What you need to know regarding pilot licensing.

 

1. Complete form(s)
2. Pay online

Payment must be made before your application will be processed.

  • Have your CAA Participant number handy (if you have one)
  • Go to online payments
  • Payment can be made by Mastercard, Visa or internet banking
  • Note the receipt number and remember to reference it on your form(s)
3. Submit application

Gather all required information:

  • Receipt / proof of payment
  • Completed application form(s)
  • Required evidence / proof of eligibility (see checklist at end of each form)

Send application(s) with supporting documentation to lic.applications@caa.govt.nz.

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.

Part 61 forms

Information about PPL medical changes and RPL revocation

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.

As a result of the introduction of the DL9 as an alternative PPL medical standard, the RPL class of licence has been revoked. The CAA is issuing pilots who only hold an active RPL with a PPL (at no cost) – they should expect to receive their PPL from our Licensing team by May 2021. If they only hold a RPL they can continue to fly using the RPL until they receive the PPL, provided they are otherwise current.

Please note that when you receive your DL9 medical certificate you need to send a copy of this to the CAA within seven days. Please send the copy to licensing@caa.govt.nz. 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.

 

Every holder of a New Zealand aviation document must nominate a physical address in New Zealand as their ‘address for service’.

Read more about your address for service.

This is the process if your licence gets damaged or lost:

Checklist:

  • Include a copy of police report, if applicable.
  • Sign a specimen signature at top right-hand corner of application form (this is needed only for a Certificate of Maintenance Approval)
  • Include the fee or provide credit card details.

Send to licensing@caa.govt.nz or post to PO Box 3555, Wellington, 6011.

Fees, levies, and charges.

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.

For information on ELP examinations in New Zealand, visit ASPEQ(external link).

To apply for ELP endorsement, use form 24061/04 Application for Amendment to a Pilot Licence [PDF 203 KB].

See our fees, levies, and charges.

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.

Read more about the fit and proper person process.

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.

Directory of New Zealand Medical Examiners.

Directory of Overseas Medical Examiners.

Read more on our medical page.

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 the DL9 will need to be sent to the CAA within 7 days of being issued or reissued – please email a copy to licensing@caa.govt.nz.

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:

  • be at least 16 years of age (to hold a full certificate)
  • hold a medical declaration issued by your GP (except for balloon pilots, unless you intend to charge passengers)
  • pass written exams
  • pass a practical flight test.

Read the rules under Part 149 Aviation Recreation Organisations Certification.

Flight crew documents being issued or amended can take 10 working days to get back to you.

Your application may take longer if:

  • online payment has not been made
  • it is incomplete
  • it doesn’t meet the requirements of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 or Civil Aviation Rules
  • there are postal delays.

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.

 Ask us about licensing

If you have any questions about this topic, use our contact form, or email licensing@caa.govt.nz