Rotorcraft performance standards for flight operators

Part 133 of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority Regulations (CASR) applies to air transport operations in rotorcraft.

The term 'air transport' replaces the following operations if you are conducting an operation for hire or reward:

  • charter
  • regular public transport (RPT)
  • air ambulance.

Air transport operation includes 'medical transport operations' which permits the transport of medical patients, medical personnel or biological matter for hire or reward as well. You should also read Part 119 which deals with the general certification and management for air transport operations.

If you conduct other operations, such as aerial work, you need to comply with other CASR flight operations Parts.

Rotorcraft performance classes

Rotorcraft conducting CASR Part 133 air transport operations must fly in a performance class (PC).

Performance classes provide higher levels of assurance in safety following an engine failure compared to operations outside of a performance class.

A key part of this assurance is the knowledge the rotorcraft used in operations meets a specified certification standard. This standard represents:

  • redundancy of systems
  • quality of manufacture
  • availability of performance data for pilots.

Operating in a performance class

If you operate under Part 133 of CASR you need to operate in a rotorcraft performance class.

The following information will help you understand what performance class you must operate in.

OperationPerformance Class 1Performance Class 2Performance Class 2 with exposure (2WE)Performance Class 3

Maximum operational seating capacity (MOPSC) > 19

(any flight rules)

AllowedNot allowedNot allowedNot allowed
MOPSC between 10 and 19, inclusive


En-route (any flight rules)

Allowed *Allowed *Not allowed

MOPSC < 10

(VFR by day)

Not allowedNot allowedNot allowedAllowed
Passenger transport operation

Allowed *

En-route (IFR or night)

Allowed *Allowed *Not allowed
Medical transport operation

Allowed *


Allowed *Allowed *Not allowed
Cargo transport operationAllowed †Allowed †Allowed †Allowed

* PC1, PC2 or PC2WE during the nominated stages of the flight.

† PC1, PC2 or PC2WE remain optional and may be used (any flight rules).

Last updated:
28 May 2024
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