Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
09 July 2010

MEDIA RELEASE

For further information contact Media Spokesperson
Emma Peel
Tel: 0-27-546 8216

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CAA Stops Balloon Operation

The Civil Aviation Authority has prohibited the tourism company Balloon Adventures Up, Up and Away Ltd from operating in New Zealand, effective immediately.

This follows serious safety concerns discovered by CAA safety audit and spot check. The CAA found the company had breached several minimum safety standards and carried out unauthorised maintenance.

Director of Civil Aviation Steve Douglas said Balloon Adventures Up, Up and Away Ltd should not be carrying fare-paying passengers.

“I consider that the operation presents a threat to people’s safety, and have taken action to stop it.”
The Notice of Prohibition served yesterday under Section 21 of the Civil Aviation Act indefinitely stops the company from flying any of its seven hot air balloons. The CAA will be considering any future options with the company over the coming days.

Section 21 of the Civil Aviation Act has not been used before to prohibit an aviation company from operating. More typically the CAA would suspend or revoke an operation’s Air Operator Certificate. However, ballooning operations are not currently required to hold Air Operator Certificates. A new rule has been drafted to address this, and will be published for comment later this year. Part 115 Adventure Aviation – Certification will require Air Operator Certification for all adventure tourism activities, including hot air balloons, microlights, warbirds, and tandem hang gliders and paragliders.

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