Aerial work certificate (Part 138)

If you conduct or propose to conduct an aerial work operation in Australia, you must hold an aerial work certificate. We grant these certificates under Part 138 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) – Aerial work operations.

Aerial work certificates explained

An aerial work certificate is an authorisation to conduct:

  • external load operations
  • dispensing operations
  • task specialist operations.

Any legal entity may apply for an aerial work certificate, including:

  • an individual
  • an incorporated company or association
  • a body corporate or politic created by statute.

We generally issue aerial work certificates for a 5-year term. To operate after that term, you must apply for, and receive, a new certificate before the existing certificate expires.

Applying for or varying an aerial work certificate

Use the application form for any of the following:

  • Initial issue of an aerial work certificate.
  • Conduct an aerial work operation using a foreign registered aircraft – unless Part 129 applies for foreign air transport operations.
  • Significant change to your existing aerial work operations (you can include non-significant changes at the same time).
  • Removal of aircraft, activities or key personnel.
  • Renewal of an existing aerial work certificate.
  • Addition or removal of associated approvals under Parts 91 or 138.

To do any of the above, you must submit form:

For definitions of ‘significant change’, please refer to paragraph 138.012 of the CASR.

You must complete questions 1 to 7 and questions 38 to 48. You only need to complete the remaining parts of the form if you are applying for the type of operations, approvals or authorisations specified.

Submitting non-significant changes

If you are only notifying us of non-significant changes, use the following form instead:

Complete and submit your application form and supporting documents.

Supporting documents

In addition to the application form, you must provide supporting documents.

Initial issue: When applying for the first time you must include a complete operations manual covering all requirements of the regulations for your proposed operations.

Significant changes: You must resubmit the relevant parts of your operations manual identifying the changes you wish to make, along with supporting information. You may choose to give us your complete operations manual document with the changes.

Non-significant changes: You must give us your updated operations manual identifying the changes you have made.

Renewals without change: You only need to submit the signed application form.

The operations manual included with your application must contain a process for identifying and making changes. Refer to paragraph 138.155 (1) (m) of the CASR.

We have created templates that you can adapt so your operations manual meets the updated flight operations rules. Learn more about the sample operations manual templates for flight operators.

To assist you when compiling your exposition, refer to Advisory Circular:

Associated approvals – form questions 32 and 33

You can apply for or remove approvals under paragraphs 91.045 and 138.025 of the CASR using the aerial work operations application form.

How to apply

If you are only notifying us of non-significant changes refer to the submitting non-significant changes section above.

  1. Complete and submit your aerial work operations application form

    Complete and submit a signed aerial work application form to advise us of your intended operations:

    Instructions on how to submit are within the form.

    We will acknowledge receipt of your application by email.

    We will review the application to ensure you have answered the relevant questions and provided all required documents. If your application is incomplete, we will notify you.

  2. Pay the fee and submit supporting documents

    We will send you an estimate of the costs to assess your application. This is valid for 30 days from the date of estimate.

    The estimate letter will also contain any additional documents you must provide to support your application.

    If you wish to proceed with your application, you must:

    • pay the application fee
    • submit any supporting documents.
  3. Assessing your application

    We won't start formally assessing your application until we have received payment and all supporting documents.

    If we don't receive your payment and supporting documents within 30 days, we may close your request. We will notify you if this happens.

  4. Issue of your certificate

    When we have finished assessing your application, we will finalise your request and email the certificate to you.

Exemption Instruments

We have issued an exemption instrument with some minor changes and corrections to Part 138. Please review the exemption along with the regulations.

Further assistance

Contact us for assistance on your application or questions about your aerial work certificate.

Last updated:
14 Jul 2022
Online version available at:
Back to top of page