Come Fly with me

Case study

MSL support keeps NZ’s aviation sector in clear air.


The Challenge

Reliability is at the core of the aviation industry. Long before an aircraft reaches its departure gate, it has undergone thousands of hours of inspection, testing, and maintenance. Measurements play a key role in providing that reliability – everything from the smallest bolt to the widest wingspan must pass through the hands of calibration engineers.

At the manufacturing phase too, accurate measurement is a priority. Furnaces used to heat-treat components need to be calibrated to ensure their uniformity, and jet engines need to be carefully balanced before they can pass critical vibration tests. But, as in any safety-critical industry, regulations for aircraft are constantly evolving, and that’s a challenge for everyone involved. With developments in engine and materials design continuing at pace, how can businesses stay aligned with the regulator?

The MSL Solution

MSL has worked closely with Air New Zealand for more than two decades. What started off as a calibration service agreement quickly morphed into a relationship based on shared knowledge.

Our pressure and temperature calibration training courses are on the curriculum for all new Air New Zealand calibration engineers, and we have also trained specialist engineers in humidity and infrared thermometry. Elsewhere in the aviation industry, we have calibrated transfer artefacts that are widely used, including microscope slides for precision length measurement, and a tool for determining the roundness of specific engine components.

Companies that wish to develop new measurement capabilities, or extend existing ones, can access our technical expertise as a service. And finally, MSL scientists act as technical assessors for IANZ (International Accreditation New Zealand) which, in turn, accredits Air New Zealand’s calibration laboratories.

The Impact

MSL support allows companies like Air New Zealand to respond quickly to changes in regulations, and to changes made in-house as part of a wider business improvement effort. Our training courses are an important aspect of this. Geoff Clark, from Air New Zealand Calibration Services, said, “Regularly importing fresh learning allows us to revisit and improve our processes, and gives the engineers an opportunity to share information with and learn from MSL.”

But beyond that, we can offer a vital safety blanket to all companies working in aviation. By having confidence in your measurements, trust in your calibration engineers, and a direct link to the best metrologists in NZ, you can ensure that your aircraft keep flying.


“We’re in the fortunate position of having a close and positive relationship with our national lab. The knowledge and expertise of MSL scientists allows us to respond quickly to regulation changes, and gives us the confidence to know that our measurements and calibrations – and the components they refer to – can be trusted.”

Geoff Clark – Air New Zealand Production Leader, Calibration Services