for Airlines to seek approval to fully utilize our consented hours of 6am to 10pm,” said Mr Sanderson.
“This is the big prize where our visitors can arrive and depart in Queenstown in the evenings giving them a full day or weekend, rather than losing time travelling in the day time. This ease of travelling to Queenstown will boost our visitor days in the region.
“This is a real achievement. Queenstown Airport was the only major airport in New Zealand without runway lights. It has taken three years to get to this point and involved a lot of consultation with stakeholders,” said Mr Sanderson.
Two key contractors, Fulton Hogan and Nind Electrical, have been working on the project, which includes 34 transformers and using 25km of airfield lighting cable.
The $2million project was funded by Airways NZ.