Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
Date 13 July 2011

MEDIA RELEASE

For further information contact Manager Communications:
Bill Sommer
Tel: +64 4 560 9411 or +64 27 546 8216

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Random sampling of Pilots' Conviction Records

In a judgement issued today, the High Court in Wellington has ruled that the random sampling of pilots’ criminal record information, undertaken by the Civil Aviation Authority in accordance with a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Justice, is unlawful.  The judgement has the effect of preventing the CAA from using a particular section of the Civil Aviation Act for that purpose.

The Director will review the judgement and consider options that are available to him.

The Judge made it clear in his judgement that his finding does not necessarily mean that the Authority and its Director are prohibited from obtaining access to pilots’ criminal record information.

The Director remains of the view that access to conviction record information is an essential element of his safety monitoring function.  The Director is determined to act in a lawful and appropriate manner when carrying out his safety regulatory functions.

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