Aircraft licence

Aircraft licences are used for communicating to or from aircraft or an aeronautical base station.

Aircraft operating outside the territorial limits of New Zealand

Aircraft owners that operate outside New Zealand may have difficulty convincing foreign aviation authorities that the Radiocommunications General User Radio Licence for Aeronautical Purposes is a valid radio licence. In these circumstances, you can choose to hold an individual licence and present a paper copy of this radio licence to officials at overseas airports. An annual fee will apply.

New Zealand aircraft are covered by a General User Radio Licence. This means they are not required to be individually licensed.

What you need to know

You can use aeronautical radio frequencies to communicate with other aircraft, and aviation authorities. You can apply for your aircraft licence online. You’ll need an identification code or a callsign. This can be obtained on application to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

You can apply for your aircraft licence online. See process below.

This licence also covers the operation of any authorised DME, Weather Radar, ATC Transponder, Radio Altimeter, TCAS, and SATCOM equipment that you may have on board.


$150.00 per year

With this licence you must:

  • Follow the terms, conditions and restrictions of the licence, which includes operating on the correct aeronautical frequencies or frequency ranges.
  • Not operate in a way that causes interference to other radio services.
  • Pay the annual licence fee. If this is not paid, your Aircraft licence will no longer be valid.


1. If you're a client in the Register of Radio Frequencies (RRF), you can apply online for a Aircraft licence.

If you're applying yourself, you'll need to logon to the RRF(external link) and go to Applications > Create Licence Application menu. Then:

  • select licence type Aeronautical > Aircraft
  • select your aircraft type > Aircraft, Hang Glider, or Paraglider
  • enter your Callsign or aircraft registration marking
  • submit your application.

2. Pay annual licence fee

You'll be prompted to pay the annual licence fee after the application is submitted. Once you've paid this fee, your licence will be granted and you can view your it in the RRF.

3. If you need a paper copy of your licence

Some overseas authorities don’t recognise online licences held in the RRF. If you want a paper copy of your licence to show overseas aviation authorities, contact us on