The CAAC does not share the responsibility of managing China's airspace with the Central Military Commission under the regulations in the Civil Aviation Law of the People's Republic of China . Being subordinate to military traffic, non-commercial civil aviation is rather restricted. and private aviation in mainland China is relatively rare compared to developed countries.
CAAC was formed on November 2, 1949, shortly after the founding of the People's Republic of China, to manage all non-military aviation in the country, as well as provide general and commercial flight service . It was initially managed by the People's Liberation Army Air Force, but was transferred to the direct control of the State Council in 1980.
In 1987 the airline division of CAAC was divided up into a number of airlines, each named after the region of China where it had its hub. Since then, CAAC acts solely as a government agency and no longer provides commercial flight service.
In March 2008, the agency changed its name to Civil Aviation Administration of China and became a subsidiary of the newly created .
CAAC as an airline
CAAC began operating scheduled domestic flights to cities in China in 1949.
In 1962, CAAC began operating international services.
In 1987, CAAC split into 6 separate airlines. Air China , China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, China Northwest Airlines, China Northern Airlines and China Southwest Airlines, each named after the geographic region of the location of their headquarters and main operation areas.
CAAC used the IATA code CA on international flights only, domestic flights were not prefixed with the airline code.
CAAC aircraft livery featured Chinese national flag on the vertical stabilizer, with blue stripes and Chinese version of CAAC logo on a white fuselage.
CAAC's fleet In 1987:
*Antonov An-24/Xian Y-7
*Hawker Siddeley Trident 2E
*Lockheed L-100 Hercules
*McDonnell Douglas DC-9
*McDonnell Douglas MD-82
Fleet retired before 1987
*In May, 1972, A Lisunov Li-2 overshot the runway at Dalian Airport, killing 6 occupants.
*On August 26, 1976, An Ilyushin Il-14 crashed during landing In Chengdu, killing 12 Passengers.
*On April 26, 1982, CAAC Flight 3303, A Hawker Siddeley Trident2E, crashed into a mountain while on approach to Guilin, killing all 112 people on board.
*On December 24, 1982, a CAAC Ilyushin Il-18B burst into flames while on approach to Guangzhou, killing 25 of the 69 passengers on board.
*On May 5, 1983, a CAAC aircraft was hijacked and landed at a U.S. military base in South Korea. The incident marked the first direct negotiations between South Korea and China, which did not have formal relations at the time.
*On September 14, 1983, a CAAC Hawker Siddeley Trident2E collided with a fighter jet on takeoff from Guilin. 11 on board were killed.
*On January 18, 1985, a CAAC Antonov An-24 crashed on approach to Jinan, killing 38 of the 41 on board.
*On December 15, 1986, a CAAC Antonov An-24 crashed on approach to Lanzhou, killing 6 of the 37 on board.