Fog disrupts arrivals and departures at Wellington Airport

airport fog

The airport (centre) and Mt Victoria (left) were both fog-bound this morning. Twitter pic at 9.20am from Alastair Thompson.

Almost all flights due to leave Wellington Airport this morning were cancelled or delayed because of the thick overnight fog. And all arrivals were cancelled till this afternoon.

The only flights to leave the airport up till midday were to Sydney and Dunedin – both left before 7am.

Arrivals from Nelson, Blenheim, Napier, New Plymouth and Christchurch were cancelled, and flights from Auckland were listed as indefinitely delayed. Planes from Dunedin and Hamilton were diverted to Palmerston North, adding several unexpected hours to the travel time for airline customers.

At 9.25am, the airport advised: Most flights have been grounded because of the thick fog. And at 11.15, though parts of the city were starting to see blue skies, the airport advised: We are still experiencing disruption. Keep checking for flight status. The airport sent the same “disruption” message for a third time at midday.

However at 12.13, Ian Apperley tweeted: Five planes are doing circuits out at Kapiti… Going to be super busy when they all land.

And by 12.15, the first flights of the day were starting to land at the airport.

Four Auckland flights were among the first to arrive. The flight from Auckland due to land at 7.05 touched down at 12.58. The flight that had been due at 8.20 landed at 12.26. The 10.30 flight arrived at 12.29. The 11.45 flight arrived at 1.10.

But at 1.07 the airport advised: There is still some fog at the airport so we do expect there to be ongoing disruption until it clears.

Some of the consequences of the morning’s airport closure became evident when Scoop’s Parliament Today reported that the Maori Affairs Committee was stranded out of town when they were due to start debating treaty bills this morning.

And from Auckland, Xero’s Rod Drury advised: For those trapped in the Wellington fog on the way to Auckland for xerocon, I’ll repeat my keynote at 8:20 tomorrow and recap highlights of the morning.

Twenty-nine stranded passengers spent the night in the airport because of the fog. The airport took their contact details, let them know of the emergency and safety procedures and provided them with an area where they could rest.

At midday, fog horns were still being sounded on the harbour.


Looking down from the sunshine of Brooklyn, you could see why.


And from the Terrace, the harbour fog was even closer. (Twitter photo from Brenda Wallace.)



  1. Traveller, 20. February 2014, 8:58

    Why doesn’t the airport invest in systems to make it possible for flights to land during fog?

  2. CC, 20. February 2014, 10:21

    What Traveller? The cost of the technology would compromise the bottom line of Infratil and its tame silent partner – the Council. Besides, the income from aircraft movements is only incidental to the core businesses of WIAL. These include, the fleecing of the public who pay subsidies on all purchases to cover the high rentals for spaces in the terminal buildings, leveraging airline charges,operating what must be one of the most profitable parking operations in the country and constantly getting up the noses of most airport users.

  3. AnonyMs, 20. February 2014, 12:13

    The InterIslander can deal with fog but Wellington Airport airport doesn’t have ILS? [via Twitter)

  4. Mike Riversdale, 20. February 2014, 15:50

    4.30. Fog is rolling back in folks .. [via Twitter]

  5. Brenda Wallace, 20. February 2014, 16:33

    4.45. The fog starts again just as I reached the airport. Strathmore whiteout. [via Twitter]


Write a comment: