Monday, January 30, 2012

Pilots vent fury at airport storm chaos

Pilots have slammed Gold Coast Airport for having "Third World" technology after last week's storms forced dozens of missed landings on the runway, with some planes being diverted to Brisbane.

The airport, now the sixth busiest in Australia and the international gateway to Australia's holiday playground, had its inability to operate during bad weather exposed during last week's storms, putting the lives of thousands of passengers at risk.

Jetstar had to divert six flights to Brisbane last week, Tiger Airways diverted two and Virgin Australia also sent several to Brisbane.

Scores of pilots took to an online industry forum to vent about the Coast not having an Instrument Landing System, which guides pilots to the runway when visibility is low and which is commonplace in airports across the world and even at regional Australian airports, including Wagga Wagga, Townsville, Cairns and Launceston.

Airservices Australia yesterday said it was investigating installing an ILS, with Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Paul Donovan saying it was "well overdue".

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