Certificate of Airworthiness in Zimbabwe

First Published: August 24, 2017

Certificate of Airworthiness in Zimbabwe

By Prince Kanokanga

Civil aviation in Zimbabwe is governed by the Civil Aviation Act [Chapter 13:16] and the Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Regulations, 2004. The registration of aircraft is governed by Part 4, 5, 7 of the Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Regulations, 2004.

It must be mentioned that aviation law is a vexing and niche industry, and the unraveling of its complexities a mystery. In a South African case, Gamble J had this to say about the regulations applicable to aviation in the matter of Berwick (nee Miller) v Villiers-Roux & Others ZAWCHC 164:

“It would be fair to say that the applicable framework is a complex web of Acts of Parliament, regulations promulgated thereunder and directives issued by the CAA from time to time. I must confess that navigating one’s way through this collection of statutes is much like flying in dense cloud and hoping that the instrument landing system will safely take one to the right airport.”

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe was established through the Civil Aviation Act [Chapter 13:16] to promote safe, secure and efficient usage of the airspace and the national airports system in an environmentally compliant manner.

The Authority is the appointed aviation regulator in Zimbabwe which has the mandate to promote civil aviation safety and security. In performing its function, the Authority must assess whether a particular aircraft is ‘airworthy’. In simple terms this is to measure the aircraft’s suitability for safe flight.

A ‘certificate of airworthiness’ is a certification and is maintained by performing the required maintenance actions. It is essential that a proposed owner take the necessary steps to have an Authority approved maintenance organisation carry out a maintenance check on aircrafts. It is also essential that, the proposed owner train Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Authority Inspectors on the type of aircraft at his own cost.

In terms of the Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Regulations, 2004 no person shall operate a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (also known as RPA) unless such person is a holder of a valid RPA Operator’s Certificate including the Operations Specifications in the case of commercial, corporate and non-profit operations and in the case of commercial operations, an Air Services Permit issued in terms of the Civil Aviation Act [Chapter 13:16]

Persons interested in acquiring and registering their aircraft on the Zimbabwe Civil Aircraft Register are required to furnish the Authority with the following requirements:

  1. Proof of Qualification
  2. Complete CAAZ CA Form No. 5 and pay the requisite fee as prescribed in an AIC for Schedule of Fees
  3. Copy of a letter of agreement of sale or lease agreement
  4. The consignment must be cleared by customs
  5. Proof of customs clearance
  6. A certificate of deletion from Civil Aircraft Register of previous State of Registry
  7. Original previous certificates of Registration and Airworthiness

In addition to the above, it must be noted that if an Agreement of Sale has been signed by both parties, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe also requires a Board Resolution to either purchase or sell the aircraft, which must be signed by two thirds of the directors of a company. The Civil Authority will determine whether the aircraft is eligible for registration and issuance of a Certificate of Airworthiness.

With regards to the initial issuance of a certificate of airworthiness, the Authority requires the following:

  • Aircraft Type Data Certificate and applicable supplementary type certificates
  • Two copies of aircraft current flight manuals or acceptable equivalent document
  • Export Certificate of Airworthiness
  • Aircraft maintenance and vendor manuals
  • Aircraft and vendor parts catalogues
  • A list of all Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins embodied on the aircraft
  • Electrical load analysis covering or services (unless held by the applicant and available for examination, a complete set of wiring diagrams covering all electrical and radios installations will be required)
  • Master Minimum Equipment List

In addition to the above, the proposed aircraft owner must furnish the Authority with its previous aircraft log books in order for the Authority to inspect the aircraft and its previous maintenance records. The proposed owner must provide the Authority with the intended use of the aircraft in Zimbabwe.

The aircraft will be required to undergo a complete Certificate of Airworthiness inspection determined by the Authority including compliance to municipal requirements as provided in Part 5 of the Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Regulations, 2004 as well as undergo a flight test.


Disclaimer: While care has been taken to ensure that this publication is accurate, Kanokanga & Partners accepts no liability for any prejudice, loss or, damage of whatsoever nature which may arise from reliance on any of the information published herein. The contents of this publication are for general information purposes only. The purpose of this publication does NOT constitute our legal or professional advice. Readers are advised not to act on the basis of the information contained herein alone. Every situation depends on its own facts and circumstances.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, the information provided in this guide is collected from several sources such as the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and others

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