Light after dark: Queenstown Airport unveils new runway lights
6 May 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review
New Zealand Minister of Transport Simon Bridges has unveiled new runway lights at Queenstown Airport in preparation for after-dark flights.
At a ceremony marketing the occasion, New Zealand’s Minister of Transport officially inspected and switched on new runway lights at Queenstown Airport. The occasion is a major step in preparing the airport for after-dark flights.
The runway, taxiway, approach and apron lights that will soon greet pilots and passengers flying into Queenstown Airport after darkness, have been signed off by Air Navigation Service Provider Airways New Zealand and the regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) subject to flight tests by airlines and final acceptance by Queenstown Airport.
According to Pauline Lamb, Chief Operating Officer of Airways, enabling evening flights into Queenstown is critical to the region’s tourism development and will unlock wide economic benefits.
“Flights operating into and out of Queenstown after dark will have a significant positive impact on travellers and local businesses”
Ms Lamb said: “Air services are vital to New Zealand’s economy, with 99% of our international visitors arriving by air. Flights operating into and out of Queenstown after dark will have a significant positive impact on travellers and local businesses, with weekend breaks and return day trips becoming more viable and providing flexibility for visitors.”
“Queenstown Airport, Airways New Zealand and our contractors have all worked hard to deliver this critical infrastructure upgrade in time for the busy winter 2016 season.”
Airfield lighting project is part of a $19.6m Queenstown Airport runway infrastructure upgrade
Airways’ $1.65 million airfield lighting project is part of a wider $19.6 million Queenstown Airport runway infrastructure upgrade, carried out over the past six months. This has involved widening the runway from 30m to 45m and resurfacing it with a 110mm asphalt overlay.
About 200 lights have been installed or repositioned, including Precision Approach Path Indicator lights (PAPI) lights, and touchdown approach, runway centreline, runway edge and threshold lights.
Airways engineers and lighting technicians have fully tested the runway, taxiway, approach and apron lights, via ground and air, over the past two weeks. The lights are now approved to be put into service, subject to airlines undertaking their own test flights. These test flights are currently underway.