On Friday 30 March 2007, diplomatic notes were exchanged between the New Zealand and Australian governments advising the other country that the necessary legislative requirements and supporting arrangements were in place, and accordingly mutual recognition of aviation certification came into effect in both countries.

Mutual recognition stems from commitments entered into by the Australian and New Zealand governments in the context of the air services arrangements between the two countries of 1996, carried over into the arrangements of 2000 and 2002.

Read the Memorandum of Understanding(external link) (20 November 2000)

Read the Air Services Agreement(external link) (8 August 2002)

The commitment regarding mutual recognition is now contained in the Arrangement between the Australian and New Zealand Governments on Mutual Recognition of Aviation-Related Certification signed in Wellington on 13 February 2007.

Read the Mutual Recognition Arrangement document [PDF, 3.4 MB]

It relies upon the acceptance of each country's safety regulatory system as delivering equivalent safety outcomes, even though there are some individual differences in safety standards.

The regime will permit an airline eligible under the 2002 Air Services Agreement to carry out an aviation activity within both Australia and New Zealand, and between the countries if desired, based on an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) issued by the aviation safety regulator of the 'home' country - either the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (Australia) or the Civil Aviation Authority (New Zealand). The first aviation-related safety certificates to be mutually recognised will be AOCs covering aircraft with more than 30 seats, or more than 15,000kg MCTOW. Acceptance of AOCs for air transport services by smaller aircraft will follow, subject to determination of the equivalence of the respective safety regimes.

Further extension to other aviation-related certification not covered by other mutual recognition arrangements such as the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement is anticipated, but requires the prior agreement of the two governments.

Amending legislation to provide for the implementation of mutual recognition by New Zealand was passed in 2004. Part 1A of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 and consequential changes to Civil Aviation Rules were brought into force on 30 March 2007 by Order-in-Council. Corresponding legislation was passed in the Australian Parliament in September 2006 and was proclaimed on 30 March 2007.

Implementation of the mutual recognition regime is supported by an Operational Arrangement between the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia.

Pamphlets on Ministry of Transport international air services licensing requirements.

For further information on the mutual recognition policy or international air services licensing, contact:
Sonya van de Geer
Principal Adviser
Tel: 04-439 9302
Fax: 04-439 9004
or E-mail: s.vandegeer@transport.govt.nz

For information on airline certification under mutual recognition, contact:
John Kay
General Manager, Policy and System Intervention
Tel: 04-560 9447
Fax 04 569 2024
or E-mail: john.kay@caa.govt.nz