Auckland Airport, in collaboration with Airways New Zealand and the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), is set to temporarily increase the number of aircraft using the Green X23A SMART Approach flight path to the airport.
The decision has been taken after the only pipeline supplying fuel to the airport was damaged by a digger on a rural property that resulted in fuel leak.
After this, the pipeline was closed and supplies to Auckland Airport were cut, affecting approximately 2,000 passengers who were stranded due to flight cancellations, reported BBC News.
The increased use of Green X23A SMART Approach will help save approximately 2,000l of aviation fuel each day, and will continue until the damaged pipeline is repaired and oil companies stop rationing fuel to airlines at the airport.
The flight path usually serves a maximum of ten flights each day which, under current circumstances, will be increased to 20 services per day.
BARNZ executive director Justin Tighe-Umbers said: “Airlines are currently doing everything they can to save and conserve fuel, given the fuel rationing put in place by the oil companies.”
The Green X23A SMART Approach is a satellite-guided flight path to Runway 23L that is used to reduce aircraft noise, offer environmental benefits and ensure less fuel consumption.
Airways New Zealand system operations acting general manager Tim Boyle said: “Given the extraordinary need to conserve fuel at this time, we hope Aucklanders understand the need to temporarily increase the maximum number of flights on Green X23A – which has been made in the best interests of the city and the country.”
Image: Map of Green X23A SMART Approach flight path. Photo: courtesy of Auckland Airport.