Historical Background

Attempts to conquer distance and time has always been a perennial pursuit of mankind and these adventurous feats at all times called for the most reliable and consistent equipment, the quest for which has always been accompanied by "safety" as the watchword. Among the machines developed, built and improved upon in this endeavor has been the flying machine called 'Aeroplane'. Certifying a flying machine as "Airworthy" has steadily become more and more complex in the age of advanced technologies and state-of-the art designs, emerging as a multi disciplinary function and demanding utmost caution and careful evaluation of all aspects of design in its functions. Highly integrated software intensive systems of the modern advanced military aircraft have generated an unprecedented challenge for the airworthiness & certification engineers.

While in simplest of terms Airworthiness is understood as "fitness to fly", in engineering parlance to give a definition that is comprehensive, "Airworthiness" is the capability of the aircraft/equipment to perform satisfactorily and fulfill mission requirements, throughout the specified life in the prevailing environments with acceptable levels of safety and reliability.

In view of several subsystems' design houses and numerous functional agencies involved in production, it was prudent to create an independent regulatory authority to assure Airworthiness vis-a-vis operational needs of the various user services and diverse environmental conditions prevailing in the Indian subcontinent.

In India, the military Aviation industry began its role as a repair and overhaul establishment and meandering through license manufacture before embarking into the era of indigenous or abinitio design and development of aircraft and airborne equipment. While limited role was expected of regulatory Authority during the repair and licensed manufacturing activity, the regulatory authority for military Airworthiness made a humble beginning with the setting up of the Resident Technical Office (Aircraft) at Bangalore in the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in 1958. With increasing licensed manufacturing activity and collaborative efforts with the Western countries and erstwhile USSR, the aircraft number and variety grew in magnitude. The industry saw the growth of competence in manufacturing, materials substitution and improvements possible to match our own operational and environmental needs. This ushered in role growth in the regulatory functions. In the recent past the development of subsystems and modifications needed to upgrade the existing platforms are intensively being carried out by the Defence PSUs and laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation. This heralded the need to have greater involvement of regulatory body to assure airworthiness during development, technology up gradation and full scale development of major systems and then successful integration in the military aircraft to enhance their operational capabilities. 14 RTOs were setup in various parts of India by the early 90s.

Rechristening the Resident Technical Offices as Regional Centers for Military Airworthiness (RCMA) and integrating the efforts of field units for effective and efficient functions under one umbrella, CEMILAC, (an acronym for Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification) was born in February 1995 at Bangalore. From its inception in 1995 CEMILAC has steadily progressed and matured into a certification body rendering a very diverse & wide spectrum of airworthiness coverage and support for the Indian Armed Services.

Today CEMILAC has fourteen RCMAs across the country. Each Regional Centre is identified and recognised for its core competence, accomplishing the airworthiness needs where it is situated, collaterally with the work centre engaged in Aircraft building. Each Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA) is a center with specialist knowledge base as required for building the Aircraft right from materials to weaponisation.

CEMILAC is an ISO 9001-2008 certified organization headed by the Chief Executive (Airworthiness). The Chief Executive has three Group Directors to assist him in the overall functioning and monitoring of the Fourteen Regional Centres (RCMAs).

Who we are :

The significance of the road laid by CEMILAC can be gauged when we realize that the operation of aircraft such as Jaguar, Kiran, Avro, Dornier, MiGs, LCA, helicopters such as ALH, LCH Cheetah, Chetak, and the engines which propel them continue to be subjected to checks and evaluations stipulated by CEMILAC and the RCMAs.

It is this repertoire of skills and wealth of knowledge that provided CEMILAC with the capability to release into service the indigenously developed Advanced Light Helicopter(ALH) and grant Initial Operation Clearance(IOC) to the 4th generation sophisticated, indigenously developed state-of-the-art Light Combat Aircraft(LCA). It is with this great confidence that has been instilled with the legacy of the past decades, that CEMILAC will soon grant the Final operation Clearance(FOC) and induct LCA into Services.

CEMILAC is marching from strength to strength in becoming technology friendly in according Airworthiness Certificates to Military Aircraft. Unlike any other engineering feat, flying machine called 'aeroplane' is a perennially fascinating one to the mankind.

Men behind the safe and reliable flights are important but remain anonymous.

CEMILAC: Core Competence

The Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) performs Airworthiness Certification Activities related to Aircraft, Helicopters, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Air Launched vehicles, Engines and the Systems operated by the Indian Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Army. CEMILAC’s corporate office is located at Bangalore and regional offices known as Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA) at different aero development centres of India. These regional offices are:

Karnataka: Bangalore

Core Competence - DESIDOC

RCMA (Aircraft):

Entrusted with airworthiness of aircraft of western origin.

RCMA (Engines):

Ensures airworthiness of a variety of aero engines developed, manufactured and overhauled in Bangalore.


Discharges the airworthiness related functions during design, development, manufacture and overhaul of helicopters.

RCMA (Foundry and Forge):

Ensures airworthiness during development and manufacturing of castings, forgings, rubber seals, and brake pads. In addition, this centre undertakes tasks related to the certification of Fuel, Oil&Lubricants (FOL) items taken up by various industries and refineries of India.

Systems Group, CEMILAC:

Provides airworthiness assurance for Airborne Radars, AEW&C systems, Electro optical payloads, Electronic Warfare and Network Centric Warfare systems.

Telangana :Hyderabad


Located at Hyderabad, certifies metallic materials forAeronautical and Missile Applications.


Involved in the evaluation and certification of Avionics equipmentand EWsystems for all military platforms.


Established at Hyderabad to certify Air Launched Missiles and Counter Measure Dispensing Systems.



Ensures airworthiness requirements during manufacture and overhaul of engines for various Russian aircraft.

Uttar Pradesh


Entrusted with the design evaluation during design and manufacture of HS-748, HPT-32 and Dornier aircraft. Provides airworthiness support for Russian transport and MRASW aircraft.


Assigned with the task of airworthiness assurance of aircraft and engine accessories.


Accomplishes the evaluation of inertial navigation and attack units, head up displays, flight data recorders, auto pilots and the associated electronic systems.



Caters to the needs of the Air Force base repair depot in Chandigarh, which overhauls the transport aircraft and helicopters of Russian origin. It is also involved in the evaluation of Head Up Display (HUD) being developed by CSIO.


RCMA (Air Armament):

Positioned at Pune, is involved in evaluation and certification of indigenously developed Air Armament stores.


Exercises airworthiness control over design, development and manufacturing activities of Russian series aircraft.

Core Competence - DESIDOC Core Competence - DESIDOC Core Competence - DESIDOC