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Aeronautical/Aircraft licences

Who does this licence apply to?

  • All owners of aircraft with radio transmitting equipment fitted on-board.
  • Everyone that owns and operates radio transmitting equipment for the purpose of communicating with aircraft or other aeronautical services within the confines of an airport or aerodrome.

To help you decide if you need an aeronautical licence please see our Aeronautical mobile interactive guide.


Aircraft operating within the territorial limits of New Zealand

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


Aircraft callsigns

If you need an identification code or a callsign, then you must submit an application to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Aircraft registered in New Zealand are allocated registration marks in the series ZK AAA to ZK ZZZ. The registration letters form the aircraft callsign (except where alternatives such as flight identification are authorised). Registration marks can be found in the online aircraft register which is maintained by the CAA.

Civil Aviation Authority

Aircraft register enquiry


Hang Glider/Para Glider callsigns

Hang glider or para glider callsigns consist of the pilot’s operator identity number.


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 Regulations (General User Radio Licence for Aeronautical Purposes) Notice 2005 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 foreign airports. An annual fee will apply.

Application for an individual aircraft radio licence can be made online or contact an approved radio engineer or certifier to apply for the licence on your behalf.

For applicable licence fees refer to the fees schedule.


Aeronautical land station transmitters

Aeronautical land mobile and portable transmitters operating inside the territorial limits of New Zealand are covered by a General User Radio Licence.

Aeronautical fixed base stations located within the confines of an aerodrome or repeater station transmitters are individually licensed in order to manage interference and ensure compatibility with other radio services.

If you need a licence for an aeronautical fixed base station or repeater station transmitter then contact an approved radio engineer or certifier to engineer the licence for you.


Persons operating radio transmitting equipment

Persons operating aeronautical radio transmitting equipment (either aircraft or ground based) must hold an appropriate radio operator’s qualification. Aeronautical radio operator’s qualifications are administered by the CAA.

Civil Aviation Authority


Last updated 2 May 2017