The Ministry of Transportation issued the revised Provisions on
the Administration of Business Licensing for General Aviation
(Order of the Ministry of Transportation  No. 31)("Order
No. 31") on April 7, 2016. Order No. 31, which became
effective on June 1, 2016 amended the Provisions on the
Administration of Business Licensing for General Aviation issued by
the Civil Aviation Administration of China in 2007 (Order of the
Civil Aviation Administration of China  No. 176) ("Order
General aviation refers to civil aviation operations other than
scheduled air services and non-scheduled air transport operations.
Order No. 31 introduced a number of major changes to the business
licensing for general aviation.
According to Order No. 31, a company must satisfy the following
requirements to obtain the business license for general
(i) The company
must be an enterprise legal person, with general aviation being its
major business, and the legal representative of the company is a
(ii) The name of the
company should reflect the nature of its general aviation
(iii) The company owns at
least two civil aircraft through purchase or lease, and such
aircraft must be registered within the People's Republic of
China and conform to the airworthiness standards;
(iv) The company has a
flight crew that is capable of handling the civil aircraft, having
received professional training and obtained relevant licenses or
(v) The company has
administration, operation and safety management departments as well
as professionals with the relevant experience to operate its
(vi) The senior management
of the company has completed the training required by the general
aviation regulations and the personnel responsible for flight and
operation must have at least three years' experience
cumulatively in recent six years in the relevant professional
(vii) The company has a base
airport suitable for its civil aircraft and corresponding
(viii) The company has qualified
facilities and equipment satisfying the relevant laws and
regulations and standards;
(ix) The company has the
ability to provide full indemnification and maintains ground third
party liability insurance and other required insurance;
(x) Other requirements
of Civil Aviation Administration of China.
As compared to Order No. 176, Order No. 31 reduces the threshold
of market access for general aviation company. Order No. 31 no
longer requires the company to own the aircraft, rather the
aircraft can be obtained either through ownership or lease.
Also Order No. 31 removes certain requirements relating to the use
of the company's own funds to purchase the aircraft under Order
No. 176. These amendments were intended to alleviate the
capital requirements of the general aviation company as well as to
support the development of aircraft leasing business in China.
Order No. 31 simplifies the approval procedures for the
establishment of general aviation business. Order No. 176
contains a series of approval requirements for a preparatory stage,
but Order No. 31 removes the approval requirements for a
preparatory stage and now a company can directly apply for a
general aviation business license without going through the
preparatory stage application process.
Order No. 31 introduces rules to standardize the operation and
management of the company, for instance, it requires the company to
have administration, operation and safety management departments,
the senior management to complete the training of aviation
regulations and the personnel responsible for flight and operation
to have three years' experience cumulatively in recent six
years in the relevant professional field. In addition, Order
No. 31 requires the company to update its operation manual in a
timely manner in accordance with the laws, regulations and
Another significant change to Order No. 176 is the revision to
the classification of general aviation business under Order No. 31
in light of the existing market demand. Under Order No. 176,
the business license was classified into three categories, Order
No. 31 classifies the business license into four categories.
Air sight-seeing, which used to fall under category A is moved to
category B. Aircraft hosting business and trainings for
private or commercial pilot licenses which used to fall under
category A is moved to category C. Personal flight for
recreational purpose is added to accommodate the increasing market
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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