Qantas flight delay: Airlines informed months in advance of Aug 9 airspace closure, says CAAS

Passengers queueing at Qantas Airways counter at Changi Airport Terminal 1 on Aug 10, 2015.
Passengers queueing at Qantas Airways counter at Changi Airport Terminal 1 on Aug 10, 2015. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Airlines were informed of the airspace closure for the Golden Jubilee National Day Parade as early as January, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on Monday (Aug 17).

 

The statement was in response to an Aug 11 article in The Straits Times which reported that Australia's national airline Qantas blamed the jubilee celebrations for the 23-hour delay of one of its flights which left dozens of passengers stranded here on the night of national day.

"CAAS had informed airlines operating at Changi Airport of the airspace closures during the Jubilee weekend and National Day Parade (NDP) 2015 as early as January 2015," said CAAS' director of air traffic services Rosly Saad.

"CAAS also reminded airlines on 29 July 2015 and 5 August 2015 to adjust their flight schedules to take the closures of the airspace into account and to adhere to the rescheduled timings."

"Additionally, CAAS had advised aircraft arriving before and after the airspace closure that air traffic at Changi Airport would be busy and to expect delays," he said.

He added that many airlines had rescheduled their affected flights well in advance. On Aug 9, for instance, some 150 flights were rescheduled with minimum impact to operations.