We are disappointed that Airways have decided to close the Air Traffic Control Tower at Invercargill Airport Invercargill general manager Nigel Finnerty.
We do not support the decision to remove the air traffic controllers from our operations before we have a solution in place to safely and effectively manage aviation operations in our airspace.
It is too soon to say what the impacts of this decision on our airport maybe, and we need some time to assess this, while also attempting to find solutions.
We believe that digital technology could be one of those solutions, which is why we will continue to work with Airways in development of the digital tower, and will call for their commitment to finishing this important project.
Operating an airport is complex business that relies on many different organisations doing the right things.
When one participant decides to withdraw from the process before there is a robust solution agreed, we must be very careful in how we proceed. We have about 22,000 aircraft movements a year, so having the right processes in place is critical.
Airways and the Minister of Transport have indicated that it may take up to six months to make this change, during which time the CAA will need to review and approve all airport operations. There are many steps and approvals which will need to happen in a short timeframe.
Now that Airways have given us their decision, we will work closely with Air New Zealand and other users of the airport to confirm that they can and will continue to fly into our airport when the Air Traffic Management process changes.