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)

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 essential@mbie.govt.nz.


Update on re-certification and SMS

05 Apr 2020

Re-certificating organisations under COVID-19 restrictions

Our staff aren’t able to carry out re-certification assessments in the usual way. So for now we’re going to use desktop risk-based assessments.

If your organisation has an upcoming certificate renewal, the CAA will get in touch with you. We’ll ask you to provide us with relevant information on the current state of your organisation. If your organisation is successful, it will be re-certificated for a period of six to twelve months. The actual period will depend on future CAA certification workload.

Desktop re-certifications will be free of charge.

This process, however, does not apply to new certifications. Under the current restrictions, we can’t make any on-site inspections, so it’s unlikely we’ll be able to carry out any assessments for new certifications.

Delaying the implementation of upcoming safety management systems

The CAA will contact organisations that have not yet had their safety management systems certificated to discuss delaying their date of SMS implementation.

These deferrals will be free of charge.

Organisations who take up this offer will still need to get their SMS certification completed before 01 Feb 2022.

Also see CAA COVID-19 regulatory relief package


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.

COVID-19 Alert Level 4 Transport(external link)


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)


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

     Clarification about private flying (25 Mar 2020)


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)