Airways - Making your world possible

Air traffic management

Safe and efficient air travel.

First and foremost, we provide air traffic control and infrastructure to keep New Zealand’s skies safe. It’s our job to get all aircraft and passengers in our airspace to their destination, safely and efficiently.


air traffic control explained

The airspace we control

Airways controls all domestic and international air traffic travelling within New Zealand’s Flight Information Region (FIR), which totals 30 million square kilometres – one of the largest areas of airspace in the world.

  • The NZ domestic FIR covers the entire country and surrounding coastline with both 'controlled' and 'uncontrolled' airspace.

  • The Auckland Oceanic FIR covers 26 million square kilometres of the Pacific and Tasman Oceans, extending from the South Pole to 5 degrees south of the equator. We are responsible for aircraft flying between 24,500 feet and 46,000 feet in this sector.

  • Within the FIRs, there are also areas of uncontrolled airspace, where (light) aircraft are not separated by a controller but receive information and advice to ensure they can conduct their flights safely.

AboutUs WhatdoesAirwaysdo FIR graphic

Our customers

We have four key customer groups who we provide air traffic management services to in New Zealand. They are airlines and commercial aircraft operators, airports, General Aviation communities, and the New Zealand Defence Force.

Find out more

Where we work from

Our air traffic controllers work from our radar centre in Christchurch, our Oceanic Control centre in Auckland, and in 17 control towers throughout the country.

En-route services

Controllers working in en-route airspace sectors are responsible for separating aircraft in controlled airspace and ensuring a safe and efficient flow of traffic between airports in the New Zealand domestic and Oceanic regions.

Approach services

Approach controllers manage traffic approaching and departing an aerodrome

Aerodrome services

Aerodrome controllers enable the safe, efficient operation of aircraft within the vicinity of the aerodrome.

Flight information services

Flight information is provided by Flight Information Service officers to aircraft operating throughout New Zealand and New Zealand’s Oceanic airspace. The service includes the ability to submit flight plans and gather weather information through Airways’ Internet Flight Information Service (IFIS). 

Building a picture of our airspace

Airways’ surveillance systems utilise radar, multilateration and ADS-B equipment to provide a three-dimensional picture of air traffic.

How do we seaparate

Technology and innovation

The systems developed by Airways and our partners maximise the efficient use of airspace and help to reduce delays.

We invest in new technology that enhances safety, saves millions of dollars for our customers, and delivers real economic and environmental benefits for our customers and the travelling public.

Find out more about Airways' Collaborative Flow Manager

Find out more about Performance Based Navigation