Aviation Concerns


To report an accident call: 0508 ACCIDENT (0508 222 433) 24-hour, 7-day, toll-free.

Report Occurrences Online, or send accident report forms to: ca005@caa.govt.nz

Aviation Related Concern

To report an aviation safety or security concern, that may include complaints, or allegations of suspected breaches of civil aviation legislation, call: 0508 4SAFETY (0508 472 338) available office hours (voicemail after hours), or email: isi@caa.govt.nz.

Low Flying

The minimum acceptable heights for flying are prescribed in Civil Aviation Rule 91.311 Minimum heights for VFR flights. Briefly stated, the minimum height an aircraft may operate over a city, town or settlement, is 1000 feet above the highest obstacle, except when taking off or landing. Generally, this is the height at which aircraft are flown when operated within the circuit of an aerodrome.

The minimum height over any other area is 500 feet. There are exceptions, such as aircraft operating within a low flying training area, agricultural aircraft operations, emergencies, and when the genuine purpose of the flight requires the aircraft to be flown at a lower height – such as police operations. Note that although rescue and police operations are sometimes carried out in specially marked helicopters, they can be carried out in any aircraft.

Aircraft Noise

The CAA has a very limited role in relation to noise from aircraft.

Aviation legislation does not cover noise, and the Resource Management Act 1991 expressly excludes aircraft noise – this applies to local bodies as well.

The CAA’s only role is to receive and investigate noise complaints in the noise abatement areas around three aerodromes: Auckland, Paraparaumu and Wellington. Aircraft that are taking off, landing, and on approach and climb from aerodromes in these areas, are exempt from the noise abatement rules, but must operate within certain constraints.

Beyond these areas, the CAA has no jurisdiction regarding noise.

If you are bothered by aircraft noise in areas that are not noise abatement areas, your only recourse is with the operator concerned.

Try to note the aircraft’s registration. For New Zealand registered aircraft, the registration will be three letters (sometimes two on a helicopter), and sometimes preceded with the New Zealand designator, ZK.

In some instances, you can look up the operator of an aircraft on the Aircraft Register page if you know the registration letters of the aircraft. If the operator’s name isn’t visible, you can request this from the Official Information and Privacy Adviser, email: oia@caa.govt.nz.

Aircraft Trails

Aircraft Trails

Aircraft Effluent Claims

Aircraft Effluent Claims

Agricultural Chemical Drift

There may be occasions when agrichemical use causes damage, usually through spray drift. Other instances of damage can occur, for example, through the use of the wrong agrichemical, or ground contamination through spillage.

The Resource Management Act 1991 gives the responsibility to Regional Councils for the control of the discharge of contaminants into the air. Most regions also have plans to address water and soil quality.

If you suspect there has been a spray drift incident, or spillage of agrichemical, whether as an agrichemical user or as a complainant, the first contact is the Regional Council for that area. They will either investigate the complaint, or forward it to the agency that will deal with it. In some circumstances more than one agency may be responsible for investigating an incident.

This link to the Local Government web site gives a directory of Council Websites.

If there are health concerns, contact the public health services listed under the "Hospitals" section of your local telephone directory.

Helicopter Frost Protection

Helicopter Frost Protection - Information for the public, winegrowers, and helicopter pilots.