Air New Zealand is cancelling fewer flights in and out of Rotorua, according to new figures released by Rotorua Airport Limited.

The council-controlled organisation's cancellation data for Air New Zealand, released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, shows the percentage of cancelled flights each month has been lower this year, with the exception of February and September.

Air New Zealand flight cancellation information for Rotorua. Image / Supplied
Air New Zealand flight cancellation information for Rotorua. Image / Supplied

A spokeswoman for the airline said the most common reason for flight cancellations in Rotorua was weather.

"Air New Zealand strives to operate all services as scheduled, however, sometimes we need to cancel or reschedule flights for reasons such as weather or engineering requirements."

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On February 12 Rotorua Airport was closed for three-and-a-half hours and two flights were cancelled when a high-powered hunting crossbow was fired from outside Rotorua Airport.

Airport staff found the arrow sticking out of the grass near the northern end of the runway during a routine inspection, but police did not find who was responsible.

Upon releasing the cancellation data, Rotorua Airport chief executive Mark Gibb said, "on-time performance is an item that we as an airport have no control or influence over".

"There is a broader initiative that looks to more effectively use our existing navigation infrastructure in parallel with aircraft that have what is referred to as RNP capability, this will help reduce the impact of bad weather on services.

"This is, as I understand it, an initiative that Air New Zealand is looking to deliver across its ATR fleet in the short to medium term."

The airline's spokeswoman confirmed it was preparing for the introduction of Required Navigation Performance (RNP-AR).

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"RNP-AR enables specially-trained pilots to fly to lower altitudes with a more precise and efficient route into the airport, saving fuel and emissions and helping reduce the impact of bad weather on services. We will initially operate RNP-AR approaches to Queenstown."

Gibb said Rotorua Airport would continue to advocate for a zero flight cancellation percentage.

Rotorua Airport did not have Air New Zealand cancellation data for the months prior to January 2017, and will not get the data for November 2018 until mid-December.