Queenstown Airport Corporation closes grass runway due to safety concerns

Sep 21, 2007

Queenstown Airport Corporation has taken the unprecedented action of closing one of its most used general aviation runways.

A crane with a 45 m boom extension has been erected on the 5 Mile construction site, contrary to Queenstown Airport Corporation advice and safety concerns.

The Crane is immediately adjacent to the straight in and curved approach to the grass runway and in the event of an aircraft engine out, low approach or sun strike, the crane would be a definite hazard to pilots and passengers.

Discussions with 5 Mile were taking place to work out operational options; however, 5 Mile construction erected the crane this morning leaving the Queenstown Airport Corporation no option but to close the runway.

Civil Aviation is being consulted as to what alternative action can be taken.

5 Mile were given the option to use the crane outside operating hours but did not consider this option.

Steve Sanderson, Queenstown Airport Corporation's Chief Executive Officer, has stated that safety is the prime objective of any airport and while this is compromised we must take the appropriate action. Furthermore, he regrets the disruption to general aviation users, but hopes to resolve the matter with urgency.


For further information please contact Steve Sanderson 03 450 9031.

By: Tamah