Procedure for Issuance and Exercising Rights of Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and Business License No. 659-2019

1.    Short title

This Directive may be cited as the “Procedure for Issuance and Exercising Rights of Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and Business License No. 659-2019

2.    Objectives

  •    To establish a transparent & fair regulatory framework for processing, issuance and application of Air Operators Certificate(AOC) and Business License,
    •    To protect against illegal practices in relation to holding and exercising rights granted under AOC and Business License; and
    • To ensure operational and state revenue issues are properly addressed.

3.       Scope of Application

This Procedure shall be applicable to any indigenous air operator engaged in commercial air transport services.

4. AOC and Business License Issuance, Application and Reporting                           


  1. Any legal person/entity applying for an AOC1 shall, in addition to technical and legal evidences specified under Ethiopian Civil Aviation Regulations, submit
    1. Investment Permit(if any)
    1. Certificate of Principal Registration
    1. Business Plan
    1. Upon securing an AOC,an entity is required to apply for and hold a business License with the following requirements to be fulfilled:
      1. Complete the Application Form prepared by the Authority,
      1. A copy of the newly issued or renewed Principal Registration Certificate,
      1. Certificate of Taxpayer Identification Number(TIN),
      1. Copies of the Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association,
      1. Should own at least 1(one) Ethiopian registered aircraft,
      1. Copies of Certificates of ownership or lease agreement on Head Office,
      1. Copy of Employment Contract Agreement(including employee address),
      1. Occupational Certification & CVs,
      1. To ensure the availability of reliable financial resources to operate the air transport service, the Bank shall provide a deposit of not less than Birr 2.5 million in a blocked account to be reimbursed after one year of the start of operations.

            Exercise of Rights granted under AOC and Business License

General provision

Any flight shall be performed only if a business license is secured at least within a month after AOC has been issued. A document attesting a contractual agreement between the airline and the entity using the service shall be submitted ahead of a flight permit for non-scheduled (charter) flights.Any AOC holder operating commercial flights without a business license shall be fined in line with Commercial Registration and business Licensing proclamation No.980/2016.If an operator returns the leased aircraft to the owner, ECAA shall be notified of same immediately and the operator will be given no more than 30(thirty) days to acquire another aircraft. Failure to register another aircraft within this period of time shall be ground to suspend an AOC.

1 Air Operator Certification has 5(five) phases: Pre-Application Phase, Formal Application Phase, Documentation Phase, Demonstration and Inspection Phase and Certification Phase; and each phase has its own requirements to be fulfilled..

                  Air Transport scheduled services within Ethiopia

Any AOC holder shall serve at least 3(three) destinations in Ethiopia per week within the validity period (a year) of an AOC.

                  Air Transport Services outside Ethiopia

  1. Any Air Operator shall secure permit from foreign CAAs and notify same to ECAA prior to further commitment to commence flights abroad.
    1. No flights may be performed abroad without similar permit from ECAA.

            Operation with Leased Aircraft

Any lease agreement, including leasing out to any other carrier shall be filled with ECAA.

            Performance Reporting

Any Air Operator shall submit

  • Traffic loaded/unloaded every 3(three) month,
    • Its Annual Financial Statement prior to renewal of its AOC,
    • All supporting documents for renewal of its business license as stated under Commercial Registration and business Licensing proclamation No.980/2016(as amended).

5. Entry into Force, Review and Amendment                                              

  • This Procedure shall enter into force as of July 1/2019 as approved by the Director General, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority.
    • Office of the Deputy DG, Aviation Regulation, shall review and evaluate the implementation of this procedure every 2(two) years.
    • This Procedure shall be revised/amended, as deemed necessary, every 4(four) years.
    • Office of the Deputy DG, Aviation Regulation, may establish ad-hoc team entitled for impact assessment of this procedure with technical advice of responsible Departments.
    • Joint Consultation Forum may be held, including the formal stakeholders’ consultation forum thrice every year, and feedbacks will be submitted to DGCA for further action.

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