Wellington International Airport (also known as Rongotai Airport) (WLG) is New Zealand. The Airport is about 5 km south-east from the City Centre and is a hub for Air New Zealand, the flag company of the Country.
Wellington is the third busiest airport in New Zealand handling more than 5 million passengers per year. The airport operates a single terminal building and also single runway with more than 2km. Due to it situation, is also called “Windy Wellington” (real nickname), has a reputation for sometimes rough and turbulent landings.
The airport started with a grass runway in November 1929. The airport opened in 1935, but it was closed due to safety reasons on in 1947 (grass surface often became unusable during winter months). The current airport was officially reopened in 1959.
Since 1998 the airport has been two-thirds privately owned by Infratil, and the remaining third owned by the Welling City Council.
In 2003 the airport installed a large statue of Gollum on the terminal in order to promote the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Airside operations normally consists of small team of 5 AOCs. (Aircraft marshalling in the stand is done by airlines or handling agents).
Routine runway inspections are a shared responsibility between a small dedicated team of Airside Operation Coordinators (AOCs) and the Airport Fire Services (AFS). If FOD is reported to be on the runway it the responsibility of the AOC to retrieve it in the first instance and AFS can offer support if and when necessary. They run a daily airside sweeping program whereby specialized equipment is used to clear the apron, runway and taxiways free of FOD and debris. Whatever is collected at the end of each sweep is weighed, recorded and the data used for trend analysis.
As the airport is by the sea, they seldom see snow at Wellington Airport and the contingency plans are therefore not on the same scale as those that take place at larger international airports such as those in Europe or North America. AOCs and AFS are equipped well enough to deal with the low snow fall levels experienced in the Wellington region. If conditions persist then external contractors are drafted in to assist using larger machinery.
The Wildlife control is a shared responsibility between AOCs and Airport Fire Services (AFS). They take wildlife control very seriously and consequently put huge efforts into various programs that keep aircraft safe and free from damage whilst at the same time reducing the impact on the sensitive environment around them.
Wellington International Airport Limited employs AOCs, and the process currently requires potential AOCs to submit an initial application, if successful an invite to be interviewed would follow. In most cases if an applicant is offered a position they would normally begin their career working in landside operations. If they display an aptitude for airside operations then several theoretical and practical exams would need to be completed before they could operate in a solo capacity.
Other functions of the AOCs:
Carrying out daily inspections (Navigational aids, paving, aerobridges etc.).
Airside vehicle control