Published date: 21 December 2020

The Minister of Transport has signed an updated Civil Aviation Rule which will improve aviation safety in New Zealand’s controlled airspace, the Civil Aviation Authority says.

Acting Director of Civil Aviation Shelley Turner said the rule [PDF 354 KB], signed by Minister of Transport Hon Michael Wood on 13 December, requires all aircraft flying in controlled airspace to be equipped with ADS-B OUT by 31 December 2022.

“The signing of this rule and confirmation of the 31 December 2022 implementation date is an important step for modernising New Zealand’s air traffic management system,” Ms Turner said.

The one significant change between the final version of the rule signed by the Minister and the initial proposal is the extension of the implementation date by one year.

“COVID-19 has had significant financial implications for New Zealand’s aviation sector, and we wanted to give operators a reasonable amount of time to be able to equip with ADS-B OUT before it is mandatory in controlled airspace, so the mandate has been extended out to 31 December 2022”, she said.

Aircraft owners who want to operate in controlled airspace now have two years to equip with ADS-B OUT so that they aren’t stuck in the hangar in 2023.

The ADS-B grant scheme to support equipage is one of the most substantial in the world, providing assistance for equipping with ADS-B OUT and ADS-B IN.

Aircraft owners are advised to book an installation slot with an avionics workshop now to avoid delays. For more information on ADS-B and the Grant Scheme, please visit link).


Contact CAA media team for further information:
027 763 0000 |


Notes to the editor

What is ADS-B?

ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) is a modern satellite-based system for accurately tracking aircraft movements in real time. Aircraft receive data from navigation satellites via an onboard global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver. This onboard data is then broadcast using a transmitter up to two times a second, sending out the aircraft’s identification, position, altitude, and speed.

On the ground this data is received by ‘ground stations’ and is fed into the air traffic management (ATM) system for use by air traffic controllers, who use it to keep aircraft separated in controlled airspace and on approach to the airports they service.

A major benefit of ADS-B is the ability for the signals being transmitted by aircraft to be received by other aircraft with appropriate equipment, giving them real-time information about the location of other aircraft in their vicinity. This is known as ADS-B IN, and gives pilots valuable additional information to help them spot other aircraft, reducing the likelihood of mid-air collisions.

ADS-B is already mandatory for aircraft which fly in airspace above 24,500 feet (predominantly airliners and private jets), and the requirement for aircraft to use ADS-B in the rest of New Zealand’s controlled airspace has been long-signalled by the CAA and New Southern Sky programme.

ADS-B Grant Scheme

Financial support to help aircraft owners is available through the ADS-B Grant Scheme. Grant funds are available on a first come first served basis, with funding available for equipping with ADS-B OUT (up to $2,500 + GST), with an additional amount available for operators who also equip with ADS-B IN (up to $500 + GST).

Aircraft owners should equip with ADS-B OUT as soon as they can to avoid bottlenecks in avionics workshops as we get closer to the 31 December 2022 implementation date – many workshops are reporting that they are incredibly busy currently, so are advising booking an installation slot as soon as possible.

For more information on ADS-B and the Grant Scheme, please visit link)