Where is Auckland Airport's CEO today? Adrian Littlewood. Where is he?

Why isn't he fronting up and explaining what on earth is going on with his business?

Planes are being diverted, cancelled and turned back. International pilots are being warned to carry 20 minutes' extra fuel in case they can't land - because Auckland runway is falling apart.

Adrian Littlewood owes us all an explanation. This isn't your usual listed company that might be able to pretend it doesn't have to front up to the public


This is a company almost a quarter of which is owned by Auckland ratepayers - and this is a company that owns and controls a key piece of infrastructure in this country.

They have us all over a barrel - there is no alternative airport in Auckland. For any Kiwis flying into our biggest city for business or holiday… or for most international tourists coming here for what are often expensive holidays, this is the way in. And when it's not working… it creates a huge financial disruption and frankly a huge embarrassment.

Twice in the last two weeks they had to shut down the airport because big pieces of concrete are breaking off the runway. Yesterday one woman coming up from Blenheim got diverted to Hamilton then got put on a bus to Auckland and then had to taxi the last 45 minutes. The whole trip took her seven hours.

It's not as if Auckland airport can say they didn't realise the runway was wearing out. The runway isn't some piece of backroom equipment you hardly ever see

It's the runway, it's the central piece of infrastructure, it's the one thing that needs to work properly all the time.

It's not like Auckland airport is short on cash - it has a lot of cash.

What Auckland Airport charges the airlines that use it is said to be amongst some of the rates in the world.

And it's not like Auckland airport isn't spending that cash - it is. It's just spending it on building a new retail precinct and new car parks


Because guess where airports make a lot of their money - retail outlets and car parks.

I guess we can all now understand why Air new Zealand pushed so hard last year to get the government to turn Whenuapai into an alternative airport can't we?

Because at least there would be a choice for Air New Zealand - and for us

Because right now we are completely reliant on a substandard piece of infrastructure owned by a company that charges us way too much for what we get, and appears to be run by people so arrogant and complacent they don't think they owe us any explanation.