Friday, September 27, 2013

Glider operator unhappy over Civil Aviation Authority decision - New Zealand

A commercial glider operator is angry at a decision by the Civil Aviation Authority to control the airspace above Aoraki-Mount Cook, saying it will harm international business.

The decision means that, from November, anyone wanting to fly at 7467m over the mountain will need to apply for clearance with Air Traffic Control.

It comes after Qantas applied for that airspace to be controlled so that flights from South America to Australia could use the area.

Glide Omarama director Gavin Wills says at least 100 gliders operate there each year and the decision will have a negative impact on them.

"It's simply Qantas, who fly one flight a week from Buenos Aires to Sydney, and their normal route flies 200 miles south of Mount Cook and, in case they had an emergency diversion or wanted to go that way, they just wanted to be able to fly through that airspace and have it controlled," he says.

The decision is unfair and will impact on his business, Mr Wills says.

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