Under Civil Aviation Rule 129, you are allowed one landing and one takeoff within a 28-day period without needing certification for an Air Transport Operation. If you need to make more flights, you must obtain a Foreign Air Operator’s Certificate (FAOC).

FAOC terminology

Air Transport Operation: Means an operation for the carriage of passengers or goods (freight, cargo) by air for hire or reward.

Foreign Air Transport Operation: CAR129 permits only one landing and one takeoff within any 28-day period without certification of an Air Transport Operation. Any more than this requires a foreign air operator’s certificate (FAOC).

Private charter flights: This is a term sometimes used in other countries but is not applicable in New Zealand (NZ). As these are paid for, (ie, they are hire and reward), they are classified as Air Transport Operations (ATO) and require certification under Civil Aviation Rule (CAR) 129.

Positioning flight: Where a charter is operated empty (positioning with crew only) and with passengers on the other sector, and only the 4 sectors (flights) are planned, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) may give relief from the CAR129 requirements.

For example: JFK-AKL (ATO landing = 1) with passengers, return AKL-JFK with crew only, then a few days later JFK-AKL crew only and pick up passengers AKL-JFK (ATO takeoff =1). This requires application to CAA for approval and is not assured.

CAA reserves the right to decline when repeated charters are evident.

Private flight: (that are not Air Transport Operations) are not subject to certification. Private flights carry the owner of the aircraft, their family, or immediate employees. Note that no hire or reward is permitted however the aircraft must be registered, have an ICAO airworthiness certificate, comply with any applicable requirements under NZCAR Part 91 for general operations, and maintain and operate the aircraft in accordance with the requirements of the State of Registry. Private flights do not require Civil Aviation Authority New Zealand (CAANZ) application and may be subject to inspection in NZ.

State flight: Government-to-Government flights (including Defence) are regarded as State Flights and are not subject to certification. Agreement from MOT and advice to CAANZ is required.

129.1 explained (number of landings & takeoffs):

  • Permitted is a single landing and a single takeoff within any 28-day period without any certification.
  • More than 2 takeoffs OR landings within any 28-day period requires a FAOC, or more than 8 takeoffs OR landings within any 365-day period requires an FAOC, however;
    • There is relief for medical emergencies, evacuations, carriage of medical supplies or body organs (no FAOC, however CAA approval is required).

129.3 explained (domestic flights in NZ by foreign operators): CAR129.3 describes a foreign air transport operation to or from NZ, or within NZ as part of an air operation to or from NZ. This is more simply read as only a continuation of an international flight. For example:

  • HKG-AKL-CHC is permitted provided no passengers or freight is picked up in AKL and dropped off in CHC. Only passengers or freight from HKG can be dropped off either in AKL or CHC.
  • The reverse is also permitted, eg, CHC-AKL-HKG is permitted provided no passengers or freight is picked up in CHC and dropped off in AKL. Passengers or freight may be picked up in CHC and AKL but must continue to HKG.

Note: Cabotage(external link), the transport of passengers or freight between two places within New Zealand is not permitted.

Landing permits

New Zealand does not have a Landing Permit system. The above procedures apply.

Airport information

Non-scheduled flights and private flights(external link) (customs.govt.nz)

How do I apply for an FAOC?

1. Application: May only be made by the airline itself, not by a consultant or third party. Allow 90 days for an application to be completed.

2. Air Service Licence: Contact the Principal Advisor, Air Services Team, New Zealand Ministry of Transport (MOT) to apply for an Air Services Licence to operate to/from New Zealand. Tel: +64–4–439 9000. Information:

International air service licences for foreign international airlines(external link) 

If the MOT grant a licence, it will be coincident with, and conditional upon, the CAA granting an FAOC.

3. CAA Forms & Information: You need to download the following:

24129-01 application form [PDF 1.3 MB]

24129-01A exposition (this is a manual) template [DOCX 91 KB]

24129-01B exposition guide to completion [PDF 234 KB]

24129-02 compliance matrix (checklist) [DOCX 228 KB]

24108-02 compliance matrix (checklist) [DOCX 329 KB]

Note: Please read the CAA 24129-01 form and the template carefully and provide copies of all the documents specified.  Documents must be in English.

4. Personnel requirements: Senior Persons. Along with your airline’s managers you will also require an airline representative that is resident (domiciled) in NZ.

5. Technical requirements: To operate to/from NZ:

  1. Stage 3 (or better) noise compliance;
  2. RVSM and RNP10 (or RNP4). Aeroplanes that are not RVSM and RNP10 approved are likely to be restricted to flight below F/L290 and F/L245 respectively;
  3. ETOPS/EDTO. Normally required due to large expanses of surrounding water;
  4. ADS-B in all controlled airspace; and
  5. Emergency Locator Transmitter/s.

6. Rules: You will need to download these Rule parts because you will be signing the application form to the effect that you have them and will comply with their requirements:

7. Security: If the airline is carrying 10 or more fare paying passengers, 129.61 requires you to provide a copy of your NZ Security Manual in English which must meet the requirements of Part 108.

Note: It is frequently found that foreign airlines submit an already existing Security Manual that is used for flight to other countries, but it does not include every New Zealand Part 108 requirement. Please complete the Part 129 and Part 108 compliance matrices to shorten the time taken to issue a Certificate and to ensure that any additional matters for New Zealand have been addressed by your airline. There is a comprehensive Advisory Circular for Part 108 here:

8. Charges: Civil Aviation Charges Regulations (No.2) 1991 requires an application fee of NZD987.84 to be paid in advance. (= first 4 hours of work x NZD246.96. CAA Standard Hourly Charge minus GST). No work on the application can commence until the application fee is paid. There are two ways to pay:

  1. Bank Transfer: If you choose to pay direct by bank transfer, use the NZ CAA Bank Account details below: New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority Bank Account No: 030 531040 6878 00, SWIFT No: WPACNZ2W.
  2. Credit Card: To pay by credit card, please contact the CAA on +64 4 560 9400 and ask for Finance. Do not send cash or cheques. Do not send credit card details via email.

9. Time required: A typical Part 129 application takes about 10-30 work hours to complete but that is dependent on the quality of the application. Please allow up to 90 days from application until certification is complete, this depends on our current workload.

10. Send to: Forward your Application Form, Exposition, Security Programme, copies of documents, and payment receipt to the CAA at certification@caa.govt.nz.