Reduced generation of multiple motile cilia (RGMC) is a rare mucociliary clearance disorder. Affected persons suffer from recurrent infections of upper and lower airways because of highly reduced numbers of multiple motile respiratory cilia. Here we report recessive loss-of-function and missense mutations in MCIDAS-encoding Multicilin, which was shown to promote the early steps of multiciliated cell differentiation in Xenopus. MCIDAS mutant respiratory epithelial cells carry only one or two cilia per cell, which lack ciliary motility-related proteins (DNAH5; CCDC39) as seen in primary ciliary dyskinesia. Consistent with this finding, FOXJ1-regulating axonemal motor protein expression is absent in respiratory cells of MCIDAS mutant individuals. CCNO, when mutated known to cause RGMC, is also absent in MCIDAS mutant respiratory cells, consistent with its downstream activity. Thus, our findings identify Multicilin as a key regulator of CCNO/FOXJ1 for human multiciliated cell differentiation, and highlight the 5q11 region containing CCNO and MCIDAS as a locus underlying RGMC.