Auckland airport “clutter” on tarmac hazardous for workers and passengers

E tū says a failure to invest properly in Auckland International Airport is creating chaos on the tarmac and a poor quality experience for visitors.

At yesterday’s AGM, the Airport CEO Adrian Littlewood brushed off concerns about the use of buses to take passengers to flight gates.

But E tū’s Head of Aviation, Kelvin Ellis says the concerns are well-founded.

He says the airport company is happy to take the landing fees resulting from a huge surge in the number of flights into Auckland.

But he says it hasn’t invested in new gates, preferring instead to bus people around the tarmac.

He says with so many flights coming in, “there’s clutter on the tarmac which is creating hazardous working conditions for the people loading and unloading the planes.

“When a plane comes in, you’ve got the caterers there; people are refuelling; there’s engineers running checks; the baggage people are unloading; you’ve got cleaners - everything happens very quickly, and the next thing you know, buses are arriving, and people are trying to get onto the plane.

“Not only is this causing delays and unhappy customers. It’s creating hazards for the workers and the passengers.”

He says airport workers were sick of apologising for the poor quality experience of passengers.

“We’re calling for better planning and greater investment in the airport infrastructure. As things stand, it’s contributing to a poor first impression for visitors arriving in New Zealand,” says Kelvin.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

E tū Head of Aviation, Kelvin Ellis ph. 0275 985 735