The New Zealand Civil Aviaiton Authority has announced that it will deliver a cheaper and more accessible aviation medical, based on a drivers license medical standard for Private Pilot Licence holders, coming into full effect 5th April 2021.
New Zealand PPL holders flying with the new DL9 medical can;
- Fly single and multi-engine aircraft up to MCTOW not exceeding 2,730kg
- Fly with a maximum of 5 passengers, unless performing aerobatics
- Perform solo aerobatic maneuvers above 3,000ft
- Operate into and out of controlled airspace
- Fly pressurised aircraft up to 25,000ft
- Fly at night within 25nm of a lit aerodrome
- Perform helicopter sling loading operations
- Perform banner tow operations not below 500ft
- Perform parachute drop operations not exceeding 10,000ft AMSL
- Perform drogue tow operations not below 500ft
In introducing the new drivers licence medical standard for PPL holders, the NZ CAA has moved to revoke the Recreational Pilot License (RPL) from New Zealand aviation regulations. Curernt holders of a NZ CAA RPL will instead be issued with a PPL.
AOPA Australia has today written to the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority seeking further information on this important announcement, the association has also reached out to AOPA New Zealand, which we hope to interview in the coming week.
Civil Aviation Authority’s acting Licensing and Standards Manager, David Harrison, says these changes help reduce a significant cost barrier for pilots and bring New Zealand broadly in line with other international aviation authorities.
“Private pilots have been calling for the CAA to adopt an alternative PPL medical standard for some time now. We have listened carefully, consulted widely and have concluded that we can make these changes without adding any unacceptable risk for New Zealand’s aviation system,” Mr Harrison said.
“Most pilots will be able to get a DL9 medical from a local medical practitioner, such as their family GP, and unlike class 2 medicals there will be no CAA charges involved.
“These changes will be welcome news for the approximately 5,500 pilots flying recreationally in New Zealand with a class 2 medical.
“They will also lower barriers to entry for any individual who wishes to become a pilot.”
KEY INFORMATION ABOUT THE NEW ZEALAND PPL DL9 REFORM:
- From 5 April 2021 private pilot licence holders will be able to fly on a DL9 driver licence medical, provided it is current and they have supplied this to the CAA.
- Amendments to the Civil Aviation Rules were signed by the Minister of Transport in mid-February to enable these changes to occur.
- The recreational pilot licence category (which allowed pilots to fly on a DL9 but with substantial restrictions) will be revoked, and licence holders will be issued with a PPL.
- There are 195 pilots in New Zealand with an active recreational pilot licence who will be issued with a PPL. Of these pilots, 178 have a licence to fly an aeroplane and 17 to fly a helicopter.
- As of 3 March there were 5,529 pilots in New Zealand with an active class 2 medical, including more than 3,500 pilots who hold commercial or airline pilot licences but who are flying only recreationally these days.
- Pilots flying on a DL9 medical will still need to meet all the other conditions of their licence. These include:
- Having a flight check with an instructor every two years;
- Having safely conducted three take-offs and landings in the last 90 days if they are going to carry passengers.