Consumer issues

Did your baggage go missing? Are you dealing with delayed flights, ticket issues, or seeking a refund from your airline?

The CAA exists to support safe and secure flying in New Zealand. We have no regulatory involvement with consumer matters or commercial disputes, unless they impact safety or security.

For more help with consumer issues, please visit

What can you carry onboard?

If you have a question about what you can and can't carry onboard your flight, consult your airline in the first instance.

If you're travelling internationally, there are restrictions on what powders, liquids, aerosols, and gels you can take onboard the aircraft. For more information, see Powders, liquids, aerosols, and gels on the Avsec website.

Screening for potential weapons

A number of measures have been introduced to protect air travellers from threats of terrorism and other criminal activities.

One of these measures is to prohibit passengers from taking certain items on their person, or in their carry-on luggage, into the cabin of an aircraft. Some (but not all) of these items can be put into passengers' checked luggage. Certain other items are classed as Dangerous Goods and must not be transported on aircraft at all.

You should check with your airline before travelling if you have any questions about Prohibited Items or Dangerous Goods. This is particularly important with regard to items such as firearms (Prohibited Items) and ammunition (Dangerous Goods).

It is an offence to take Potential Weapons on board an aircraft, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, regardless of the size of the aircraft (screening takes place for aircraft of over 90 seats in New Zealand).

Prohibited items

Below is a list of Prohibited Items that must not be carried into the aircraft cabin, but that may be carried in checked baggage. This list is not exhaustive – for more information see Direction to Search for Prohibited Items (PDF 1.9 MB), but even this list cannot cover every situation – check with your airline, and do this in advance if possible.

Guns, firearms and other devices that discharge projectiles designed to cause serious injury by discharging a projectile, or capable of being mistaken for such devices, including;

  • firearms of all types, including pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns
  • toy guns, replicas and imitation firearms capable of being mistaken for real weapons
  • component parts of firearms (excluding telescopic sights)
  • compressed air and CO2 guns, including pistols, pellet guns, rifles and ball bearing guns
  • signal flare pistols and start pistols
  • bows, crossbows and arrows
  • harpoon guns and spear gun
  • slingshots and catapults.

Stunning devices designed specifically to stun or immobilize, including;

  • devices for shocking, such a stun guns, (eg, tasers) and stun batons
  • animal stunners and animal killers
  • disabling and incapacitating chemicals, gases and sprays, such as mace pepper or capsicum spray, tear gas, acid sprays and animal repellent sprays.

Objects with sharp points or sharp edges capable of being used to cause serious injury, including;

  • items designed for chopping, such as axes, hatchets and cleavers
  • ice axes and ice picks
  • razor blades, box cutters
  • knives with blades of more than 6 cm
  • scissors with blades of more than 6 cm as measured from the fulcrum
  • martial arts equipment with sharp points or sharp edges
  • swords and sabres.

Workers’ tools capable of being used to cause serious injury or to threaten the safety of aircraft, including;

  • crowbars
  • drills, drill bits in excess of 6 cm, and cordless portable power drills
  • tools with blades or shafts more than 6 cm capable of being used as weapons such as screwdrivers, chisels
  • saws including cordless power saws
  • blow torches
  • bolt guns and nail guns.

Blunt instruments capable of being used to cause serious injury when used to hit, including;

  • baseball, softball and cricket bats
  • didgeridoos
  • clubs and batons, including billy clubs, blackjacks and nightsticks
  • martial arts equipment.

Explosives and incendiary substances and devices capable of being used to cause serious injury or threatening the safety of aircraft, including;

  • ammunition
  • blasting caps
  • detonators and fuses
  • replica or imitation explosive devices
  • mines, grenades and other explosive military stores
  • pyrotechnics, including fireworks
  • smoke generating canisters or cartridges
  • dynamite, gunpowder and plastic explosives.

Security legal notices

Notice of Direction (PDF 1.9 MB) - this notice, issued under Section 77B of the Civil Aviation Act 1990, concerns the screening of crew, passengers, and carry-on baggage. It lists prohibited items.

Notice of Direction - this notice, issued under Section 77B of the Civil Aviation Act 1990, concerns the screening of persons, items, substances or vehicles before they enter, or within, a security enhanced area.

Cover of CAA brochure, Promoting Aviation Safety and Security Promoting Aviation Safety and Security - this brochure briefly explains the role of the Civil Aviation Authority (PDF 235 KB)

Helpful links for passengers

Aircraft Trails - Some factual information about aircraft trails or contrails
Cabin Safety - A range of information about cabin safety for passengers, including the use of seatbelts, smoking, unacceptable behaviour, and portable electronic devices
Child Restraints - Useful information for parents and caregivers to keep their children safe while flying
Dangerous Goods - Explains about Dangerous Goods and lists items that may, and may not, be transported by aircraft
New Zealand Customs Service - Travel to and from NZ
New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade - Travel advice for New Zealanders
Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs)
Safety Around Helicopters DVD - Safety advice for anyone who may operate around helicopters
US Federal Aviation Administration - Travel advice

Contact information

Aviation Safety ConcernsUse this if you have safety concerns about aviation in New Zealand
Contact Us