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Nikita Vlasov
Nikita Vlasov

How to Comply with CCAR 121 and Obtain Operations Specifications for Public Air Transportation in China


What is CCAR 121 and why is it important for foreign air carriers?




If you are a foreign air carrier who wants to operate in China, you need to know about CCAR 121. CCAR 121 stands for Civil Aviation Regulations Part 121, which is a set of rules issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to govern operations certifications and continuing oversight and surveillance of foreign air carriers engaged in public air transportation within China. In this article, we will explain what CCAR 121 is, what it regulates, how to obtain Operations Specifications under CCAR 121, what are the contents and validity of Operations Specifications under CCAR 121, how to comply with oversight and surveillance by CAAC Regional Administrations, and what are the possible consequences of non-compliance with CCAR 121.




Ccar 121 English Version Pdf 13



Introduction




CCAR 121 is based on the Civil Aviation Law of the People's Republic of China and the Decision of the State Council on Establishing Administrative Licenses for the Administrative Examination and Approval Items Really Necessary to Be Retained. It was promulgated in December 2005 and has been amended several times since then. The latest amendment was made in March 2021.


CCAR 121 applies to any foreign air carrier who:


  • holds an Air Operator Certificate and appropriate Operations Specifications, approved and issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the State of the Operator (hereinafter referred to as "its CAA") authorizing it to conduct public air transportation; and



  • operates airplanes or helicopters into and out of China to provide scheduled public air transportation or nonscheduled public air transportation.



Public air transportation refers to aircraft operations involving the transport of passengers, baggage, mail or freight for the purpose of making profit. Scheduled public air transportation refers to public air transportation conducted by the air carrier for which the public is provided in advance a schedule containing the departure time, departure location, and arrival location. Nonscheduled public air transportation refers to any public air transportation other than scheduled public air transportations.


The benefits of complying with CCAR 121 are:


  • Ensuring that foreign air carriers meet the applicable operational requirements prescribed by China, which are consistent with international standards and practices;



  • Enhancing the safety, security, efficiency and quality of public air transportation services in China;



  • Facilitating the cooperation and coordination between foreign air carriers and CAAC Regional Administrations;



  • Avoiding unnecessary delays, disruptions or cancellations of flights due to non-compliance with CCAR 121;



  • Avoiding possible sanctions or penalties for non-compliance with CCAR 121.



Prerequisites and procedures for obtaining Operations Specifications under CCAR 121




Before conducting public air transportation in China, any foreign air carrier prescribed in Article 129.3 of CCAR 121 shall apply to the designated CAAC Regional Administration for Operations Certifications and obtain Operations Specifications under CCAR 121. Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 are a document that authorizes and limits the operations of a foreign air carrier in China.


The general requirements for applying for Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 are:


  • The foreign air carrier shall have a valid Air Operator Certificate and appropriate Operations Specifications issued by its CAA;



  • The foreign air carrier shall have a valid Airworthiness Certificate and Registration Certificate for each aircraft to be operated in China;



  • The foreign air carrier shall have a valid insurance policy that covers the liability for passengers, baggage, mail, freight, third parties and crew members;



  • The foreign air carrier shall have a safety management system that meets the requirements of ICAO Annex 19;



  • The foreign air carrier shall comply with the applicable laws and regulations of China and its CAA.



The specific documents and information that need to be submitted to the CAAC Regional Administration are:


  • An application letter signed by the accountable manager of the foreign air carrier;



  • A copy of the Air Operator Certificate and Operations Specifications issued by its CAA;



  • A copy of the Airworthiness Certificate and Registration Certificate for each aircraft to be operated in China;



  • A copy of the insurance policy that covers the liability for passengers, baggage, mail, freight, third parties and crew members;



  • A copy of the safety management system manual or equivalent document;



  • A copy of the operations manual or equivalent document;



  • A copy of the maintenance program or equivalent document;



  • A copy of the flight crew training program or equivalent document;



  • A copy of the cabin crew training program or equivalent document;



  • A copy of the security program or equivalent document;



  • A copy of the emergency response plan or equivalent document;



  • A copy of the noise certificate or equivalent document for each aircraft to be operated in China;



  • A copy of the radio station license or equivalent document for each aircraft to be operated in China;



  • A list of flight crew members and cabin crew members who will operate in China, including their names, nationalities, license numbers, ratings, medical certificates and passport numbers;



  • A list of aircraft to be operated in China, including their registration marks, serial numbers, types, models and seating capacities;



  • A list of airports to be served in China, including their names, codes and coordinates;



  • A list of routes to be operated in China, including their origin, destination, intermediate stops, flight numbers and frequencies;



  • A list of wet lease agreements if any, including the names of the lessor and lessee, the registration marks and types of the leased aircraft, the duration and scope of the lease, and the approval documents from both CAAs;



  • Any other documents or information required by the CAAC Regional Administration.



Contents and validity of Operations Specifications under CCAR 121




Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 consist of five sections: Section A (General), Section B (En Route Authorizations and Limitations), Section C (Airports and Routes), Section D (Maintenance), and Section E (Operations). Each section contains several elements that specify the authorizations and limitations of the foreign air carrier's operations in China, such as the aircraft types and models, the airports and routes, the maintenance arrangements, the operational procedures, and the special conditions.


Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 are valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance, unless suspended, revoked, or surrendered. The foreign air carrier shall apply for renewal at least 90 days before the expiration date. The CAAC Regional Administration may amend or renew Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 upon the application of the foreign air carrier or on its own initiative. The foreign air carrier shall comply with the amended or renewed Operations Specifications under CCAR 121.


Oversight and surveillance of foreign air carriers under CCAR 121




The foreign air carrier shall be responsible for the safety and security of its operations in China and shall comply with CCAR 121 and other applicable laws and regulations of China and its CAA. The foreign air carrier shall also cooperate with the oversight and surveillance conducted by the CAAC Regional Administration.


The CAAC Regional Administration shall conduct oversight and surveillance of the foreign air carrier's operations in China by using various methods, such as document review, on-site inspection, ramp inspection, en route inspection, flight inspection, audit, investigation, and verification. The frequency of oversight and surveillance shall be determined by the CAAC Regional Administration based on the risk assessment of the foreign air carrier's operations.


If the CAAC Regional Administration finds that the foreign air carrier has violated CCAR 121 or other applicable laws and regulations of China or its CAA, it may take one or more of the following actions:


  • Issue a warning letter;



  • Require corrective actions within a specified time limit;



  • Suspend or revoke part or all of the authorizations or limitations in Operations Specifications under CCAR 121;



  • Suspend or revoke Operations Specifications under CCAR 121;



  • Impose a fine;



  • Report to its CAA for further actions;



  • Take other actions as appropriate.



Conclusion




CCAR 121 is a set of rules that regulate the operations certifications and continuing oversight and surveillance of foreign air carriers engaged in public air transportation within China. It is important for foreign air carriers to comply with CCAR 121 in order to ensure safety, security, efficiency and quality of their operations in China. To obtain Operations Specifications under CCAR 121, foreign air carriers need to submit various documents and information to the designated CAAC Regional Administration and meet the general and specific requirements. Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 are valid for one year and may be amended or renewed by the CAAC Regional Administration. Foreign air carriers also need to cooperate with the oversight and surveillance conducted by the CAAC Regional Administration and avoid any violations that may result in sanctions or penalties.


If you are a foreign air carrier who wants to operate in China, we hope this article has provided you with some useful information and guidance on CCAR 121. Here are some recommendations and tips for you:


  • Before applying for Operations Specifications under CCAR 121, make sure you have a valid Air Operator Certificate and Operations Specifications issued by your CAA;



  • Prepare all the required documents and information in advance and submit them to the CAAC Regional Administration at least 90 days before your planned operation date;



  • Keep your Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 updated and apply for renewal at least 90 days before the expiration date;



  • Follow the authorizations and limitations specified in your Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 and comply with all applicable laws and regulations of China and your CAA;



  • Cooperate with the oversight and surveillance conducted by the CAAC Regional Administration and report any changes or incidents that may affect your operations in China;



  • If you have any questions or concerns about CCAR 121 or your Operations Specifications under CCAR 121, contact your principle inspector at the CAAC Regional Administration for assistance.



FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions related to CCAR 121:


  • What is the difference between CCAR 121 and CCAR 129?



CCAR 121 is the regulation for operations certifications and continuing oversight and surveillance of foreign air carriers engaged in public air transportation within China. CCAR 129 is the regulation for operations certifications and continuing oversight and surveillance of foreign air carriers engaged in international air transportation to and from China. Foreign air carriers who operate both within China and to and from China need to obtain Operations Specifications under both CCAR 121 and CCAR 129.


  • How can I find out which CAAC Regional Administration is responsible for my operations in China?



You can find out which CAAC Regional Administration is responsible for your operations in China by checking the list of CAAC Regional Administrations on the official website of CAAC (www.caac.gov.cn). The CAAC Regional Administrations are divided into seven regions: Northern, Northeast, Eastern, Central South, Southwest, Northwest, and Urumqi. Each region covers several provinces, municipalities, or autonomous regions in China.


  • How can I access the English version of CCAR 121 and other related documents?



You can access the English version of CCAR 121 and other related documents on the official website of CAAC (www.caac.gov.cn) or on the website of Flight Standards Department of CAAC (fsop.caac.gov.cn). You can also request a copy of the English version of CCAR 121 and other related documents from your principle inspector at the CAAC Regional Administration.


  • What are the fees for applying for Operations Specifications under CCAR 121?



The fees for applying for Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 are determined by the CAAC Regional Administration according to the actual cost of processing the application. The fees may vary depending on the type and scope of the operations, the number and types of aircraft, the number and locations of airports, and other factors. You can contact your principle inspector at the CAAC Regional Administration for more information on the fees.


  • What are the consequences of operating in China without Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 or violating CCAR 121?



If you operate in China without Operations Specifications under CCAR 121 or violate CCAR 121, you may face serious consequences, such as suspension or revocation of your Operations Specifications under CCAR 121, suspension or revocation of your Air Operator Certificate or Operations Specifications issued by your CAA, imposition of a fine, denial of entry or exit to or from China, confiscation of your aircraft or equipment, criminal prosecution, or other actions as appropriate.


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