What is an Air Operator's Certificate and do you need one?
On 1 October 2012, this version of the Air Operator Certification Manual will be replaced by the new AOC Manual Suite which includes amendments to existing AOC-related forms. The process for the application of high-capacity RPT AOCs and other AOC-related permissions have also slightly changed. View the AOC Forms.
An Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) is a permission granted by CASA under the Sec 27 of the Civil Aviation Act to conduct commercial activities prescribed in regulation 206 of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR). Consequently, operating these commercial activities without an AOC is illegal and is punishable by law.
All AOCs are issued for a specified term. To continue operating, an AOC holder must apply for, and be issued with, a new AOC prior to the expiry of the existing AOC.
An AOC is required if you intend to conduct any of the following commercial purposes:
1 - Aerial work purposes
- Aerial surveying
- Aerial spotting
- Agricultural operations
- Aerial photography
- Aerial advertising
- Ambulance functions
- Carriage, for trading purposes, of goods owned by the pilot, owner or hirer of the aircraft on schedules that are not fixed and terminals
- Flying training, other than conversion training or training carried out under an experimental certificate issued under regulation 21.195A of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) or under a permission to fly in force under sub regulation 317 of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR).
2 - Charter
Carriage of passengers or cargo for hire or reward to or from any place, other than carriage in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals or carriage for an operation mentioned in sub regulation 262AM(7) or under a permission to fly in force under sub regulation 317(1).
Carriage, in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals, of passengers and/or cargo in circumstances in which the accommodation in the aircraft is not available to persons generally.
3 - Regular Public Transport
Generally, the transport of persons or cargo for persons for hire or reward in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals over specific routes with or without intermediate stopping places between terminals.
If you are not sure about whether your operations is covered by any of the above, please contact the CASA Service Centre on 131 757 or by email on email@example.com.
Aviation Transport Security regulations
The Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 came into effect on 10 March 2005. The new security regime significantly expands the range of aviation industry participants who are required to have a Transport Security Program.
For more information see the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website or phone them on 1300 132 400.
4 - ANZA Privileges
The Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment (Mutual Recognition with New Zealand) Act, passed in September 2006, allows Australia and New Zealand to mutually recognise air operator's certificates for aircraft with more than 30 seats or weighing more than 15,000kg.
Mutual recognition will enable Australian and New Zealand operators to operate to, from and within either country on the basis of their home certification.
The Arrangement between the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA) and The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ) in relation to mutual recognition of Air Operator Certificates (AOC) will be in place from 30 March 2007.
High Capacity Operations
If you are a High Capacity Operator and require any further information regarding an AOC application, please contact your regional Air Transport Operations Group (ATOG) Field Office Manager.
Applying for an AOC
To ensure efficient processing of your application, you will need to use the correct form relevant to your application.
For general aviation operations
For airline operations, CASA instrument 293/00 is the CASA approved form for an AOC application.