A Gambian-registered company shall not operate aircraft for commercial air transport unless under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Prospective AOC holders must go through a certification process. Guidance material for certification is contained in GCAA Advisory Pamphlet Document AOC-AP-001.





For the grant of an AOC, the following conditions shall apply:
A Gambian-registered company shall not operate aircraft for commercial air transport unless under and in accordance with the conditions of an Air Operators Certificate (AOC)

  1. The Applicant must be a Gambian Registered Company and hold an Air Carriers Licence (ACL).
  2. The Company shall have an aircraft registered in its name in The Gambia.
  3. The Company shall be financially sound.
  4. The applicant shall submit its application at least sixty (60) days before the date of intended operation.
  5. The applicant shall include in his application, a Schedule of Events listing major items, activities, programmes, aircraft and/or facility acquisitions.
  6. A completely filled-out set of Specific Operating Provisions (SOPs)
  7. Operational Manual, Maintenance Control Manual, Training Manual and any other manual deemed appropriate to the operation which meets the criteria provided for in ICAO Annexes and related ICAO documents
  8. A detailed description of how the applicant intends to show compliance with each provision of applicable regulations in a document referred to as a (Compliance statement )
  9. The applicant shall be taken through the AOC Certification Process.
  10. For further detailed information refer to CAR (Civil Aviation Regulation )


AOC holders in The Gambia may lease foreign registered aircraft to augment their operations in times of difficulty under the following condition or terms:

  1. A lease agreement between the AOC holder in The Gambia and the foreign Operator/Company shall be provided.
  2. A lease may be classified as either We or Dry. For further details on the differences see CAR 9.2.3.
  3. The Aircraft shall be operated under the terms and conditions of an AOC issued in the State of Registry.
  4. Inspections of Operational/Maintenance Facilities 5.


Gambian registered Companies or individuals may charter aircraft for hire or reward on an ad-hoc basis provided the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. Recommendation to carry out Charter Operations from the Tourist Board must be received.
  2. Agreement between the Chatterer and the operating company shall be provided.
  3. The operational capabilities of the Chatterer will be looked at i.e. offices, equipment and personnel.
  4. The operating company’s maintenance and operational facilities shall be inspected.
  5. The Aircraft shall be operated under the conditions and terms of an AOC issued by the State of Registry.


An operator shall not operate any aircraft for the purpose of Air Taxi otherwise than under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of an Air Operators Certificate (AOC). Please see the requirements for issuance of an AOC under Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) Part 9.


Both Foreign and Gambian Companies may operate an aircraft for aerial work provided:

  1. Prior approval has been obtained from The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority  (GCAA) before the commencement of work in accordance with CAR 11 (Aerial Application Certificate).
  2. Security Clearance has been obtained from the appropriate authorities.
  3. The aircraft is registered in any ICAO Contracting State.
  4. The aircraft has a valid Certificate of Airworthiness from the State Registry


An aircraft may be registered and operated in the Private Category by any person provided:

  1. The person resides or has a place of business in The Gambia.
  2. The person holds legal or beneficial interest by way of ownership in the aircraft or has a share in the aircraft. A foreign registered aircraft may be operated in the Private Category by any person not exceeding ninety (90) days if:
  • The person resides or has a place of business in The Gambia.
  • The person holds legal or beneficial interest by way of ownership in the aircraft or has a share in the aircraft.
  • Prior approval has been obtained from GCAA. The 90 days period will be calculated from the date of issue of this approval.

In all cases, Security Clearance shall be obtained from the appropriate authority.


  1. Validation of a foreign Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s Licence may be granted for a short duration not exceeding 12 months or the expiry date of the original licence.
  2. The applicant shall submit a written application together with one passport-size photograph and pay the prescribed fee and shall complete an application form.
  3. Validation is not renewable beyond the 12 months duration.
  4. Applicants are advised to apply for The Gambia A.M.E. Licence within the 12 months period of their Licence Validation.
  5. Applicants should be conversant with The Gambia Civil Aviation Regulations.
  6. An applicant is required to submit a Photostat copy of his original licence issued by an ICAO Contracting State.
  7. In addition, the applicant is required to produce his original licence issued
    by an ICAO Contracting State together with certified recent experience and courses attended on any type of aircraft (if necessary).
  8. The applicant should be an employee of a Gambian Registered Company
  9. A validation shall not be granted for a ‘Type Rating’ if the aircraft type is not on The Gambia Civil Aircraft Register.



  1. Upon receipt of the prospective operator’s application, the DSR will set up a Certification Team comprising ASIs from the Airworthiness and Operations sections. A member of the team will be designated as the Certification Project Manager (CPM), who will serve as a focal point during the entire certification process.
  2. The CPM shall coordinate all activities between the applicant and the team members. The CPM will assign duties and responsibilities to team members and all reports will be sent to him/her.


  • The CPM will invite the applicant for a preliminary discussion on the general nature of the intended operations. The CPM will also brief the applicant on GCAA’s requirements and expectations. The applicant’s technical personnel need not attend this initial meeting.
  • If the CPM ascertains from the preliminary meeting that the applicant is prepared to carry through his/her proposals, the certification team will subsequently guide the applicant through all five phases of the Certification process: –
  • Pre-application phase,
  • Formal application phase.
  • Document evaluation phase
  • Demonstration & Inspection phase.
  • Certification phase.
  • The Certification team is to ensure that guidance and procedures on the various phases of the certification process as contained in the GCAA Advisory Pamphlet (AOC-AP-001) and Aviation Safety Inspector’s Handbook Volume 2, are followed.
  • The Certification Team should further ensure that all Regulatory requirements including Manual requirements are met by the applicant.
  • Records will be kept of all activities and meetings between the applicant and team members.
  • Major deficiencies that require corrective actions will also be documented by all team members during the entire process.
  • Progress reports on the process will be sent to the Director of Safety Regulations from time to time by the CPM.


  1. At the end of the certification process, the CPM will submit a final report to the DSR after ensuring that the applicant has satisfactorily completed and met all certification requirements.
  2. The DSR will subsequently submit the report and his comments to the Director-General.
  3. When approval is given by the Director-General, the CPM will issue the Air Operator Certificate and SOPs for the Director-General’s signature.
  4. The SOPs must be signed by the applicant, accepting the SOPs.
  5. The original Certificate and SOPs will then be given to the new certificate holder by the Director of Safety Regulations.


The Operator must apply for renewal of the AOC prior to the expiration date. The request for renewal shall contain the same basic information that was submitted before the original certification and should be received by the Director well in advance at least 20 working days before the expiration date of the AOC. An Inspector shall conduct a complete Base Inspection covering all phases of the company’s operation prior to the expiration date of the AOC.

In so far as maintenance surveillance activities are concerned the areas to be covered are essentially the same as those examined during the original certification process and should include management effectiveness, facilities, manuals, training and record of compliance with the provisions of the AOC and the maintenance related SOPs and pertinent civil air regulations.

If the surveillance inspection programme and related inspection reports reveal that the holder of the AOC has failed or is unable to meet or maintain the required standards for certification or the conditions specified in the AOC or related SOPs, the Inspector must promptly advise the Operator of the deficiency observed and require remedial action within a specified time. If the Operator does not correct the deficiency when required, the inspector should immediately inform the Director with a recommendation that the Operator’s AOC privileges be temporarily or permanently withdrawn or restricted.

If after careful review of all the circumstances involved and there is the need to suspend or revoke the Operator’s AOC privileges, the Director should forward a fax or letter to the operator summarizing the proposed action and the reasons thereof.

When an AOC is cancelled or revoked for any reason, the operator must promptly return the AOC to the Director-General.