Types of Operation

Information regarding the various types of aircraft operation

Air operations are broadly grouped into:

  • General Aviation;
  • Business Aviation; and
  • Commercial Air Transport / Public Transport.

The webpages listed in the menu bar contain further information regarding the type of operation specified.

General Aviation

General Aviation activities encompass private flying, Aerial Work and recreational flying involving all types of aircraft.


Business Aviation

Business Aviation (also called Corporate Aviation) is where aircraft are operated by companies or organisations but do not carry fare-paying passengers. Business aircraft operators do not hold an Air Operators' Certificate (AOC).


Commercial Air Transport / Public Transport

Commercial Air Transport or Public Transport activities are those for which passengers pay a fare, or payment is made for cargo to be carried. If a passenger is asked to contribute in any way towards the costs of a flight, “valuable consideration”, the flight is likely to be for the purpose of public transport.

Some exceptions to this rule are:

  • Some flights conducted to raise money for charities,
  • Some flights where costs are shared between the pilot and up to three passengers,
  • Some flights where the passengers are joint owners of the aircraft.

Please Note: The term “valuable consideration” can include methods of payment other than money, for example: free advertising or payment in kind.

Companies or individuals wishing to carry fare-paying passengers must hold an Air Operator Certificate (AOC).

An AOC is required for any Commercial Air Transport / Public Transport flight.


Further Information

Summary of the Meaning of Commercial Air Transport, Public Transport and Aerial Work