Airworthiness Certificate

Does the Airworthiness Certificate Expire?

Once you apply for a certificate to legally operate your aircraft, you might be wondering how much does it last before needing to revalidate it. It’s important to know its expiration date so that you’re not caught surprised and your aircraft goes out of operation or becomes illegal to operate. Learn all you need to know about an airworthiness certificate.


A Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A), or standard airworthiness certificate, is one of the most important issues regarding flight operation. It is a formal document issued by the Federal Aviation Administration that allows the operation of type certificated aircraft in normal, transport, acrobatic, utility, commuter, among other civil use categories. 

All registered aircraft must have a certificate which is achieved when it can be shown to conform to the certificated Type Design and is in a condition for safe operation. Without this documentation, civil aircraft are not allowed to operate. The validity of documentation may vary depending on various conditions.

Airworthiness Certificate

How Long Is the Airworthiness Certificate Valid?

A standard airworthiness certificate is valid as long as the aircraft meets its approved type design, is in a condition for safe operation and maintenance, preventative maintenance, and alterations are performed by 14 CFR parts 21, 43, and 91. The airworthiness certificate will need either periodic re-validation or periodic renewal, depending on the regulatory regime. This may involve the completion of a flight test schedule.

However, you can acquire a non-expiring certificate validated by issuing an Airworthiness Review Certificate (ARC). The airworthiness review, a full documented review of the aircraft records, can be completed by a surveyor operating on behalf of the competent authority or a CAMO and will include items such as:

  1. Records of maintenance, modifications, LLPs, configuration, release to service, repairs, recording of hours and cycles, mass and balance, etc.
  2. A physical survey of the aircraft.
  3. Required markings, compliance with flight manual and documentation; no evident defects; no inconsistencies between aircraft and records.

An Airworthiness Reviews Certificate may be extended up to 3 years if the aircraft is maintained within a “controlled environment”. This means that the aircraft is continuously managed by an approved Part M subpart G Organisation for at least 12 months, and maintained by an appropriately approved Maintenance Organisation.

Other Issues Regarding Certificate Validity

An airworthiness certificate is transferable to you when buying a used aircraft. As the owner, you must first register the aircraft, and the aircraft must still conform to its approved type design, and be in a condition for safe operation.

Apply For Your Airworthiness Certificate Today

Every single form you need to keep documentation on your aircraft up to date can be found on our website. Feel free to visit our page and fill your form online.