NSS stakeholders deliver National Security and Resilience report


The aviation system is a key component in New Zealand’s transport infrastructure in normal times, and in response to events ranging from rescue helicopter response to road traffic crashes, through to full-scale civil defence emergency responses.

New Zealand is vulnerable to natural hazards and to global shocks that could require an aviation response. The New Southern Sky programme proposes changes to the aviation system. To understand whether these changes could compromise the security and resilience of our systems and communities, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Transport jointly led the development of a National Security and Resilience report as part of New Southern Sky. Agency representatives met with a range of stakeholders including the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the Ministry of Health, the National Infrastructure Unit, Airways, Police, Local Government New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, and the New Zealand Defence Force.

The report considers two event types that could affect aviation in a security and resilience context:

  • Events or changes within the aviation system, for example changes to the configuration of the infrastructure supporting instrument flight, or an emergency such as loss of the ability to use the global positioning system for navigation.
  • Events or changes outside the aviation system that would require an aviation response, for example a major civil defence emergency requiring a significant air-based response.

The report’s overall conclusion is that there are no significant security and resilience issues with system modernisation as currently proposed. The process of developing the report identified the value of ongoing discussions between the stakeholders on the expectations of the aviation sector in emergency situations. The Ministry of Transport will from time to time convene working groups comprising of stakeholders to assist in identifying cross-agency initiatives that may require discussion or resolution.

The National Security and Resilience report will be reviewed and updated as changes to the aviation system progress, and when new information, including lessons learned from real events and exercises, comes to hand.