What you need to know regarding pilot licensing.
Printing of licences during COVID-19 Alert Level 4
The CAA is not currently able to print licences for those who have applied for a new issue or any amendments. However, we are able to provide PDF copies and can continue to provide verification (use Form CAA602 [PDF 30 KB]) to other National Aviation Authorities if required. This is due to the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown in New Zealand which has prevented our teams from accessing our licence printer. Visit our COVID-19 page for further information about what Alert Level 4 means for the aviation sector.
Payment must be made before your application will be processed.
Gather all required information:
Send application(s) with supporting documentation to email@example.com.
Alternatively, we can still accept mail-in applications for unusual cases.
Becoming a pilot involves taking flying lessons to get practical experience and passing written theory exams.
Most people get their first taste of flying in a trial flight at their local aero club or flying school. They're a great source of information, and can help guide you through the process.
Somebody intending to fly only for recreation can opt for a microlight certificate, recreational pilot licence, or private pilot licence. If you intend to build a career in aviation, you can train towards a commercial pilot licence, or an airline transport pilot licence.
Flying lessons are just part of your training. You will also have to pass a medical examination, pass what’s known as a 'fit and proper person' test, demonstrate you're proficient in the English language, and pass some theory exams.
For guidance, have a look at the advisory circulars to Part 61 Pilot Licences and Ratings.
Please note: To be able to fly on a DL9 driver licence medical certificate, your DL9 needs to be at least a Class 2 (2,3,4,5) medical certificate with passenger (P) endorsement.
From 5 April 2021, private pilot licence holders are able to exercise a wide range of licence privileges on a DL9 driver licence medical certificate.
Previously PPL holders needed a current Class One or Class Two aviation medical to fly, with DL9 driver licence medicals only able to be used for the significantly limited recreational pilot licence.
Please note that when you receive your DL9 medical certificate you need to send a copy of pages one and four only of the DL9 to the CAA within seven days. Please send the copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a rule requirement and helps us to keep accurate records on active licence holders.
For more information about these changes and what you need to do to fly on a DL9 medical certificate, please look at the resources below, including the updated Part 61 Rule.
If you’re utilising the privileges of your New Zealand pilot licence on a validation from a foreign National Aviation Authority (NAA), and your Biennial Flight Review (BFR) is due to expire or has expired and you are unable to regain currency with a current NZ instructor, you’ll need to engage with the NAA responsible for issuing the validation for an approval to keep operating without a BFR.
The CAA does not issue exemptions or extensions in these circumstances.
For the issue of a private pilot licence, which will include the flight test aircraft type rating, the completed 24061-13 form “Single pilot certificated aeroplane competency demonstration record” [PDF 367 KB] or the 24061-21 form “Demonstration of competency – type rating – helicopter” [PDF 342 KB] must accompany the PPL application.
The type rating form should be completed by the applicant’s instructor – that person who has had the oversight of, and completed the training with, the applicant.
In the case of a two-seat trainer, it’s possible the ab-initio flight training had met all the type requirements because the MAUW, for example, was experienced in most flights. This is for the flight instructor to determine.
For training aircraft of more than two seats, the assumption that all type training has been covered cannot be made, particularly in respect of MAUW aspects.
CAR Part 61 Subpart B refers to training conducted by an appropriately qualified flight instructor, and certification of type training in technical knowledge, and all normal, abnormal, and emergency manoeuvres appropriate to the aircraft.
The practice of an examiner signing off the type rating at the time of the flight test is not appropriate, given they’re conducting a sampling assessment, not completing training as required by the rule.
This is the process if your licence gets damaged or lost:
Send to email@example.com or post to PO Box 3555, Wellington, 6011.
Anyone applying for a New Zealand private pilot licence, commercial pilot licence, or airline transport pilot licence has to provide evidence they’re acceptably proficient in the English language.
They need to demonstrate they’re competent to at least the Level 4 standard required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
If you hold an overseas licence issued by an ICAO member state with English language proficiency (ELP) already endorsed to at least that standard, you don’t need to do a New Zealand demonstration of proficiency.
If you’re a New Zealand pilot travelling overseas to fly, you’ll probably be required by the overseas ICAO state to have ELP endorsed on your licence. If so, you’ll have to complete an ELP demonstration to at least Level 4 standard, then apply to us to have your licence ELP-endorsed.
If you want the right to be part of New Zealand’s aviation system, you have to prove you’re sufficiently sensible, careful, and law-abiding to be allowed that right.
The Director of Civil Aviation has to be satisfied that every holder of an aviation document, like a pilot licence, who wants to ‘exercise the privileges’ of that document is a fit and proper person to do so. It’s a legal requirement.
If you’re an organisation applying for an air operator certificate, your nominated senior persons have to undergo the fit and proper person process, if they have not already done so.
You have to be fit to fly. That means getting a medical certificate by passing a physical examination carried out by a medical examiner, who we have especially authorised to do that job.
To begin, complete the form 24067/001 Application for medical certificate [PDF 432 KB] except page 4 which is completed during your medical examination.
After you’ve done that, make an appointment with a medical examiner.
Pilots holding a private pilot licence (or a higher licence exercising PPL privileges) are now able to fly on a driver licence medical, commonly referred to as a DL9. These medicals are issued by most general medical practices, and we recommend you see your regular health practitioner for your examination.
Whatever health practitioner you choose to carry out the medical examination, they must be approved to conduct a Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) medical for a class 2, 3, 4, or 5 driver’s licence, endorsed to carry passengers and issue a DL9 medical certificate. A copy of pages one and four only of the DL9 will need to be sent to the CAA within 7 days of being issued or reissued – please email a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can sit the exams through ASPEQ(external link) any time, but having some practical experience already under your belt will probably make passing them easier.
There are numerous other options for recreational flying, such as flying a microlight aircraft, gliding, ballooning, parachuting, hang gliding, paragliding and even drones and model aircraft.
The pilots of these aircraft (except drones and model aircraft) need a certificate issued by a Part 149 organisation, which we authorise to do this.
To be issued with a pilot certificate you must:
Flight crew documents being issued or amended can take 10 working days to get back to you.
Your application may take longer if:
It’s critical you complete all sections of the application. Use the checklist on the application form to help you.
Include the flight experience summary completed by the flight examiner for the issue of a PPL, CPL, ATPL, or instrument rating.
Get all the documentation from your training organisation or flight examiner and send in the complete application package yourself. Unfortunately, incomplete applications can’t be processed and they will be returned to you.
Applications are assessed and processed in the order they’re received.