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How to Become a Certificated Air Carrier

About this Document

Under Title 49 of the United States Code (“the Statute”), anyone who wants to provide air transportation service as an air carrier must first obtain two separate authorizations from the Department of Transportation: “safety” authority in the form of an Air Carrier Certificate and Operations Specifications from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and “economic” authority from the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (the Department) in the form of a certificate for interstate or foreign passenger and/or cargo authority issued under section 41102 of the Statute.

Certificates may authorize either scheduled service or charter-only service. A certificate authorizing interstate air transportation may be issued after a finding by the Department that the applicant is “fit, willing, and able” to perform the proposed service. The award of a certificate for foreign authority must also be found to be “consistent with the public convenience and necessity.”

This packet contains information on how to obtain interstate and foreign certificate authority from the Department.

Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012

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