Published date: 2 June 2023

WELLINGTON, The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, supported by the Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Defence Force, in concert with aviation/aerospace representatives from industry, research institutes, state owned enterprises, government agencies and academia have created a forum designed to enable the aviation/aerospace industry and the aviation regulator to work more closely together.

The Emerging Aviation Technologies Forum is co-chaired by Steve Smyth (CAA) on behalf of the aviation regulators and by Catherine MacGowan (Wisk), on behalf of ‘Industry’.

“We have invited individuals with appropriate knowledge, skills and experience to join the Forum,” says Steve Smyth, Director the CAA’s Emerging Technologies Programme. ‘The Forum is set to be a key enabler of strategic advice between the aviation industry and the regulator regarding aviation technologies that are likely to enter the New Zealand aviation system in the next decade.’

During the Forum’s first meeting in April, members emphasised the importance of safety, and the potential for benefits to the environment, the economy and communities offered by advanced aviation technologies.

There is a huge amount of innovation happening in the aviation sector in Aotearoa as companies explore ways that these technologies can support our communities. I'm really excited that the CAA is committed to increasing their understanding of these developments,” says Catherine MacGowan, Vice President of APAC and Air Operations for Wisk Aero.

As co-chairs, the CAA and Wisk will act as both facilitators and collaborators. This Forum will help the CAA to consider how to adapt for the needs of the sector in the future, to safely certify and incorporate new technologies into our aviation system,” says MacGowan.

Forum members have committed to co-creating a roadmap of emerging aviation technologies and enabling systems and working with the regulator to understand the impacts and opportunities of these innovations.

This Forum’s work will be made available on the CAA website for the benefit of industry and other agencies and be kept updated after future Forum meetings.

Co-chairs of the Emerging Aviation Technologies Forum

Steve Smyth CAA Director Emerging Technologies Programme and Catherine MacGowan Wisk Aero VP Air Operations and Asia Pacific Regional Director.


Mike Richards
Manager Engagement, Education and Communications
Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
Mobile: +64272220290

About CAA

CAA works to make sure everyone involved in New Zealand aviation meets the legal standards set by the Minister of Transport.

There are two parts to the organisation:

  • The agency overseeing aviation safety and security, and the rules underpinning it;
  • The Aviation Security Service, known as AvSec.

New Zealand’s civil aviation community includes licensed pilots, engineers, and air traffic controllers, as well as aviation operators like airlines, aerodromes, flying schools, and aircraft maintenance organisations.

About Wisk

Wisk is an advanced air mobility (AAM) company dedicated to delivering safe, everyday flight for everyone with their self-flying, eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a team based in New Zealand and other locations across the globe, Wisk is an independent company backed by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation.