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Fri 16th Nov 2012

Argyle airport - another ULP regime white elephant?

The Argyle airport Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) consultants recommended that the runway orientation be 02/20. The ULP regime has decided to change the runway orientation apparently from 02/20 to 04/22.

However, an orientation change from 02/20 to 04/22 puts even more of the runway in the sea as this is a clockwise rotation.

Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally one tenth of the magnetic azimuth of the runway's heading: a runway numbered 09 points east (90°), runway 18 is south (180°), runway 27 points west (270°) and runway 36 points to the north (360° rather than 0°). When taking off from runway 09, a plane would be heading 90° (east).

A runway can normally be used in both directions, and is named for each direction separately: e.g., "runway 33" in one direction is "runway 15" when used in the other. The two numbers always differ by 18 (= 180°).

The ULP regime are totally confused about the Argyle runway. The new orientation of the runway given on a map shows the runway to be rotated anti-clockwise and totally on land, but the runway classification from 02/20 to 04/22 is a clockwise rotation. The new map and the new figures on the runway do not match up and this is a serious cause of concern.

The new runway orientation as drawn on the new map is even more perpendicular to the wind and even worse for crosswinds. This will make the runway less useable and more likely to be below the 95% usability factor needed for an international civil aviation licence.

The orientation on the new map highlights a new problem. Interestingly 'or incompetently, depending on your point of view' the ULP regime have built the airport terminal before finishing the runway. This is foolhardy.

The new orientation of the runway puts the runway even closer to the terminal building, meaning that either the runway has to be narrower or there will be virtually no space left for planes to be parked by the terminal building.

The ULP regime have been foolish in building the terminal first and even more foolish in rotating the runway, so that the runway runs closer still to the terminal building. Any more rotation and planes will be passing through the immigration hall.

The Argyle airport is yet another ULP regime white elephant. The project was ill-conceived from the start. The ULP regime have gone against the advice in the EIA report and have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Argyle Airport site is not safe from a flight safety perspective, and these new runway orientation problems, have made the project even less feasible. It is still not too late for this madness to be stopped. The Argyle airport project should be aborted now. It will not get an international civil aviation licence and we should not waste any more taxpayers' money.

A Green government will focus on creating thousands of new jobs for our people, by building a strong Green economy, building factories and building science and technology universities.

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