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Source: New Zealand Government

The Civil Aviation Bill will enhance safety and security in the aviation sector and help position it for recovery from COVID-19, Transport Minister Michael Wood says.

The Bill passed its first reading today and repeals and replaces the Civil Aviation Act 1990 and the Airport Authorities Act 1966 with a single modern statute that’ll provide a platform for safety, security and reducing emissions. 

Temporary government support has kept flights flying and freight flowing throughout the pandemic, but it’s important the sector has modern rules to give them a strong base to build back from,” Michael Wood said.

“Drones didn’t even exist when the previous legislation was written, let alone be widely available. We’re bringing in rules to give the Police the legal powers they need to take them down if required. We’ve seen airports shut down around the world due to malicious drone use and it’s important the authorities can take action.

“We know that operating aircraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be deadly. The Bill implements recommendations from the 2012 Carterton balloon incident and creates a zero-tolerance approach to strengthen the management of the risk of drug and alcohol use, including random testing.

“This Bill also enables New Zealand to meet our international obligations, including ensuring all growth in international flights is carbon neutral through carbon off-setting under CORSIA. This is another step we’re taking to reduce transport emissions and help meet our climate goals.

“I know the sector has been waiting some time for this Bill but this is a once in a generation chance to get the rules right. I encourage everyone to make a submission to the Select Committee,” Michael Wood said.

It is anticipated that the Bill will be passed next year.