NZ Airports Newsletter May 2024

From Billie’s desk

Kia ora koutou

I hope everyone is doing well.

Last week I met with Tangi Utikere, the Labour MP for Palmerston North and Opposition Spokesperson for Transport. Tangi is the former Deputy Mayor of Palmerston North and has also served as an RMA Commissioner. It’s always heartening to meet MPs who understand noise contours! We had a great discussion about the critical role of the airport network, the challenge of regional connectivity and rising airfares, and decarbonisation. Tangi is very keen to visit airports to learn more about our issues and priorities, so I’ll be reaching out to some of you on this soon.

I’m looking forward to seeing some airports and your RTO partners in Wellington for TRENZ, the major tourism trade show, this week. Auckland Airport will share its latest insights on the tourism recovery at its annual Tourism Summit on Wednesday. NZ Airports is working hard alongside other associations to keep the government system focused on tourism as a core part of the Coalition’s plan to grow exports. As well as being a natural driver of regional growth, tourism has the greatest capacity to increase GST receipts for the government and also adds scale into the supply chain for the expansion of airfreight.

A key challenge for our tourism recovery is getting more capacity on trans-Tasman routes. We’re monitoring the decisions being made about the proposed Virgin Australia-Air New Zealand codeshare arrangement, which has just been provisionally approved by the ACCC and now awaits a determination from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport. NZ Airports opposes the agreement as we see no identifiable benefit to New Zealand consumers and it risks dampening any motivation from Virgin Australia to expand capacity on its own.

New Security Working Group

One of the ways members can contribute to NZ Airports’ work is through our working groups. We have a range of ongoing working groups as well as groups we pull together for short term projects. Our ongoing working groups include Sustainability, Aviation Security, Safety Managers and Noise and Planning.

In light of the complexity of security issues facing airports, we’ve now decided to establish a Security Working Group. This group will bring members together to share information and capability building on issues including insider threat, unruly passengers and mental health, crime trends, police relationships and the Crowded Places strategy and protocols. We also hope it will provide a regular platform for airports to share findings from security exercises. CAA, Police National Headquarters and airline security leads will also be invited to join the group when appropriate.

Email me at if you’d like to join or nominate someone from your team.

Finally, big thanks to the Hamilton, Rotorua, North Shore and Ardmore Airport teams who I’ve caught up with over the past few weeks. Looking forward to making my way around more members as the year goes on.

Billie Moore NZ Airports
A new welcome: inside Auckland Airport’s upgrade of domestic jet travel

A new welcome: inside Auckland Airport’s upgrade of domestic jet travel

On Friday Auckland Airport revealed a first detailed look at the planned interior for the city’s future new domestic jet terminal and what it will deliver for coming generations of passengers.

Mark Thompson CEO Resigns from Nelson Airport

CEO Resigns from Nelson Airport

Mark Thompson, CEO of Nelson Airport, is stepping down from his role to move into consultancy work and spend more time with family.

Sunair Unveils Napier-Tauranga-Hamilton Flights

Sunair Unveils Napier-Tauranga-Hamilton Flights

Sunair announced it will be commencing a weekday service from Monday 29 April 2024. The new weekday connections between Napier, Tauranga and Hamilton has been welcomed by airports in the three regions.

Wellington and Marlborough home base for Air NZs debut electric aircraft

Wellington and Marlborough home base for Air NZs debut electric aircraft

Air New Zealand has recently announced that it has selected Wellington and Marlborough Airports as the ports for its first all-electric aircraft.

New Members Join NZ Airports

We are excited to welcome new members to the NZ Airports Association and look forward and involvement.

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NZ Airports Advocacy

Airline Competition and Price Monitoring
CE Billie Moore continued our advocacy and media efforts to highlight the need for airline price monitoring and greater competition in the domestic air passenger market.

Regional Airport Summit
The NZ Airports Regional Airport Summit was held at BECA’s Auckland office on 5 April, with around 30 airport CEOs, senior managers and NZ Airport staff attending. The Hon Simeon Brown, Minister for Transport, attended for two hours and heard from airport CEOs about the barriers holding back airport development.

Aviation Council/CAA Aviation Industry Meetings
CE Billie Moore is working with the Provisional Aviation Council to develop its terms of reference and work plan for the next 12 months. She also attended the quarterly Aviation industry Meeting organised by the CAA to bring together stakeholders from across the sector. Billie is also a member of the AvSec Security Stewards Group.

Climate Change Commission and International Aviation Emissions.
CE Billie Moore is leading the airport sector’s response to the Climate Change Commission’s investigation into including international aviation and maritime emissions into New Zealand’s 2050 target.

Covid Royal Commission
NZ Airports responded to the Covid Lessons Learnt Royal Commission by lodging a submission that spelt out our view of how governments can best prepare for a future pandemic. Our submission covered government having a clearer picture of who are essential workers and when that criteria should shrink or expand. We also suggested that Ministries have a better understanding of the essential linkages, such as training and spare parts, between different sectors that enable critical infrastructure to continue operation.

Fast-Track Approvals Bill
NZ Airports lodged a submission on the Fast-Track Approvals Bill. We supported the Bill because it would give operators of nationally and regionally significant infrastructure a timelier and more straight-forward consenting process. We asked for amendments that would make it more useful for airports by making noise sensitive activities inside aircraft noise effect areas ineligible for consideration under the fast-track criteria. We requested a similar amendment for activities that could affect an airport’s OLS.

Airways’ Digital Towers and Unmanned Aircraft Integration
Policy Director Steve Riden, Garry Goodman and Simon Hollinger took part in a series of workshops organised by Airways to a) develop potential scenarios for Airways to introduce digital towers and b) to explore what would be required to integrate unmanned aircraft into the manned aircraft system.

NZ Airports Security Working Group
NZ Airports is establishing a new permanent working group for airport security issues. See the CE Report for the call for nominations. We note that some of the implications of the Queenstown IED incident is that airports should have clear protocols for decisions to evacuate the terminal, and also become more familiar with how best to manage incidents. The CAA is clear that it is the airport’s decision to evacuate. Security will also be a feature topic at the Hui.

Emergency Management
NZ Airports has been closely following the many official reports into the Emergency Management response to Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary floods. The Emergency Management Bill that we submitted on last year has been withdrawn and an entirely new Bill will be drafted, drawing more from the lessons from the Cyclone Gabrielle experience. Our submission to the first Bill noted its weaknesses and suggested further system improvements so the new Bill gives us an opportunity to end up with better legislation covering critical infrastructure entities. The various reports have different perspectives and different levels of accuracy, but they all generally support a bigger role for aviation in future Emergency management planning and response.

Steve Riden - Policy Director - NZ Airports

Steve Riden, Policy Director

NZ Airports Hui 2024

The NZ Airports Hui 2024 is set to take place in the lively Mighty Waikato region. Visit our Hui website for comprehensive information on registration, accommodation, NZ Airports awards, exhibitor information and more in Hamilton. We’re currently finalising an engaging program filled with inspiring speakers, panels & workshops. This year we’re looking forward to hosting a new event as part of the NZ Airports Hui week – the Women in Aviation and Infrastructure Symposium. Stay connected for updates!

NZ Airports Hui 2024
NZ Airports Hui

Women in Airports & Infrastructure Symposium

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The Women in Airports and Infrastructure symposium will be launched on Monday 11th November at Claudelands Arena, 12:30 – 4:00pm in the lead up to the NZ Airports Hui.  The symposium will showcase the importance of growing diversity in aviation, and will provide attendees with network, skills and support for developing careers in aviation and infrastructure sectors.

  • Hear from influential women leaders in the airport, airline and infrastructure sectors on their careers and experiences
  • Engage with women in strategic and operational roles in aviation and hear about their strategies for being effective in challenging work environments
  • Connect with attendees from across the sector and around the country to grow your workplace and social network
  • Receive focused support from speakers and colleagues on your key challenges and interest areas in career development, building resilience and balance, and maintaining wellbeing at work
  • Join the launch of our aviation and infrastructure mentoring programme to keep the conversations going

This event is open to the public but limited spaces are available.  Make sure you don’t miss out and register now at

Women in Airports & Infrastructure Symposium - Networking<br />
Women in Airports & Infrastructure Symposium - Presentation

Save the Date

Small Airports Meeting
9th May, 10:30am – 12:00pm

NZ Airports Board Meeting
June 4th, Auckland

NZ Airports Forum
27th June, 10:30am – 12:00pm

AAA Retail & Commercial Forum
22-24 July 2024
The Retail and Commercial Forum will take place in Melbourne. All NZ Airports members can enjoy the same registration rates as Australian members for AAA events.

Small Airports Meeting
8th August, 10.30am -12:00pm

NZ Airports Board Meeting
24th September, Wellington


NZ Airports Forum
10th October, 10.30am – 12:00pm

Airport Safety Week
14th -18th October

Women in Airports & Infrastructure Symposium
11th November

NZ Airports Hui
Hamilton, 11th -14th November

NZ Airports Awards Gala Dinner
Hamilton, 13th November

Australian Airports Association Conference
19th – 21st November

NZ Airports Board Meeting
27th November, Wellington

Small Airports - NZ Airports

The next meeting of the Small Airports group is this Thursday 9th May, 10:30am – 12:00pm. All NZ Airports members are welcome to join the online meeting. For some of our regional airports with small teams there would be likely benefits with information sharing and collaboration with airport colleagues across the NZ network. Please contact for further information.


Listen to the latest Simple Flying podcast as some of the biggest events in aviation over the past week – including the collapse of Bonza airline in Australia, is discussed.

Key contacts in an emergency required

NZ Airports will be reaching out to members to seek your feedback on who at your airport should be included in incident information and updates from CAA. CAA currently sends out information to airports when they are aware of an issue or threat with network-wide impact (for example, the Auckland flooding, Cyclone Gabrielle and the suspected IED in Queenstown). However, its list may not be complete or up to date. When we reach out please consider carefully the best approach for your airport and prioritise a response to us.