Published date: 3 November 2022

Safety education, awareness of the aviation rules, how to be a responsible participant in the aviation system and improving the overall safety of aviation in New Zealand are core functions of the CAA. As the sector regulator we operate a system of continuous improvement. Some of this work predates this specific accident and we have made other changes since the mid-air fatality at Hood (Masterton) Aerodrome in 2019.

These initiatives include CAA staff attending Hood Aerodrome user group meetings, establishing regular and ongoing supporting interaction with Aerodrome Management including ongoing assessment of the Aerodrome Master Planning, and presenting at the small aerodromes sub-group of the NZ Airports Association.

The CAA operates and facilitates an extensive education and interaction programme with the aviation community. For instance, this year we have completed initiatives focussed on operations at uncontrolled aerodromes and specifically the topic of “safely re-joining the aircraft circuit”. We have also continued an ongoing education programme for pilots about the importance of good lookout through instructor seminars and more general Vector articles.

Pilots operating at an uncontrolled or unattended aerodrome must comply with the published circuit directions, procedures and Civil Aviation Rules. These procedures are established to ensure the greatest possible safety for pilots when they are joining or vacating an uncontrolled or unattended aerodrome.

Adherence to the rules, coupled with the use of standard radiotelephony procedures and a good lookout scan, is essential to ensure flight safety. There is a current focus on radio calls and this is reflected in our Vector magazine, which has featured articles on this topic.

Our aeronautical services unit are heavily involved with aerodromes throughout New Zealand. In 2015 we introduced new regulatory requirements for non-certificated aerodrome operators aimed at providing us with data to support intelligence led risk-based interventions.

Also, in 2015 we introduced a new type of aerodrome operator certificate (Qualifying aerodrome operator certificate) that acknowledged the need to support and regulate non-certificated aerodrome operators. This has been well received by industry and the first certificate of this type was issued in 2019. We are providing support and regulatory guidance to several other non-certificated aerodrome operators pursuing this regulatory option. Hood Aerodrome is one of these.

CAA representatives regularly attend user groups and safety meetings with the intent of providing technical and regulatory advice and maintaining relationships with the many and varied users of the aerodromes.

Councils account for most non-certificated aerodrome operators/owners and the CAA regularly advises them on their civil aviation and health and safety at work obligations. We employ aviation safety advisors who can recognise when an early intervention is required when visiting non-certified aerodromes throughout the country.

Further to the above, in addition to the steps already mentioned, our core focus is on safety and we are active in-flight safety management. Most of the material we produce for flight training safety initiatives is primarily driven by commercial flight operations but is also applicable to recreational training and other commercial operations (such as parachute dropping). This is done deliberately as recreational, commercial operations and commercial flight training operate in the same aviation system (uncontrolled aerodrome/airspace) and is therefore applicable to all participants.

Following an investigation into the collision and deaths at Hood Aerodrome, the CAA filed charges against Sky Sports Limited (as a PCBU), and Mr Lloyd (as director of Sky Sports Limited), under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 for alleged safety failings that the CAA alleges contributed to the circumstances of the collision. The two-week trial, in the Wellington District Court, will be in February 2023.


Please contact the CAA media team for further information:
027 763 0000 |