Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
Secretary of Transport
The Commission recommended that the Secretary of Transport review and revise Civil Aviation Rule Part 91 to mandate the wearing of pilot restraint harnesses during critical phases of commercial balloon flights. (001/23)
Reply Text
You have asked how I intend to respond to this recommendation. In accordance with the terminology used by the Commission, I advise that the recommendation is “Under consideration”. This is because as noted in the Ministry’s response of 7 December 2022 to the Commission’s draft recommendation, all the four operators involved in this activity are already implementing the recommendations put forward by the Commission, and that the operators’ safety management systems requires the wearing of pilot restraints. The Ministry believes that adequate steps are already in place to address the Commission’s recommendations. Furthermore, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has agreed to monitor voluntary compliance for a period of time and use that information to form an evidenced view on whether the residual risk alluded to in paragraph 5.11 of the Commission’s draft report continues to exist. If it does, then an amendment to Civil Aviation Rules might be justified.
As you will appreciate, the development of Civil Aviation Rules is undertaken together with the CAA. Given the small size of the commercial balloon operation sector in New Zealand (four operators), the mitigations already in place, and competing priorities, the recommended revision is unlikely to be prioritised in the near-medium term, unless the risk outlook for the commercial balloon operation sector changes significantly to the detriment of safety.
Related Investigation(s)