|Parent agency||Ministry of Transport|
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.
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."[better source needed] It directly operated its own airline, China's aviation monopoly, until 1988. The agency is headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing.
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. On March 10, 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 January 21, 1951, in Guangzhou, and was 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) 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 July 17, 1952, the People's Aviation Company of China was created, headquartered in Tianjin.
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 January 1, 1955.: 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 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 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 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. 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 November 20, 1969.
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. 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 managed by the PLA Air Force, and was transferred to the State Council. 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 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). Since then, CAAC acted solely as a government agency and reorganized six regional administration agencies, and no longer provided commercial flight services. In 1988, CAAC Airlines was divided 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. After so doing, most of the world's aviation authorities grounded the MAX, including the European Union Aviation Safety Agency the next day. It took the US Federal Aviation Administration until 13 March to ground the MAX. Aviation commentators saw this as having bolstered the global reputation of the CAAC at the expense of the FAA. After the MAX was cleared to return by the FAA in November 2020, the CAAC reiterated that there "is no set timetable" to lifting the MAX grounding in China. In early August 2021, a MAX made a test flight in Shanghai for validation. Later, the CAAC issued an airworthiness directive on December 2 to allow the type return to service if the MCAS is corrected following Boeing's instructions.
Main article: CAAC Airlines
Currently, CAAC is an administrative department mostly intended to supervise the 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 grants permission to start on those who score highest on the list.
CAAC also issues frequent operation data and notices.
List of Directors of the Civil Aviation Administration of China:
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.