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What you need to know

The Civil Aviation Act 1990 governs New Zealand’s civil aviation system and sets the overall framework for aviation safety, security and economic regulation. The Airport Authorities Act 1966 gives airport authorities a range of functions and powers to establish and operate airports. The Acts have been amended several times, but have never been substantially revised.

The aviation industry and the government regulatory environment have changed since the Acts came into effect. In 2014 we reviewed the Acts to ensure they were still fit for purpose, and then consulted stakeholders. We used that feedback to draft a new Bill to replace the Acts and in 2019 we consulted on a draft of the Bill. Using that feedback we are now working to make final amendments to prepare the Bill for introduction to Parliament.

The draft Bill is large and complex, containing roughly 400 clauses. It includes a number of proposals to improve the safety, security and efficiency of New Zealand’s civil aviation system. It also contains several minor amendments to modernise and improve the usability of aviation legislation. Subject to government priorities, the Bill may be passed in mid-2021.

The work to date

Sep 2021

The Civil Aviation Bill passes its first reading

Aug 2019

Participation in CORSIA reconfirmed

The Government reconfirmed the decision to participate in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) from 2021, and agreed to implement it through the Civil Aviation Bill.

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Jul 2019–Present

Reviewing submissions and making required amendments

We have worked through submissions on the draft Bill and are now making amendments to prepare the Bill for introduction.

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May 2019–Jul 2019

Exposure draft consulted on

Cabinet agreed to release a draft of the Bill to the aviation industry for consultation. The draft Bill was released alongside a commentary document highlighting the main changes.

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Oct 2016–Present

Drafting new Bill

We are working with the Parliamentary Counsel Office to draft a Bill incorporating decisions made by Cabinet.

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NZIER Report, 9 June 2014 - Cross modal risk analysis of substance impairment

To support review and evaluation of impairment regulation across the transport sector, the Ministry commissioned a report to assess the relative risk of fatalities across transport modes, where alcohol and drug impairment are contributing factors in accidents.

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Nov 2014–Oct 2016

Replacement of Act approved

In October 2016, Cabinet agreed that a new Bill would be drafted, making a number of amendments to the current legislation.

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Acts reviewed and consulted on

The purpose of the review and consultation was to ensure the Acts were still fit for purpose, given the changes in the aviation sector and regulatory environment since they came into effect.

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Related work