INDEPENDENT NEWS

Government and Refining NZ to blame for “chaos” at airports

Published: Wed 20 Sep 2017 01:33 PM
Government and Refining NZ to blame for “chaos” at airports
E tū Aviation says it’s appalled the Government and Refining New Zealand have no plan B for disruption to the crucial fuel line between Marsden Point and the rest of the country.
“The result has been days of disruption, with flights cancelled and the plans of thousands of travellers thrown into chaos,” says E tū Aviation spokesperson Kelvin Ellis.
Kelvin says airlines have been dealing with the situation “brilliantly” with strong support for its workforce who are bearing the brunt of abuse from a frustrated public.
“Airlines have plans for this sort of event and they’re doing well looking after their workers.”
But he says the situation has exposed the vulnerability of the country’s sole aviation fuel link.
“It’s incredible neither the Government nor Refining New Zealand have a back-up plan. This is vital infrastructure in a country which depends on tourism, and where people travel constantly.
“To have allowed a situation like this to develop is appalling. The Government can pass the buck onto Refining New Zealand, and shrug off responsibility. But the vulnerability of that line was flagged years ago. There should have been contingency plans.
“It’s just further evidence of the failure of the Government’s “hands-off” approach to key infrastructure which has allowed this situation to happen.”
Meanwhile, Kelvin is appealing for the public to be patient with airlines and their staff as they work to manage a crisis “not of their making.”
ENDS

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