Published date: 20 April 2023

The CAA welcomes the TAIC report into the Auckland Islands helicopter crash released today. We acknowledge the two recommendations made in the report and action is underway on both of these.

The Commission recommended that the CAA addresses the growing gap between New Zealand’s minimum performance requirements and technical standards for Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS), helicopter air ambulance operations, and current international best practices.

The CAA is currently progressing a rule amendment project which will introduce NVIS standards into New Zealand’s aviation regulatory framework, subject to approval from the Minister of Transport. The current advisory circular (AC) related to NVIS (AC 91-13 – Night Vision Imaging Systems – Helicopter) will be updated too. The proposed rule change is being targeted for completion in the next 12 months; the AC amendment will proceed in parallel.

The second recommendation is being actioned through the CAA’s monitoring and inspection function, where we continue to both promote international best practice and assess operators’ ability to identify and appropriately manage the risk of using NVIS against best practice.

In addition to the two recommendations the CAA will commence a gap analysis this year to identify if any further work is appropriate in the areas of crew competency and performance/standards in the helicopter air ambulance space.

“As New Zealand’s aviation regulator we welcome suggestions to improve aviation safety across the system. TAIC’s work, together with our own, will contribute to greater helicopter safety in the skies.”

TAIC final report AO-2019-005 BK117-C1, ZK-IMX Controlled Flight into Terrain (Water), Auckland Islands, 22 April 2019(external link)