New Zealand has launched a comprehensive National Air Navigation and Airspace Plan to modernise its entire aviation management system in an ambitious 10-year timeframe.
Dubbed ‘New Southern Sky’, the plan aims to address all of NZ’s aviation-related infrastructure and services, including air navigation, surveillance, communications, aeronautical information management, air traffic management (ATM), airspace design, increasing airport capacity, and meteorological services.
“The National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan sets a pathway to modernise all aspects of our aviation system and position it for the future,” NZ Minister of Transport, Gerry Brownlee writes in the plan’s preamble. “Modernisation of the aviation system will bring huge benefits – valued at $2 billion over 20 years as a result of shorter and more efficient flight paths, and improved safety and reliability.
“One of the most significant aspects of The National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan is the proposed move from land-based systems to space-based satellite navigation and surveillance,” he added. “These changes will require new systems to be installed both on the ground and in aircraft. The National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan contains provisions to make sure that the transition to these new systems occurs smoothly, and that appropriate contingency systems remain to ensure resilience.”
Air New Zealand welcomed the plan. “The development of a national plan to manage air navigation in New Zealand is great news for our industry,” chief flight operations and safety officer, Captain Morgan said. “It will not only allow for more efficient operation of aircraft in New Zealand airspace but ensure the country keeps pace with modern airspace management methods offshore.”
The plan may be viewed here.