Importing/Certifying an Aircraft
If you are thinking of operating or importing aircraft to Fiji, you will require two basic CAAF documents - Certificate of Registration and Certificate of Airworthiness certificate.
Note: These are the documents required by CAAF Standards Document – Airworthiness of Aircraft.
There are other documents required before an aircraft can be flown that are issued by other persons. These may include a certificate of release to service and a technical log, issued by a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (LAME), and the aircraft flight manual, issued by the manufacturer.
The two CAAF documents and their issuing processes are largely independent, although a certificate of airworthiness cannot be issued until an aircraft is registered. The registration process is basically the same for all aircraft, while the process for issue of certificate of airworthiness varies considerably with the type of aircraft involved.
Application for registration is made using the appropriate CAAF form. A fee is payable at the time of application.
A certificate of registration is not an ownership document. “Owner” under the Air Navigation Regulations refers to the person or organisation who operates the aircraft (for 28 days or longer). CAAF requires details of the current operator of the aircraft so they can forward any urgent safety information quickly.
A certificate of registration is an aviation document and as such, the holder is required to meet the fit and proper person criteria. Any applicants who do not hold a current aviation document or have not previously passed the fit and proper person criteria should complete the appropriate CAAF form and forward this, along with the application, for registration. If the aircraft is to be registered in the name of a partnership or syndicate, all members of the partnership or syndicate should complete the form.
The basic requirement for registration in Fiji is that the aircraft is not registered in any other country. An aircraft cannot be registered until CAAF has received confirmation from the previous country of registration that the aircraft has been de-registered. CAAF will require written confirmation that the aircraft has not been registered in that country. Please be aware that some countries can take several days (or more) to action de-registration, and also that some countries require all commercial liens to be discharged before de- registration can occur. In some cases there can be considerable delays and therefore it is important to ensure the previous owner arranges for de- registration from the country of export. An early application for registration to CAAF will also give us the opportunity to find out if there are any indications that a delay is likely.
Once an application has been made, unless otherwise requested, CAAF will register the aircraft once the above requirements have been met. If the aircraft is not yet in the country or not airworthy this should be considered.
Type Certificated Aircraft
“Type certificated aircraft” means aircraft such as Cessna 172, Piper Chieftain, Airbus A330 or Boeing 737-800, that have been issued with a type certificate in their country of origin. This certifies that the aircraft design has been shown to meet a comprehensive set of airworthiness design requirements. These type certificated aircraft are eligible for an airworthiness certificate in the standard or restricted categories, and can be used for hire or reward operations (ie: to earn money).
An initial requirement for issue of an airworthiness certificate in the standard or restricted categories is that the aircraft type has been issued with either a UK, EASA or FAA type certificate or type acceptance certificate. Fiji type acceptance certificates are issued to aircraft types that have been type certificated in a foreign country. Type acceptance is the process of validating the foreign type certificate in Fiji. This involves a review and adoption of the country of origin certification requirements , and the supply of technical data to provide information for the safe operation of the aircraft in Fiji.
Liaise with CAAF Airworthiness Section on which aircraft have been type accepted in Fiji. Type acceptance may have been limited to particular model variants or even specific serial numbers, so this should be carefully checked. If the aircraft type you wish to import and/or certify is not type accepted, this would have to be done before any action is taken regarding issue of an airworthiness certificate to any individual examples. Type acceptance almost invariably requires the support of the manufacturer or type certificate holder in relation to the supply of certain data. An application fee covering the first two hours on the job, is payable at the time of application. If requested, CAAF can provide a general estimate of the total cost of type acceptance for a particular model. This depends largely on the class of aircraft and the level of manufacturer support available
If the aircraft is type certificated or type accepted in UK, EASA or FAA it is eligible for issue of a Fiji airworthiness certificate in standard or restricted categories and an application may be made using CAAFF appropriate form. Again, an application fee covering the first two hours work on the job, is payable at the time of application.
The other major requirement is evidence that the particular aircraft conforms to the basic type design specified in the type certificate. An export airworthiness certificate or a recently issued foreign domestic airworthiness certificate (provided
the airworthiness certificate was issued during the previous 60 days) can satisfy this. If the aircraft has one of these, CAAF will proceed with the inspection of the aircraft and its maintenance documentation.
If the aircraft does not come with a document providing automatically acceptable evidence of conformity to its type certificate, CAAF will conduct an eligibility investigation to determine how conformity can be shown. Copies of all information or documentation that could assist CAAF in this investigation should be supplied at the time of initial application.
Non-type Certificated Aircraft
Contact CAAF Airworthiness Section if you are unsure about the eligibility of your aircraft.
For further information, refer to
- Laws of Fiji
- CAAF Standards Documents
- CAAF Application Forms
- CAAF Aeronautical Information Circulars
- CAAF Guidance Documents
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