SunLive – Rotorua Airport to Keep Air Traffic Control Tower
The news of the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to retain the air traffic control tower at Rotorua Airport is welcome.
The Civil Aviation Authority has published its assessment report of the aeronautical study, concluding that if the existing aerodrome control service were removed, the airspace would be significantly less safe.
Airport CEO Mark Gibb said the move ended a 17-month process with Airways indicating its intention to withdraw ATC from Rotorua and six other regional airfields.
Following Airways’ announcement in April 2020, Rotorua Airport undertook a comprehensive aeronautical study to fully understand the requirements of air traffic control services in Rotorua, subjecting it to the review of the Civil Aviation Authority.
Gibb said he and the Council were concerned that the loss of air traffic control could pose significant safety risks and directly impact the size and type of aircraft that could fly to Rotorua.
“We were also concerned, from the start, about the significant ripple effects for Rotorua businesses and the economic recovery of the entire district from the impacts of Covid-19.
“These concerns have guided our persistence in advocating for continued service while awaiting the aeronautical study.”
Gibb says the Civil Aviation Authority’s ruling validates Rotorua Airport’s initial view that ATC is an essential service that supports the safe and efficient operation of the airport.
“We are extremely pleased with this decision and look forward to working alongside Airways to ensure continuity of service at Rotorua Airport. “
Gibb said the board welcomes the ongoing discussions and liaison regarding the safe operation of Rotorua Airport, including early consultation on any potential decisions that may impact its operations.