Civil aviation is one of two major categories of flying, representing all non-military aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...
, both private and commercial. Most of the countries in the world are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...
(ICAO) and work together to establish common standards and recommended practices for civil aviation through that agency.
Civil aviation includes two major categories:
- Scheduled air transport, including all passenger and cargo flights operating on regularly scheduled routes; and
- General aviationGeneral aviationGeneral aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...
(GA), including all other civil flights, private or commercial
Although scheduled air transport is the larger operation in terms of passenger numbers, GA is larger in the number of flights (and flight hours, in the U.S.http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Table1.htm) In the U.S., GA carries 166 million passengers each year,http://www.gaservingamerica.com/Advantages_of_GA.htm more than any individual airline, though less than all the airlines combined.
Some countries also make a regulatory distinction based on whether aircraft are flown for hire like:
- Commercial aviationCommercial aviationCommercial aviation is the part of civil aviation that involves operating aircraft for hire to transport passengers or cargo...
includes most or all flying done for hire, particularly scheduled service on airlineAirlineAn airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...
- Private aviationPrivate aviationPrivate aviation is the part of civil aviation that does not include flying for hire. In most countries, private flights are always general aviation flights, but the opposite is not true: many general aviation flights are commercial in that the pilot is hired and paid...
includes pilots flying for their own purposes (recreation, business meetings, etc.) without receiving any kind of remuneration.
All scheduled air transport is commercial, but general aviation can be either commercial or private. Normally, the pilot, aircraft, and operator must all be authorized to perform commercial operations through separate commercial licensing, registration, and operation certificates.
Civil aviation authoritiesThe Convention on International Civil Aviation
Convention on International Civil Aviation
The Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, established the International Civil Aviation Organization , a specialized agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel...
(the Chicago Convention) was originally established in 1944: it states that signatories should collectively work to harmonize and standardize the use of airspace for safety, efficiency and regularity of air transport.http://www.icao.int/icaonet/dcs/7300.html All the States signatory to the Chicago Convention, now 188, are obliged to implement the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the Convention.
Each signatory country has a Civil Aviation Authority
Civil Aviation Authority
This is a list of national and supra-national civil aviation authorities.-See also:* Air route authority between the United States and the People's Republic of China* National Transportation Safety Board -External links:****...
(CAA) (such as the FAA
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...
in the United States) to oversee the following areas of civil aviation:
- Personnel Licensing — regulating the basic training and issuance of licenses and certificates.
- Flight Operations — carrying out safety oversight of commercial operators.
- Airworthiness — issuing certificates of registration and certificates of airworthiness to civil aircraft, and overseeing the safety of maintenance organizations.
- Aerodromes — designing and constructing aerodrome facilities.
- Air Traffic Services — managing the traffic inside of a country's airspace.