NZ company’s aviation law course set to take off

by Kathryn Crossley03 Dec 2014
Air New Zealand is considering establishing an internal course to bring its staff up to speed with the complexities of aviation law.
In a recent interview with NZ Lawyer, Air New Zealand general counsel John Blair said the airline was looking to establish a course within its training school to assist a range of employees, from members of the strategy team, to analysts and airport staff.
“It’s an area of law that’s quite different from most other areas of law. It’s a combination of contract, regulation, competition, international treaties and conflict of laws; all sorts of things roll up into aviation law, so it’s quite unique,” he says.
Blair believes that some knowledge of aviation law will help provide greater context to activities like the processing of international versus domestic passengers, and border screening.
“A basic understanding of the aviation law environment I think adds to people’s understanding of why they are doing what they’re doing.”
The Air New Zealand course follows on from the success of the aviation law course run at the University of Auckland this year. The University had hoped for 30–40 enrolments for the first intake, and ended up with 80 registrations.
“If you look at the aviation world commercially, you’ll see that the growth in aviation is in the Asia-Pacific region,” Blair says. “If you’ve got the Asia-Pacific region driving growth, that’s going to be where the need for aviation lawyers is going to grow.”
However, he also explained that setting up the course is not about addressing a shortage of aviation lawyers in New Zealand.
“If you look at the number of jobs in aviation or related to aviation, there are thousands of them, and a baseline course in aviation law I think is helpful to so many roles in the industry.”