The Government has asked for a report on how an Air New Zealand pilot managed to hide three convictions for drink-driving and remain flying.

TV3 reported tonight that pilot Warwick West had three convictions for drunk driving in 1998, 2001 and 2007 and one further charge against him dropped in 2004.

During that time he continued to fly and did not tell Air NZ or the Civil Aviation Authority of his offending and it was only when police tipped off both organisations after the 2007 conviction that they became aware.

TV3 said Mr West was grounded for 10 months but was back in the air by the time he was prosecuted in 2008 for failing to declare his convictions to the authority, which is responsible for air safety.

The judge said the matter was of concern as the pilot, who pleaded guilty, was flying large passenger airlines.

The authority said it did not run ongoing police checks on pilots who were dealing with alcohol problems, but a spokesman said the number would be very small.

Associate Transport Minister Nathan Guy said he had asked for a wide ranging review of the systems for pilots to see if there was a need for alerts.

TV3 said it believed Mr West was still flying, but when approached he said "not today".

There have been recent reports of a police officer saying Air NZ was turning a blind eye to a drinking culture among its staff, an accusation that was vigorously denied by the airline.

- NZPA