On August 4, 2008, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued the Notice on Strengthening the Management of Operating Licenses for Public Air Transportation Companies, (the Circular).

The Circular stresses that public air transportation companies must comply with the Provisions on the Business Licensing of Public Air Transportation Companies, CAAC Order No. 138, Order 138) when applying to obtain, renew, or amend relevant operating licenses. To ensure airline companies’ compliance with Order 138, the Notice reiterates the following requirements:

  1. An airline company that is being established must obtain an operating license before it applies for a business license; 
  1. If an airline company wishes to alter the content of its operating license, it must apply for permission from CAAC to do so, and then file to change its business license accordingly with the relevant department of industry and commerce; 
  1. An airline company must apply for recertification from CAAC at least 30 working days before the expiration of its current operating license; and
  1. An airline company must appoint a supervisor for the management of matters regarding its operating license, and report the name and contact telephone number of that person to CAAC.

The Circular stresses that the CAAC and its local branches will watch airline companies more closely in their compliance with the operating license requirements, and will impose administrative penalties on the violators. The CAAC issued Order 138 in late 2004, and it went into effect in January 2005.