Airways New Zealand renews contract with Rocket Lab to support rocket launches through controlled airspace

Airways New Zealand has 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. The air navigation service provider has supported Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket launches since 2017 when the aerospace organisation launched its first rocket into space. Since then, 21 Electron rockets have been launched, deploying more than 100 satellites into orbit.

Organisations such as NASA and Google have chosen New Zealand for their balloon launches due to its relatively uncongested airspace, Airways’ experience and systems and procedures, and a national appetite to support emerging technologies, says the company press release.

“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,” says Airways’ General Manager of Air Navigation Services, Katie Wilkinson.“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.”

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