TODAY |

Diverted passengers sit on tarmac for over an hour after debris found on Auckland Airport runway

Auckland Airport's runway has been re-opened after it closed briefly this afternoon when debris was found on the surface during an inspection.

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A Singapore Airlines flight landed at Ohakea Airbase after debris was found in the runway. Source: 1 NEWS

Airways, which manages New Zealand’s air traffic, said the issue was debris on the runway, but couldn't elaborate on what the debris were or how they got there.

Two international flights and three domestic flights were diverted, including a Singapore Airlines flight which was sent to Ohakea to refuel.

The captain of the Singapore Airlines flight also told passengers that because Ohakea's runway was shorter, the aircraft had to brake harder, and a cooling off period of more than an hour was needed before the plane could be underway again.

A Singapore Airlines flight on the tarmac at Ohakea after Auckland Airport suffered an issue with its runway. Source: 1 NEWS

The CAA said Ohakea is one of the more commonly used airports for international diversions as they have one of the longest runways in the country. In this case it was the closest airport which an A380 could land at.

Aside from the flights that were diverted, a number of planes were forced to fly in circles until the runway was re-opened.

A spokesperson for Auckland Airport said "runway integrity is Auckland Airport's highest priority.

"We have a comprehensive aerodrome management programme which includes a physical inspection of the runway four times in every 24-hour period.

"On occasion Auckland Airport will temporarily close the runway to allow closer inspection of a particular area and/or undertake maintenance if required."