Helpful safety information for passengers - consult the information below for details about what can, and cannot, be carried on a passenger aircraft. If you have a question about this, consult your airline in the first instance.

FLYSMART – Pack smart – travel safe A web site to inform international airline passengers about security measures.
Aviation Safety Concerns Use this contact information if you have concerns about aviation safety in New Zealand
Cabin Safety A range of information about cabin safety for passengers, including the use of seatbelts, smoking, unacceptable behaviour, and portable electronic devices.
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In the Unlikely Event of ...
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An article from the CAA's Vector magazine reminding passengers of the safety measures they should be aware of.

Passenger Screening for Potential Weapons

A number of measures have been introduced to protect air travellers from threats of terrorism and other criminal activities.

One of these measures is to prohibit passengers from taking certain items on their person, or in their carry-on luggage, into the cabin of an aircraft. Some (but not all) of these items can be put into passengers' checked luggage. Certain other items are classed as Dangerous Goods and must not be transported on aircraft at all.

You should check with your airline before travelling if you have any questions about Prohibited Items or Dangerous Goods. This is particularly important with regard to items such as firearms (Prohibited Items) and ammunition (Dangerous Goods).

It is an offence to take Potential Weapons on board an aircraft, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, regardless of the size of the aircraft (screening takes place for aircraft of over 90 seats in New Zealand).

Prohibited Items

Below is a list of Prohibited Items that must not be carried into the aircraft cabin, but that may be carried in checked baggage. This list is not exhaustive – for more information see Direction to Search for Prohibited Items (PDF 1.9 MB), but even this list cannot cover every situation – check with your airline, and do this in advance if possible.

Guns, firearms and other devices that discharge projectiles designed to cause serious injury by discharging a projectile, or capable of being mistaken for such devices, including;

  • firearms of all types, including pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns
  • toy guns, replicas and imitation firearms capable of being mistaken for real weapons
  • component parts of firearms (excluding telescopic sights)
  • compressed air and CO2 guns, including pistols, pellet guns, rifles and ball bearing guns
  • signal flare pistols and start pistols
  • bows, crossbows and arrows
  • harpoon guns and spear gun
  • slingshots and catapults.

Stunning devices designed specifically to stun or immobilize, including;

  • devices for shocking, such a stun guns, (eg, tasers) and stun batons
  • animal stunners and animal killers
  • disabling and incapacitating chemicals, gases and sprays, such as mace pepper or capsicum spray, tear gas, acid sprays and animal repellent sprays.

Objects with sharp points or sharp edges capable of being used to cause serious injury, including;

  • items designed for chopping, such as axes, hatchets and cleavers
  • ice axes and ice picks
  • razor blades, box cutters
  • knives with blades of more than 6 cm
  • scissors with blades of more than 6 cm as measured from the fulcrum
  • martial arts equipment with sharp points or sharp edges
  • swords and sabres.

Workers’ tools capable of being used to cause serious injury or to threaten the safety of aircraft, including;

  • crowbars
  • drills, drill bits in excess of 6 cm, and cordless portable power drills
  • tools with blades or shafts more than 6 cm capable of being used as weapons such as screwdrivers, chisels
  • saws including cordless power saws
  • blow torches
  • bolt guns and nail guns.

Blunt instruments capable of being used to cause serious injury when used to hit, including;

  • baseball, softball and cricket bats
  • didgeridoos
  • clubs and batons, including billy clubs, blackjacks and nightsticks
  • martial arts equipment.

Explosives and incendiary substances and devices capable of being used to cause serious injury or threatening the safety of aircraft, including;

  • ammunition
  • blasting caps
  • detonators and fuses
  • replica or imitation explosive devices
  • mines, grenades and other explosive military stores
  • pyrotechnics, including fireworks
  • smoke generating canisters or cartridges
  • dynamite, gunpowder and plastic explosives.

Security Legal Notices

Notice of Direction (PDF 1.9 MB) - this notice, issued under Section 77B of the Civil Aviation Act 1990, concerns the screening of crew, passengers, and carry-on baggage. It lists prohibited items.

Notice of Direction - this notice, issued under Section 77B of the Civil Aviation Act 1990, concerns the screening of persons, items, substances or vehicles before they enter, or within,  a security enhanced area.

Dangerous Goods

Dangerous Goods Explains about Dangerous Goods and lists items that may, and may not, be transported by aircraft.

Other Information for Passengers

Cover of CAA brochure, "Promoting Aviation Safety"     This brochure briefly explains the role of the Civil Aviation Authority

Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs)

Advice to Travellers Help with Customs formalities and importing goods.
Aircraft Trails Some factual information about aircraft trails or contrails.
Safety Around Helicopters DVD Safety advice for anyone who may operate around helicopters.
Helpful Links Links to passenger information on the web sites of overseas aviation authorities

Contact Information

Aviation Safety Concerns Use this contact information if you have concerns about aviation safety in New Zealand
Contact Us All contact information for the CAA