A wave of severe electrical storms that passed through the Sydney metropolitan area on 17 February caused significant disruptions to flights landing and taking off at Sydney Airport.
Six domestic and five international flights elected to diverted to Canberra Airport to refuel and wait for the weather conditions to improve.
Canberra Airport staff, refuellers, air traffic controllers and the airlines worked closely to best manage the diverted aircraft, which included two Boeing 747s, and help get passengers safely on their way to their original destination.
Canberra Airport’s managing director Stephen Byron said while diversions are common in aviation for a variety of reasons, Canberra Airport plays a crucial role in supporting the country’s busiest international and domestic airport.
“Canberra is the only curfew‑free and 747/A380-capable airport between Melbourne and Brisbane. These recent diversions highlight the role we can play in supporting Sydney Airport particularly when the weather turns sour and aircraft can’t land.” Mr Byron said.
Two days later, storms again caused flight disruptions which saw a further five flights, including one international freight aircraft, divert to Canberra Airport from Sydney.
Mr Byron thanked everyone involved who worked hard to safely manage the diversions, particularly on a busy Friday afternoon.