Friday, July 05, 2013

New aviation regulations 'bad for tourism'

Civic leaders in Northland are challenging new civil aviation rules disrupting Air New Zealand flights to Whangarei.

Since June this year, Beech 1900 planes have had to approach the airport from a greater height and land further down the runway.

To do that safely in wet conditions they need a lighter landing weight, and that has forced the airline to take some passengers off their flights and bus them to Whangarei instead.

Northland Tourism spokesperson Jeroen Jongens says the new restriction seems unnecessary and is bad for business and tourism.

"It is very important from a reputational point of view that we can deliver reliable services to Northland and into Whangarei in particular.

"I have flown quite often into Whangarei and I've always felt pretty safe with the pilot and the landing methods over there - I feel a lot more unsafe at times when I fly into Wellington."

Whangarei MP Phil Heatley says he will be taking the matter up with Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.

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