Aviation industry plays a vital role in connecting the Tongan economy and community in terms of tourism; inter-island and international commerce; and travel for social, educational and medical needs. Tonga needs to provide an environment in which an aviation industry can properly function and be regulated in accordance with internationally and regionally recognized standards. Civil Aviation in Tonga operates within a system established and maintained in accordance with Civil Aviation Act 2014. Civil Aviation Division (CAD) regulates the following civil aviation participants to ensure that they comply with the aviation legislation in order to uphold the safety and security in aviation industry.

Role and Function.
Aviation aims to promote safety and security in civil aviation at a reasonable cost for the benefit of the people of Tonga.

  • To provide the responsible Minister with civil aviation safety advice as may be required.
  • To administer the Tonga’s international aviation safety obligations and agreements as delegated by the Minister.
  • To provide technical advice relating to safety standards for entry into, and continued operation within, the civil aviation system.
  • To ensure the availability of appropriate facilities and services within the civil aviation system for safe and orderly air navigation.
  • To promote safety in the civil aviation system by providing safety information and advice industry safety performance advice and fostering safety information education programmes.
  • To ensure regular reviews of the civil aviation system to promote the improvement and development of its safety.
  • To maintain and preserve records and documents relating to activities within the civil aviation system, and in particular to maintain the Register of Aircraft, Civil Aviation Records and a record of every order, directive, certificate, licence, approval, authorization, delegation, dispensation, and so forth, along with every accident and incident including for all these an address for service of every ‘aviation document’ holder.
  • To ensure the establishment of the Aeronautical Information Service so as to meet international obligations (Annex 15) and ensure the collection, publication and provision of charts and aeronautical information, and to enter into arrangements with any other agency or person to collect, publish and distribute such charts and information.
  • To investigate and review accidents and incidents in its capacity as the responsible safety regulator (subject to the limitations required permitting an independent agency to adequately investigate accidents when appropriate) and produce safety recommendations.
  • To impose fair and reasonable charges for the provision of safety regulatory services.
  • To ensure that it does not inhibit the development and growth of the aviation industry in the State.

The benefit of safety and security in civil aviation is not necessarily confined Tonga – there are consequential regional benefits too. For example, all people flying into and out of and within a particular Pacific Island country benefits from improved civil aviation safety and security. This has direct benefits to economic, social and political development.