Pilot chemical rating licence

About the pilot chemical rating licence

All aircraft - whether conventional aeroplanes, helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated from ground level – must be under the control of a licensed pilot in command when used for aerial distribution (spraying, spreading or dispersing) of agricultural chemicals.

The pilot in command must hold a current pilot chemical rating licence issued under the Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Act 1966 or a current equivalent licence issued in another state or territory.

Apply for a pilot chemical rating licence

If you wish to obtain a pilot chemical rating licence, you must be at least 17 years old and hold a relevant civil aviation authorisation to pilot (as pilot in command) your aircraft, issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. This will be:

  • for a manned aircraft, a commercial pilot's licence endorsed with an aerial application endorsement
  • for a UAV, a civil aviation authorisation to control the UAV which you intend to use under the licence, and in the circumstances you intend to carry out the aerial distribution.

You will also require the necessary qualifications, either:

  • the Spraysafe Pilot Accreditation from the Aerial Application Association of Australia
  • or
  • if you intend to use a UAV only, the holding of statements of attainment, obtained after completing the following Australian qualification framework (AQF) nationally recognised units of competency:
    • AHCCHM307 – Prepare and apply chemicals to control pest, weeds and diseases
    • AHCCHM304 – Transport and store chemicals.

If you do not hold current qualifications for the above units of competency, our chief executive may consider previous versions of these qualifications or future training options that become available. If you want to rely on an alternative qualification or training to apply for a pilot chemical rating licence, you must demonstrate the qualification or training is relevant and substantially equivalent by comparing the qualification or training to the specified units of competency.

To apply once you are qualified, complete the online application for a licence and pay the prescribed fee.

This licence is issued for either a 1 or 3 year period, which you nominate when you apply.

Note: You cannot carry out aerial distribution unless you do so under the direction or authority of a licensed aerial distribution contractor. Any aerial distribution contractor must hold an aerial distribution contractor licence. Learn more about applying for an aerial distribution contractor licence.

Renewal of existing licences

If you have an email address recorded against your licence you will receive an automated notification 60 days prior to expiry date. However, you can also renew within the 60 day period using the online renewal form.

You will need your licence number to use the online renewal link. If you don’t know your number you can find this by using the chemical application licence register.

If your licence has expired, you cannot renew your licence and must apply for a new one.

Change of licence details

It is a requirement under the Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Act 1966 that licensees notify the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) of any changes within 21 days.

To update your licence details, use the change request form. If you are renewing your licence, the renewal form also provides for changes to details.

If you cannot apply online, contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.