Te whakamārama i te ātea-ā-rangi | Defining aerospace

Aerospace in Aotearoa New Zealand covers a wide range of space and advanced aviation activities, from transport, advanced manufacturing, design and engineering services through to technical consulting and professional services.

Aircraft and spacecraft in Aotearoa New Zealand are regulated under the Civil Aviation Act and the Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act respectively.

The aerospace sector is actively engaged in:

  • research and development
  • manufacturing and testing of aircraft, space launch vehicles and spacecraft
  • products and systems that contribute to or rely on aerospace technologies, including sustainable propulsion technologies and alternative fuels.

Aerospace also includes technologies that harness aerospace data, including ground stations or aerospace-enabled services such as technical analysis and data storage.

This Strategy covers aircraft and spacecraft that operate at different altitudes, from drones that operate at low levels to rockets that reach Earth’s orbit and beyond. It includes satellites and the design and manufacture of satellite subsystems.

While the Strategy is not focused on traditional aviation, emerging aviation technologies will support the traditional aviation system to continue to operate safely and securely and to adopt new technologies.

The scope of the Strategy includes defence applications for aerospace technologies such as Maritime Domain Awareness and acknowledges that the dual use nature of these technologies could give rise to potential national security risks that need to be addressed.

Combining the related space and advanced aviation sectors helps to bring together smaller industries in our economy to strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s position in aerospace internationally. It also creates opportunities to strengthen enablers such as manufacturing capabilities and supply chains for the benefit of both the aviation and space sectors. Both emerging and well-established innovators will benefit from a collective focus on critical infrastructure and investment.

Diagram of the different altitudes of aircraft