The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand is tasked by the government to regulate all the aspects of safety relating to commercial and private air transport of a non-military nature.

The Civil Aviation Authority was set up as an independent government entity in 1992 after the New Zealand Parliament voted the Civil Aviation Act through the House in 1990.

It falls under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and it is governed by a board appointed by the same minister to ensure that the public’s rights and interests in civil aviation are properly upheld and safeguarded.

The Director of the Civil Aviation Board is directly tasked with overseeing and ensuring that all standards are adhered to in the interest of civil aviation. This agency is based in Wellington, but also has a representation in Auckland and Christchurch. Dedicated teams travel up and down the country to perform checks and audits to ensure that all rules and regulations are adhered to and that all safety checks on private and commercial aircraft are performed in due time and with due diligence.

This section of the agency is also responsible for issuing flying licences to commercial and private pilots and to ensure that they are getting enough hours in the sky for their licences to be automatically refreshed. It is responsible for issuing certificates to airport operators and ground operators to ensure that they are fully trained and up to date on all aspects of safety related to ground-handling of aircraft. Airlines are also scrutinised on a regular basis.

Another section of the CAA which is an important component is the Aviation Security Service which focuses on eliminating potential threats to the safety of passengers flying in and out of New Zealand airports. Avsec, as they are known, is in charge of access to airports and security clearances as well as security screening of carrying on and hold luggage.