What is an AOC?
An Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) is an authorisation granted by CASA under the section 27 of the Civil Aviation Act to conduct commercial activities prescribed by regulation 206 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR).
All AOCs are issued for a specified term. To operate after that term, an AOC holder must apply for, and be issued with, a new AOC prior to the expiry of the existing AOC.
Any legal entity may apply for an Air Operator's Certificate, including:
- a natural person
- an incorporated company or association
- a body corporate or politic created by stature
What's in it?
On 16 November 2009, CASA introduced reformatted Air Operator's Certificates (AOCs) to conform with Annex 6 to the Chicago Convention requirements which seeks to standardise the format and content of AOC and Ops Spec documents.
AOCs issued after 16 November 2009 are a single-page certificate, containing basic details about the operator. This document is supported by an attachment called the Operations Specifications (Ops Spec), which contains operational information.
Generally, when operational details are changed, this will result in an amendment to your Ops Spec and you will receive an updated version of this document only. Depending on the operations, AOCs and Ops Specs issued post November 2009, contain additional content which may include some of the following:
- Operational contact details
- Reference to approvals which include EDTO, RVSM, RNAV, RNP and MNPS
- Reference to approved service providers including maintenance organisation and training & checking organisation
- Reference to low visibility operations
- General statement about dangerous goods
- Reference to key personnel including the CEO, Head of Flying Operations, HAAMC and Head of Training and Checking
Note: Some of the additional content on your Ops Spec will be for reference only and not intended to replace stand-alone permissions currently issued, such as the RVSM instrument. To minimise any confusion, an information sheet will accompany your re-issued AOC to convey these changes fully.
Your AOC will only be reissued when you apply for re-issue of the AOC, or when information which is displayed on the AOC is varied, such as a change to your address.
For information on how aircraft are described on an AOC, read Aircraft Descriptions on Air Operator's Certificates.
Carriage of your AOC and Ops Spec on board your aircraft
CAO 82.3 and 82.5 stipulate that Australian AOC holders conducting international Regular Public Transport (RPT) flights must ensure that the pilot-in-command can present a true and complete hard copy of the following documents to any person who has a lawful right to inspect them before, during or at the end of the flight:
- the operator's current AOC; and
- each relevant Operational Specifications (if any) issued in conjunction with the AOC that is relevant to the aircraft.
Please check your AOC and Ops Spec documents. Once issued, if any information needs changing, or you have any questions, please email the CASA Permission Application Centre on email@example.com or call 131 757.
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