Aerodrome and Heliport Certification

The intent of an aerodrome certificate is to convey to aircraft operators that the operator of an aerodrome has agreed to operate and maintain their facility in compliance with accepted international safety standards.   The certification process establishes the baseline for continued monitoring by the Civil Aviation Authority and applies to both fixed and rotary wing aircraft aerodromes.

Governing Regulations

The principle legislation governing aerodromes in the Cayman Islands is the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order AN(OT)O, as amended from time to time, with gazetted guidance material provided in the Overseas Territory Aviation Requirements (OTAR) Part 139 for aerodromes. OTAR 139 specifies the certification process and obligations and incorporates by reference the standards and recommended requirements in ICAO’s Annex 14 Vol. 1 for fixed wing aircraft and Vol. 2 for Helicopters. This OTAR is supported by Overseas Territories Aviation Circulars (OTACs) which are available on the Aviation Safety Support International (ASSI) website for further guidance on the requirements.

Certification Applicability

The regulatory requirement for aerodrome certification in the Cayman Islands applies to any of the following operations:

  • The aerodrome handles aircraft which are flying for the purpose of international operations;
  • The aerodrome handles aircraft having a type certificated maximum passenger seating capacity of 10 or more for the purpose of commercial air transport operations;
  • The aerodrome handles aircraft having a maximum total weight authorized (MTWA) of 15, 000 kg or more operating a flight for the purpose of commercial air transport;
  • The Governor considers it in the public interest to require certification (Article 155 applies)

Certification Requirements

Before a certificate is granted, the CAA must be satisfied that the physical conditions on the maneuvering area, apron and obstacle limitation surfaces of the aerodrome are acceptable and that the scale of equipment and facilities provided are adequate for the flying activities which are expected to take place.  The associated design is based on the demands from the maximum or critical aircraft using the facilities.

An Aerodrome certificate is granted to an individual or a company or any other legally constituted authority that satisfies the CAA that the criteria for certificate issue have been met. Once a certificate is granted, the CAA is obliged to satisfy itself that a certificate holder continues to meet certification requirements. An aerodrome certificate is not a saleable asset and cannot be transferred from one person to another.

If the identity of a certificate holder is to change, application for grant of a new certificate must be made to the CAA by the prospective certificate holder. As with any new application, grant of an aerodrome certificate will be subject to the applicant satisfying the CAA on the requirements of AN(OT)O Article 155 as amended, and OTAR Part 139 Certification of Aerodromes. In addition to the aerodrome characteristics, these requirements will include the demonstration of competence by the applicant to secure that the aerodrome and its airspace are safe for use by aircraft. In assessing an applicant’s competence, matters taken into account will include:

  1. The previous conduct and experience of the applicant.
  2. The organisation, staffing and equipment to be provided.
  3. The arrangements for the maintenance of the aerodrome and its facilities and equipment.
  4. The adequacy of the aerodrome manual.
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