Did Phil Twyford break another aviation rule?

Newshub can reveal Phil Twyford may have broken another serious aviation rule.

His ministerial responsibilty for civil aviation was taken off him on Thursday after he admitted using a cellphone on a flight.

But now he's being accused of breaking another law by standing up out of his seat as the plane was moving to the runway.

National's Judith Collins has made the claim saying the rule was broken on the same flight from Wellington to Auckland on Budget Day - May 17. 

"Not only did Phil make a call when the plane was taxiing but he also got up afterwards out of his seat," Ms Collins told Newshub. 

Just a week after the flight the Transport Minister appears to have a case of brain fade - he can't remember. 

"I have no recollection of that, no recollection at all."

"I'm not saying that I didn't I just honestly can't remember I have no recollection that I did stand up. It seems to me unlikely," he said. 

Ms Collins said the information had come from the same source who informed her of the original breach of the rules. 

"The information has clearly been completely correct to date, so...," she said. 

Mr Twyford also doesn't recall exactly what was happening when he made the phone call on the plane.  

"I know the door had closed but I don't know whether the safety video was on or not," he says.

The law says portable electronic devices are not to be operated on board in breach of rules - the maximum fine for that is $2500. It also says failing to comply with seating and seat belt instructions - whether that comes from crew or signs - is an offence. The maximum fine for that is also $2500. 

Mr Twyford yesterday wrote to the director of civil aviation, apologising for making the phone call saying, "I understand that you will take whatever action you deem appropriate."

The Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed to Newshub it has launched an investigation into Mr Twyford's actions.

The Prime Minister is yet to decide if or when Mr Twyford may have his Civil Aviation responsibilities reinstated - she'll make the call after the investigation's completed.


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