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Certificate Requirements

An airplane must have a valid airworthiness certificate in order for it to be lawfully operated. The airworthiness of a plane is determined by an inspector authorized by the FAA. The inspector may neither delegate this duty to inspect the aircraft nor depart from procedures for inspection that have been prescribed by the administrator of the FAA.

The FAA administrator is empowered to create minimum standards for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of air carrier equipment as well as for safe operation of the vehicle. Another important function of the administrator is to issue certificates to eligible aeronautical personnel: that includes pilots, navigators, and people who inspect, maintain, overhaul, and repair aircraft. The administrator specifies the particular function that each of these individuals is qualified to perform.

Certain prerequisites exist for an airline pilot rating, including a great degree of technical skill, medical fitness, care, judgment, and emotional stability. If public safety is endangered, the FAA administrator will either revoke or suspend a pilot's license. A pilot is entitled to notice and a fair hearing before the revocation or suspension of his or her certification, absent an emergency that warrants immediate action. The pilot may appeal the order of suspension or revocation to the NTSB, and subsequent appeals may be brought to the usual appellate channels of federal courts ordinarily beginning in a U.S. district court.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Additional voluntary contribution (AVC) to AirspaceAeronautics - Airspace Rights, Air Transportation Regulation, Certificate Requirements, Airport Operation, Use And Ownership Of Aircraft Vehicles - Regulation on the State and Local Level, Aerospace