Domestic flight chaos today (8 March)...Why?

Old Mar 7, 19, 10:58 pm
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Domestic flight chaos today (8 March)...Why?

Sitting in the overpacked Koru in AKL domestic for hours with a delayed flight to CHC, hearing cancellations and continual delays. All the delays are either "operation reasons" or "due to the late running of the inbound aircraft"

Anyone know why? There was some rain but it did not seem that bad. Has there been a storm across the country or something?

great fun on a Friday!!
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Old Mar 7, 19, 11:35 pm
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Weather has been terrible across the country. Also follow on issues from yesterday's bad weather. I managed to get the last flight out of ZQN yesterday, everything arriving later turned around.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 11:44 pm
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Thanks for the update. Some of the delays are really bad My flight is looking like over 90 minutes but some Dunedin flights are worse
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Old Mar 8, 19, 12:17 am
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I just had a quick look at pretty much every flight flying around NZ at present on FR24. Closest I saw to on time was CHC-TRG which was 15 mins late. Everything else is pretty much 30+ mins with plenty 60+ mins late.

Don't think I've seen a day this bad for a while!. It's amazing what crap weather in AKL and WLG can do to an entire domestic network.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 1:42 pm
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Yesterday (Friday) would've been a perfect day for aviating down South, the North Island was obviously a different story judging by the cricket. Thursday however was very windy over Central Otago way, ZQN seemed to be not too bad though, but come evening some much needed rain came through and potentially the associated low cloud may've been the issue...although jet flights should've been fine at ZQN.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 7:52 pm
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While the Koru lounge was full and standing room only, when I went to board my flight at 8pm realised how comparatively fortunate we are as the airside terminal was awful. No seats, people sitting on the floor even standing. It just shows what an absolute disgrace the domestic terminal is. And its clearly years away before any material improvement happens.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 7:56 pm
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The South Island right now is having a lot of weather woes. That is basically it.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by brenrox View Post
Yesterday (Friday) would've been a perfect day for aviating down South, the North Island was obviously a different story judging by the cricket. Thursday however was very windy over Central Otago way, ZQN seemed to be not too bad though, but come evening some much needed rain came through and potentially the associated low cloud may've been the issue...although jet flights should've been fine at ZQN.
I flew out of ZQN on Thursday. Was on the 1615 to WLG and had multiple messages from NZ from about 11:30 advising people to defer travel until Friday due to expected issues later in the day.

Rain set in reducing visibility and caused at least one A320 go around late morning.

My inbound aircraft made it in slightly late but we left late but I think we were the last to get out with only one aircraft landing just after us before everything else for the evening was canned.

I don't know how many people took NZ's advice of changing to Friday but it clearly wasn't smart advice - first flights out were all canned to to inbound aircraft not making it in on Thu evening, which then caused massive follow on issues. I think some pax were bussed to DUN to get them on flights.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 12:52 am
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
I flew out of ZQN on Thursday. Was on the 1615 to WLG and had multiple messages from NZ from about 11:30 advising people to defer travel until Friday due to expected issues later in the day.

Rain set in reducing visibility and caused at least one A320 go around late morning.

My inbound aircraft made it in slightly late but we left late but I think we were the last to get out with only one aircraft landing just after us before everything else for the evening was canned.

I don't know how many people took NZ's advice of changing to Friday but it clearly wasn't smart advice - first flights out were all canned to to inbound aircraft not making it in on Thu evening, which then caused massive follow on issues. I think some pax were bussed to DUN to get them on flights.
I thought RNP allowed jet aircraft to land in basically no visibility (i.e., night) at ZQN? That bus trip to DUD would be horrendous too, terribly winding road.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 3:57 am
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Originally Posted by brenrox View Post
I thought RNP allowed jet aircraft to land in basically no visibility (i.e., night) at ZQN? That bus trip to DUD would be horrendous too, terribly winding road.
The RNP-AR for ZQN I think still has a visual decision attitude. Was it just visibility or were the winds out of allowance?

Night and Visibility are two different things. At night can still see runway lighting and any hazard lights.
Visibility is about how far can see open sky vs fog
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Old Mar 9, 19, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by nzkarit View Post
The RNP-AR for ZQN I think still has a visual decision attitude. Was it just visibility or were the winds out of allowance?

Night and Visibility are two different things. At night can still see runway lighting and any hazard lights.
Visibility is about how far can see open sky vs fog
Yea good point - I wasn't in ZQN when the rain came in, but more central the wind dropped right away when the rain came.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 2:30 pm
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RNP doesn't remove the need to be able to see the runway approaching minimums. To land in zero visibility you need Cat III ILS which only Auckland has.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by oranjemakker View Post
While the Koru lounge was full and standing room only, when I went to board my flight at 8pm realised how comparatively fortunate we are as the airside terminal was awful. No seats, people sitting on the floor even standing. It just shows what an absolute disgrace the domestic terminal is. And its clearly years away before any material improvement happens.
When the airport was first developed the current domestic terminal was intended to be temporary and was, as I recall, designated to be a cargo hangar when the permanent domestic terminal was built. The focus has always been on the international terminal because of the importance of tourism to the economy
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Old Mar 9, 19, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
RNP doesn't remove the need to be able to see the runway approaching minimums. To land in zero visibility you need Cat III ILS which only Auckland has.
To add to sbiddles post, here is the link to ZQNs approaches
http://www.aip.net.nz/pdf/NZQN_45.1_45.2.pdf

I wont get into the details, but the RNAV approach to Runway 05 (ie to the north east) has less restrictive visibility criteria and gets you lower at the Missed Approach Point (MAPt) than the approach to Runway 23. The differences are significant.

At the MAPt; the following is required for the most capable category of aircraft:

Rwy05 needs 1300m viz, gets down to 278 feet above terrain at MAPt
Rwy23 needs 3600m viz, gets down to 704 feet above terrain at MAPt

See the magnified areas on the information box bottom righ of each chart

It has been a while since I was current in flying IFR, so happy for any corrections....

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Last edited by Thai-Kiwi; Mar 9, 19 at 7:50 pm Reason: correct vis requirements and spelling
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:37 am
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Thanks TK for that.

Very slightly related to approaches/visibility etc., does anyone know why DUD has the lights to stop traffic on the road beside the eastern end of the runway? A month or so ago I had stop mid-afternoon (clear day) while an ATR departed overhead. I could maybe understand at night (but surly none would be stupid enough to mistake the car head lights for the runways with all the other lighting around) for landing, but a day time departure surprised me.
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