Aviation connects New Zealand and New Zealanders to the world, provides access to global markets, and generates trade and tourism.

Below are overviews of the most viewed air transport topics. You can also follow the links on the left of this page to find out more about the projects we are working on.

International air services

Air services are vital to New Zealand's economy, with almost all tourist arrivals, and 14 percent of exports by value, being carried by air.

Inter-government arrangements must be in place before international airlines can operate scheduled air services. New Zealand currently has 62 such relationships. The government will continue to negotiate new air services agreements to provide more access to our key and future trade markets.

Airspace Policy and Plan

On 26 April 2012, the government issued a National Airspace Policy statement.  The Policy provides guidance to the aviation sector on the future direction of airspace design and designation, and the principles that will be followed in decision-making on airspace matters.

Read about the Airspace Policy and Plan.

Greenhouse gas emissions from aviation

On 29 September 2016, New Zealand delivered its Aviation Emissions Reduction Action Plan to the International Civil Aviation Organization Summit.

The Government has also announced New Zealand's intention to voluntarily join the international Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) when it comes into effect in 2021.

Key government air transport organisations

  • Ministry of Transport
    The Ministry is the government's principal transport adviser. We provide policy advice and support to ministers. See About the Ministry of Transport for more information.
  • Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
    The CAA regulates civil aviation in New Zealand. They focus on compliance, safety and security for civil aviation. Find out more at the Civil Aviation Authority (external link) website.
  • Aviation Security Service (Avsec)
    Avsec is the official provider of aviation security services in New Zealand. Read more at the Aviation Security Service (external link) website.
  • Airways Corporation of New Zealand Ltd (Airways New Zealand):
    Airways provides air navigation and air traffic management services on a commercial basis. It is also responsible for air traffic services in 28.8 million square kilometres of international airspace delegated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation to New Zealand's management.
  • Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC):
    TAIC determines the circumstances and causes of accidents and incidents with a view to avoiding similar occurrences in future. Find out more at the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (external link) website.
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO): 
    ICAO brings together States and key industry organisations to 

    determine areas of strategic priority, develops policies and standards, coordinates global monitoring, analysis and reporting initiatives, and delivers targeted assistance and capacity building. Visit the ICAO website (external link) .

The government's role in aviation

The government’s role is predominately as a policy maker and regulator, although it has some ownership and operational functions.

New Zealand is party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and the Minister of Transport is responsible for New Zealand’s participation in the Convention. Our obligations include having a comprehensive safety and security regime based on the standards and recommended practices prescribed in annexes to the Convention by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The Crown has 100% shareholding in the air traffic services provider the Airways Corporation of New Zealand Ltd, and the majority shareholding (53%) in Air New Zealand Ltd. It retains a 25% shareholding in Christchurch International Airport Ltd. Shares are generally held by Ministers in the finance and state-owned enterprises portfolios and the Crown’s interests managed by the Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit (COMU) of the Treasury. The Minister of Transport however exercises the power and rights of the “Kiwi share” in Air New Zealand. This $1 share is primarily intended to give the government the ability to maintain substantial ownership and effective control of the airline in New Zealand in order to protect the airline’s designation under air services agreements