Published date: 15 March 2024

On 19 February the Emerging Technologies Unit (ETU) welcomed Ryan Coates (Director, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems), Jeannie Stewart-Smith (Manager and Senior Policy Advisor, RPAS Policy, Regulations and Outreach) from Transport Canada and Alan Chapman (Director RPAS Traffic Management) from NAV Canada. 

The first day provided the delegation with the opportunity to hear from stakeholders across our regulatory spectrum with briefings from both the CAA and wider government, followed by a trip down to Christchurch the next day to engage with a variety of aerospace stakeholders at their facilities. We would particularly like to thank Kea Aerospace, Dawn Aerospace, Pyper Vision, Tāwhaki and Airways, for hosting Ryan, Jeannie and Alan, and briefing them on their organisation's operations and objectives.

The next two days saw the Canadian delegates participating in the Emerging Aviation Technologies Forum (EATF) and rounding out their visit with a series of collaborative discussions with members of the Emerging Technologies Programme (ETP). Topics of note were the scalable and proportionate certification of UA, our Part 102 queue reduction initiative and the issue of RPAS flight beyond the 12nm territorial limit over high seas.

Transport Canada is currently looking to evolve their existing approach into a wider programme similar in concept to our own ETP, focused on supporting innovation in the Canadian context. It is a credit to the Authority that, although newly formed, the work of the ETP is something other NAA’s are looking to when designing their own approach to emerging technologies.

The ETP has been engaged with Transport Canada through various ICAO initiatives, however hosting them in New Zealand allowed for more focused discussion on the similarities, differences and challenges faced in our respective regulatory contexts. A point that both NAA’s agreed upon was the fact that, while every authority seems to be facing similar issues across the board, no single one has all the answers. These bilateral relationships are essential to the continued development of our approach to emerging technologies.