Civil Aviation Administration of China

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] It directly operated its own airline, China's aviation monopoly, until 1988. The agency is headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing.[4]

Civil Aviation Administration of China
CAAC logo.svg
Agency overview
Jurisdiction China
HeadquartersDongcheng, Beijing
Agency executive
Parent agencyMinistry of Transport
CAAC headquarters
Flight Inspection Center of CAAC

The CAAC does not share the responsibility of managing China's airspace with the Central Military Commission under the regulations in the Civil Aviation Law of the People's Republic of China.


On November 2, 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 March 10, 1950, the Guangzhou Office began to work, managing civil flight services in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, later it was merged with Wuhan Office to form the Civil Aviation Office of Central and Southern China on January 21, 1951 in Guangzhou, and renamed Central and Southern Civil Aviation Office, working for civil flight administrations in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hubei and Hunan.

On May 7, 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), the Civil Aviation Agency of the People's Revolutionary Military Commission was transferred to military system and 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 1951 to November, the Civil Aviation Agency having 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 July 17, 1952, the People's Aviation Company of China was created, headquartered in Tianjin.[6]

On 9 June 1953, following the 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 January 1, 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 under the leadership of both State Council and PLA Air Force. The PLA Air Force was also responsible for technical, flight, aircrew, communicating, human resource and political works.

On February 27, 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 June 17, both national and local authorities have responsibilities of civil aviation, international and main domestic flights were mainly under leadership of the national authority, local and agricultural flights were mainly under the leadership of local authority, thus most of 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 reginal administration agency in December 13. The Agency was renamed the General Administration of Civil Aviation of the Ministry of Transport on November 17, 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, transferred to the State Council, and mandated by PLA Air Force. The General Administration of Civil Aviation was transferred to the PLA Air Force on November 20, 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 with 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 March 5, 1980, the General Administration of Civil Aviation was no longer mandated by PLA Air Force, and transferred to the State Council,[9] some administrative works were still under the People's Liberation Army, the air controlling was managed by PLA General Stuff Department and Air Force Command.

On January 30, 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 acts solely as a government agency, reorganized six reginal administration agencies, and no longer provides commercial flight services. In 1988 CAAC Airlines was divided up into a number of individual air carriers, many of them named after the region of China where it had its hub.

On April 19, 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 the early August 2021, a MAX made a test flight in Shanghai for validation.[19] Later CAAC issued an airworthiness directive on December 2 to allow the type return to service if the MCAS is corrected following Boeing's instructions.[20]

CAAC AirlinesEdit

Current roleEdit

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

CAAC also issue frequent operation data and notices.

List of directorsEdit

List of Directors of the Civil Aviation Administration of China:[21]

Affiliate subsidiariesEdit

  • 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 alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Leadership".
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-05-03. Retrieved 2009-06-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ the citation is in the treaty "Air Services Arrangement between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" which calls intranational service as "specially managed domestic" this needs a proper ref statement.
  4. ^ "English Archived September 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine." Civil Aviation Administration of China. Retrieved on June 9, 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 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
  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 2021-02-20.
  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 2021-02-20.
  10. ^ "庆祝新中国民航成立70周年专题 (1987)". CAAC (in Simplified Chinese). Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  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. 2019-03-12. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  13. ^ "Emergency Order of Prohibition" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  14. ^ "Chinese air safety regulators gain global influence as FAA refuses to ground Boeing 737 Max". Los Angeles Times. 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  15. ^ "Across the globe, a question of air safety becomes a question of American leadership". Los Angeles Times. 2019-03-15. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  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 2019-09-18. 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 2020-12-19.
  18. ^ Chua2020-11-20T07:58:00+00:00, Alfred. "China in no hurry to return 737 Max to service". Flight Global. Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  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). 2021-08-04. Archived from the original on 2021-10-18. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  20. ^ "波音737MAX重获中国适航许可 复飞还要多久?". Kankan News (in Chinese). 2022-01-16. Archived from the original on 2021-12-06. Retrieved 2021-12-03.
  21. ^ "历任局长" (in Chinese). Civil Aviation Administration of China. Retrieved 17 December 2017.