China Aviation Law
19Jul/11Off

General Aviation Sections of the Civil Aviation Law of the PRC – 中国的通用航空法律

I am starting something new with this blog. I will start to review many of the laws that govern aviation the PRC. Today, I start with my most requested section of aviation law.

The civil aviation law was enacted by the People's Congress on October 30, 1995. It is the basic legal framework for civil aviation activities, aviation administrative regulations, and civil aviation rules. The Civil Aviation Law can be downloaded in its entirety from http://www.caac.gov.cn/b1/B4/200807/P020080731309034994872.pdf

The General Aviation Sections of the Civil Aviation Law are sections 145 - 150. The section of the law is rather short, but it gives some broad definitions about general aviation and its application in China. It is basically a policy statement for what China wants general aviation to be. For more specific guidance, we will need to dive into the administrative regulations, but for this post I want to highlight some of themes you can pull from this law. First, that the definitions limit general aviation to what a US pilot would consider commercial aviation with small aircraft and second, that the law requires third party liability insurance.

This is general aviation in China for now.

Definitions

China has a very narrow definition of general aviation and this definition does not include joyrides.

"General aviation" means civil aviation operations other than public air transport with civil aircraft, including aerial work in the fields of industry, agriculture, forestry, fishery and building industry, and flight operations in the fields of medical and health work, emergency and disaster relief, meteorological service, ocean monitoring, scientific experiment, education and training, culture and sports.

Notice that this list does not include recreation. Instead, flights that are classified as general aviation are limited to specific purposes. This is an interesting contrast to the regulations in the US which do not specifically define general aviation, but rather define the limitations to general aviation like commercial carriage and interstate air commerce.

This limiting definition is one of the reasons that we have not seen much development general aviation outside of flight training and charter aviation. As it stands, there is no flying for flying sake in China. Indeed, if you look at the list of required documents to be carried during a flight, it requires that you have a passenger manifest with destination information.

Article 90:

Civil aircraft on flight duty should carry the following documents:
(1) Certificate of nationality registration of the aircraft.
(2) Certificate of airworthiness of the aircraft.
(3) Relevant licenses of flight crew members.
(4) Aerolog of the aircraft.
(5) License of the radio equipment on the aircraft.
(6) Name list of the passengers on the aircraft with their places of departure and destination.
(7) Warehouse receipts and detailed declaration forms of the cargoes on the aircraft.
(8) Other documents relevant to flight duty.
CAA or local civil aviation control offices with CAA authorization can forbid the taking off of aircraft which fail to carry the documents listed above.

Flight Safety and Liability Insurance

The next provisions (146-148) of the regulation are straight forward enough they require registration, licensed pilots, and flight safety certification.

Chinese General Aviation is also flight training - Remember don't extend your downwind past no-engine glide range.

Finally, provisions 149 - 150 provide interesting language.

Article 149 In organizing and carrying out aerial work, effective measures shall be taken to ensure flight safety, protect environment and ecological balance and prevent damage to be caused to environment, residents, crops or livestock.
Article 150 Those engaged in general aviation operations shall be covered by insurance against liability for third parties on the surface.

While many US GA insurance policies cover damage to the aircraft and some liability for damage to property on the ground, the FARs do not require that a GA owner have insurance. Nevertheless, the Chinese law requires that GA pilots obtain coverage for liability to third parties on the ground. This is another hurdle to the development of recreational general aviation because of the costs associated with liability insurance. I know plenty of US pilots that choose to fly with limited or no insurance because it is too expensive to maintain. I can only imagine the costs that would come from adding liability insurance to cover damage to third parties on the ground.

Full Text of the Law in Chinese and English after the Break:

第十章 通用航空
第一百四十五条 通用航空,是指使用民用航空器从事公共航空运输以外的民用航空活动,包括从事工业、农业、林业、渔业和建筑业的作业飞行以及医疗卫生、抢险救灾、气象探测、海洋监测、科学实验、教育训练、文化体育等方面的飞行活动。
第一百四十六条 从事通用航空活动,应当具备下列条件:
(一)有与所从事的通用航空活动相适应,符合保证飞行安全要求的民用航空器;
(二)有必需的依法取得执照的航空人员;
(三)符合法律、行政法规规定的其他条件。
从事经营性通用航空,限于企业法人。
第一百四十七条 从事非经营性通用航空的,应当向国务院民用航空主管部门办理登记。
从事经营性通用航空的,应当向国务院民用航空主管部门申请领取通用航空经营许可证,并依法办理工商登记;未取得经营许可证的,工商行政管理部门不得办理工商登记。
第一百四十八条 通用航空企业从事经营性通用航空活动,应当与用户订立书面合同,但是紧急情况下的救护或者救灾飞行除外。
第一百四十九条 组织实施作业飞行时,应当采取有效措施,保证飞行安全,保护环境和生态平衡,防止对环境、居民、作物或者牲畜等造成损害。
第一百五十条 从事通用航空活动的,应当投保地面第三人责任险。
Chapter 10 - General Aviation
Article 145 "General aviation" means civil aviation operations other than public air transport with civil aircraft, including aerial work in the fields of industry, agriculture, forestry, fishery and building industry, and flight operations in the fields of medical and health work, emergency and disaster relief, meteorological service, ocean monitoring, scientific experiment, education and training, culture and sports.
Article 146 The operation of general aviation shall satisfy the following conditions: (1) The availability of civil aircraft suitable to the general aviation activities to be operated and conforming to the requirements of ensuring flight safety; (2) The availability of necessary airmen who have been issued licences according to law; and (3) Other conditions conforming to the provisions of laws and administrative rules and regulations.
The operation of general aviation for commercial purposes is limited to corporate enterprises.Article 147 Those engaged in general aviation operations not for commercial purposes shall register with the competent civil aviation authority under the State Council. 

Those engaged in general aviation operations for commercial purposes shall apply to the competent civil aviation authority under the State Council for general aviation operating licences, and register with the administrative department for industry and commerce according to law; no registration shall be performed by the administrative department for industry and commerce for those that failed to obtain operating licences.

Article 148 A general aviation enterprise engaged in general aviation operations for commercial purposes shall enter into agreement in writing with users with the exception of rescue or disaster relief operations under emergent circumstances.

Article 149 In organizing and carrying out aerial work, effective measures shall be taken to ensure flight safety, protect environment and ecological balance and prevent damage to be caused to environment, residents, crops or livestock.

Article 150 Those engaged in general aviation operations shall be covered by insurance against liability for third parties on the surface.

 

Posted by Casey DuBose

  • Keith

    I am really happy to see someone is this involved with assessing Chinese general aviation studies. Thank you for posting, it’s extremely useful!

    • http://www.chinaaviationlaw.com Casey DuBose

      Thank you Keith. Let me know if you have any specific aviation questions. I am always looking for topics to research.

  • Robin

    This is an impressive blog.
    I am an PRC undergraduate doing my degree in Singapore.
    My dream is to own a private aircraft. May I talk to you, via email perhaps, regarding the aviation laws of different countries?
    Looking forwards to hearing from you.