Welcome – SMART Approaches

Flight path trials in Auckland

Airways New Zealand, Auckland Airport and the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ) have been working together to trial new flight paths, called SMART Approaches, into Auckland Airport.

The SMART Approaches trial tested three new flight approaches to Auckland Airport, two from the north and one from the south, utilising satellite based navigation and enabling shorter, more efficient, curved landing approaches.

The global move towards SMART satellite based navigation technology is an initiative embraced by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which aims to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment and communities, while maintaining safety levels.

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Draft SMART Approaches report now available

A draft report on the SMART Approaches flight path trial is now available for public feedback. Click here to download a copy of the report.

This report includes analysis of data from the three SMART Approach flight paths that were trialled. Public feedback on the trial has also been taken into account. As a result of this, the draft report recommends that SMART Approaches to the airport be restarted, with two key modifications:

  • That aircraft cross the navigational waypoint above Mt Albert and Dominion Roads (referred to as LOSGA) 800 ft higher than the trial altitude, reducing engine power and noise and enabling a more continuous descent.
  • An increase to the maximum permitted aircraft speed, thereby reducing the use of speed brakes which are a significant contributor to aircraft noise.

Analysis of public feedback on the trial found only 24% of flights identified in the feedback were actually operating SMART Approaches. The majority related to aircraft on existing flight paths and a significant amount of feedback was about a certain aircraft procedure known as visual flight approaches, which allow for aircraft to fly lower than SMART Approaches over residential areas.

In order to address this and contribute to the overall goal of noise reduction the draft report also recommends that the practice of visual flight approaches cease for wide-body jet aircraft approaching from the north from September this year and for all jets from September 2015.

Have your say on the draft SMART Approaches report

We welcome community feedback on this draft report and its recommendations. This feedback will help to inform the final report, which will be published in the fourth quarter of this year.

Submissions can be made until 5pm on Friday 27 June 2014. Click here to make a submission online.

Auckland Airport, Airways New Zealand and BARNZ will also hold a series of community meetings to receive submissions. Click here to find out details of these public meetings and book a 15 minute presentation slot.