News of the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to retain the airport’s Air Traffic Control Tower in Rotorua is being welcomed.
The Civil Aviation Authority has released its Aeronautical Study Assessment Report, concluding that if the existing aerodrome control service was removed, the airspace would be significantly less safe.
Airport CEO Mark Gibb says the decision brings a welcome end to a 17 month process with Airways indicating their intention to withdraw ATC from Rotorua and six other regional aerodromes.
Following Airways’ announcement in April 2020, Rotorua Airport undertook a comprehensive aeronautical study to fully understand the requirements for air traffic control services in Rotorua, submitting it for consideration by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Gibb says he and the Board were concerned that the loss of air traffic control might have significant safety risks and directly impact the size and type of aircraft that could fly into Rotorua.
“We were also concerned, from the outset, the significant flow-on effects for Rotorua businesses and the entire district’s economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.
“These concerns have guided our persistence in advocating for the retention of the service pending the aeronautical study.”
Gibb says the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision 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 happy with the decision and look forward to working alongside Airways to ensure service continuity at Rotorua Airport.”
Gibb says the Board welcomes ongoing discussion and liaison regarding the safe operation of Rotorua Airport, including early consultation on any potential decisions which may impact its operations.