Display of Airworthiness Certificate

by Tony
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

FAR 91.203(b) states "No person may operate a civil aircraft unless the airworthiness certificate required by paragraph (a) of this section or a special flight authorization issued under § 91.715 is displayed at the cabin or cockpit entrance so that it is legible to passengers or crew."

With the above regulation in mind is it acceptable to display the Airworthiness Certificate only on the inside / back side of the cockpit door of a typical passenger aircraft such as a Boeing 777 operating under FAR Part 121?

If it is attached to the back of the door it will not be visible to any of the passengers, only to the flight crew when they look at the back of the door. Is this acceptable to the FAA?

ANSWER: Yes to both of the above questions. There was a legal interpretation of this rule by the FAA Associate Chief Council in 1990. The rule at that time was FAR 91.27(b) which became FAR 91.203 (b) after the re-codification of FAR 91 in the mid 1990’s.

Their interpretation read as follows:

“Compliance can indeed be achieved by hanging the airworthiness certificate on the side of the cockpit door facing into the cockpit so that only the flight crew can see the certificate when the door is closed. The regulation does not require the certificate to be legible to both the passengers and the crew. Instead, it requires that the certificate be legible to either the passengers or the crew.”

In most cases you may have noticed that the cockpit door is open during the passenger boarding process. A passenger would be able to see the airworthiness certificate when boarding if they were to look.

Where do most major American air carriers attach and display their aircraft's Airworthiness Certificate?

ANSWER: Most of them are on the inside of the cockpit door. However, I have seen airworthiness certificates on the ceiling just above the entrance door and on the wall of the passageway leading to the cockpit.

Return to Aircraft Certification Questions.

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