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Proactive safety measures protect meteorological equipment at Westport Airport

22 May 2024

The New Zealand MetService’s Westport Automatic Weather Station (AWS) mast, located at Westport Airport was relocated recently as part of proactive safety measures to protect the equipment from coastal erosion. 

The Westport AWS records important local weather data for national monitoring purposes.  

Part of the equipment comprises a mast housing an anemometer, which measures wind direction and wind speed at the aerodrome. This data is transmitted to the Westport AWS, and then integrated into the national weather data system.  

As part of ongoing monitoring, MetService and airport staff identified coastal erosion as a significant hazard to the mast and its continued operation. 

Working collaboratively with local contractors and the airport team, MetService successfully relocated the mast and anemometer to a new position approximately 500 metres northeast of its previous location. The project was fully funded by MetService. 

Coastal erosion and environmental impacts pose an inherent risk to airports both nationally and worldwide. The proactive decision to relocate the mast, and its new strategic placement will ensure resilience against erosion for years to come. 

The airport’s AWS also monitors cloud base, visibility, rainfall, atmospheric interference, and temperature. This real-time information is invaluable for pilots and airport personnel as well as the general public and is accessible via various websites and mobile apps. 

Locals and visitors can spot the anemometer mast if they look towards Carters Beach from the West Tiphead. 

Westport Airport remains committed to continuous improvement, maintaining its infrastructure and contributing to the resilience of the wider Buller community, with conscientious regard to any costs to Buller ratepayers. 


For further information please contact: 
Group Manager Community Services  
Krissy Trigg