Link to Radio NZ article here
Thanks to the Pilots Association for caring about the travelling public’s safety – because Wellington International Airport Ltd (WIAL) seem to be happy with ‘making do’. The Association’s President Tim Robinson said in their submission on the runway extension that his members had the most to gain from the extension but was opposed to it unless it included a Runway End Safety Area (RESA) of 240 metres.
This is the minimum expected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and New Zealand’s own Civil Aviation Authority – organisations that presumably know a thing or two about airport safety. What’s more, they don’t have a vested interest in the airport, unlike WIAL who stands to gain A LOT from increased landing charges that will be passed on to all of us, the travelling public.
As international aviation safety expert, Brian Greeves has said when acknowledging the cost of installing a 240 metre RESA, “the financial losses if just one Boeing 777 or Airbus 330 aircraft were to overrun the runway and 90 metre RESA with substantial fatalities, would more than outweigh the construction cost, without taking into account the human cost”. On top of this, New Zealand’s international safety reputation would be in ruins.
Flight attendants also have come out in support of the pilots. Kalvin Ellis, head of union E Tū, said “if the pilots are concerned we need to take it seriously; and we’re not just talking a few metres – it is 150 metres short of what the Pilots have recommended”.
So, WIAL – who don’t fly planes – apparently know better than the experts, the pilots who actually fly the planes. I know who I would trust, do you?