Published date: 12 February 2021

The Civil Aviation Authority says that aircraft produced by Pacific Aerospace Limited (PAL) will be able to continue flying despite the company’s financial distress.

CAA Deputy Chief Executive Aviation Safety Dean Winter says his thoughts are with the staff of customers of Pacific Aerospace following the recent announcement.

“The CAA was informed on Wednesday about PAL’s financial status and since then we’ve been working through what the implications are for PAL aircraft operating in New Zealand and around the world,” Mr Winter said.

“As a result, yesterday we suspended PAL’s certificates, which had previously allowed it to design, manufacture and maintain aircraft.

“These certificates require the organisation to be in a financial position to comply with all their safety requirements and this is sadly no longer the case for PAL.”

What the suspension means for operators of PAL aircraft

Yesterday the CAA issued a notice to operators of aircraft produced by Pacific Aerospace, explaining that they’ll be able to continue operating their aircraft unless a serious safety or airworthiness issue is identified which would affect all aircraft of that type.

Normally such issues would be addressed by the manufacturer or another organisation which has responsibility through holding a ‘type certificate’.

With PAL in financial distress and its certificates suspended, the CAA is reviewing how safety issues involving PAL aircraft could be addressed in future, with potential options including:

  • The reinstatement of PAL’s certificates if the company is able to meet its responsibilities under those certificates;
  • The CAA assuming operational safety responsibility for PAL aircraft;
  • Transfer of this responsibility and ‘type certificates’ to another operator which is willing and able to meet its responsibilities;
  • As an absolute last resort, suspension or revocation of the certificates allowing PAL aircraft to operate if none of the options above are practicable.

Mr Winter says the CAA will work hard with industry to find a suitable holder for PAL’s type certificates so that PAL aircraft can continue to fly for many years to come.

“Many PAL aircraft have become a familiar sight in New Zealand’s skies as agricultural workhorses and a staple of our skydiving operators. We want to work with industry to find a lasting solution.”

Please contact the CAA media team for more information:

027 763 0000 |