To be used for aviation, an aircraft must have a certificate of airworthiness or a permit to fly.
An aircraft is only considered airworthy if it has been appropriately designed, manufactured, equipped and maintained, and otherwise has such properties that it can be safely used for aviation. The aircraft owner, possessor or operator is responsible for its airworthiness. Aviation authorities must be notified of any issues which might have a significant impact on airworthiness. More detailed information on the notification is given in Aviation Regulation GEN M1-4 and Advisory Circular AIR T16-3.
An aircraft which is deemed airworthy will be issued with a certificate of airworthiness. Furthermore, the aircraft must have an annual Airworthiness Review Certificate, ARC. To obtain a certificate of airworthiness, the aircraft must be type certificated and meet the requirements of applicable aviation regulations. An aircraft imported from abroad will be issued with a certificate of airworthiness after it has been found airworthy. Aircraft manufactured in Finland will be issued with a certificate of airworthiness after the aircraft has been type certificated and found airworthy.
Application for a certificate of airworthiness is made using a specific application form LU3530. The form lists all the documents needed to issue the certificate.
If an aircraft fails to meet the airworthiness requirements, the certificate of airworthiness will not be valid until the aircraft is again found airworthy. Trafi may cancel a certificate of airworthiness or prohibit the use of an aircraft for aviation if it is found, or there is reason to believe, that the aircraft is not airworthy.
Trafi may issue a restricted certificate of airworthiness to an aircraft which meets the aviation safety requirements with certain conditions. The restricted certificate of airworthiness specifies the conditions under which the aircraft may be used.
Trafi may issue an export certificate of airworthiness for an aircraft to be exported from Finland, if it has either not been registered in Finland or has been removed from the Finnish aircraft register. The export certificate of airworthiness requires a separate inspection to confirm that the aircraft meets the usual requirements for the issue of a certificate of airworthiness.
A new aircraft serially manufactured in Finland must also meet the requirements specified by aviation authorities of the destination country in the type certificate or type specification issued by those authorities.
When an aircraft is exported to an EASA member state, an export certificate of airworthiness is usually not needed if the aircraft has a valid airworthiness review certificate.