NZ Airports Chief Executive Kevin Ward welcomed the use of satellite based navigation technology as the way of the future for New Zealand airports.
Auckland Airport, Airways New Zealand and the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ) have released a draft report on Auckland’s SMART Approaches flight path trial.
The SMART Approaches trial tested three new flight approaches to Auckland airport, two from the north and one from the south, utilising satellite based navigation enabling shorter, more efficient, curved landing approaches.
Public feedback on the trial has been taken into account and as a result of this the draft report recommends that SMART Approaches to the airport be restarted in early 2015, with two key modifications to further reduce aircraft noise above the region.
Significantly, the draft report also recommends the end of what is known as visual flight approaches into Auckland airport. These allow aircraft to fly lower than SMART Approaches, over residential areas, when landing at Auckland airport.
“The global move towards the satellite based navigation technology used in the SMART Approaches flight path trial is an initiative embraced by the International Civil Aviation Organisation which aims to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment and communities, while maintaining safety levels.
“New Zealand’s geography often limits the options for straight-in approaches to airports, and the modern curved paths and increased precision possible with satellite-based navigation will be welcomed. Our economy has much to benefit from modern, safe and efficient air networks and we look forward to the new technology being used more widely.”
“The recommendation to end visual flight approaches by jets from September next year will also reduce the impact of aviation on Auckland residents,” concluded Mr Ward.