Airport Operating Certificate Law and Legal Definition

An air operating certificate (AOC) refers to the certificate of approval granted from a national aviation authority to an aircraft operator allowing the operator to use aircraft for commercial purposes. In order to obtain the certificate, the operator must have personnel, assets and system in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public. An AOC contain the aircraft types, the registration, the purpose and the area in which the specific aircraft is to be used.

Activities for which an AOC is granted include aerial surveying, aerial spotting, agricultural operations, aerial photography, aerial advertising, fire fighting, air ambulance, flying training and regular public transport.

An air operating certificate authorizes an airline to initiate regularly scheduled passenger service flights between specified destinations. [West Houston Air Committee v. Federal Aviation Admin., 784 F.2d 702, 703 (5th Cir. 1986)].