New law enhances safety and security in the aviation sector


The Government has passed new legislation that ensures New Zealand’s civil aviation rules are fit for purpose in the 21st century, Associate Transport Minister Kiri Allan says.

The Civil Aviation Bill repeals and replaces the Civil Aviation Act 1990 and the Airport Authorities Act 1966 with a single modern law that strengthens our aviation security rules to keep New Zealanders safe.

“A lot has changed in the aviation sector over the last 33 years and the Government recognises that the laws that govern this important industry need to reflect and be able to respond to the current times,” Kiri Allan said.

The Bill brings in greater controls and creates a zero-tolerance approach around the use of drugs and alcohol, including random drug testing. We know that operating aircraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be deadly and implementing the recommendations from the 2012 Carterton balloon crash is a key pillar of this legislation. 

New technology like cheap and easy to operate drones are creating new opportunities but they can also create problems when used around airports. This could lead to potential safety issues and this Bill gives Police new powers to take down drones if they are being flown in a dangerous manner.”

The Civil Aviation Bill also provides a framework to allow New Zealand to meet its international aviation emissions obligations.

“The recent weather events in Aotearoa demonstrated the crucial role our aviation sector in helping our communities stay connected during a crisis when other transport modes are affected.

“These events are becoming more frequent and the Government knows we must act to reduce our transport emissions to help meet our climate goals as we adapt to the realities of climate change,” Kiri Allan said.

“This legislation ensures New Zealand will continue to have a safe and secure aviation system. I know it’s something the aviation sector has been eagerly awaiting and I thank them for their input and patience in this process.”

The Civil Aviation Bill will be implemented over 24 months.