Wednesday 2 April 2008

Foggy landing?

On Monday an Air New Zealand flight from Fiji to Auckland had to be fumigated.
MAF (ministry of agriculture food and fisheries) require that any aircraft without a bio-security certificate fumigate the plane every time it arrives in New Zealand. The bio-security certificate had expired by a few hours .

The fumigation left people with a sore throats and caused a baby to gag and vomit.

A construction engineer on board the plane said the MAF officers took about five minutes to fumigate the plane before leaving the passengers to sit in "a thick fog" as they sealed the door shut behind them.

"It was pretty concerning to see that and there were other passengers having to hold their noses and cover their mouths," he said. "It was something akin to a sauna, not the heat but the look of the place and the longer it went on the foggier it became, it was ridiculous.

Air New Zealand spokeswoman Di Paton said biosecurity certificates on its aircraft did expire "very occasionally". But she said the airline did not consider it had made a mistake in terms of not having its biosecurity clearances before passengers boarded, saying "these kind of things happen".

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