Foreign Manufacture of U.S. Aircraft

by John Revenboer
(Denver Colorado USA)

Can a foreign corporation purchase the manufacturing rights to a U.S. certified aircraft and then manufacture that aircraft in a foreign country and still maintain the FAA Type Certificate?

ANSWER: There are two rules that would be applicable in this situation.

FAR 21.43 Location of manufacturing facilities – which says “except as provided in §21.29, the Administrator does not issue a type certificate if the manufacturing facilities for the product are located outside of the United States, unless the Administrator finds that the location of the manufacturer's facilities places no undue burden on the FAA in administering applicable airworthiness requirements."

FAR 21.47 Transferability – which says “a type certificate may be transferred to or made available to third persons by licensing agreements. Each grantor shall, within 30 days after the transfer of a certificate or execution or termination of a licensing agreement, notify in writing the appropriate Aircraft Certification Office. The notification must state the name and address of the transferee or licensee, date of the transaction, and in the case of a licensing agreement, the extent of authority granted the licensee.”

The FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) is the office that would approve of such a transfer, so I would contact them directly to inquire about your purchase and to receive further guidance.

You can find the FAA ACO nearest you by following this link:

Return to Aircraft Certification Questions.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.