Regulatory Update for AEA Members in New Zealand

NPRM 15-02 Safety Management Systems
The purpose of this rulemaking proposal was to introduce new rules intended to improve New Zealand's aviation safety performance in a way that embeds an effective safety culture in aviation organizations; and to ensure New Zealand meets its international obligations as a signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The comment period for this NPRM closed June 19. 

After a thorough review of the proposal and all of the guidance materials submitted by the CAA, the AEA elected to not submit comments to this NPRM but rather address the final rule at the upcoming AEA South Pacific Regional Meeting, Nov. 2-3, in Queenstown. The primary reason to not submit comments on behalf of the New Zealand industry is that the CAA addressed every challenge we have made to previous NPRMs submitted worldwide. It appears the CAA has thoroughly reviewed SMS programs worldwide and extracted the best of each program to propose a clean program.

This is not to say that SMS by its very existence does not add an administrative burden that for many small businesses can exceed overall safety and efficiency improvement benefits. However, the language of the New Zealand SMS requirement allows for the utilization of the AEA Safety Management System offered to members as a membership benefit, which eliminates to the maximum extent possible the additional administrative burden of SMS.

Contact Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, by email at or by phone at 202-589-1144.