Safety and security

Safety is and always will be the primary objective for Wellington International Airport Limited. The airport has a comprehensive safety management system which is audited by the Civil Aviation Authority on an annual basis.

Dedicated safety teams

Around half of Wellington International Airport Limited’s total employees work in dedicated safety roles. These include the Policy & Procedures, Health & Safety, Airport Operations (both in the terminal and airside), and the Airport Fire Service team.

Daily focus on safety

Our teams maintain a daily focus on safety in all activities at the airport. All incidents and accidents are reported and followed up in accordance with OSH guidelines with the objective of isolating, minimising or eliminating hazards or potentially dangerous practices.
All contractors must complete an Airport Safety Induction course before starting work at the airport.

Airside driver training

We run a comprehensive airside driver training programme to ensure that all staff driving on the airfield do so safely.

Bird controls

Under Civil Aviation rules, the airport must actively work to minimise the threat and incidence of bird strike. A comprehensive Bird Control Programme has been in place since 1996 when the Airport, the Wellington City Council and the Department of Conservation joined forces to address this safety issue.

Maintaining our infrastructure

Wellington Airport’s runway, taxiways, and sea protection walls require constant attention to ensure that they are maintained in a safe operating condition. Our runway is grooved to provide improved braking performance for aircraft in wet weather. The runway was recently resurfaced in 2008, a project that took five months to complete.

Runway End Safety Areas (RESA)

Runway End Safety Areas are a required safety enhancement of all NZ airports under Civil Aviation law. In 2007 and 2008 Wellington Airport completed the construction of 90m long RESAs at the Southern and Northern ends of the runway.

Airport Fire Service

The Airport Fire Service (AFS) is owned and operated by the airport company (rather than the New Zealand Fire Service) and provides 24-hour on-airport emergency response.

The service has 24 staff who are all trained to national fire fighting standards, which meet Civil Aviation Authority requirements. It is an industrial fire brigade so it operates under the Fire Service Act 1975. It was also the first emergency service in New Zealand to obtain ISO 9001 certification.

The Airport Fire Station is located in the centre of the airport, meaning crew can reach either end of the runway within 3 minutes. The AFS has both land and marine emergency response capabilities, having 3 major foam vehicles, two utility vehicles, a medical response trailer, a command vehicle, an 8.8-M rescue catamaran and a 6-M pontoon craft.

Fire-fighter skills

The Airport Fire Service works under NZQA Fire and Rescue Unit standards in the same way as all fire fighters. Firemen are trained in delivering pre-hospital emergency care, use of defibrillator equipment and resuscitation, and attend medical emergencies within the airport area.

Emergency exercises

The Airport Fire Service conducts annual emergency exercises to test the readiness of all the agencies that would be involved in a real emergency, should one occur at the airport.

Airside safety

Wellington Airport team members manages the daily operation of the airfield, with safety being the primary focus. We ensure that all aircraft operators, ground support services and agencies operate in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand.

  • Daily inspections of the aircraft movement areas including three runway inspections.
  • Development of aircraft manoeuvring procedures, known as stand operating protocols.
  • Maintenance of airside facilities to ensure that the runway and taxiways are safe for use.
  • Management of wildlife that can pose a threat to aircraft safety i.e. birds.
  • The licensing of all drivers using the airfield and the policing of driving standards.
  • A critical liaison role between the airport and response agencies during emergencies.
  • Supervision of airfield engineering work sites to ensure minimum disruptions to airline operations and safe working conditions for contractors.

Back to Safety and environment