What is New Southern Sky?

New Southern Sky is the plan to modernise New Zealand’s airspace and air navigation system. It outlines the practical steps required to make an effective transition to the use of next generation technologies, manage airspace as demand increases, and to enhance aviation safety over ten years.

Why does New Zealand need New Southern Sky?

Because it means we can take advantage of new technologies that will provide opportunities for safer, more efficient and more reliable flight.

How does New Southern Sky work?

New Southern Sky is a multi-agency programme led by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Members of the NSS Working Group such as Airways, the Ministry of Transport, MetService, Aeropath and airlines lead various work streams

What are the main proposals?

New Southern Sky comprises eight key elements: navigation, surveillance, communication, aeronautical information management, air traffic management, airspace design, aerodromes, and meteorological services. These elements work together and are interdependent.

How is the programme structured?

The ten-year programme is made up of three stages (2014-2015, 2016-2018 and 2019-2023). Progress is reviewed at the end of each of these stages, and also when required by technological or international regulatory developments.

Will I get to have a say?

Yes. Collaboration is key to our approach, as is transparent regulatory decision making. There will be many opportunities for those in the sector affected by proposals to have their say to influence the development of New Southern Sky. The NSS Working Group members are the representatives for the sector. If you wish to contact your representative to discuss how these changes will affect you, please see the Contact page under Working Group members.

When will the proposals be put into effect?

The programme has several key targets and milestones which can be found under the timeline section.

How will pilots know what is going on?

The proposals under New Southern Sky will affect everyone from GA pilots to large commercial airlines, so we want to make sure participants know what’s going on.

As a pilot what does this mean for me?

Air traffic control will increase in efficiency. You may also see a reduction and simplification of controlled airspace area. As New Zealand transitions to a Performance Based Navigation environment for instrument flight rules operations over the next decade, there will be equipage and procedure changes.

Will there be any changes to Civil Aviation Rules?

Some of the more significant proposals will require regulatory changes including Civil Aviation Rules and supporting Advisory Circulars. As is the case with all proposed rule changes, there will be the opportunity for those affected to have their say.

How does New Southern Sky fit in with Government policy?

New Southern Sky was developed out of the National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan, which was the CAA led response to the Government’s National Airspace policy (2012).

What are other countries doing?

Other countries such as Australia, the US, Canada and those in the EU have similar programmes. New Southern Sky is connected to these programmes, which are providing valuable lessons on aviation system modernisation best practice.

Questions about ADS-B?

See the Surveillance Workstream page for further information, including the ADS-B FAQ document.