View Full Version : Auckland, NZ, control tower left unstaffed as 10 aircraft circle.

19th Apr 2001, 23:31
Can this be for real?

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, April 19 (AP) -- Ten aircraft were forced to circle New Zealand's busiest airport while the only air traffic controller on duty took a rest break.

The planes were in no danger -- they just could not land at the Auckland airport for about 25 minutes on Wednesday, Airways Corp. chief operating officer Ashley Smout said Thursday.

Two controllers were out sick, a replacement controller was stuck in traffic and the only controller on duty had to take a break, officials said.

The staffer "absolutely had to have his break after working three continuous hours," spokeswoman Heather Hayden said. "It really is unusual."

Pilots of circling planes were informed and takeoffs halted as air control was shut down. Air traffic control in Christchurch continued its radar monitoring of the area. But had an aircraft needed to make an emergency landing, the pilot would have been no help from the tower.

"Everything possible is being done to ensure this very rare occurrence does not happen again," Smout said.

19th Apr 2001, 23:41
if the truth be known ...he was watching a repeat of the super 12,s...ie the hurricanes kicking the crap out of the brumbies....HURRICANES,YOU BLOODY BEAUTIES!!!

20th Apr 2001, 21:35
Super 12 rugby news......well the highlanders(kiwis)...just kicked the crap out of the Brumbies (aussies) last night....so expect more delays in Auckland...what a beautiful game...I just love to see the aussie cry!!!kapai

21st Apr 2001, 01:45
don,t know about you guys, but i gotta go to the loo now and again..
which is why i have 1/2 copilots,depending on the duty hours.
mind you, hate to arrive after a 16 hour duty and hold because the tower operater was in the loo'''

Luke SkyToddler
21st Apr 2001, 10:21
Will the last person to leave New Zealand, please remember to turn out the lights :)

21st Apr 2001, 10:45
Good old privatised ATC!

Obviously, nothing like that could ever happen in the UK!!

Jack Frost
21st Apr 2001, 11:13

Triple B
21st Apr 2001, 17:56
Having flown all around the world, I've found NZAA TWR controllers the worst in the world.
Busy!!! Yeah, right.
See the world first!!!

21st Apr 2001, 18:41
How long is it (two years?) since NZ CAA in their wisdom made a bunch of ATCers redundant with hefty redundancy packages, only to realise a short time later they had over done it and were short staffed.

I'm sure someone knows the details better than me.

23rd Apr 2001, 20:24
Have to agree with most of your comments concerning our ATC system...but as Rugby is more important ,I,m sure you will understand....try this...on your intial call up...after stating all your particulars...ask for the latest super 12 results ...guaranteed to get those lazy bastards on the mike!!!!!.....kapai

24th Apr 2001, 00:34
Oleo, you've hit the nail on the head. I would like to point out that in NZ, CAA is the regulator and Airways is the ATS provider. (The pioneers of privatisation).

Interestingly, Spinclear believes that the reorganisation has given Airways a "financial buffer" to cope with the efeects of Qantas NZ going into receivership. Ironically, he used Doddrell (Ansett/Qantas CEO) to convince us we needed reorganising.

[This message has been edited by Yankee_Doodle_Floppy_Disk (edited 23 April 2001).]

24th Apr 2001, 05:14
If a tower was unmanned for 25 minutes, why weren't people making calls like "Auckland Traffic this is XXX, YYY beacon 5000', leaving the hold to intercept ZZZ on the QQQ approach to runway whatever. Auckland."

If a tower here is unmanned during normal operating hours -- it happens, someone gets sick or whatever -- it just reverts to class E and we all manage ourselves.

Not allowed in New Zealand?

Gash Handlin
24th Apr 2001, 05:51
Sweeper how does half a co reach the rudder pedals?