Government advice on COVID-19 and CAA information about continuing to operate as an aviation participant.

Page last updated 16 May 2022


Government information

Unite against COVID-19

Visit covid19.govt.nz(external link)     Government helpline 0800 779 997

Traffic lights(external link) (COVID-19 Protection Framework)

Latest updates(external link)

Advice and resources for businesses(external link)

Looking after your mental wellbeing(external link)

Ministry of Health information for the aviation sector(external link)

Ministry of Health – face mask communication cards(external link)

Ministry of Transport information for transport operators(external link)

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment COVID-19 information for businesses(external link)

International travel(external link)


CAA information

For civil aviation enquiries, email info@caa.govt.nz


Ministry of Transport update – 16 May 2022

This table includes details on the updated My Vaccine Pass that will be available for 24 May.

Transport announcements summary table [PDF 488 KB]


New mask exemption card to remove uncertainty – 27 April 2022

People who have genuine reasons for not being able to wear a face mask can access a new personalised exemption card from the end of May.

Unite Against COVID-19 – New mask exemption card(external link)


COVID-19 Protection Framework – Guidance for Transport Operators – 13 April 2022

Changes in this version reflect the shift to the orange setting for all New Zealanders from 11.59 pm on Wednesday, 13 April 2022. Note that the the requirement to wear face masks on public transport services applies to people 12 years and over, under the orange setting (previously this was eight years and older at red setting).

Ministry of Transport Guidance for Transport Operators(external link)


COVID-19 Guidance for Medical Examiners and Participants

09 Mar 2022

Approach to medical certification and return to aviation duties, with self-assessment checklist.

COVID-19 Guidance for Medical Examiners and Participants [PDF 344 KB]


Guidance for airlines and carriers

04 Mar 2022

Information for airlines and carriers on Reconnecting New Zealand and changes to the Air Border Order.

  • New Zealand’s air border opens to New Zealand citizens and residents and other eligible travellers (from Australia 11.59pm 27 February and from across the world, 11.59pm 4 March).
  • From 11:59pm, 2 March, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to self-isolate upon arrival.

Airlines and carriers can download a copy of the Ministry of Transport's Guidance for Airlines and Carriers(external link) (as at 4 March 2022). This guidance will be regularly updated.

Further information is available at Ministry of Health - COVID-19: Aviation sector(external link) and Unite Against Covid-19 - Travel to New Zealand(external link).


RATs for worksites with multiple close contacts

24 Feb 2022

Businesses, where worksites have more than 15 critical workers who are also close contacts, can now order RATs from their DHB under the Close Contact Exemption Scheme's (CCES) model three.

Ministry of Health - Critical workers - The Close Contact Exemption Scheme(external link) (ordering information is below the RATs order button)

Businesses with their own supply of RATs can use them for the CCES.


Border update for non-scheduled international flight operators

22 Feb 2022

Updated information for non-scheduled international flight operators, from the New Zealand Government.


Ministry of Transport Update on Close Contact Exemption Scheme and RAT tests

17 Feb 2022

Phase 2 means critical businesses and organisations can keep their critical workers working if they become a close contact of someone with COVID-19, by using the Close Contact Exemption Scheme (CCES). Read more here.


General exemptions covering affected aviation participants until 18 February 2022

The following General exemptions cover affected aviation participants between 18 August 2021 and 18 February 2022:

  1. 22/EXE/9 – Exemption from various requirements in Civil Aviation Rules 61, 63, 65, 115, 121, 125, 135 and 137 (Amendment #2)
  2. 22/EXE/10 – Exemption from the Requirement in Civil Aviation Rule 61.807(a)(2) (Amendment #1)

The general exemptions on currency requirements which were issued, and subsequently extended, to cater for lack of flying opportunities and currency during previous COVID-19 lockdowns.

Under the traffic light system – including ‘Red’ and Phase 2 – it is now possible for all pilots, instructors and flight examiners to operate aircraft so that currency, routine assessments, and flight tests can be carried out. It has therefore been agreed that there is no underpinning justification or safety requirement to extend exemptions 22/EXE/9 and 22/EXE/10 further and will therefore cover affected aviation participants only until Friday 18 February 2022. 

There is also general exemption 22/EXE/13 covering Dangerous Goods re-currency training which expires on 31 March 2022. The intention is also to let this lapse on the expiry date.

This action aligns with the ICAO recommendation on limiting the use of general exemptions where possible during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Where there is a specific and justified requirement, participants can apply for individual exemptions under section 37 of the Civil Aviation Act 1990. Exemption petitions will be assessed on a case by case basis. The exemption petition form and information on applying for an exemption can be accessed here.

CAA appreciate the uncertainty regarding the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and will continue to monitor this closely and review as required.


General COVID-19 Updates – 15 February 2022

Ministry of Health: Rapid antigen testing - Guidance for critical workers - 25 Feb 2022 [PDF 3.2 MB] [File updated 10 Mar 2022] [PDF 3.2 MB]

Public Health Operational changes to respond to Omicron - 14 Feb 2022 [PDF 648 KB]


Guidance to aviation participants – 17 January 2022

The CAA has developed the following guidance to assist aviation participants with application of the COVID-19 Protection Framework towards aviation activities. This guidance has been updated following the Auckland Area travel restrictions being lifted from 18 January 2022.

It is important to note that this is a living document and changes will be made at any time.

Guidance to aviation participants – 17 January 2022 [PDF 630 KB]


Emergency Directive: Relief from the General Directions – Examination Procedures and Timetable of Routine Examinations

14 Jan 2022

This Emergency Directive is issued in response to the situation created by COVID-19, and in particular, the inability to safely undertake some aspects of ear, nose and throat examinations and eye examinations in [Levels 2, 3 and 4 or Framework levels Orange and Red] of the COVID-19 alert and traffic light system.

This Emergency Directive is necessary to provide relief from certain requirements of Civil Aviation Rules 61.35 and 65.25, without compromising civil aviation safety.

Emergency Directive: Relief from the General Directions – Examination Procedures and Timetable of Routine Examinations [PDF 256 KB]


Stand-down period after COVID-19 vaccination

13 Dec 2021

Aviation duties should not be undertaken for a minimum of 48 hours after each dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. This is because side effects, which are generally mild, tend to be more prevalent on day two. This includes pilots, flight crew and flight attendants directly engaged in all forms of commercial and private aviation. It also includes air traffic controllers involved in controlling duties or aircraft maintenance personnel who are required to complete duties involving the ground running, ground taxi or operation of an aircraft.


Continuing Airworthiness Notice – 02-004 – Interior cleaning of aircraft during the Covid-19 pandemic – 09 September 2021

This Continuing Airworthiness Notice (CAN) is issued to advise operators and maintainers of the airworthiness risks associated with Covid-19 cleaning requirements.

Read CAN 02-004 here.


Medical certification

If you are an essential worker and unable to see your Medical Examiner for medical certification during Alert Level 4, please contact your Medical Examiner for options available to you.

Alternative Method to the General Medical Examination


CAA regulatory relief packages

As a result of the extension of New Zealand’s current Alert Level 4 restrictions we have reinstated the regulatory relief package we put in place in March 2020.

Regulatory relief measures available


Dangerous Goods Exemption

CAA has issued an exemption to assist individuals who are unable to complete Dangerous Goods recurrent training due to the COVID alert levels. 

Exemption from the Requirement in Civil Aviation Rule 92.205


Updated guidance for crew: Managing human performance risks during COVID-19-impacted conditions

15 Feb 2021

The recent alert level changes are a good opportunity to remind yourself what worked well the last time we were faced with this situation. Take time to refresh your memory and your risk mitigations, remind yourself what you did well and what you have learnt from last time. That thinking time will be invaluable to help you to continue to operate safely.

Remember, it's important to speak up and report any concerns, so that support can be provided and risks can be understood and addressed appropriately.

Read more on Managing human performance risks during COVID-19-impacted conditions


Posters for operators

Please travel safely [PDF 126 KB]

Track your journey [PDF 93 KB]

Everyone must wear a face covering [PDF 85 KB]


Maintaining mental wellbeing in isolation

30 Oct 2020

Our Chief Advisor Human Factors Matt Harris provided advice on maintaining mental wellbeing in isolation in the most recent CAA Briefing. The advice is targeted primarily at aircrew but it serves as a good reminder to all of us of what we can do to look after ourselves and our wellbeing if we find ourselves in isolation in the future – whether it is because of a COVID-19 resurgence, or working in a remote or isolated setting.

Maintaining mental wellbeing in isolation - an extract from the 28 October 2020 CAA Briefing [PDF 152 KB]


Regulatory relief for participants overseas who are required to hold a current NZ Class 1 medical certificate

18 Aug 2020

There are a number of participants overseas who are required to hold a current NZ Class 1 medical certificate and in some instances COVID restrictions have curtailed access to NZ CAA examiners.

We have developed some regulatory relief in a form of case by case exemptions.

The exemption, if granted will provide the applicant relief from the requirement in Civil Aviation Rule CAR 61.35(a)(1)(ii) that a person hold a current class 1 medical certificate issued under the Act.

Read more >>


Human factors considerations for aviation professionals after COVID-19 lockdown

3 Aug 2020

Being an aviation professional can be demanding at the best of times, whether it’s dealing with long and unpredictable hours, varying workloads, or complex environments. We recognise that the significant impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector have made things even more challenging.

Read more >>


Certification and SMS

12 Jun 2020

The provisions that were part of the regulatory relief package about recertification and the rescheduling of SMS implementation dates no longer apply.

Applicants for both certification and recertification are to apply in the prescribed manner. The rescheduling of SMS implementation dates has been completed, and there will be no further amendment to those dates.


Flammable PPE products

04 Jun 2020

Flammable personal protection equipment products [PDF 22 KB]


For CAA information before 4 Jun 2020, see Earlier CAA COVID-19 information