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Safe air space deal renewed with Rocket Lab

As Rocket Lab's Electron rockets take off into space, New Zealand's air traffic controllers are ensuring a safe passage through controlled airspace above Mahia Peninsula.

Airways New Zealand, the country's air navigation service provider, has supported Rocket Lab's Electron rocket launches since 2017 and has now signed a second five-year contract with Rocket Lab to provide air traffic services, including management of a “special use airspace” around each Electron rocket as it launches.

“Airways continues to provide support in the preparation and execution of each Rocket Lab launch. We work closely with the launch team to ensure that every rocket has a safe flight path through New Zealand's airspace,” Airways air navigation services general manager Katie Wilkinson said.

“Allowing safe and flexible access to the airspace is critical to supporting this growing industry in New Zealand, and we have a team of experienced air traffic controllers, flight service officers and air traffic services experts working behind the scenes to enable this.”

Rocket Lab launch safety and regulatory affairs manager Izaak Connaughton said the company was pleased to be working closely with Airways to ensure launch operations are safe and well coordinated with all aviation activity.

“Airways has played an important role in ensuring the safety of New Zealand's growing aerospace industry.”