All aircraft operators who transport passengers for hire or reward in an aeroplane, helicopter or balloon must hold a valid Operating Licence and an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). It is illegal for owners of private aeroplanes, helicopters or balloons to allow their aircraft to be used for hire or reward without the appropriate Operating Licence and AOC.
An AOC is issued by the Irish Aviation Authority when the aircaft operator meets a number of requirements, which includes a comprehensive check of their safety standards.
An Operating Licence is issued by the Commission for Aviation Regulation to aircraft operators who have their principal place of business in Ireland and when they meet a number of requirments. These requirements include obtaining the above mentioned AOC from the IAA, satisfactory insurance cover and financial fitness.
Using an unlicensed aircraft operator for public transport is illegal and may, in the event of an accident, invalidate aircraft and personal insurance. Always check to see if your chosen aircraft operator holds an Operating Licence and an AOC to carry passengers for hire or reward. A certified copy of the AOC must be held onboard the aircraft.
Further information and a list of licensed carriers is available from the Commission for Aviation Regulation’s website.