Commercial Operator vs Air Carrier

HOTDOG

New Member
OK, I'm studying for the CSEL and I come across this.

14 CFR part 1 says that a commercial operator is one who engages in the carriage by aircraft in air commerce of persons or property for compensation or hire, other than as an air carrier.

14 CFR part 1 also says that an air carrier is one who undertakes directly by lease, or other arrangement, to engage in air transportation.

So, my question is what is the difference between a commercial operator and an air carrier? And to the terms common carriage and private carriage apply to both?

I'm so confused :panic:
 

c172captain

Well-Known Member
Hopefully this helps...


An air carrier and a commercial operator are one in the same, as far as I can tell. A commercial operator (in simple terms)- Imagine you go out and buy a fleet of cessna 172s and offer flights from LAX to SAN for $50. That would be making you a commercial operator because you operate a service for a fee to anyone. Also, you put up signs and pay for advertisements in the newspaper (holding out) to boost your business. This would make you a common carrier because you are opening your services to the common people (everyone) through "a willingness to transport persons or property for compensation or hire through holding out". Now imagine that you do the samething but then instead of holding out to everyone, you privately sign contracts with about three different companies to fly their employees from LAX to SAN for $50. That would be private carriage because you have contracts with only a few different companies and do not offer your services to everyone.

Hopefully this helps and hopefully it's accurate lol.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
The bad news is that once you get into the realm of 119, 121 and 135 regulation, you get into an area that makes the battle of understanding the 61.51 logging rules more like a potsie tournament.

The good news is that the amount of this you need to know for your commercial pilots certifciate is really pretty small.

You can pretty safely treat "commercial operator" and "air carrier" as the same. To the extent that there are differences, they will arise for the most part from differences in the operating certifciate.
 

Polar742

All the responsibility none of the authority
The following is from the 8900 (http://fsims.faa.gov/PICResults.aspx?mode=EBookContents), which is what the inspectors use for FAR guidance. There are some references in the wording I haven't followed up on, but can also provide further guidance and clarification: (There are a bunch of links that are live on the above weblink)

8900 said:
2-103. DEFINITIONS.
[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]The following definitions pertain to air carriers and commercial operator certification and are found in 14 CFR part 1, Definitions and Abbreviations, and/or part 119 and applicable Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Definitions pertaining specifically to part 135 are found in chapter 4; and part 91K is found in chapter 5. Definitions pertaining to foreign air carrier operations are found in volume 12, International Aviation, chapters 2, 4, and 5. [/FONT]

A. Air Carrier.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]A person who undertakes directly by lease, or other arrangement, to engage in air transportation. [/FONT]

B. Air Commerce.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce or the transportation of mail by aircraft or any operation or navigation of aircraft within the limits of any Federal airway or any operation or navigation of aircraft which directly affects, or which may endanger safety in, interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce. [/FONT]

C. Air Transportation.


Interstate, overseas, or foreign air transportation or the transportation of mail by aircraft.
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D. All-Cargo Operation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Any operation for compensation or hire that is other than a passenger-carrying operation or, if passengers are carried, they are only those specified in part 121 section (§) 121.583(a) or 135.85 [/FONT]

E. Certificate-Holding District Office (CHDO).


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]The Flight Standards district office that has responsibility for administering the certificate and is charged with the overall inspection of the certificate holder’s operations. [/FONT]

F. Commercial Operator.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]A person who, for compensation or hire, engages in the carriage by aircraft in air commerce of persons or property, other than as an air carrier or foreign air carrier or under the authority of part 375 of this title. [/FONT]

G. Common Carriage.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Any operation for compensation or hire in which an operator holds itself out (by advertising or any other means), as willing to furnish transportation for any member of the public who seeks the services that the operator is providing. [/FONT]

H. Commuter Operation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Any scheduled operation conducted by any person operating one of the following types of aircraft with a frequency of operations of at least five round trips per week on at least one route between two or more points according to the published flight schedules [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]1) Airplanes, other than turbojet powered airplanes, having a maximum passenger seat configuration of 9 seats or less, excluding each crewmember seat, and a maximum payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or less; or [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]2) Rotorcraft. [/FONT]

I. Direct Air Carrier.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]A person who provides or offers to provide air transportation and who has control over the operational functions performed in providing that transportation. [/FONT]

J. Domestic Operation.


Any scheduled operation conducted by any person operating an airplane described in subparagraph 1) of this definition at locations described in subparagraph 2 of this definition:

1) Airplanes:

a) Turbojet-powered airplanes;

b) Airplanes having a passenger seat configuration of more than nine passenger seats, excluding each crewmember seat; or

c) Airplanes having a payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds.

2) Locations:

a) Between any point within the 48 contiguous States of the United States or the District of Columbia; or
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b) Operations solely within the 48 contiguous States of the United States or the District of Columbia; or

c) Operations entirely within any State, territory, or possession of the Unites States; or

d) When specifically authorized by the Administrator, operations between any point within the 48 contiguous states of the United States or the District of Columbia and any point located outside the 48 contiguous states of the United States or the District of Columbia.

K. Flag Operation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Any scheduled operation conducted by any person operating any airplane described in subparagraph 1 of this definition at the locations described in subparagraph 2 of this definition: [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]1) Airplanes: [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]a) Turbojet-powered airplanes; [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]b) Airplanes having a passenger seat configuration of more than nine passenger seats, excluding each crewmember seat; or [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]c) Airplanes having a payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]2) Locations: [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]a) Between any point within the State of Alaska or the State of Hawaii or any territory or possession of the United States and any point outside the state of Alaska or the state of Hawaii or any territory or possession of the United States, respectively; or [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]b) Between any point within the 48 contiguous states of the United States or the District of Columbia and any point outside the 48 contiguous states of the United States and the District of Columbia. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]c) Between any point outside the United States and another point outside the United States. [/FONT]

L. Interstate Air Commerce.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]The carriage by aircraft of persons or property for compensation or hire, or the carriage of mail by aircraft, or the operation or navigation of aircraft in the conduct or furtherance of a business or vocation, in commerce between a place in any state of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and a place in any other state of the United States, or the District of Columbia; or between places in the same state of the United States through the airspace over any place outside thereof; or between places in the same territory or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia. [/FONT]

M. Interstate Air Transportation.


The carriage by aircraft of persons or property as a common carrier for compensation or hire, or the carriage of mail by aircraft in commerce:
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1) Between a place in a state or the District of Columbia and another place in another state or the District of Columbia,

2) Between places in the same state through airspace over any place outside that state, or

3) Between places in the same possession of the United States.

N. Intrastate Air Transportation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]The carriage of persons or property as a common carrier for compensation or hire, by turbojet-powered aircraft capable of carrying thirty or more persons, wholly within the same state of the United States. [/FONT]

O. Kind of Operation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]One of the various operations a certificate holder is authorized to conduct, as specified in its operations specifications, i.e., domestic, flag, supplemental, commuter, or on-demand operations. [/FONT]

P. Noncommon Carriage.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]An aircraft operation for compensation or hire that does not involve a holding out to others. [/FONT]

Q. On-Demand Operation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Any operation for compensation or hire that is one of the following: [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]a) Passenger-carrying operations conducted as a public charter under part 380 of this title or any operations in which the departure time, departure location, and arrival location are specifically negotiated with the customer or the customer’s representative that are any of the following types of operations: [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]b) Common carriage operations conducted with airplanes, including turbojet-powered airplanes, having a passenger seat configuration of 30 seats or less, excluding each crewmember seat, and a payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or less, except that operations using a specific airplane that is also used in domestic or flag operations and that is so listed in the operations specifications as required by § 119.49(a)(4) for those operations are considered supplemental operations; [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]c) Noncommon or private carriage operations conducted with airplanes having a passenger seat configuration of less than 20 seats, excluding each crewmember seat, and a payload capacity of less than 6,000 pounds; or [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]d) Any rotorcraft operation. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]2) Scheduled passenger-carrying operations conducted with one of the following types of aircraft with a frequency of operations of less than five round trips per week on at least one route between two or more points according to the published flight schedules: [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]a) Airplanes, other than turbojet powered airplanes, having a maximum passenger seat configuration of 9 seats or less, excluding each crewmember seat, and a maximum payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or less; or [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]5 UNCONTROLLED COPY WHEN DOWNLOADED [/FONT]
Check FSIMS to verify this version is current prior to use 8900.1 CHG 0 9/13/2007
[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]b) Rotorcraft. [/FONT]​

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]3) All-cargo operations conducted with airplanes having a payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or less, or with rotorcraft. [/FONT]

R. Overseas Air Commerce.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]The carriage by aircraft of persons or property for compensation or hire, or the carriage of mail by aircraft, or the operation or navigation of aircraft in the conduct or furtherance of a business or vocation, in commerce between a place in any state of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place in a territory or possession of the United States; or between a place in a territory or possession of the United States, and a place in any other territory or possession of the United States. [/FONT]

S. Overseas Air Transportation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]The carriage by aircraft of persons or property as a common carrier for compensation or hire, or the carriage of mail by aircraft, in commerce: [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]1) Between a place in a state or the District of Columbia and a place in a possession of the United States; or [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]2) Between a place in a possession of the United States and a place in another possession of the United States, whether that commerce moves wholly by aircraft or partly by aircraft and partly by other forms of transportation [/FONT]

T. Passenger-Carrying Operation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Any aircraft operation carrying any person, unless the only persons on the aircraft are those identified in § 121.583(a) or 135.85, as applicable. An aircraft used in a passenger-carrying operation may also carry cargo or mail in addition to passengers. [/FONT]

U. Principal Base of Operations.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]The primary operating location of a certificate holder as established by the certificate holder. [/FONT]

V. Private Carriage.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Private carriage does not involve offering or holding out by the operator through advertising or any other means. [/FONT]

W. Public Charter.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]A one-way or round-trip charter flight to be performed by one or more direct air carriers that is arranged and sponsored by a charter operator. See 14 CFR part 380 for more information. [/FONT]

X. Scheduled Operation.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Any common carriage passenger-carrying operation for compensation or hire conducted by an air carrier or commercial operator for which the certificate holder or its representative offers in advance the departure location, departure time, and arrival location. It does not include any passenger-carrying operation that is conducted as a public charter operation under part 380 of this title. [/FONT]

Y. Supplemental Operation.


Any common carriage operation for compensation or hire conducted with any airplane described in subparagraph 1 of this definition that is a type of operation described in subparagraph 2 of this definition:
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1) Airplanes:

a) Having a passenger seat configuration of more than 30 seats, excluding each crewmember seat

b) Having a payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds

c) Each propeller-powered airplane having a passenger seat configuration of more than 9 seats and less than 31 seats, excluding each crewmember seat, that is also used in domestic or flag operations and that is so listed in the operations specifications as required by § 119.49(a)(4) for those operations

d) Each turbojet powered airplane having a passenger seat configuration of 1 or more and less than 31 seats, excluding each crewmember seat, that is also used in domestic or flag operations and that is so listed in the operations specifications as required by § 119.49(a)(4) for those operations

2) Types of operation:

a) Operations for which the departure time, departure location, and arrival location are specifically negotiated with the customer or the customer’s representative

b) All-cargo operations

c) Passenger-carrying public charter operations conducted under part 380 of this title.

Z. United States Air Carrier.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]A citizen of the United States who undertakes directly by lease, or other arrangement, to engage in air transportation. [/FONT]

AA. When Common Carriage is Not Involved or Operations Not Involving Common Carriage.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]This applies to any of the following: [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]• Noncommon carriage. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]• Operations in which persons or cargo are transported without compensation or hire. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]• Operations not involving the transportation of persons or cargo. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]• Private carriage. [/FONT]



 
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