Civil Aviation Ensign

Civil Aviation Ensign

In 1937, the New Zealand Air Department was established and the regulation of aviation, both civil and military, was undertaken outside the Defence Department for the first time.

Against this, and a background of rapid development in civil aviation, the Governor General of New Zealand wrote to King George IV in 1938, requesting, on behalf of Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage, to have a New Zealand Civil Air Ensign approved.  The intention of the Ensign was for it to flown by British civil aircraft registered in the Dominion of New Zealand. On 16 November 1938 the British Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs replied that His Majesty had been most pleased to approve the proposal.

It remained only for the government to promulgate the Royal wish and this was done by Gazette on 17 April 1939. Rules for flying the Ensign were first set in Regulation 9 of the 1953 Civil Aviation Regulations. These same rules are continued as stipulated in the Civil Aviation Act 1990, Section 30(e) and set out in the  Civil Aviation Rules, rule 19.5 (PDF).

The New Zealand Civil Air Ensign may be flown:

  • by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand on its buildings and aircraft; or
  • on any New Zealand registered aircraft; or
  • at any aerodrome; or
  • by an airline owning a New Zealand registered aircraft upon or in proximity to any building occupied by the airline as its principal office or place of business; or
  • by any person to whom permission in writing is granted for the purpose by the Director at such places and subject to such conditions as may be specified.

Except as provided in the rule, no person shall fly the New Zealand Civil Air Ensign on any aircraft or on any ship, or boat, or on any building, or elsewhere in New Zealand.

The details are in Part 19, Appendix A.