Hon Michael Wood
Minister of Transport
The Government has launched a high-powered independent review of New Zealand’s air navigation system, looking for ways to strengthen this critical transport infrastructure for the future.
“A modern and responsive air navigation system is vital for keeping New Zealand safe, connected, growing, resilient and secure. Since the current system was implemented in 2012, we have seen advancements in technology, the security environment, and changing demands and expectations. Therefore it’s time we look at all parts of the system to make sure it continues to serve us well into the future,” Michael Wood said.
“Often taken for granted, the air navigation system is all the pieces that allow people to safely fly around New Zealand. The system includes the equipment like radar and radio, air traffic control services and crucial information like weather. It also includes the systems air traffic controllers’ need to keep aircraft safety separated and for everyone to communicate.”
The review will be chaired by Debbie Francis and will be supported by a reference group to provide detailed input from each of the diverse parts of the aviation sector. Joining Debbie Francis on the independent panel are Howard Fancy, Ed Sims and Danny Tuato’o.
“Debbie is right person to lead this important piece of work. Debbie is a highly experienced consultant who has served a senior executive across the public and private sectors and has previously led independent reviews in the public sector, including the review of the culture in the New Zealand Parliamentary Workplace. Debbie’s diverse experience and ability to work across complex sectors means she is an excellent appointment as the Chair of this Review,” Michael Wood said.
“Howard Fancy has extensive experience in the public sector, having served as the CE of the Ministries of Commerce, Education and Environment. Howard brings strong experience in stakeholder engagement, system performance improvements and positioning agencies for future change and opportunities which will serve the Review well.
“Ed Sims has a background in air navigation and airline management, including as the Chief Executive of Airways New Zealand. He brings a depth of knowledge about the challenges of operating in a rapidly evolving aviation sector, and working with aviation regulators in New Zealand and abroad.
“Danny Tuato’o is a lawyer with significant leadership experience as a business owner in New Zealand and in the Pacific, and as a director on the boards of Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Maritime New Zealand. Danny’s deep understanding of Te Ao Māori and Crown/Māori relations will be a huge benefit to the Review, making sure it serves all New Zealanders well.
“I’m confident that this Review panel will work with stakeholders across the sector to understand where the gaps are, where improvements can be made, and what we need to do to continue to have a strong air navigation system,” Michael Wood said.
The Review will formally run from June 2022, and will present final recommendations to the Minister of Transport.