The closure of Rotorua Airport for four hours because a "one off" arrow was found close to the runway is quite unacceptable for what should be a user friendly airport in a tourist town.
The inconvenience to passengers, as reported, was substantial.
I have never heard of an arrow shooting down an aeroplane and it would have nil chance of doing so whether it had a sucker on its tip or if it was pointed - a simple engineering fact.
However birds, not arrows, close to the runway pose a constant and really serious risk which is safely dealt with on a regular basis by our airport. A flight arriving and departing may be delayed for just a few minutes.
The control tower is elevated so that the aircraft manoeuvring and runway area can be constantly monitored including the Hannah's Bay recreational reserve on the lake side of the runway.
In any case the police would have been the most qualified to assess any risk and they made it clear the closure was not their decision.
Bad for business
Pathetic and irresponsible to close the airport, whoever made the decision needs to be fired.
It's no wonder the airport makes no money with things like this happening and I would say it's not likely to make any either. It's all good and dandy when the weather is fine but as soon as any cloud or rain comes over flights are cancelled out of Rotorua and all incoming flights are diverted.
How can you run a business worth many millions of dollars that only earns an income on fine days. You can't, unless you have a backer with deep pockets (the ratepayers of Rotorua).
Paddi Hodgkiss (Letters, February 14) was right to point out that the Aquatic Centre staff's proposal to develop a centre management plan deserves time enough to be more fully developed.
But it is by no means certain the O&M committee's 9-5 recommendation, that the council "go back to the drawing board and properly consider all management options including the staff proposal and development options for the Aquatic Centre", will be ratified at the full council meeting on February 28.
Without Te Tatau, Rural and Lakes Community Board representatives, full council will only have a majority of one in favour of the motion, if no one changes their O&M position.
Why is it such a high stakes decision? My view is that, dangerously close to the absolute limits of raising rates and more debt to fund Vision 2030 promises, council now desperately needs outsourcing to generate additional revenue. They refuse to revert to core service delivery, compress costs, and reform corporate leadership.
This means that February 28 council meeting will be a doozy! See you there?