Applying for an air operator certificate for aerial work

An air operator certificate for aerial work is a document issued by the Civil Aviation Administration, which certifies that its owner is capable of properly organising aerial work.

Aerial work includes services that do not constitute the carriage of passengers, mail, or cargo (for example, scattering fertilizers and other chemicals for agriculture purposes, lifting and installing objects for construction, aerial photography, observation and patrol flights, air advertising, or sightseeing flights with a helicopter or a balloon).

The following legislation is the basis for the certification of an aerial work operator:

  • Part II/III of Annex 6 of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation;
  • Aviation Act;
  • Regulation No. 13 of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications: “Procedure for issuing air operator certificate, requirements on the content of the air operator certificate and operation specifications, requirements on the equipment of the aircraft operated at aerial work, and on the content and compilation of the flight operations manual for the air operator for aerial work, and the forms for the air operator certificate”. (Lennuettevõtja sertifikaadi väljaandmise kord, nõuded lennuettevõtja sertifikaadi ja käitamistingimuste sisule, nõuded lennutöödel käitatava õhusõiduki varustusele ning lennutöödega tegeleva lennuettevõtja lennutegevuse käsiraamatu sisule ja koostamisele ning lennuettevõtja sertifikaadi vormid);
  • State Fees Act;
  • Public Information Act;
  • Response to Memoranda and Requests for Explanations and Submission of Collective Addresses Act.

Requirements for an applicant

An air operator certificate for aerial work shall be issued if an applicant has certified that they have the necessary organisational structure for the safe organisation of aerial work. Additionally, their services, facilities, aircrafts, equipment, supplies, operational procedures, handbooks, documents, and personnel (which must possess sufficient knowledge, skills, and experience) all meet the requirements of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.

Additionally, the applicant:

  • Must have their principal place of business or a registered office in Estonia;
  • Must not possess an aerial work operator certificate issued by another country, unless a corresponding agreement has been concluded between the Civil Aviation Administration and the authority from the country that issued the certificate;
  • Must possess a certificate of airworthiness for their aircrafts.

Filling in and submitting the application

An entrepreneur who wishes to possess an air operator certificate for aerial work shall submit an application to the Civil Aviation Administration with the accompanying documents. An application must include the following data:

  • Name of the applicant;
  • Registry code or personal identification code;
  • Postal address, contact phone and, if possible, e-mail address;
  • Type and description of the planned flight operation.

Additionally, the following documents must be submitted with the application:

  • If the applicant is a legal person, their statutes or articles of association;
  • The applicant’s organisational structure;
  • Names of the persons who are responsible for general managing, flight operations, maintenance organisation, aircraft crew training, and ground handling services;
    • Information about the qualification and experience of the persons specified in the previous clause;
  • Information about the national registration marks of the aircraft in the applicant’s possession; the flight operations manual;
  • Documents verifying the right of use of the aircraft, if the applicant is not the owner of the aircraft; in the case of an air operator of aerial work – description of how airworthiness and maintenance of the aircraft are organised;
  • Security programme;
  • Information about the flight preparation, office, hangar, maintenance, and storage rooms which are used by the applicant;
  • Information about the technical equipment of the aircraft;
  • Confirmation about the payment of the state fee.

The application can be submitted:

  • Via the flight safety information system LOIS of the Civil Aviation Administration (using the service requires authentication with an ID-card);
  • In writing (postal address Lõõtsa 5, 11415 Tallinn) or by sending a digitally signed application at ecaa@ecaa.ee;
  • Contacting the Department of Flight Operations of the Civil Aviation Administration (office hours on weekdays 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.).

Payment of the state fee

A state fee of 3,100 euros shall be paid for processing an initial application.

A state fee of 2,560 euros shall be paid for processing an application for extending the validity of a certificate.

State fees for introducing a new type of aircraft to the operation conditions of an air operator certificate shall be paid in accordance with the maximum take-off weight of an aircraft as follows:

  • MTOW planes up to 2,800 kg and helicopters up to 1,000 kg – 275 euros;
  • MTOW planes 2,801 to 5,700 kg and helicopters 1,001 to 3,175 kg – 450 euros;
  • MTOW planes 5,701 to 25,000 kg and helicopters over 3,175 kg – 680 euros;
  • MTOW planes over 25,000 kg – 730 euros.

A state fee of 185 euros shall be paid for processing an application to change the operation conditions of an air operator certificate, except regarding applications for changing the aircraft’s registration marks.

If an air operator certificate for aerial work is applied for by a person who possesses a certificate for commercial air transport, a state fee of 90 euro shall be paid for processing the application.

A state fee for maintaining the certificate shall be paid by March 31 of each calendar year.

If a certificate is issued for the first time, the state fee for its maintenance shall be paid by March 31 of the following calendar year after the certificate was issued. If by that date less than 12 months has passed since the certificate was issued, the state fee shall be paid by March 31 of the next year.

To apply for an activity licence, a state fee must be paid with the reference number 2900073106 to one of the bank accounts of the Ministry of Finance:

  • SEB – EE 89 1010 2200 3479 6011;
  • Swedbank – EE 93 2200 2210 2377 8606;
  • Danske Bank – EE 40 3300 3334 1611 0002;
  • Luminor Bank – EE 701 7000 1700 1577 198.

Explanation: Applying for / extending / changing an air operator certificate for aerial work.

Processing an application

An application for an air operator certificate shall be submitted to the Civil Aviation Administration in writing at least 90 calendar days before the start of the planned flight operations.

An application is registered, the enclosed documents are examined, and if any information or documents are missing, the applicant is notified of the requirement to submit them within 14 workdays after the application was registered. If there are shortcomings in the application, the Civil Aviation Administration shall inform the applicant thereof by an e-mail or phone. Missing information or documents must be submitted to the Civil Aviation Administration within 90 calendar days after the applicant was informed. If the shortcomings are not eliminated, the application shall no longer be processed with a decision not to issue a certificate.

A decision to issue or decline to issue a certificate shall be made within 90 calendar days after the application was submitted or the shortcomings were eliminated.

An air operator certificate for aerial work is valid for five years. The certificate is issued on paper and sent to the applicant by post. Additionally, a copy of the certificate shall be uploaded to the Civil Aviation Administration’s website.

An application to extend the validity of the certificate must be submitted at least 30 calendar days before the end of its validity. If there are shortcomings in the application, they must be eliminated within 30 calendar days after the applicant was informed of the shortcomings. If the shortcomings are not eliminated, processing the application to change a certificate or extend its validity shall be terminated with a decision not to issue the certificate.

The Civil Aviation Administration shall make a decision regarding changing the certificate and the associated operation conditions or extending certificate’s validity within 30 calendar days after the application was submitted or the shortcomings in the application were eliminated.

If the validity of a certificate is extended, a new certificate shall be issued instead of the old one, and the new validity shall be indicated on it. The new certificate shall have the same registration number.

Amendments to the conditions of an activity licence

To change a certificate and the associated operation conditions or to extend a certificate’s validity, a written request must be submitted to the Civil Aviation Administration. The request must include the information required for submitting an application for an activity licence.

The application to amend the certificate and the associated operation conditions shall be submitted at least 30 calendar days before the implementation of the planned changes. If there are shortcomings in the application, they must be eliminated within 30 calendar days after the applicant was informed thereof. If the shortcomings are not eliminated, processing the application shall be terminated with a decision refusing to change the certificate or to extend its validity.

The Civil Aviation Administration shall make a decision regarding changing the certificate and the associated operation conditions or extending certificate’s validity within 30 calendar days after the application was submitted or the shortcomings in the application were eliminated.

If a certificate and the associated operation conditions are changed, the Civil Aviation Administration shall replace the previously issued document with a new one. The new document shall have the previous registration number.

If an operator renounces their certificate, the Civil Aviation Administration shall declare it invalid. The owner of the certificate must inform the Civil Aviation Administration about renouncing the certificate in writing at least 30 calendar days before the day of renouncement.

Revocation of an activity licence

The Civil Aviation Administration shall revoke an air operator certificate on the following grounds:

  • The certified person’s organisational structure, services, facilities, aircrafts, equipment, supplies, operational procedures, handbooks, documents, and their personnel’s knowledge, skills, and experience do not meet the requirements that form the basis for issuing a certificate;
  • The certified person violates the requirements of aviation legislation;
  • The certified person violates the requirements of the flight operations manual or the requirements for the organisation of maintenance, or;
  • The certified person violates the operation conditions of the certificate.

If an operator renounces their certificate, the Civil Aviation Administration shall declare it invalid. The owner of the certificate must inform the Civil Aviation Administration about renouncing the certificate in writing at least 30 calendar days before the renouncement. The certificate shall be declared invalid as of the date the certified person informed the Civil Aviation Administration. The owner of the certificate must return the certificate that was declared invalid within three workdays after they were informed of the revocation of the certificate.

Supervision

The Civil Aviation Administration shall execute supervision over the compliance of the requirements of an air operator certificate for aerial work.

Contact details

Substantive information

Civil Aviation Administration, tel: +372 610 3590, +372 610 3501, e-mail: ecaa@ecaa.ee

Registry information and technical questions

Flight safety information system, tel: +372 610 3500, e-mail: ecaa@ecaa.ee

Last amended: 08-09-2016 10:16 | Compiled by: Civil Aviation Administration