17 Jun 2014

Aviation plan promises fewer delays

7:05 am on 17 June 2014

Plane passengers could have fewer delays and cheaper flights under the Civil Aviation Authority's new plan to modernise New Zealand's aviation system.

Pilots on flight deck of Air NZ Boeing 777-300ER .


The CAA's Southern Sky plan proposes shorter journeys, improved safety and lower carbon emissions by updating key elements of the aviation system over the next 10 years.

The proposed changes include replacing the radar- and ground-based navigation aids that have been used since the end of World War II, nearly 80 years ago.

The authority's general manager of airlines, Stephen Hunt, said the introduction of a GPS satellite-based system would enable more accurate and reliable flying, aircraft would also use less fuel and flights would be quicker.

"By using a satellite-based navigation, which has a greater precision, (it) allows the aircraft to fly more direct tracks and also allows the aircraft to fly a continuous descent and turn on to the final approach rather than having to line up a long way out."

The new navigation system has already been tried out at Queenstown Airport and last year decreased delays by 86 percent.

Other changes include a greater collaboration with MetService that will enable real time information on weather conditions to be fed into the cockpit.