Do private jets have relaxed FAA regulations (and regulations imposed by any other aviation agency) when compared to commercial jets? If yes, which aspects of aviation are these relaxations are pertaining to?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Where do you draw the dividing line between "private" and "commercial" jets, or are you just referring to operational requirements? $\endgroup$
    – cpast
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ Private jets : Jet being used for personal use ( Not considering the charter jets provided by commercial companies for use by individual on lease) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ FYI, businesses use private jets as well, and it is not for personal use, but for business use. Generally speaking, the line between private and commercial flights is whether or not they are for compensation or hire. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


Technically no, but in the spirit of your question, yes.

All aircraft, including those operated for private and commercial purposes, are governed by 14 CFR 91 - General Operating and Flight Rules.

14 CFR 119 specifies additional regulations that govern certain types of aircraft and operations, including larger private aircraft and commercial operations:

  • 14 CFR 125 covers larger (airline style) private aircraft
  • 14 CFR 121 covers the airlines
  • 14 CFR 135 covers commuter and on demand (charter) commercial operators

So it isn't that private aircraft have relaxed regulations, it is just that they aren't required to comply with the additional regulations that govern the airline and charter operators.

There are many, MANY additional regulations that commercial operators have to comply with, including operational and maintenance regulations.

A few example:

  • Pilots flying commercially have strict limits on the time that they are allowed to fly or be on duty. Pilots of private aircraft don't have any limit, other than not to fly if it would be unsafe.
  • Commercial pilots are subject to more strict medical requirements.
  • If an aircraft has to divert due to a mechanical problem, it must be reported to the FAA if being operated commercially.
  • There are strict limits on how far that a commercially operated aircraft may be from a suitable airport, but there are no such limits for privately operated aircraft.
  • Passengers must be screened and must be checked against government maintained no-fly lists for commercial flights.
  • An aircraft used for commercial purposes is required to be inspected more often.
  • With certain (very limited) exceptions, commercial aircraft are required to be operated by a company (certificate holder) with required management personnel such as the Chief Pilot and Director of Maintenance, while private aircraft can be managed by one person (even the pilot).

See the online eCFR for the specific regulations that fall under each part.


Depending on what you are looking for:

Here and here are the requirements for operating as an air carrier. All air carriers from the large airlines to the smaller charter situations must follow the same rules so to speak. The rules generally draw the line at accepting/paying money to fly or be flown in an aircraft respectively (as I understand it).

If you own a large jet aircraft (fully or fractionally) take a look here for more information on how that's governed.

§91.501 Applicability. (a) This subpart prescribes operating rules, in addition to those prescribed in other subparts of this part, governing the operation of large airplanes of U.S. registry, turbojet-powered multiengine civil airplanes of U.S. registry, and fractional ownership program aircraft of U.S. registry that are operating under subpart K of this part in operations not involving common carriage. The operating rules in this subpart do not apply to those aircraft when they are required to be operated under parts 121, 125, 129, 135, and 137 of this chapter. (Section 91.409 prescribes an inspection program for large and for turbine-powered (turbojet and turboprop) multiengine airplanes and turbine-powered rotorcraft of U.S. registry when they are operated under this part or part 129 or 137.)

In the end of the day it falls on the pilot in command to make sure that their aircraft is airworthy.

If you hone in a bit more on a specific question you would like answered we can try to aid you.

There are some varying certifications for specific smaller jets that allow them to be operated a little differently than a commercial airliner. The vast majority of commercial jets require 2 pilots however there are smaller jets like the Citation Mustang that are certified for single pilot operations and geared mainly towards the private jet crowd. So that might be what you are looking for, but that's the only one I can think of off hand.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .