Steps for flying aircraft to New Zealand

If you fly an aircraft to New Zealand, you need to plan ahead because aircraft can also bring pests and diseases that don't exist in New Zealand. Special procedures help reduce this biosecurity risk. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.
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What you need to know

An overview of arriving in New Zealand by aircraft.

All aircraft are subject to these requirements

This process is for:

  • charter planes
  • courier planes
  • commercial airlines
  • corporate planes
  • private aircraft
  • military aircraft.

No matter how long your aircraft is going to remain in New Zealand, the person in charge must meet the requirements. A person in charge is usually the aircraft or airline operator or the captain.

Refer to other sections of the website if you're:

New aircraft arrival requirements from May 2021

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released an amended Craft Risk Management Standard (CRMS) for Aircraft from All Countries. This sets the requirements that must be met before, or on arrival in New Zealand, including aircraft disinsection. Requirements are compulsory for all arriving aircraft from 27 May 2021.

Download the CRMS for Aircraft from All Countries [PDF, 280 KB]

To arrive in New Zealand by aircraft you must:

  • disinsect your aircraft (See “what you need to do” for further information)
  • apply for entry into New Zealand
  • fly to a designated Place of First Arrival (PoFA)
  • meet the requirements of the latest version Aircraft from All Countries CRMS
  • be aware that your food, rubbish, and waste will be managed in accordance with the CRMS and the services available at your PoFA
  • comply with any additional requirements from other New Zealand government agencies, for example, NZ Customs Service or the CAA.
What you need to do

The tasks you need to complete.

Ensure your aircraft is insect and disease-free

MPI and the Ministry of Health require that aircraft flying to New Zealand are treated for insects and other invertebrates, which may be pests or carriers of disease. Australia and New Zealand have a joint procedure for the disinsection (spraying insecticide for insect and disease control) of aircraft arriving from overseas.

There are 4 ways to disinsect your aircraft:

  • Residual – internal surfaces are regularly sprayed with a residual insecticide (at least every 8 weeks)
  • Pre-embarkation – spraying the cabin before passengers board the aircraft (separate hold treatment necessary)
  • Pre-flight and top of descent – 2-part process spraying lockers, toilets, and galleys before the flight and spraying the rest of the cabin as the aircraft starts its descent (separate hold treatment necessary)
  • On-arrival – cabin and hold sprayed by an MPI biosecurity inspector after the aircraft has landed and before doors open.
    • On-arrival spraying will take place if no other method has been performed or if it has been performed incorrectly. The person in charge of the aircraft is responsible for notifying MPI through the PoFA, so that inspectors are able to meet the aircraft.

Find out more

Schedule of Aircraft Disinsection Procedures for Flights into Australia and NZ – Australian Department of Agriculture

Download a fact sheet for pilots of small jets or private passenger aircraft [PDF, 585 KB]

Apply for entry into New Zealand

The person in charge of the aircraft, usually the captain or airline operator, must notify the following agencies about the planned flight:

  • New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority
  • MPI
  • New Zealand Customs Service

New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

Contact the Civil Aviation Authority

MPI

Notify MPI of your intended arrival via the airport operator at a designed PoFA. When planning your arrival, note the times of day MPI and Customs staff are available. For further information and contact details, see:

Requirements for flying aircraft to New Zealand

New Zealand Customs Service

Notify New Zealand Customs Service of your intention to land in New Zealand. At least 2 hours' prior notice – but preferably 24 hours' notice – is needed. Information about your flight should include the estimated time and place of arrival.

Email your intentions to ITOCOPS@customs.govt.nz

Attach an Inward Report about your aircraft to your email. This form is available on the New Zealand Customs Service website.

New Zealand Customs Service

Fly to a designated Place of First Arrival

International flights must arrive at a designated PoFA suitable to accept the type of cargo or number of passengers you're carrying. Only Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch are approved to accept commercial cargo. Only Auckland and Christchurch can receive pets.

Find out about arriving at an airport approved as a PoFA

If you plan to land at an airport not listed as a PoFA, you need prior approval. Approval will be granted only under exceptional circumstances. For more information about getting approval refer to:

Arriving at non-approved PoFA air and seaports  

Check on the removal of goods and waste

All goods (including baggage) or waste must be removed at an airport approved as a PoFA, unless otherwise directed by an inspector. Waste for disposal must be removed and disposed of via the approved systems provided by the airport.

Check the goods in your aircraft do not pose a risk

If you bring goods that pose a biosecurity risk, including food items, to New Zealand, you must declare them. You may need to book a transitional facility where these goods can be inspected and managed before they are released to you.

Find the process for importing your goods

Read about transitional facilities

If your goods are transported in an air container or wood packaging, these may also have a biosecurity risk and need to be inspected or treated. Follow the steps to import:

Ensure passengers and crew comply with entry requirements

Any passengers or crew need to go through the usual immigration and customs procedures. Items they are carrying that pose a biosecurity risk need to be declared and will be inspected by a biosecurity inspector.

Read more about arriving in New Zealand

How you know you're ready to fly your aircraft to New Zealand

You're ready to fly your aircraft to New Zealand when you:

  • have disinsected your aircraft
  • have notified the CAA, MPI, and NZ Customs Service about your planned flight
  • fly to a designated PoFA that is able to process your aircraft, goods, and passengers.

Who to contact

If you spot a live organism in the plane while flying to New Zealand notify MPI via the CAA or airport operator.

In case of an emergency notify the CAA or the airport.

If you have questions about bringing your aircraft to New Zealand:

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