11 June 2018

No Saabs yet for Whakatane

Air Chathams plans to introduce its bigger 30-plus seat Saab Aircraft on the Whakatane-Auckland route remain up in the air with the Ministry of Transport delaying work at the airport. A Supreme Court ruling over Wellington Airport requires the Runway End Safety Areas at Whakatane Airport to be extended before it can be used by larger aircraft. The Whakatane District Council’s has called and accepted a tender for the work, but needs approval from its joint venture partner the Ministry of Transport. The Ministry hasn't given approval, nor has it paid its half-share of other airport works including a major runway lighting grade or past operating losses. The council’s been advised nothing’s going to happen this financial year but to keep pressing the Ministry for approval. Air Chathams meantime has been forced to use two aircraft on the Whakatane service to meet demand, and farmers who graze stock within the airport grounds don’t know what their future holds.

Source : https://www.facebook.com/1XXNews, 7 June 2018

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