Aeronautical Telecommunications

Aeronautical Telecommunications is the generic term used to cover the ground-based elements of aeronautical communications, navigation and surveillance systems. (The airborne elements are referred to generically as avionics.)

Within New Zealand, the provision of aeronautical telecommunications services is the subject of Civil Aviation Rules Part 171; the Aeronautical Services Unit of the CAA is responsible for administering Part 171 on behalf of the Director of Civil Aviation.

Radio communication and navigation facilities in New Zealand are listed in the Aeronautical Information Publication New Zealand. Aeronautical surveillance facilities include:

  • Primary radars at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
  • Six secondary surveillance radars covering most of the controlled airspace within New Zealand.
  • Multilateration systems for surface movement surveillance at Auckland International Airport and for wide area surveillance in the Queenstown area.

Part 171 also covers radar data and flight data processing systems and the datalink systems used for communication and surveillance in oceanic airspace.

The Aeronautical Services Unit also provides advice on all aeronautical telecommunications matters and manages the CAA’s responsibilities with regard to radio spectrum management. 

The Aviation Spectrum Group provides an industry forum on radio spectrum matters, particularly to provide an aviation input to the New Zealand position for World Radio Conference agenda items.