Media release from Airways New Zealand
For immediate release
4 May 2016
Minister of Transport Simon Bridges unveils new Queenstown runway lights
Minister of Transport Simon Bridges has tonight officially inspected and switched on the new runway lights in
Queenstown, a key milestone in getting Queenstown Airport ready to receive 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 Airways New Zealand and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) subject to flight
tests by airlines and final acceptance by Queenstown Airport.
Airways Chief Operating Officer Pauline Lamb said enabling evening flights into Queenstown is critical to the region’s
tourism development and will unlock wide economic benefits.
“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,” Ms
“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.”
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.
Both the runway and airfield lighting upgrades were key conditions set by New Zealand’s CAA and Australia’s Civil
Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) when approving the airport’s evening flights safety case in 2014.
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