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I read the news today that Chinese made C919 is certified by its government. Does FAA need to certify this aircraft before it can land in the US even thought operated by a Chinese airline ( or any other non-American airlines)?

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    $\begingroup$ C919 isn't a plane that's supposed to fly a trans-pacific route..... $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2022 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ @user3528438 That was my first reaction to the question. Why would a Chinese aircraft manufacturer seek FAA certification for an aircraft that is meant to operate almost entirely in the domestic and/or Asia markets, will likely not find buyers in the US, and doesn't have the range to fly to any US airports in the first place unless it's a non-pax ferry flight with special interior tanks? $\endgroup$ Oct 6, 2022 at 15:08

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The Chicago Convention states that aircraft certification is up to the state of registration, regardless of which state it’s operating in.

So, if the Chinese govt certifies an aircraft registered in China as airworthy, then it can legally operate in any member state. In theory, the FAA wouldn’t even be involved until someone wanted to register that aircraft in the US.

However, in practice the leading aviation regulators (FAA, EASA, etc.) work together and have harmonized their requirements, so if an aircraft is certified in one of them, it can easily be certified in all the others. This also has the (probably intentional) side effect of nearly all aircraft design and production taking place in these countries, so China’s CAAC joining that club in 2017 was a big deal for them.

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  • $\begingroup$ From what I read, Boeing 737 MAX needed to be recertified in both the US and China. $\endgroup$
    – Many More
    Oct 5, 2022 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ @ManyMore In the US for US-registered planes, in China for China-registered planes. Plus the MAX incident was not a normal case. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Oct 5, 2022 at 18:50
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) signed an implementing agreement in October of 2017 under the U.S. – China Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) recognizing each other’s regulatory systems with respect to the airworthiness of aviation products and articles.

FAA Press Release

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