Action is needed on these pressing safety concerns

Downed Helicopter

The Watchlist draws attention of regulators, operators, the Government and the people involved in transport every day to transport-related concerns of high social, economic or environmental risk; and systemic transport safety risks.

The current Watchlist is summarised below, with each heading clicking through to further detail.

The Watchlist was last updated in August 2019. You can see similar lists from international peer organisations under Related links.


Marine Navigation in pilotage waters

The Commission has inquired into several incidents in pilotage waters that have resulted in groundings or contact with objects. Deficiencies in bridge resource management, an international standard for ensuring safe navigation of a ship, have been a feature of these incidents. Errors in navigation in pilotage waters have the potential to have serious consequences for people, the environment, and commerce. Safe conduct of a ship through pilotage waters depends on high standards of passage planning. Pilots and the bridge team must share an understanding of the navigation plan, and know where the ship is allowed to go.

Aviation Robinson helicopters: mast bumping accidents in NZ

The Commission is concerned about the number of accidents in New Zealand in which Robinson helicopters have experienced ‘mast bumping’. The Commission’s recommendations are seeking concerted actions ... to promote the safe operation of Robinson helicopters in the New Zealand environment; and to better understand the helicopter’s operating characteristics and the factors that can lead to mast bumping. The Commission acknowledges the high degree of attention that all parties are giving to these safety matters...

Rail Level crossing safety for pedestrians and vehicles

Commission investigations have found ambiguities in who is responsible for the safety of pedestrians crossing rail lines, a particular concern in metropolitan areas with growing patronage and growing frequency of trains. Changes to rules and standards for road vehicles such as permissible lengths and clearances are incompatible with the conditions at some level crossings such as sight lines and road camber. The potential remains for serious accidents as a result...

Technologies to track and to locate

Across air, rail, and maritime transport, tracking and locating technologies offer ways to improve people’s chances of avoiding or surviving an accident or incident and ensuring they can be found. We encourage transport regulators to educate operators about the safety advantages of using the advanced tracking and locating devices that are reasonable and affordable, and to regulate for this in some circumstances...

Marine Recreational boat users: knowledge and skills

Strategies to promote safety in recreational boating focus on encouraging self-reliance and skipper responsibility through safety awareness and education. This system is flawed because it relies on users knowing the rules, regulations and bylaws; it does not require them to demonstrate such knowledge before taking a craft on the water...

Regulations for preventing substance impairment

The detrimental effects of drugs and alcohol on cognitive abilities are well documented. In the Commission's investigations, consumption of alcohol or use of other performance impairing substances recurs as a contributing factor or potential impediment to survival. Following first publication of this Watchlist item, legislative change is now underway to require commercial aviation and maritime operators to have drug and alcohol plans and to give regulators testing powers. More can and should be done...