New marine rescue fleet launched at Auckland Airport

29 January 2015

Auckland Airport has today launched a major upgrade to its marine rescue fleet to ensure survival equipment can be deployed on the Manukau Harbour in the event of an emergency.

The new additions to the fleet are:

  • a Griffon 2000TD hovercraft
  • a 12 metre Q-West catamaran command and firefighting boat; and
  • an 11 metre Icon Brands monohull rescue boat

The airport’s marine rescue fleet also includes the Griffon 2000TD hovercraft purchased in 1999.

Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport’s chief executive, says, “The $5 million marine rescue fleet upgrade ensures the airport will comply with international requirements as the number of aircraft and passengers coming to Auckland increases.”

“Our 30-year vision suggests passenger numbers could almost triple to 40 million a year, and aircraft movements could almost double to 260,000 a year, so it is essential that we operate a state of the art emergency service.”

“Together with the more than $5 million investment we made last year in four Rosenbauer Panther firefighting vehicles, this new marine rescue fleet represents the world’s leading safety technology.”

“While we hope we never have to use the marine rescue and firefighting fleets to respond to an incident, our emergency services crews are fully trained and ready to operate them.”

“This marine rescue fleet upgrade is the result of a review of international best practice. While many airports around the world are located close to a sea, few have marine environments similar to the Manukau Harbour. Fortunately, Singapore’s Changi Airport does, so as part of the upgrade we worked alongside their emergency service team, sharing our respective experience and observing and learning from each other.”

“The Manukau Harbour experiences a variety of conditions, including significant tidal flows and mudflats. Because of this, we have had to purchase a variety of marine rescue vessels to ensure that equipment can be deployed in the event of an emergency in any foreseeable conditions.”

“We are delighted to have been able to purchase our two new boats from New Zealand manufacturers, and our new hovercraft comes from one of the world’s leading manufacturers based in the United Kingdom,” concludes Mr Littlewood.

Ends

Background information for media:

Airports which have a significant proportion of aircraft movements over water are required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to provide a specialist rescue facility, capable of an effective response in a marine area around the airport. Marine rescue craft are required to be able to transport sufficient flotation equipment to an accident site to support the number of people carried in the largest aircraft.

Griffon 2000TD hovercraft - this will be used as a first-response, marine rescue vessel. It is capable of operating in a variety of terrain and the unique conditions of the Manukau Harbour.

Q-West catamaran command boat - a 12 metre diesel engine powered, water jet propeller, foil-assisted catamaran. It is designed to carry emergency equipment and to act as a forward-control operational platform and as a base from which other rescue craft can operate. It is fully equipped with firefighting equipment.

Icon Brands monohull rescue boat - an 11 metre diesel engine powered, water jet propelled, bow loading, solid pontoon. It is primarily designed to carry people and is a back-up equipment carrier.

For further information and a photo of the marine rescue fleet, please contact:

Simon Lambourne
+64 9 255 9089
+64 27 477 6120
simon.lambourne@aucklandairport.co.nz