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Civil Aviation Administration of China

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Civil Aviation Administration of China
Zhōngguó Mínyòng Hángkōng Jú
Agency overview
Formed1949; 75 years ago (1949)
Jurisdiction China
HeadquartersDongcheng, Beijing
Agency executive
  • Song Zhiyong (as of January 2023[1], Administrator
Parent agencyMinistry of Transport
CAAC headquarters
Flight Inspection Center of CAAC

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC; Chinese: 中国民用航空局; pinyin: Zhōngguó Mínyòng Hángkōng Jú) is the Chinese civil aviation authority under the Ministry of Transport. It oversees civil aviation and investigates aviation accidents and incidents.[2]

As the aviation authority responsible for China, it concludes civil aviation agreements with other aviation authorities, including those of the Special administrative regions of China which are categorized as "special domestic."[3][better source needed] It directly operated its own airline, China's aviation monopoly, until 1988. The agency is headquartered in Dongcheng, Beijing.[4]


On 2 November 1949, shortly after the founding of the People's Republic of China, the CCP Central Committee decided to found the Civil Aviation Agency under the name of the People's Revolutionary Military Commission, and under the command of the People's Liberation Army Air Force, to manage all non-military aviation in the country, as well as provide general and commercial flight services. The Civil Aviation Agency was created in December of the same year, and set offices in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Wuhan.[5] On 10 March 1950, the Guangzhou Office began to work, managing civil flight services in Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hunan. Later, it was merged with Wuhan Office to form the Civil Aviation Office of Central and Southern China on 21 January 1951, in Guangzhou, and was renamed Central and Southern Civil Aviation Office, working for civil flight administrations in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hubei, and Hunan.[citation needed]

On 7 May 1952, the People's Revolutionary Military Commission and the State Council issued the Decision for Reorganizing Civil Aviation (Chinese: 关于整编民用航空的决定) and the Civil Aviation Agency of the People's Revolutionary Military Commission was transferred to the military system and was under the direct control of the PLA Air Force, then split the civil aviation administration division and airline division to form the separate Civil Aviation Agency and civil airline. Under this decision, from July to November 1951, the Civil Aviation Agency had four administration offices in Shanghai (Eastern China), Guangzhou (Central-Southern), Chongqing (Southwestern China), and Tianjin (Northern China). The Southern China branch was briefly renamed the Civil Aviation Administration Office of Southern China. On 17 July 1952, the People's Aviation Company of China was created, headquartered in Tianjin.[6]

On 9 June 1953, following Aeroflot in the Soviet Union, the People's Aviation Company of China was merged with the Civil Aviation Agency of the Central Revolutionary Military Commission. Later, the SKOGA was merged with the Beijing administration office on 1 January 1955.[7]: 275 

In November 1954, the Civil Aviation Agency of the People's Revolutionary Military Commission was renamed Civil Aviation Agency of China. It was transferred to the State Council and came under the leadership of both State Council and PLA Air Force. The PLA Air Force was also responsible for technical, flight, aircrew, communicating, human resources, and political works.

On 27 February 1958, the Civil Aviation Agency was transferred to the Ministry of Transport. Later, the Agency ratified the Report for the Opinions of System Devolving (Chinese: 关于体制下放意见的报告) from the party branch of the Ministry of Transport in 17 June. Both national and local authorities have responsibilities of civil aviation. International and main domestic flights were mainly under the leadership of the national authority while local and agricultural flights were mainly under the leadership of local authority. Thus, most provinces and autonomous regions established their own civil aviation administration offices. Five administration offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Ürümqi were changed to be regional administration agencies in 13 December. The Agency was renamed the General Administration of Civil Aviation of the Ministry of Transport on 17 November 1960.

In April 1962, the Presidium of the 2nd National People's Congress decided to rename the General Administration of Civil Aviation of the Ministry of Transport to the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China on the 53rd meeting. It was transferred to the State Council and was managed by the PLA Air Force. The General Administration of Civil Aviation was transferred to the PLA Air Force on 20 November 1969.

CAAC Ilyushin Il-62 at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport in 1974

In 1963, China purchased six Vickers Viscount aircraft from Great Britain, followed in 1971 by the purchase of four Hawker Siddeley Trident aircraft from Pakistan International Airlines. In August 1971, the airline purchased six Trident 2Es directly from Hawker Siddeley.[8] The country also placed provisional orders for three Concorde aircraft. With the 1972 Nixon visit to China, the country ordered 10 Boeing 707 jets. In December 1973, it took the unprecedented step of borrowing £40 million from Western banks to fund the purchase of 15 additional Trident jets. Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft were used on long range routes during the 1970s and 1980s.

On 5 March 1980, the General Administration of Civil Aviation was no longer managed by the PLA Air Force, and was transferred to the State Council.[9] Some administrative works were still under the People's Liberation Army and the air controlling was managed by PLA General Stuff Department and Air Force Command.

On 30 January 1987, the State Council ratified the Report for the Reform Solution and Executive Steps of the Civil Aviation System Administration System (Chinese: 关于民航系统管理体制改革方案和实施步骤的报告).[10] Since then, CAAC acted solely as a government agency and reorganized six regional administration agencies, and no longer provided commercial flight services. In 1988, the airline CAAC was divided into a number of individual air carriers, many of them named after the region of China where it had its hub.

On 19 April 1993, the General Administration of Civil Aviation became the ministry-level agency of the State Council.

In March 2008, CAAC was made a subsidiary of the newly-created Ministry of Transport, and its official Chinese name was slightly adjusted to reflect its being no longer a ministry-level agency. Its official English name has remained Civil Aviation Administration of China.

On 11 March 2019, the CAAC was the first civil aviation authority to ground the Boeing 737 MAX.[11] After so doing, most of the world's aviation authorities grounded the MAX, including the European Union Aviation Safety Agency the next day.[12] It took the US Federal Aviation Administration until 13 March to ground the MAX.[13] Aviation commentators saw this as having bolstered the global reputation of the CAAC at the expense of the FAA.[14][15][16] After the MAX was cleared to return by the FAA in November 2020,[17] the CAAC reiterated that there "is no set timetable" to lifting the MAX grounding in China.[18] In early August 2021, a MAX made a test flight in Shanghai for validation.[19] Later, the CAAC issued an airworthiness directive on 2 December to allow the type return to service if the MCAS is corrected following Boeing's instructions.[20]

CAAC (airline)[edit]

Current role[edit]

Currently, CAAC is an administrative department mostly intended to supervise the aviation market. CAAC releases route applications every week and for routes that do not fly to an open-sky country/region, there will be monthly scoring releases that determine the score for each of them. CAAC subsequently grants permission to start on those who score highest on the list.

CAAC also issues frequent operation data and notices.

CAAC administers China's no-fly list.[21]: 113 

List of directors[edit]

List of Directors of the Civil Aviation Administration of China:[22]

Affiliate subsidiaries[edit]

  • Air Traffic Administration Bureau (ATMB) in Beijing
  • Civil Aviation University of China (CAUC) in Tianjin
  • Civil Aviation Flight University of China (CAFUC) in Guanghan
  • Civil Aviation Management Institute of China (CAMIC) in Beijing
  • China Academy of Civil Aviation Science and Technology — Center of Aviation Safety Technology, CAAC in Beijing
  • CAAC Second Research Institute in Chengdu
  • China Civil Aviation Publishing Press in Beijing
  • Civil Aviation Medical Center — Civil Aviation General Hospital in Beijing
  • CAAC Settlement Center in Beijing
  • CAAC Information Center in Beijing
  • CAAC Audition Center in Beijing
  • Capital Airports Holdings Limited (CAH) in Beijing
  • CAAC International Cooperation and Service Center in Beijing
  • China Airport Construction Corporation (CACC) in Beijing
  • China Civil Aviation Engine Airworthiness Audition Center
  • Flight Inspection Center of CAAC in Beijing
  • CAAC Museum

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Leadership". 中国民用航空局. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Legal directory" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 May 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Air Services Arrangement between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region", a treaty. This calls intranational service "specially managed domestic".
  4. ^ "English [dead link] Archived September 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine." [dead link]Civil Aviation Administration of China. Retrieved on 9 June 2009. "北京市东城区东四西大街155号."
  5. ^ "成立军委民航局 - 中国民航局60周年档案展". CAAC (in Simplified Chinese). Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  6. ^ "中国人民航空公司始末 - 中国民航局60周年档案展". CAAC (in Simplified Chinese). Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  7. ^ 北京市地方志编纂委员会 (2000). 北京志·市政卷·民用航空志 (in Chinese). Beijing Publishing House. ISBN 7-200-04040-1.
  8. ^ Tridents for China, Flight International, 2 September 1971, p. 348
  9. ^ "庆祝新中国民航成立70周年专题 (1980)". CAAC (in Simplified Chinese). Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  10. ^ "庆祝新中国民航成立70周年专题 (1987)". CAAC (in Simplified Chinese). Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  11. ^ For a full timeline of the groundings, see Boeing 737 MAX groundings § Regulators.
  12. ^ "EASA suspends all Boeing 737 Max operations in Europe". European Union Aviation Safety Agency. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Emergency Order of Prohibition" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Chinese air safety regulators gain global influence as FAA refuses to ground Boeing 737 Max". Los Angeles Times. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Across the globe, a question of air safety becomes a question of American leadership". Los Angeles Times. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  16. ^ Isidore, Chris (13 May 2019). "Boeing desperately needs to get the 737 Max back in the air. Getting it approved will be hard". CNN. Retrieved 18 September 2019. The 737 Max does not appear close to flying again. Aviation experts doubt global regulators will act in concert to approve the 737 Max for flight, because serious questions remain about how and why the FAA approved the 737 Max for flight and whether it rushed the certification process.
  17. ^ "Boeing Responds to FAA Approval to Resume 737 MAX Operations". MediaRoom. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  18. ^ Chua2020-11-20T07:58:00+00:00, Alfred. "China in no hurry to return 737 Max to service". Flight Global. Retrieved 19 December 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ "波音737 Max開啟往中國的試飛之旅 期待北京解除禁飛令". Bloomberg (in Chinese). 4 August 2021. Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  20. ^ "波音737MAX重获中国适航许可 复飞还要多久?". Kankan News (in Chinese). 16 January 2022. Archived from the original on 6 December 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  21. ^ Brussee, Vincent (2023). Social Credit: The Warring States of China's Emerging Data Empire. Singapore: Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 9789819921881.
  22. ^ "历任局长" (in Chinese). Civil Aviation Administration of China. Retrieved 17 December 2017.