A Certificated Carrier is a for-hire air carrier that is subject to economic regulation and requires an operating certification to provide service. A Certificated Carrier must maintain a safety program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and must comply with all applicable FAA regulations. In addition, a Certificated Carrier must adhere to security requirements established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Certificated Carriers operate aircraft that are classified as either small or large under FAA regulations. A small aircraft is one that has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less. A large aircraft is one that has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of more than 12,500 pounds. Certificated Carriers can provide service on both small and large aircraft.
There are three types of Certificates that a Certificated Carrier can hold: operating, air carrier, and common. An operating Certificate allows a Certificated Carrier to provide service between two or more points. An air carrier Certificate allows a Certificated Carrier to transport passengers, cargo, or both for compensation or hire. A common Certificate allows a Certificated Carrier to provide service as an indirect air carrier.