Member log in

Satellite navigation plan 'will save $2 billion' for aviation industry

The government says a change in navigation technology will deliver an economic benefit of almost $2 billion to the commercial aviation industry over the next two decades.

A switch from ground-based navigation to more extensive use of satellites will help create better flight plans, shorter travel times, less carbon emissions and improved safety.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan have the potential to bring about significant improvements in efficiency, safety and environmental outcomes as well allow increased air traffic volumes.

“As the new technologies are implemented, passengers will benefit from shorter, more direct flight paths and fewer delays," he says. And it won't be it’s not just the passengers who will gain from the new plan.

“Pilots and aircraft operators will also benefit." he says, though it will mean some operators may need to invest in new equipment.

Air New Zealand’s chief flight operations and safety officer, Capt David Morgan, says the plan is great news.

“It will not only allow for more efficient operation of aircraft in New Zealand airspace, but ensure the country keeps pace with modern airspace management methods offshore,” he says in a statement.

The Civil Aviation Authority says it has consulted widely with all sectors of the aviation community and adds the plan will not impose extra direct costs on the taxpayer.

Implementation will take place over the next 10 years in three stages, starting in 2014/15, then 2018 and ending in 2023.

The plan's development is part of a global movement led by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.  Similar plans are also being introduced in Australia, the US and Europe.

Jason Walls is an AUT journalism student

More by Jason Walls