Second day of stubborn fog
Fri, 06 Jul 2012 6:04p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
Stubborn fog, the worst Auckland has seen in 20 years, rolled over the city again this morning.
By mid-morning it was lifting, but the damage to air travel schedules had already been done. Many passengers have endured their second day of flight cancellations and delays.
“I might sleep in the airport tonight, I'm running out of money. I had to find my own accommodation last night in the city, hoping to fly out today, cancelled again,” says traveller Mike Hygeman.
Every airport except Wellington was affected.
There were eerie scenes at Christchurch, with planes barely visible through the fog.
In all more than 60 flights across the country were cancelled or delayed today, causing long queues. Yesterday it was nearly 200.
Turbo-prop planes without low visibility guidance systems simply couldn't fly. But only a handful of international services were cancelled, as larger jets are equipped to operate blind in the fog.
Mark Campbell arrived early this morning from Perth and was content to wait five hours for his delayed flight to Nelson.
“Yeah I found a comfortable wee spot here for a couple of hours, it's all good,” he says.
But others desperate to get home paid up to $500 for a drop-off fee, in order to take a rental car one way. Even then, they were lucky to get a vehicle.
“We've had a whole rush of people come in and we couldn't give them cars because we're all sold out,” says George Paul of Thrifty car rental and sales.
Metservice says the fog was caused by rain, calm conditions and a drop in temperature.
“It was very stubborn. In the winter we have a lower sun angle and it's not able to burn it away as readily and there was just no breeze, nothing to really blow it away,” says Metservice meteorologist Dan Corbett.
Fog hits Auckland airport between 12 and 16 days a year in the winter months, typically burning off by midday or earlier, like today. In the last 40 years there have only been a handful of times where it sticks around, causing flight cancellations all day.
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