The Federal Aviation Administration has certain protections in place to make sure that all aircraft in the United States are suitable for flying. This is why they must first receive an airplane airworthiness certificate.
Airplane Airworthiness Certificate
An airplane airworthiness certificate is a document issued by the Federal Aviation Administration that grants authorization for an aircraft to be operated in flight. This means that, in order for an aircraft to be allowed to fly at all, it needs to be certified as able and safe to do so by the Federal Aviation Administration. Thanks to this mechanism, only airplanes that don’t represent a danger to their crew or passengers can operate in American airspace. Think of it as a sort of quality control on the part of the FAA. To obtain the airplane airworthiness certificate, a registered owner (or someone officially acting on their behalf) has to apply for it. You can conveniently do so here on our platform.
Standard or Special Certificate?
There are two kinds of airplane airworthiness certificates: standard and special. What’s the difference? A standard airworthiness certificate is the Federal Aviation Administration’s official authorization that allows for the operation of aircraft in the normal, utility, acrobatic, commuter, transport, manned free balloons, and special class categories. Meanwhile, the special airworthiness certificate one will apply for aircraft in categories such as primary (recreation and pleasure), restricted (agricultural, forest and wildlife conservation, aerial surveying, patrolling pipelines, and power lines, weather control, aerial advertising, other operations specified by the administrator), multiple certificates, limited, light sport, experimental (research and development, showing compliance with regulations, crew training, exhibition, air racing, market surveys, operating amateur-built aircraft, operating kit-built aircraft, operating light-sport aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems), special flight permits, and provisional.
The Steps of the Certification Process
There are four steps that make part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification process, each meant to address a specific component of the aircraft’s performance.
- The FAA will first review any proposed designs, as well as methods that will be used to show that these designs, and the overall aircraft, comply with their standards.
- They will conduct ground and flight tests to demonstrate the airplane does meet the standards set by the FAA.
- The FAA will evaluate the airplane to determine what the required maintenance and operational suitability would be for its introduction into actual operations and service.
- They will work with other authorities in civil aviation for their approval of the aircraft based on the work that has already been compiled by the FAA.
Submit Applications to the FAA
Our team knows just how confusing and intimidating the Federal Aviation Administration applications for documentation can be, whether it is for initial registration, changes to the documentation, or any other process. Because of this, the National Aviation Center is ready to help guide you through whatever application you need to submit. You can conveniently find all forms here on our platform, as well as pointers on how to fill them out. Should you need help at any point, just write to us by way of our contact page and get your documentation in order in no time.