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New Zealand air traffic system issue disrupts flights 'all over the country'

New Zealand air traffic system issue disrupts flights 'all over the country'

A view of Christchurch Airport. (Photo: Facebook/Christchurch Airport)

CHRISTCHURCH: Flights across New Zealand were disrupted on Monday (Sep 30) due to "an issue" affecting air traffic systems, the country's air traffic control said.

At around 2pm local time, Airways New Zealand said it was aware of "an issue" affecting its air traffic systems and added that back-up procedures were in place. 

Just minutes after the Twitter post, Christchurch Airport tweeted an apology for delays and that planes had to be "grounded at airports all over the country".

Six departing flights at Wellington Airport were affected by the issue, according to a report by 1 NEWS which cited an airport spokesman.

In a statement providing an update on the situation, New Zealand's aviation authority said that air traffic operations resumed at about 2.27pm local time.

Airways New Zealand said that a fire alarm went off at 1.30pm at the building that houses the Christchurch Radar Centre.

"The fire brigade has now cleared the building as safe and the radar centre continues to operate," the statement added.

Airways New Zealand said that there was a fault affecting its main air traffic system and that it was operating on its backup standby system.

"This means taking a conservative approach to managing New Zealand's airspace. Therefore departures throughout New Zealand have been halted and arrivals are being managed," it added.

The disruption happened during a "significant time of day when traffic flows are increasing with international flights starting to arrive", said Airways.

"The safety and well-being of the travelling public, our staff and our customers is our main priority," it added.

Source: CNA/jt(mn)

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