VIDEO: New marine rescue fleet launched at Auckland Airport

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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.

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