Airways NZ has won an international award for a project which saves airlines nearly a million dollars of fuel a year and reduces delays by around 400%.
The Southern Performance Based Navigation Installation Project makes flying into the mountainous and difficult Queenstown airport safer and more efficient. It won the prestigious Jane’s ATC Awards in the Operational Efficiency category. Over 70 submissions were received from air navigation service providers, regulatory bodies and private-sector companies around the world.
Speaking from ATM World Congress in Madrid, Spain, where he received the award, Airways chief executive Ed Sims said this project was further evidence that Airways was truly a world leading organisation.
“Airways is a small but smart air navigation service provider. It is brilliant to be recognised for the high level of service and technical excellence that we’ve achieved.”
The Southern PBN project utilises GPS technology to maximise the use of airspace. In Queenstown, this means increasing the number of flights per hour in poor weather from 4 to 12, and reducing delays from 2000 -2600 minutes a month to only around 400 minutes a month.
“We worked with the airlines, with Queenstown airport and with some overseas suppliers to make this happen. It’s the beginning of a nation-wide programme to maximise New Zealand’s airspace and make flying safe and efficient for airlines, and the flying the public,” said Sims.
The judging panel included industry experts from around the world.
This is the second year in a row that Airways has won an award. Last year it won the Service Provision category for keeping NZ’s skies open after the Christchurch earthquakes.