Wellington Tower Procedures

Section 1: Clearance Delivery

1.1 - Responsibilities

Wellington Delivery is responsible for issuing all IFR Route Clearances and VFR Departure instructions on the ground at Wellington Airport (NZWN)

1.2 - Frequency and Callsign Information

Primary Frequency128.200 MHz
RTF DesignatorWellington Delivery
Telephone DesignatorWellington Delivery


1.3 - IFR Clearances

1.3.1 - Domestic Clearances

Domestic Clearances shall be issued in accordance with the Delivery Tutorial Section 2: IFR Clearances.

 Runway 16Runway 34








For radar departures use the phraseology: "...Wellington Three Alpha Departure..."

1.3.2 - International Clearances

International Clearances shall be issued in accordance with the Delivery Tutorial Section 2: IFR Clearances.

International Flights which file routes that have an Oceanic Boundary fix of GULUT, TANEN or GOPLU shall have their requested cruise level omitted from the Route Clearance.

1.3.3 - Flight Plan Annotation

The flight plan shall be annotated to display the SID being used by the flight.

1.4 - VFR Departure Clearances

VFR aircraft shall be, in the first instance, assigned a published departure procedure appropriate for their direction of flight.  If the pilot is unfamiliar with a published procedure, a plain langugage clearance may be issued to the pilot.  The VFR flight strip should be amended to display the departure procedure/plain language clearance that was issued.

1.5 - Transfer of Communications

Once a correct readback has been obtained, Delivery shall advise the aircraft to monitor Wellington Ground.

 Section 2: Ground Control

 2.1 - Responsibilities

Wellington Ground is responsible for issuing taxi instructions and providing separation to all aircraft on the taxiways at Wellington Airport (NZWN).

2.2 - Frequency and Callsign Information

Primary Frequency121.900 MHz
RTF DesignatorWellington Ground
Telephone DesignatorWellington Ground

2.3 - Pushback and Start Up advice

Wellington Ground shall issue pushback and/or start up advice to all aircraft - this includes the International Apron.  Ground shall use positive control to ensure that no other aircraft will pass directly behind an aircraft that is pushing back.

2.4 - Taxi Phraseologies

Should there be a need to taxi an aircraft to an intermediate taxiway which is not a runway holding point, use the phraseology: "(callsign) taxi for (runway) via Zulu, Hold Short of Alpha"

2.5 - Transfer of Communications

Once ground has issued all necessary instructions to the pilot, they shall advise the pilot to monitor Wellington Tower.

Section 3: Aerodrome Control

3.1 - Responsibilities

Wellington Tower is responsible for all IFR and VFR aircraft operating within the WN CTR/C, from SFC-2500ft as well as all runway at Wellington airport (NZWN).

Tower is responsible for selecting the most suitable runway-in-use.

In most cases, the runway-in-use will be the runway which is most into wind. This is because aircraft prefer to take off & land into wind.

However, in some cases, due to runway length, available approach and landing aids, position of the sun or the types of aircraft that use the runway, the most into wind runway may not be most suitable runway. It is up to the tower to balance these factors when selecting the runway-in-use.

To avoid head on collisions & to maintain seperation between arriving & departing aircraft, only one end of a runway can be-in-use.

The runway-in-use shall be included in the ATIS report.

3.2 - Frequency and Callsign Information


Primary Frequency118.800 MHz
RTF DesignatorWellington Tower
Telephone DesignatorWellington Tower

3.3 - IFR Arrivals

Arrivals on an instrument approach shall be given their sequence on first contact.  Arrival on a visual approach shall be given joining instructions and sequence on first contact.

3.4 - IFR Departures

Tower may clear aircraft for take off without reference to a TMA or CTR controller. This is called "Auto Release".

The following best practice, should be taken into consideration when releasing aircraft for take off:

1. A landing aircraft will not be forced to go around.

2. Wake turbulence separations.

  • Normally two minutes.
  • Exception of three minutes when following aircraft is departing from an intersection.

Please refer to the Moodle ADC Course, Section 7.3 for complete details.

3. Thirty degree successive IFR departures.

Two departing IFR aircraft are considered separated if the following conditions are met:

  • The initial departure tracks of both aircraft diverge by 30 degrees or more; and
  • The preceding aircraft has been observed to clear and be moving away from the departure track of the  following aircraft; and
  • The preceding aircraft has reached a point where it is safe distance ahead of the following aircraft.

Please refer to the Moodle ADC Course Section 7.4 for complete details.

4. Straight out departure.

  • The previous departure is at least 5nm straight ahead of the runway & 2000 feet AGL, assuming aircraft with similar performance. i.e. jet following jet or turbprop following turboprop

 Auto Release may be cancelled by the TMA or CTR controller during periods of high workload. The termination and reinstatement of auto release will be negotiated between the relevant controllers.

Tower shall annotate the flight plan to display the SID being used by the aircraft.

3.5 - VFR Flights

VFR aircraft in the Sinclair Sector are separated from those aircraft in the Karori/Northwest Sectors (as depicted in the Wellington VFR Arrivals/Departures page in the AIP) and vice versa.  Aircraft in the Karori and Northwest Sectors are not separated from each other.

VFR Aircraft in the Pencarrow and Hutt sectors are separated from eachother.  Aircraft in the Eastbourne Sector are not separated from aircraft in the Pencarrow or Hutt Sectors.

All aircraft in Geographical Sectors are separated from the instrument final approach (Instrument Sector).

VFR flights shall be assigned a published VFR arrival procedure.  If traffic permits, direct joining instructions may be issued instead.

3.6 - Transfer of Communications

Arriving Aircraft - Once the aircraft has vacated the runway.

Departing Aircraft - Once airbourne.

Section 4: Adjacent Sector Procedures (Wellington Terminal)

4.1 - Area of Responsibility

Wellington Terminal is responsible for all aircraft within the Wellington CTA/C.

4.2 - IFR Departures

Auto release (Refer 3.4) applies.

Wellington Tower shall annotate the flight plan to display the SID being used by the aircraft.

Unless otherwise coordinated, Terminal shall only turn aircraft in the closest direction to their track.

4.3 - IFR Arrivals

Wellington terminal shall restrict aircraft on a visual approach to 3000ft (Runway 16) and 2000ft (Runway 34) unless otherwise coordinated.  Terminal shall not offer joining instructions, but are required to instruct arriving aircraft on the visual approach to track via RIDGE (Runway 16) or LYALL (Runway 34).

No descent restrictions apply to aircraft on a RNAV Visual Arrival.

Aircraft on an instrument approach may descend below 3000ft/2000ft in accordance with the published profile.

4.4 - Transfer of Control

All Departures - 3000ft, unless otherwise coordinated.

All Arrivals - Within 10 WN DME.

4.5 - Transfer of Communications

All Departures - Airborne, unless otherwise coordinated.

Arrivals (on an instrument approach) - At WITBY or UMAGA, established on a straight in approach.

Arrivals (on a visual approach) - 15 WN DME.