Airport identity cards are required to carry out work in security areas and security enhanced areas at airports where the Director of Civil Aviation has specified that airport identity cards must be displayed.

Applying for airport identity cards

Who can apply for an airport identity card?

You can apply for an airport identitjy card if you are:

  • employed by an organisation that is registered with the Aviation Security Service AND
  • required to carry out work in a security area / security enhanced area at an airport where the Director of Civil Aviation has specified that airport identity cards must be displayed AND
  • over the age of 14.

How do I apply for an airport identity card?

If you need to apply for an airport identity card your employer will send you an invitation to apply online. You should use the log-in credentials that were sent to you. 

  • If you have forgotten your password, use the “forgotten password” option.
  • If you have forgotten your User Name or PIN, contact one of your organisation’s certifiers.
  • If you have locked yourself out after several unsuccessful attempts to log in, contact one of your organisation’s certifiers.
  • If you do not know who your organisation’s certifiers are, contact your local Avsec office (see contact details below).

How does someone apply if they don't have an email address or access to the internet?

If an applicant doesn’t have an email address or access to the internet, they must complete and sign the following form and give this to a person who certifies applications on behalf of their employer. The certifier will have to input the information into the Airport Gateway system and upload a copy of the completed form to the applicant’s on-line application.

Consent form [PDF 815 KB]

How long do airport identity cards last?

Airport identity cards can last for up to three years. They will last for a shorter period of time if you have a work permit that will expire in less than three years, if you are only required to work at the airport for a limited time (less than three years), or at the discretion of the relevant Aviation Security Service Station Manager.

How much does it cost to apply for an airport identity card?

The application fee for an airport identity card is $62.45 (including GST). This fee is set out in regulation 10A of the Civil Aviation Charges Regulations (No 2) 1991(external link).

Fees are incurred upon application and each time an airport identity card is reissued (for example if your card expires, your card is lost or damaged, or your name or your organisation’s name changes). After an employer has submitted the application, the fee for this will be included on their next monthly invoice.

Does all of the information in the application need to be correct?

It is an offence to knowingly provide false information to the Civil Aviation Authority or the Director of Civil Aviation relevant to the Authority’s or the Director’s exercise of powers under the Civil Aviation Act 1990, or regulations or rules made under the Act. It is also an offence to fail to disclose, without reasonable excuse, information that is materially relevant in relation to a security check. Each offence is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding $10,000 (Section 49 of the Civil Aviation Act 1990(external link)  and section 56A of the Civil Aviation Act 1990(external link)).

What do I need to provide with my application?

Your application will need to be accompanied by:

  1. your photograph (see the photo requirements below) and
  2. a copy of one of the following forms of identification:
  • New Zealand driver licence– can be current or expired within the last two years, but cannot be cancelled, defaced or a temporary licence. Must show your signature and the expiry date; or
  • New Zealand Passport– can be current or expired within the last two years, but cannot be cancelled or defaced. Must show your signature; or
  • Overseas Passport– must be current and cannot be expired, cancelled or defaced. Must show your signature; or
  • New Zealand Firearms Licence– must be current and cannot be expired or defaced; or
  • Certificate of Identity– must be current. Issued by the Department of Internal Affairs; or
  • Refugee Travel Document– must be current. Issued by the Department of Internal Affairs; or
  • Statutory declaration– signed by a Justice of the Peace (JP) or other authorised person, with an accompanying photo of you, on the back of which the JP has written your full name, the JP’s signature and the date.

In addition you must also provide copies of the following, if any of these situations apply to you:

  • Permanent residency, work visa or student visa– If you are not a New Zealand or Australian citizen and you are in New Zealand on a permanent residency, work visa or student visa.
  • Proof of legal change of name(for example a marriage or civil union certificate or a dissolution of marriage or civil union) – If you want to use a name that is different to the name that appears on your approved form of identification.
  • Proof of New Zealand citizenship– If you are a New Zealand citizen who was born outside New Zealand, and you are not providing a copy of a New Zealand passport with your application.

Does my photo need to comply with any particular requirements?

  • Photo must be less than six months old
  • Photo must be in focus, with no red-eye and no reflected light on the face
  • Photo must be a true image, not altered in any way
  • High quality colour photo showing natural skin tones (black and white photos are not acceptable)
  • The background must be plain and light coloured (preferably white)
  • There must be a strong contrast between the image and background, with no shadows
  • Face the camera straight on, with your head straight, eyes open and mouth closed
  • Maintain a neutral expression, not smiling or frowning
  • Eyes must be clearly visible, ensure you have no hair across your face or eyes
  • Head must be centred, with a clear gap around the sides and top of the head, including hair
  • Maximum size of head, including hair, must be 75% of the photo
  • Eyes must be clearly showing through glasses with no reflection
  • Remove glasses with heavy-rimmed frames
  • Do not wear sunglasses, or glasses with tinted lenses that obscure your eyes
  • No head-covering or headband should be worn in the photo, unless you must wear either for religious or medical reasons.

Do I have to agree to a security check?

You must consent to the Aviation Security Service carrying out a security (background) check to determine whether you pose a threat to aviation security. If you refuse to consent to a security check, your application for an airport identity card will not be considered.

In carrying out a security check, we ask people or organisations to disclose information about you. For example we can seek: a recommendation from the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, information about your criminal record (if any) from the Ministry of Justice, or information from the New Zealand Customs Service or the New Zealand Immigration Service.

You and your employer will be informed whether you have received a favourable security check determination or an adverse security check determination. Advice to your employer will be limited to confirming whether a favourable or adverse security check determination has been made, but not the reason for, or details of, any determination.

Favourable security check determination

You need to receive a favourable security check determination in order to be granted an airport identity card.

Adverse security check determination

In the case of an adverse security check determination, you have the right to have the determination reviewed under section 77G of the Civil Aviation Act 1990(external link). However, if your objection is based solely on a recommendation from the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, you must follow a complaint process with the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security under the Intelligence and Security Act 2017(external link).

If new information comes to light at any time, we can reconsider a favourable security check determination and revoke your airport identity card. In this case, you should refer to section 77F of the Civil Aviation Act 1990(external link).

What happens to my personal information?

Information contained in your application will be kept in the strictest confidence and handled according to the principles of the Privacy Act 1993(external link). Under the Privacy Act you have the right to request access to, or correction of, any personal information held by the Aviation Security Service.

How long does it take to process an airport identity card application?

We aim to process each application within 10 working days of the date that we receive the completed application. If a security vetting result requires further consideration the application is likely to take longer.

Issuing airport identity cards

When and where are airport identity cards issued?

You can pick up your airport identity card at the airport specified in your application as the one where you will carry out the majority of your work.

For the Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, and Dunedin airports, this card will be held at the local Aviation Security Service office. Locations and office hours are listed below:

Auckland

AIC Office, Aviation Security Service Base, 6 Cyril Kay Road, Auckland

Monday to Friday, 7.30 am to 2.00 pm

aichelpdesk@avsec.govt.nz

09 255 6014

Wellington

Reception, Level 1, Aviation Security Service Administration Building, AFS Complex, Station Drive, Wellington International Airport

Monday to Friday, 7.30 am to 3.30 pm

Reception.WLG@avsec.govt.nz

04 388 0950

Christchurch

10 Ivan Crescent, Christchurch International Airport, Christchurch

Monday to Thursday, 7.00 am to 4.00 pm; Friday 7.00 am to 3.30 pm

Reception.CHC@avsec.govt.nz

03 357 3500

Queenstown

Aviation Security Service Reception, Queenstown Airport, Sir Henry Wigley Drive, Frankton, Queenstown 9300

Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 3.00 pm

aichelpdesk@avsec.govt.nz

09 255 6014

Dunedin

Aviation Security Service Reception, Dunedin Airport, Airport Road, Momona, Mosgiel 9073

Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 6.00 pm

Reception.DUD@avsec.govt.nz

03 474 9919

For Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Hawkes Bay, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Blenheim, Nelson, and Invercargill airports the card will be available from the office of the airport management company.

What do I need to provide to be issued with an airport identity card?

To uplift your card you will need to show us the original identity document that you uploaded to your application.

If you are a certifier and your employing organisation has been registered with us for 12 months or more:

  • you can pick up multiple cards for distribution to your organisation’s applicant employees. (To uplift these cards you will need to show us an original identity document which contains your photograph and your signature.)
  • you can provide a written authority on your organisation’s letterhead which identifies another person who will pick up multiple cards for distribution to your organisation’s applicant employees. (To uplift these cards this person will need to show us an original identity document which contains their photograph and their signature.)

What is the difference between a red and a yellow card?

Whether a person is issued with a red or yellow airport identity card will depend on how much time and how often they are required to work in security and security enhanced areas. Red indicates frequent access and yellow indicates infrequent access.

Do I have to pick up my airport identity card within any particular time limits?

If you fail to pick up your airport identity card within 90 days of being notified that the card is ready, you will have to submit a new application. 

Conditions of use

What do I have to do if I have been issued with an airport identity card?

If you have been issued with an airport identity card you must do the following while you are in a security or a security enhanced area:

  • wear the card so that it is clearly visible to other people,
  • only remain in the security or a security enhanced area for the purpose of your work,
  • comply with the airport’s safety and security rules,
  • produce your card for inspection if asked to do so by an authorised person.

You must return your card straight away to the Aviation Security Service if:

  • the expiry date on your card has passed or
  • a replacement card is being issued to you or
  • you are no longer employed in a position for which the card is required or
  • you have changed employers or
  • you have changed your legal name or
  • your employer has changed their name or
  • you have been requested to return your card by the Aviation Security Service.

Failure to return your card may incur a penalty of up to $1,000.

You must notify the Aviation Security Service if:

  • your card has been lost, stolen or damaged or
  • you change your name or address or
  • you change your job title or your employer or
  • you are convicted of an offence before your card expires.

What is a security or a security enhanced area?

The diagram below shows security and security enhanced areas.

Are there any penalties for not complying with my obligations?

Fines and infringement fees for the following offences and infringement offences are set out in the Civil Aviation (Offences) Regulations 2006(external link):

  • entering or remaining in a security area or a security enhanced area without an identity card or other authorised documentation,
  • remaining in a security or security enhanced area for non-work related purposes,
  • failing to produce  an identity card or other authorised documentation when requested by an authorised person,
  • failing to return an identity card when no longer entitled to hold the card.

What do I do if I lose or damage my card?

If you lose or damage your airport identity card, you must report this immediately to the Aviation Security Service.

If your card includes access to facilities at an airport, you must report loss of the card immediately to the access administrator at the relevant airport.

If you need a replacement airport identity card you will have to complete a new application and your employer will have to pay another application fee.

If you find your card again after reporting it as lost, you must notify the Aviation Security Service straightaway.

What do I do if I have changed my name?

If you have changed your name (for example by deed poll or by marriage) you should apply for a new airport identity card as soon as possible. You will have to complete a new application and provide proof of your change of name. Your employer will have to pay another application fee.

Can I lend my airport identity card to someone else?

An airport identity card is not transferable, and can only be used by the person named on the card.

Can I use my airport identity card when working airside for a different employer?

No, your card only authorises you to work airside for the employer named on the card.

  • If you no longer work for the employer named on the card, you must return the card to the Aviation Security Service immediately.
  • If you work airside for more than one employer, you will need to hold separate airport identity cards for each employer.

Where can I get a holder for my airport identity card?

Holders for your airport identity card are available from Aviation Security Service offices.

Make sure that you insert your card into the holder in a way that does not obscure any of the information on the card, particularly the expiry date.

 Ask Avsec

If you have any questions about this topic, use our contact form, or email reception@avsec.govt.nz