11 December 2015
Can someone tell me how a Q300 is going to be able to handle weather conditions at Timaru better than a Beech 1900 as in this piece in the Timaru Herald???
Timaru's passenger flights might have fewer weather delays next year, but the possibility of security checks remains up in the air. Air New Zealand says its newer, bigger planes might be able to land more easily in bad weather, but neither the airline nor Richard Pearse Airport's owners have received a definitive answer about whether passengers will need to have their bags checked there. A Beechcraft 1900D plane was unable to land at Richard Pearse Airport on Wednesday because of low cloud over the airfield, and weather conditions have delayed and prevented several landings in the last year. Air New Zealand plans to replace the 19-seat aircraft with 50-seat Q300 aeroplanes on the Timaru to Wellington route in March. A spokeswoman for the airline, Cara Mygind, said on Thursday the larger planes would have more advanced navigation equipment than their smaller predecessors "which can put the aircraft in a more favourable position for landing in certain poor weather conditions". Another change which could accompany the new planes is extra security measures. The Transport Ministry is reviewing security at domestic airports. Although the New Zealand Pilots Association has stated regional airports' security measures are not sufficient to prevent threats, several regional airport operators have warned against imposing onerous screening and fencing requirements. A report presented to Timaru District Councillors on December 1 stated the airport would need $875,000 of renovations to accommodate the new planes and the 35 to 50 per cent increase in passenger capacity they could bring. However, it said the effects of any possible security upgrade were unknown. District services group manager Ashley Harper said on Thursday the council was "not going to second-guess" the Government review. "Who knows what the Government will do?" Harper said the council did not have "any voice" on what security measures were appropriate at the airport. Civil Aviation Authority documents released in 2014 revealed a man climbed a fence in September 2014 to hand an item to a passenger.
Posted by Steve L at 3:27 AM