Reduced and Zero Emission Aircraft (RZEA) technologies are currently being developed globally which will eventually require entry into service in New Zealand’s aviation system.

The CAA initiated a project, as part of our Emerging Technologies Programme, called the Reduced and Zero Emissions Project (RZEP) to support the introduction of RZEA.


Currently, it isn’t clear which regulatory pathways are suitable to support future RZEA operators in the short term. The RZEP will coordinate the CAA’s approach to highlight accessible pathways to entry into service for those operators.

These pathways will need to be ready in time for when applications are received from RZEA operators, as well as having the required plans in place to prepare New Zealand’s aviation system for an increase in RZEA operations in the future.


Various New Zealand Air Transport operators have already shown an interest in RZEA operations, with Air New Zealand emerging with the firmest plans. Air New Zealand(external link) is planning to fly commercial demonstrator flights from 2026 and replace the Q300 domestic fleet with a more sustainable aircraft from 2030. Beta Technologies’ Alia CTOL was selected as the aircraft most likely to be the first commercial RZEA operated in New Zealand.

While Air New Zealand’s timelines drive the delivery of the RZEP, it’s important to note that this project focusses on the CAA’s approach to RZEA. If another operator, or operators, emerges in this space while the project is live, they’ll be taken into account alongside Air New Zealand.

This work is helping lead the way with innovative technologies and will support the safe and secure integration of new Reduced and Zero Emissions technologies into New Zealand’s aviation system.

For updates about RZEP, sign up to our notifications service and select the Emerging Technologies box.

RZEP news

CAA launches Reduced and Zero Emissions Project

27 March 2024

The CAA recently launched its Reduced and Zero Emissions Project (RZEP) to support the introduction of Reduced and Zero Emission Aircraft (RZEA) into New Zealand’s Aviation system.