Technological advances in airspace management and air navigation services bring new challenges and opportunities for the global aviation system. New Southern Sky is our plan to realise the safety, environmental, social and economic potential of these technologies by integrating them into the New Zealand aviation system.

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The National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan – New Southern Sky

Approved by Cabinet in early 2014, New Southern Sky gives a clear direction on incorporating new and emerging technologies into the aviation system to ensure the safe, cohesive, efficient and collaborative management of New Zealand’s airspace and air navigation to 2023. 

The modernisation of airspace and air navigation in New Zealand will involve improved efficiency of air traffic movements, more accurate navigation, reduced reliance on ground based systems, and improved communications. Increased information availability will also enable more effective decision making. Together, these changes will mean lower operating costs and improved aviation safety.

New technologies - new opportunities

  • Satellite navigation now allows aircraft positions to be determined more precisely 
  • Radar networks can be replaced by aircraft based surveillance systems
  • Digital and satellite communication is becoming commonplace
  • Aeronautical information is being digitised and integrated
  • Air traffic control systems now support more precise air traffic management

A copy of the National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan 2014 can be found here.

Benefits for New Zealand

Through coordinating the introduction of new technologies and changes to the aviation system, New Southern Sky will enable shorter journeys, improved safety and lower carbon emissions for more than 10 million air travellers every year. It is expected the NSS Programme will contribute over a billion dollars in wider national economic benefits through fuel savings, lower aircraft operating costs, and efficiencies for airlines.

To find out more about the benefits to be delivered, see the benefits section on this website. [currently under development]

The Global Picture

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is leading the global transition to an integrated and interoperable global air navigation system. ICAO has produced a Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) to guide countries in their uptake of these new technologies. Many have their own plans, including the United States, which has put in place the NextGen programme. Single European Sky is a multinational programme for the modernisation of European airspace.

Domestic connections - New Southern Sky has been developed under The National Airspace Policy of New Zealand (2012), and Connecting New Zealand, a policy transport paper (2011). It is also a key initiative in the Intelligent Transport Systems Action Plan, which outlines a proposed work programme on Intelligent Transport Systems for New Zealand.

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