National aviation authority
The National Aviation Authority (NAA) is the government statutory authority
Statutory authority
A statutory authority is a body set up by law which is authorised to enforce legislation on behalf of the relevant country or state. They are typically found in countries which are governed by a British style of parliamentary democracy. They are common in the UK, Australia, New Zealand etc but...

 in each country that oversees the approval and regulation of civil aviation.


Due to the inherent dangers in the use of flight vehicles, NAA's typically regulate the following critical aspects of aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

Airworthiness is a term used to describe whether an aircraft has been certified as suitable for safe flight. Certification is initially conferred by a Certificate of Airworthiness from a National Airworthiness Authority, and is maintained by performing required maintenance actions by a licensed...

 and their operation:
  • Design of aircraft, engines, airborne equipment and ground-based equipment affecting flight safety
  • Conditions of manufacture and test of aircraft and equipment
  • Maintenance of aircraft and equipment
  • Operation of aircraft and equipment
  • Licensing of pilot
    An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

    s and maintenance engineers
    Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
    An Aircraft maintenance engineer is a licenced person who carries out aircraft maintenance. This same title is used in a number of different counteries, including:*Aircraft maintenance engineer *Aircraft maintenance engineer...

  • Licensing of airports and navigational aids
  • Standards for air traffic control
    Air traffic control
    Air traffic control is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other...

Depending on the legal system of the parent country, the NAA will derive its power from an act of Parliament (such as the Civil or Federal Aviation Act), and is then empowered to make regulations within the bounds of the act. This allows technical aspects of airworthiness to be dealt with by subject matter experts and not politicians.

The NAA may also be involved in the investigation of aircraft accidents, although in many cases this is left to a separate body (such as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is Australia’s national transport safety investigator. The ATSB is the federal government body responsible for investigating transport-related accidents and incidents within Australia. It covers air, sea and rail travel. The Australian Transport Safety...

 (ATSB) in Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 or the National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

 (NTSB) in the USA), to allow independent review of regulatory oversight..

The NAA will regulate the control of air traffic but a separate agency will generally carry out Air Traffic Control
Air traffic control
Air traffic control is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other...



The independent development of NAAs has resulted in differing regulations in country to country. This has required aircraft manufacturers in the past to develop differing models for specific NAA requirements (such as the BAe Jetstream 31), and difficulty for airlines to travel into foreign jurisdictions. In an effort to resolve these issues, the 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...

 (Chicago Convention) was signed in 1944. This then led to the establishment by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 established 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) in 1947 which now oversees member states and works to implement regulatory changes to ensure best practice
Best practice
A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark...

 regulations are adopted.

Major national aviation authorities

  • Federal Aviation Administration
    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...

     (FAA, USA)
  • Civil Aviation Safety Authority
    Civil Aviation Safety Authority
    The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is the Australian national aviation authority , the government statutory authority responsible for the regulation of civil aviation.-History:...

     (CASA, Australia)
  • Transport Canada
    Transport Canada
    Transport Canada is the department within the government of Canada which is responsible for developing regulations, policies and services of transportation in Canada. It is part of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities portfolio...

     (TC, Canada)
  • Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil
    National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil
    The National Civil Aviation Agency , also known as ANAC, is the Brazilian civil aviation authority, created in 2006...

     (ANAC, Brazil)
  • Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile
    Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile
    The Directorate General for Civil Aviation is the French civil aviation authority. It is headquartered in 15th arrondissement of Paris of Paris, 50, rue Henry-Farman. It is subordinate to the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing.The DGAC levys a civil aviation tax on...

     (DGAC, France)
  • Luftfahrt-Bundesamt
    The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt is the national civil aviation authority of Germany headquartered in Braunschweig...

     (LBA, Germany)
  • Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) (CAA, UK)
  • Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
    Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
    The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand is the government agency tasked with establishing civil aviation safety and security standards in New Zealand....

     (CAA, NZ)
  • European Aviation Safety Agency
    European Aviation Safety Agency
    The European Aviation Safety Agency is an agency of the European Union with offices in Cologne, Germany, which has been given regulatory and executive tasks in the field of civilian aviation safety. It was created on 15 July 2002, and it reached full functionality in 2008, taking over functions...

     (EASA, is not actually an NAA but plays part of the role within its member states)
  • Directorate General of Civil Aviation (India)
  • Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan (CAA, Pakistan)
  • Civil Aviation Administration of China
    Civil Aviation Administration of China
    The Civil Aviation Administration of China , 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...

     (CAAC, China)
  • Italian Civil Aviation Authority
    Italian Civil Aviation Authority
    The Italian Civil Aviation Authority is the civil aviation authority of Italy. Its headquarters are located in Rome. Legislative Decree no.250/97 established the existence of ENAC on 25 July 1997.-External links:* **...

     (ENAC, Italy)

See also

  • Air route authority between the United States and the People's Republic of China
    Air route authority between the United States and the People's Republic of China
    There are currently bilateral treaties which govern aviation rights between the United States and the People's Republic of China. Agreements cover both passenger services and cargo services. There is not an "open skies" agreement, which generally refers to an agreement that allows unrestricted...

  • List of civil aviation authorities
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