Aerial work certificate (Part 138)

If you conduct or propose to conduct an aerial work operation in Australia, you will need to 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:

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

Aerial work certificates are generally issued for a 5-year term. To operate after that term, the certificate holder must apply for, and be issued with, a new certificate before the existing certificate expires.

Applying for an aerial work certificate

There is one application form for aerial work activities:

The form should be used to apply for any of the following:

  • Initial issue aerial work certificate.
  • Significant change to your existing aerial work operations.
  • Other changes to your aerial work operations that are not significant.
  • Renewal.

Additional documentation

In addition to the application form, you must also provide the following:

  • For initial issue applications – a complete operations manual covering all requirements of the regulations pertaining to your proposed operations.
  • For significant change applications - your operations manual with identified changes you wish to make and any other supporting information as required.
  • For change applications, other than significant changes – an updated operations manual with a schedule of differences identifying where these changes have been made.
  • For renewals – only the signed application form.

For definitions of ‘significant change’, please refer to regulation 138.012 of CASR. Your change management process, as required by paragraph 138.155 (1) (m) of CASR, must contain a means for identifying and making all changes to your operations and documentation, not only significant changes.

We have created template documents 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.

Associated approvals through form Part F9

There are a range of associated approvals you can apply for using the aerial work certificate application form. You can also add and remove approvals using this form.

Associated approvals are available under Parts 91 and 138. For example, Part 91 approval types include:

  • 91.180 (1)(b) – Air displays in Australian Territory - Operator
  • 91.315 (1)(b)(i) – Taking off and landing in low visibility
  • 91.510 (2)(c) – Fuelling aircraft – persons on aircraft, boarding or disembarking

Part 138 approval types include:

  • 138.050 (1)(f)(i) – Chief Executive Officer and Head of Training and Checking key personnel positions to be occupied by the same person.
  • 138.400 (2) – External load operations at night

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:
9 May 2022
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