National Emergency: Early-morning Flights

23 February 2011

A number of flights carrying people evacuated from Christchurch are expected to arrive and depart from Wellington in the early hours of tomorrow (Thursday).

The flights will be during the air-noise 'curfew' period that normally applies to Wellington Airport. However Wellington civil defence spokesman Mike Mendonca says the national civil defence emergency following yesterday's Christchurch quake takes precedence over the curfew.
Mr Mendonca says up to five RNZAF flights are expected to bring evacuees from Christchurch between 1.00am and 6.00am. The aircraft will then return to Christchurch.
At least two Air New Zealand flights are also expected to depart during the curfew to fly people - mostly foreign tourists - to Auckland.

"While these flights will possibly cause disruption to residents around the airport, we hope most people will understand and appreciate the context," says Mr Mendonca.

"It is also possible there may be further flights during the curfew in the next few days - though of course everyone will strive to keep these at a minimum."