Last updated: 04:44 PM ET, Wed April 08 2015

FAA Issues Single Operating Certificate to American

Airlines & Airports | American Airlines | Rich Thomaselli | April 08, 2015

FAA Issues Single Operating Certificate to American

Well, it’s real now.

Some 16 months after the merger first became official in December of 2013, American Airlines today received a single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for American and US Airways to conduct business as one airline.

Beginning today, most flight operations, maintenance and dispatch procedures will be identical for all flights. Air traffic control communications will refer to all American and US Airways flights with the call sign "American."

"Achieving a single operating certificate is an important step toward becoming a fully integrated airline and the effort to reach today's milestone touched nearly every area of our company," Robert Isom, American's Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement.

To get that single piece of paper and official FAA recognition, a team of more than 700 employees reviewed 465 manuals along with policies, procedures and programs from both carriers and selected best practices to implement for the merged airline. More than 110,000 employees completed hundreds of thousands of hours of training in multiple phases and more than 115,000 pages on policies and procedures were published.

“As a global airline, this work spanned many regions,” Isom said. “We thank the Department of Transportation and regulatory authorities in more than 50 countries who worked alongside us to ensure this critical project remained on track."

The FAA's recognition of American as a single operator has virtually no effect on its customers, who will continue to check in for their flights on,, or at American or US Airways ticket counters until later this year when American tackles perhaps the biggest challenge of the merger – moving to a single reservations system.

"While today marks a significant milestone for our integration, there is still much that remains ahead and we will intensify our focus on moving to a single reservations system and website and combining our frontline employee workgroups," Isom added.

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