A python fell from a plane on to Queenstown Airport's runway last weekend.
The snake, which fell from a jet arriving from Brisbane about 3pm last Sunday, was reported to the airport's control tower by the pilot of the following aircraft after it landed.
An Airways NZ media statement said the airport's tower controllers were made aware of the "foreign object" on the runway.
"Following standard procedure they requested the assistance of airport fire and rescue services, who cleared the object."
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One departure was delayed by about three minutes as a result of the incident.
The Otago Daily Times understands the python was decapitated with a shovel.