Australian Department of Civil Aviation

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Department of Civil Aviation
English Title:
Department of Civil Aviation
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

A Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of Defence was first created in 1921 to oversee the development of civil aviation in Australia. In 1938 it was made a separate government Department. After a series of departmental reorganisations that started in 1973, a separate Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) emerged in 1988, to control aviation safety regulation and provide air traffic services. In July 1995 the Civil Aviation Authority was split into an airspace management organisation, called Airservices Australia, and an aviation safety authority, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Throughout its life, the DCA/CAA operated a small fleet of aircraft for transport and Navaid Calibration duties.

Key Dates

28 March 1921    Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of Defence first established.
24 November 1938    Removed from military control as Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).
30 November 1973    Became Department of Transport, Air Transport Group.
7 May 1982    Department of Aviation (DOA) separated from Department of Transport.
24 July 1987    Absorbed into Department of Transport and Communications.
1 July 1988    Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) created.
6 July 1995    Airservices Australia created from part of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Current Status

The Department of Civil Aviation eventually became the Civil Aviation Authority of Australia, which ceased to exist in 1995.

Future Plans

Not applicable.


Special Markings

DCA aircraft were normally left in a bare metal or silver dope finish, with a Department of Civil Aviation crest on the nose. A white colour scheme with a blue fuselage cheatline was adopted from the 1960s, with some later aircraft having light grey undersides. No service titles were carried by DCA aircraft.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Department of Civil Aviation aircraft carried Australian civil aircraft registrations, of which many were in the sequence VH-CAx, where CA stood for Civil Aviaiton, e.g. Avro Anson VH-CAB.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

To be added.


Main Headquarters

Departmenty of Civil Aviation, Victoria, VIC, Australia

Organisational Structure

The Flying Unit came under the Operations Branch of the DCA. This unit provided Navaid Calibration services. Other units of the DCA apparently provided VIP transport, flight training and Search & Rescue services.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

All Flying Unit aircraft were based at Essendon Airport, Melbourne, VIC.

More Information


To be added


To be added


wikipedia: Department of Civil Aviation (Australia)
Departmental Aircraft

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

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