Air Carrier Operating Certificate Law & Legal Definition


An air carrier operating certificate refers to a certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that holder is able to design, document, implement, and audit safety critical processes that comply with regulations and safety standards, and manage hazard-related risks in operating environment.

The administrator of the Federal Aviation administration issues an air carrier operating certificate to a person desiring to operate as an air carrier when the administrator finds, after investigation, that the person properly and adequately is equipped and able to operate safely the regulations and prescribed standards. An air carrier operating certificate must:

(1) contain terms necessary to ensure safety in air transportation; and

(2) specify the places to and from which, and the airways of the U.S. over which, a person operates as an air carrier. [49 USCS § 44705].

An applicant will not obtain an air carrier certification until the certificate-holding district office (CHDO), regional Flight Standards Division (RFSD) offices, and AFS-900 are confident that the prospective certificate holder is able to provide service at the highest degree of safety in the public interest.