The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC; ), formerly the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (), is the aviation authority under the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China. It oversees civil aviation and investigates aviation accidents and incidents. As the aviation authority responsible for China, it concluded civil aviation agreements with other aviation authorities, including those of the Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China which are categorized as "special domestic". The agency is headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing.
The CAAC does not share the responsibility of managing China's airspace with the Central Military Commission under the regulations in the Civil Aviation Law of the People's Republic of China ( , Zh nghu R nm n G ngh gu M ny ng H ngk ng F ). Being subordinate to military traffic, non-commercial civil aviation is rather restricted. General and private aviation in mainland China is relatively rare compared to developed countries.
CAAC was formed on November 2, 1949, shortly after the founding of the People's Republic of China, to manage all non-military aviation in the country, as well as provide general and commercial flight service (similar to Aeroflot in the Soviet Union). It was initially managed by the People's Liberation Army Air Force.
In 1963, China departed from its policies of Marxist self-sufficiency with a purchase of six Vickers Viscount aircraft from Great Britain, followed in 1971 with four Hawker Siddeley Trident aircraft from Pakistan International Airlines. In August 1971 the airline purchased six Trident 2E's directly from Hawker Siddeley. The country also placed provisional orders for three Concorde aircraft. With the 1972 Nixon visit to China the country ordered 10 Boeing 707 jets. In December 1973 it took the unprecedented step of borrowing 40 million from Western banks to fund the purchase of 15 additional Trident jets. Russian built Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft were used on long range routes during the 1970s and 1980s.
CAAC Ilyushin Il-62 at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport in 1974
In 1980 the airline was transferred to the direct control of the State Council.
In 1987 the airline division of CAAC was divided up into a number of airlines, each named after the region of China where it had its hub. Since then, CAAC acts solely as a government agency and no longer provides commercial flight service.
In March 2008, the agency changed its name to Civil Aviation Administration of China ( ) and became a subsidiary of the newly created Ministry of Transport.
CAAC as an airline
CAAC Boeing 707 A CAAC Boeing 747SP at Charles de Gaulle Airport. (1981)
A CAAC Boeing 747-200B at Osaka International Airport, Japan
, ca. 1990
CAAC began operating scheduled domestic flights to cities in China in 1949. In 1962, CAAC began operating international services.
In 1987, CAAC split into 6 separate airlines each named after the geographic region of the location of their headquarters and main operation areas:
- Air China (which inherited the IATA and ICAO code of the original CAAC),
- China Eastern Airlines (based in Shanghai),
- China Southern Airlines (based in Guangzhou),
- China Northwest Airlines (based in Xi'an),
- China Northern Airlines (based in Shenyang), and
- China Southwest Airlines (based in Chengdu).
CAAC used the IATA code CA on international flights only, domestic flights were not prefixed with the airline code.
CAAC aircraft livery featured Chinese national flag on the vertical stabilizer, with blue stripes and Chinese version of CAAC logo (autographed by Zhou Enlai) on a white fuselage.
CAAC's fleet In 1987
- Airbus A300
- Airbus A310
- Antonov An-12
- Antonov An-24/Xian Y-7
- Antonov An-30
- BAe 146
- Boeing 707
- Boeing 737-200
- Boeing 747SP
- Boeing 747-200
- Boeing 757
- Boeing 767
- Hawker Siddeley Trident 2E
- Ilyushin Il-18
- Lockheed L-100 Hercules
- McDonnell Douglas DC-9
- McDonnell Douglas MD-82
- Tupolev Tu-154B
- Tupolev Tu-154M
- Vickers Viscount
- Yakovlev Yak-42
- A rospatiale Alouette SA-319
- Boeing 234
- Harbin Y-11
- Harbin Z-5
- Mil Mi-8
- Shijiazhuang Y-5
Fleet retired before 1987
- Ilyushin Il-14 (Left Service in 1982)
- Ilyushin Il-62 (Left Service in 1986)
- Lisunov Li-2 (Left service in 1981)
- Lockheed L-188 (Left service in 1980)
- Shanghai Y-10 (Prototype, flew for less than a year, did not enter into service)
- Vickers Vanguard (Left Service in 1984)
- In May 1972, a CAAC Lisunov Li-2 overshot the runway at Dalian Airport, killing 6 occupants.
- On August 26, 1976, a CAAC Ilyushin Il-14, crashed during landing in Chengdu, killing 12 passengers.
- On April 26, 1982, CAAC Flight 3303, a Hawker Siddeley Trident 2E, crashed into a mountain near Yangsuo while on approach to Guilin, killing all 112 people on board.
- On December 24, 1982, CAAC Flight 2311, a Ilyushin Il-18B, burst into flames while on approach to Guangzhou, killing 25 of the 69 passengers on board.
- On May 5, 1983, a CAAC aircraft, registration B-296, was hijacked and landed at a U.S. military base in South Korea. The incident marked the first direct negotiations between South Korea and China, which did not have formal relations at the time.
- On September 14, 1983, a CAAC Hawker Siddeley Trident 2E, registration B-264, collided with a Ilyushin Il-28 fighter jet on takeoff from Guilin. 11 on board were killed.
- On January 18, 1985, CAAC Flight 5109, an Antonov An-24, crashed on approach to Jinan, killing 38 of the 41 on board.
- On December 15, 1986, a CAAC Antonov An-24, registration B-3413, crashed on approach to Lanzhou, killing 6 of the 37 on board.
- On August 31, 1988, CAAC Flight 301, a Hawker Siddeley Trident 2E, struck approach lights at Kai Tak Airport and struck a lip, collapsing the right main landing gear; the aircraft then slid off the runway into Kowloon Bay, killing 7 of the 89 on board.
- Transport in the People's Republic of China
- List of airports in the People's Republic of China
- China's busiest airports by passenger traffic
- List of airlines of the People's Republic of China
- Civil Aviation Department (Hong Kong)
- Civil Aviation University of China (CAUC) in Tianjin
- Civil Aviation Flight University of China (CAFUC) in Sichuan
es:Administraci n de Aviaci n Civil China fr:Administration de l'aviation civile de Chine ko: id:Administrasi Penerbangan Sipil Cina it:Civil Aviation Administration of China ja: no:CAAC ru:CAAC sv:CAAC zh: