Government advice on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and CAA information about continuing to operate as an aviation participant.

Main CAA COVID-19 page

Government COVID-19 website(external link)

Medical certification reminder

28 May 2020

Just a reminder to make your booking and renew your medical certificate 'soon as'. Don't wait until the COVID-19 provisions expire. Remember Medical Examiners have other patients as well, so make your appointment early.

A current Emergency Directive allows medical certificates with expiry dates between 26 March 2020 and 23 June 2020 to remain in force until 24 June 2020. But we anticipate that MEs will be extremely busy on or around the 23 June.

The Ministry of Health have advised that you can see your ME for an aviation medical examination under Alert Level 2, so what are you waiting for?

Extension to IFR currency requirements

19 May 2020

This exemption extends the normal instrument rating currency requirements of CAR 61.807(a)(2) from 3 months to a maximum of 6 months. The exemption only applies to those pilots whose 3-month IR currency has lapsed or will lapse between 15 March 2020 and 30 July 2020. It anticipates the requirements of pilots needing to operate under IFR as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed, and to ensure the currency of IR flight instructors and flight examiners to conduct essential currency checks for pilots whose currency lapsed before 15 March 2020.

The extension of currency is for 3 months or until 31 July 2020, whichever comes first. It’s recommended that when COVID-19 restrictions allow, IR pilots should aim to regain currency as soon as is reasonably practical. The granting of the extension is automatic and pilots do not need to apply to the CAA.

Any specific IR currency requirements under Parts 121, 125 and 135 are not covered by the exemption and must still be met. This exemption may be reviewed in light of any future fluctuations in COVID-19 restrictions.

20/EXE/113 Exemption from the requirement in Civil Aviation Rule 61.807(a)(2) [PDF 174 KB]

Booking flight tests with CAA examiners

18 May 2020

Great to be back flying, and for those of you with issue or renewal flight tests required to be done by a CAA flight examiner now is the time to plan well ahead. Level 2 travel restrictions, together with limited numbers of domestic flights, means that CAA examiners are not able to respond as quickly as normal to your requests for a test.

If you have a test due in a week’s time, simple logistics of the current situation means that it is unlikely we will be able to get to you. Travel is going to take longer and need more lead time to arrange. So now is the time to plan well ahead and use the full 60-day prior dispensation on your flight test due date to help us plan ahead. Please help us to help you by getting your request in as early as possible to ensure we can get your check done by the due date.

Extension to licence and rating currency requirements for aircrew and ATS personnel

14 May 2020

For those pilots currently operating with a currency extension issued under this exemption, FAQs have been updated to include advice for those undertaking renewals now allowed by level 2, and confirms the start date that will be applied for the new currency period.

This exemption applies to those people required by Civil Aviation Rule Parts 61, 63, 65, 115, 121, 125, 135 and 137 to maintain currency of their licences and ratings, including those operating overseas under foreign authority validation, and have a flight review, proficiency check or rating that has expired or expires between 15 March 2020 and 24 June 2020. The exemption gives a 3-month extension from the original date of expiry of the licence, rating or operational competency review, within which period the privileges of that licence, rating or operational competency review may continue to be exercised. The 3-month currency extension applies automatically and no application to the CAA is required. A further extension may be considered in due course if Level 3 and 4 COVID restrictions remain in force for an extended period of time.

20/EXE/56 Exemption from the requirements in Civil Aviation Rules, Parts 61, 63, 65, 115, 121, 135 and 137 [PDF 207 KB]

FAQs on the exemption to licence and rating currency requirements [PDF 41 KB] (updated 14 May 2020)

Getting back into the air

14 May 2020

Alert level 2 is upon us. As if you needed reminding. We know many of you are way ahead of the game in preparing to comply with COVID-19 rules, preparing your aircraft, and preparing yourselves. But a quick look at this information might just help you with the one thing you may have overlooked.


Guidance for aviation activity under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions

12 May 2020

All aviation activity is permitted under Level 2 COVID-19 restrictions. All this activity must, however, comply with, and be conducted within, COVID-19 physical distancing rules and other Ministry of Health public health guidelines.


Aircraft maintenance information updated

28 Apr 2020

Continuing Airworthiness Notice 05-011 and the related application form have been revised for COVID-19 Alert Level 3

CAN 05-011 Rev 1 Continuing Airworthiness of Aircraft in reduced operation due to COVID-19 Restrictions [PDF 45 KB]

24091-C19 Application for operation or maintenance of an aircraft during COVID-19 restrictions [DOCX 128 KB]

Alert Level 3 information for aviation

Updated 28 Apr 2020

Guidance on Alert Level 3 is available on the COVID-19 website(external link), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website(external link), and the Ministry of Transport website(external link).

The table below pulls together the guidance relevant to aviation and provides information on what that means specifically for aviation participants. A set of FAQs has also been developed. 

Both the table and FAQs will be updated as needed, so please check back to see the latest information.

Summary table - What aviation activity can occur at Alert Level 3? [PDF 119 KB] - new document 28 Apr 2020

What aviation activity can occur at Alert Level 3? [PDF 143 KB] - updated 28 Apr 2020

FAQs - Alert Level 3 and aviation [PDF 154 KB] - updated 28 Apr 2020

Before your ‘essential maintenance’ flight

22 Apr 2020

The government is now allowing some flying – but only that which is authorised by the CAA. Vector Online has been speaking to CAA specialists about what to do before taking an essential maintenance flight.


Mental wellbeing during COVID-19

21 Apr 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions have had, as the Flight Safety Foundation says, "a previously unimaginable impact on our industry … if you are not feeling well, or in control, or you think you are not coping, congratulations, you are normal!"


Applications under CAN 05-011

21 Apr 2020

Due to the high volume of requests received for authorisation under CAN 05-011, the CAA cannot answer telephone enquiries on the status of individual applications. We are processing them on a first-in first-served basis, but prioritising applications from commercial operators. Your patience is appreciated, especially as staff are working from home.

Please use for all these applications (they are registered and tracked).

Here's a direct link to the form: 24091-C19 Application for operation or maintenance of an aircraft during COVID-19 restrictions

Cargo in the cabin

20 Apr 2020 (document dated 17 Apr 2020)

The carriage of cargo in an airliner passenger cabin

Aircraft maintenance information

20 Apr 2020

Continuing Airworthiness Notice 05-011 Continuing Airworthiness of Aircraft in reduced operation due to COVID-19 Restrictions

CAA form 24091-C19 Application for operation or maintenance of an aircraft during COVID-19 restrictions

Aircraft maintenance

19 Apr 2020

The Director General of Health has approved the maintenance of aircraft under COVID-19 alert level 4 and other alert levels.

The CAA has been working for some time on an implementation plan to help facilitate this approval and will contact operators, and update this website, with full details Monday afternoon 20 April 2020.

Interim advice from the Ministry of Transport:

  1. All aircraft can now be maintained according to manufacturers’ maintenance instructions.
  2. Owners and/or operators wanting to maintain their aircraft must seek authorisation from the Civil Aviation Authority before being allowed to undertake maintenance.
  3. Owners and/or operators must supply the CAA with information regarding their aircraft and the proposed maintenance and how it will be carried out.
  4. Owners and/or operators will need to meet a clear set of criteria (determined by the CAA) to address identified risks before approval will be granted by the CAA.
  5. Owners and/or operators will still need to maintain all COVID-19 requirements around public health, including social distancing guidelines, washing of hands, and wearing personal protection equipment if appropriate.

Identifying aviation safety risks during COVID-19

17 Apr 2020

We encourage aviation companies to read a new document published by the Flight Safety Foundation, visit: COVID-19 Safety Toolkits(external link).

The PDF document is titled ‘Pandemic: Non-medical operational safety aspects, supplemental materials'. Consider how it applies to your business.

It can be used as an aid to help identify new and emerging aviation risks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and guide your decision-making. The ‘road map’ is divided into three sections that consider continuing, reducing, ending, and re-establishing operations. Each section is further split into the following topics:

  • General considerations
  • Human factors
  • Flight operations
  • Air traffic services
  • Airports
  • MRO / maintenance
  • Ground operations
  • Manufacturers
  • Regulators

Continuing airworthiness issues

15 Apr 2020

The CAA is aware of many participants’ concerns about the continuing airworthiness of their aircraft during level 4. We know this is particularly worrying to non-essential services and recreational pilots.

We’re working with the Ministry of Transport on a solution. We think this will involve some form of prioritisation, which as yet is undefined. Any solution will also need to ensure the level 4 public health, and health and safety, controls are maintained.

We’ll update this information as soon as we can. In the meantime, unless you are an essential service, please fully abide by the level 4 requirements. It will help keep us all safe and well.

Restoring a lapsed CPL or ATPL

09 Apr 2020

This page outlines the steps required to revalidate a lapsed New Zealand CPL or ATPL, taking into account the Level 4 COVID-19 restrictions.

Restoring a lapsed CPL or ATPL

Essential aviation?

07 Apr 2020

Whether an aviation activity is essential or not is decided by the Government, not CAA. If you want to report a suspected breach of the COVD-19 restrictions, visit 105 Police Non-Emergency Supporting Information(external link).

If you are an aviation business and want to know if an activity is considered essential, contact

Can I fly my drone during Alert Level 4?

01 Apr 2020

If you are a recreational drone pilot, and want to fly your drone in your own back yard during COVID-19 Alert Level 4, you are able to do so. However, at all times you must comply with Civil Aviation Rules, Part 101 regarding recreational drone use.

You must remain in your isolation “bubble”, and please don’t annoy your neighbours. Make sure you consider other people’s privacy when flying your drone, so don’t fly over your neighbour’s property unless you have their permission to do so. Be aware that, if your drone lands outside your property for any reason, it will be very difficult to retrieve it because of the Alert Level 4 restrictions. You can’t just go over to your neighbour’s place to get it, nor can your neighbour, or anyone else, pass it back to you as both of these actions would breach the level 4 restrictions. You cannot fly your drone in public spaces like parks, reserves or at the beach during Alert Level 4, so any flying must be restricted to your own back yard.

Alert Level 4 restrictions also apply to those organisations holding Part 102 Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certificates, unless operating in direct support of an organisation providing an essential service, and only when the activity directly contributes to the provision of that essential service, or is necessary for that essential service to continue.

If in doubt, stay grounded – it’s the safest thing to do and will help ensure you comply with the Alert Level 4 requirements. Remember, stay safe, stay in your bubble, and unite against COVID-19.

Petition to change rules

31 Mar 2020

This temporary petition form can be used to raise an issue relating to a rule that has been impacted due to COVID-19, and does not fall into one of the other regulatory relief categories.

24011-01A Petition to change rules related to COVID-19 relief [PDF 99 KB]

24011-01A Petition to change rules related to COVID-19 relief [DOC 135 KB]

Essential transport services

28 Mar 2020

New Zealand is at COVID-19 alert Level 4, which includes severe restrictions on travel. This guidance from the Ministry of Transport provides information about essential transport services.

Link no longer available on Ministry of Transport website

Emergency Directive: Expiration of Medical Certificates

27 Mar 2020

This Emergency Directive is issued in response to the situation created by COVID-19, and in particular, the increase to Level 4 of the COVID-19 alert system from 11:59 Wednesday 25 March 2020. This Emergency Directive is necessary to provide relief from certain requirements of Civil Aviation Rule Parts 61.35, 63.23 and 65.25, without compromising civil aviation safety.

Emergency Directive: Expiration of Medical Certificates [PDF 468 KB]

Emergency Directive frequently asked questions [PDF 226 KB]

Applicants please note

26 Mar 2020

Please send all correspondence, application forms, and supporting documents to us electronically, rather than posting hard copy. CAA staff are working from home and we can then process your enquiry or application sooner.

How to comply under Level 4 restrictions

CAA COVID-19 regulatory relief package

What we are doing to support you (26 Mar 2020, updated 05 and 07 Apr 2020, and 12 Jun 2020)

Agricultural aviation

Is this considered an essential service? (26 Mar 2020)

We have received a number of calls from agricultural aviation operators seeking clarification on whether they are included within the definition of essential services, with respect to the application of COVID Alert Level 4. Please be aware that these decisions are not CAA’s to make – the definition of essential services is being led at a whole-of-government level. We can, however, provide the following clarification:

The entire food supply chain is classified as essential.  As long as food suppliers consider the activity being undertaken by agricultural aviation operators is essential to maintain adequate supplies of food then the activity will be classified as essential, as will any maintenance activity necessary to enable that activity to continue. However, this does not provide a blanket approval for agricultural aviation operators to carry on as normal. They are only able to undertake those activities necessary to maintain adequate supplies of food.  This also applies to maintenance providers, they are only able to perform those maintenance activities necessary to maintain adequate supplies of food.

COVID-19 update one

CAA briefing - COVID-19 update one 24 Mar 2020(external link)

CAA office closure

The Wellington head office of the Civil Aviation Authority and the Aviation Security Service at Asteron Centre will be closed until further notice due to COVID-19.

Staff are working from home and are available by email and mobile as usual. All meetings are being organised and conducted by telephone or Skype. You can still call reception as our operators are available. Call the CAA on 04 560 9400, or Avsec on 0800 800 130.

Overseas simulator training

Overseas simulator training during government-imposed travel restrictions [PDF 55 KB] (26 Mar 2020 Rev 1)

Related rule exemptions

20/EXE/56 Exemption from the requirements in Civil Aviation Rules, Parts 61, 63, 65, 115, 121, 135 and 137 [PDF 207 KB] (30 Mar 2020)

20/EXE/55 Part 92 Carriage of Dangerous Goods, rule 92.205 - Recurrent dangerous goods training (23 Mar 2020)

20/EXE/54 Part 91 General Operating and Flight Rules, rule 91.101(a)(1)(ii) - AEA modified isolation pod (Amendment #1 dated 23 Apr 2020 extends to 19 Sep 2020)