Introduction to the model civil aviation safety act and model regulations

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[STATE] is a Signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention, signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944). Under Article 12 of the Convention, [STATE], as a Contracting State, is obligated to adopt measures to insure safety through conformity with international standards in its safety oversight obligations. The fundamental elements of national safety oversight are legislation establishing and empowering a civil aviation authority in [STATE], and the promulgation of specific operating regulations for civil aviation.

The Model Civil Aviation Safety Act and the Model Regulations are published to assist the government of [STATE] in carrying out its aviation safety oversight responsibilities. The Model Civil Aviation Safety Act and the Model Regulations provide primary information sufficient to allow [STATE] to meet its overall safety oversight responsibilities and to emphasize [STATE]'s commitment to aviation safety. Under Articles 37 and 38 of the Chicago Convention, [STATE] has agreed to conform to the standards and recommended practices (SARP) presented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in a series of ICAO Annexes addressing subjects ranging from the licensing of airmen to the shipment of dangerous goods by air. Each ICAO Annex sets forth ICAO standards, which are the minimum standards required for operation in international aviation by aircraft registered in a Contracting State. Recommended practices set forth in each ICAO Annex, while not mandatory, provide information about what standards should be adhered to in order to insure aviation safety.
The Model Aviation Safety Act (Act) provides a legal basis for the establishment of a Civil Aviation Authority, or CAA in [STATE], referred to in the Model Statute and the Model Regulations as the “Authority.” The Act establishes the Authority under the Director of Civil Aviation, and defines both the duties and the authority granted the Director under the law of [STATE]. Subchapters I through IV address the organization, administration, general powers, and duties of the Authority. Subchapter V requires the registration of aircraft in [STATE] and makes the maintenance of a system of recordation of such registration a matter of law. Subchapter VI sets forth the statutory bases for safety regulation by the Authority, including the certification of aviation personnel and entities, the duties required of aviation operators and airmen, the power of inspection granted the Authority and prohibitions applicable to all citizens of [STATE] respecting aviation. Subchapter VII sets forth the civil and criminal penalties that may be imposed by the Authority for violations of the law or the regulations, and Subchapter VIII establishes the procedure that is to be followed by the Authority in enforcement action. Statutory authority for the economic regulation of air operators is also necessary, but due to the variation in national systems, no such language is provided in this Model Civil Aviation Safety Act.
It is recognized that most Signatories to the Chicago Convention may already have a civil aviation law. The purpose of the Model Civil Aviation Safety Act is to provide the basis for review and modification of existing law, where such review and modification is deemed necessary by [STATE].
The Model Regulations present ICAO standards as regulatory requirements for aircraft expected to operate internationally from and into [STATE]. Where applicable, ICAO recommended standards are included for completeness. Each model regulation presents the standards and recommended practices in the appropriate ICAO Annex supplemented by sections from the United States Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR) and/or the European Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR). Supplementation by 14 CFR or JAR allows efficient implementation of the basic ICAO standards and recommended practices, based upon the experience gained by the FAA and the JAA. In some instances, modern regulatory practice in aviation either exceeds the ICAO Annex requirements or regulates in areas not yet addressed by the ICAO. Where Model Regulations exceed the requirements of a specific ICAO Annex, or address an area not covered by the ICAO Annex, those model regulations will be based upon the appropriate provisions of 14 CFR and the JAR.
Modern aviation practice presents complex situations to an Authority. These model regulations attempt to address the present situation faced by most countries, with aircraft operating both within the country and in international aviation. One of the assumptions underlying the Model Regulations is that most aircraft registered in [STATE] will have the range to operate in both local and international aviation. Simplicity in the regulation of civil aviation under such circumstances supports the consistent application of ICAO rules throughout the aviation community within [STATE].
In most cases, a modern Authority must account for a number of different situations while regulating its aviation community. The key to satisfactory assurance of safety and accountability is the use of efficient and effective means of communication and data transfer. The Model Regulations assume that the following situations will be present in [STATE], and in most Contracting States:

  • there are aircraft registered in [STATE] that were designed in one Contracting State and manufactured in another Contracting State;

  • [STATE] may have Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who operate aircraft registered in another Contracting State, which may have different states of design and manufacture;

  • [STATE] may have AOC holders who are part of a regional consortium, with operations and maintenance facilities in a neighboring country;

  • [STATE] international air carriers may operate in countries requiring pilot’s licenses with terms and conditions additional to those required by ICAO Annex 1, and which differ from one country or region to another;

  • [STATE] may host air operators and/or aviation repair facilities that are required to follow the regulations of another country or region in addition to those of [STATE];

The Model Regulations are presented in eleven Parts. Part 1, General Policies, Procedures and Definitions, sets forth the basic rules of construction and application of the regulations, definitions applicable to more than one Part, and the rules governing the administration of licenses and certifications. Of special interest are the Implementing Standards that accompany each Part. These Implementing Standards provide detailed requirements that support the intent of a regulation presented in a Part, but gain the force and effect of the governing regulations only if specifically referred to in the governing regulation. Implementing Standards are used in the Model Regulations to allow an Authority the flexibility to incorporate new practices or procedures as they become available without the procedures required for promulgation of legally binding regulations.

Part 2 addresses the licensing of personnel. Article 32 of the Chicago Convention requires [STATE] to issue certificates of competency and licenses or validate such certificates or licenses issued by other Contracting States to the pilot of every aircraft and to other members of the operating crew of every aircraft engaged in international navigation. The basis of this obligation is the goal of promoting and conducting safe and regular aircraft operations through the development and implementation of internationally acceptable certification and licensing processes. If the same process is extended to domestic operations, [STATE] can ensure the overall safety of aircraft operation through unification of licensing requirements. ICAO Annex 1, Personnel Licensing, presents the broad international specifications for personnel licensing agreed upon by Contracting States. Most of the specifications in ICAO Annex 1 are not given in enough detail to satisfy the day-to-day management of a country’s personnel licensing activities. Part 2 of the Model Regulations presents detailed requirements for the general rules of licensing and detailed requirements for the certification of airmen, pilots, non-pilot flight crewmembers, and airmen, such as mechanics, who are not flight crew. Part 2 also presents medical standards for the granting of licenses and certification, and for the administration of medical examinations. The licensing and medical standards are based upon ICAO Annex 1, as well as both 14 CFR and the JAR.
Part 3 of the Model Regulations addresses the certification and administration of Aviation Training Organizations (ATO). No ICAO Annex presently covers international standards for an ATO. Consequently, Part 3 relies heavily upon regulations presented in 14 CFR and the JAR. The use of an ATO for the training and qualification of airmen is common in modern aviation, most particularly as operators upgrade their aircraft inventory and airmen transition to new aircraft. The interrelation between ATO requirements under Part 3 and the licensing and certification requirements of Part 2 is plain. Even if [STATE] does not have an ATO located in the country, the requirements for ATO operation do apply to the standards required for adequate training for qualification for a [STATE] certification. Thus, [STATE] citizens who receive training from a foreign ATO should be trained by an ATO meeting [STATE] standards. This situation will be encountered when a [STATE] holder of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), such as a national airline, is part of a regional consortium with AOC holders from other Contracting States in the region, and the consortium has established an ATO in only one of the regional Contracting States. The regulations set forth in Part 3 allow for this situation.
Part 4 of the Model Regulations set forth the requirements for registration of aircraft in [STATE], and governs the application of nationality and registration marks. This Part is derived from ICAO Annex 7.
Part 5 of the Model Regulations presents regulatory requirements for the airworthiness of aircraft expected to operate in [STATE] using the standards and recommended practices in ICAO Annexes 6 and 8 supplemented by sections from 14 CFR and the JAR. Part 5 is designed to address the complex situation faced by most countries today respecting the airworthiness of aircraft operating within the country and in international aviation. In most such cases, there are aircraft registered in [STATE] that were designed and manufactured in another Contracting State, and aircraft registered in [STATE] that were designed in one Contracting State and manufactured in another Contracting State. In addition, [STATE] may have AOC holders who operate aircraft registered in another Contracting State, with different states of design and manufacture. Additionally, [STATE] may have AOC holders who are part of a regional consortium, with maintenance facilities in a neighboring country. Proper airworthiness of aircraft registered in [STATE] is the result of communication. The Model Regulations require all persons operating [STATE] registered aircraft to notify the Authority when certain events occur. The Authority is required to open lines of communication with the State of Design and/or the State of Manufacture, so that the Authority can receive all safety bulletins and airworthiness directives for each type of aircraft operating in [STATE]. Maintenance requirements are set forth in Part 5 for persons who are neither employees of an Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) nor work for an Air Operator.
Part 6 of the Model Regulations provides regulations for the registration and monitoring of Approved Maintenance Organizations (AMO) in [STATE]. The proper maintenance of aircraft is fundamental to aviation safety, and requires meticulous record-keeping. Modern practice among Contracting States varies. In the United States, persons may be individually licensed, or may be granted maintenance authority as a member of an AMO. Similarly, a United States AOC holder may use an AMO, or may employ a maintenance organization using licensed personnel. In JAA practice, the maintenance organization of an AOC holder must qualify as an AMO in its own right. Whether or not [STATE] adopts the FAA or JAA approach with their AOC holders, there will be a need for oversight and regulation of AMO’s. Maintenance requirements for AOC holders with integral maintenance organizations with no AMO certificate are addressed in Part 9. Please note that Section requires an AMO applicant within [State] to disclose any and all AMO certificates in any Contracting State other than [STATE]. Many regional airline consortia use common maintenance facilities in one Contracting State. This practice does not relieve [STATE] from approving the AMO that its AOC holders use. Knowledge of the other Contracting State’s AMO licensing and regulating practices will allow the Authority both to communicate with the Authority overseeing the AMO certificate, and to weigh the AMO requirements of the other Contracting State for satisfaction of [STATE]’s own regulations.
Part 7 of the Model Regulations presents regulatory requirements for instruments and equipment on aircraft expected to operate in [STATE]. The requirements in Part 7 address three categories of aircraft operations. The sections of Part 7 applicable to all aircraft address minimum requirements, and are noted by the key [AAC] preceding the particular section. It is important to note that the AAC designation applies to all aircraft in the Commercial Air Transport [CAT] and AOC Holder [AOC] categories unless other, more specific regulations supplant the [AAC] requirement. In some instances, certain items such as Mach meters or sea anchors apply only to aircraft with performance characteristics requiring such items. Some [AAC] requirements apply to passenger-carrying aircraft. In such instances, the requirement addresses the operation of any passenger-carrying aircraft, most particularly corporate aircraft, that may have performance and range capabilities matching the type of aircraft operated by commercial air transport entities or AOC holders. Similarly, some equipment specified for [CAT] or [AOC] aircraft have sections keyed as [AAC]. In such instances, if a non- [CAT] or [AOC] aircraft is fitted with such equipment, the equipment characteristics must comply with the applicable sections designated [AAC]. The key [CAT] addresses those aircraft operated commercially, that is, for compensation or hire, within [STATE] or into or from [STATE]. [CAT] requirements will apply to [AOC] aircraft unless a section designated as [AOC] supplies a more specific requirement. The key [AOC] applies to AOC holders operating in [STATE], whether on domestic or international flights. Certain sections, such as those addressing MNPS airspace, may not address airspace contiguous to [STATE], but anticipate that [STATE] AOC holder’s aircraft may operate through such airspace in the course of commerce. Such requirements are intended to facilitate the integration of [STATE] AOC holders into such operations. As in other Parts of these Model Regulations, operators of aircraft operated in [STATE] but registered in another Contracting State must notify the Authority in [STATE] when alterations, major repairs or major alterations are made to the aircraft. [STATE] may have unique territorial or geographic features that may affect the operation of aircraft, and must be kept informed of the condition of aircraft operated within its borders. Part 7 includes survival equipment requirements that may apply to [STATE]. The Authority is encouraged to review geographic areas within [STATE], and designate those areas requiring specific types of survival equipment.

Part 8 of the Model Regulations presents regulatory requirements for the operation of aircraft in [STATE], based upon the requirements of ICAO Annexes 6 and 8. Part 8 prescribes the requirements for operations conducted by airmen certificated in [STATE] while operating aircraft registered in [STATE], as well as operations of foreign registered aircraft by [STATE] AOC holders, and operations of aircraft within [STATE] by airman or AOC holders of a foreign State. Part 8 applies to operations outside of [STATE] by all [STATE] pilots and operators unless compliance would result in a violation of the laws of the foreign State in which the operation is conducted. The regulations apply to all aircraft, except where superseded by the more stringent requirements put upon entities engaged on commercial air transport and upon AOC holders.

Part 9 of the Model Regulations sets forth the requirements for persons or entities to be granted an AOC certification from [STATE]. Part 9 includes regulations concerning the AOC certificate, flight operations management, maintenance requirements, security management, and dangerous goods management. Note that the requirements for an AOC-operated maintenance organization are contained in this part, and shall apply where the AOC does not use the services of an AMO, or does not gain an AMO certification for its maintenance organization.

Part 10 of the Model Regulations prescribes requirements applicable to foreign air carriers. Commercial air transport by a foreign air carrier is the operation of any civil aircraft or helicopter for the purpose of commercial air transportation operations by any air carrier whose Air Operator Certificate is issued and controlled by a civil aviation authority other than [STATE]. Part 10 does not apply to aircraft and helicopters when used by military, customs, and police services, unless those flights are made for compensation or hire. Part 10 sets forth the requirements for operations specifications, documents to be carried aboard the aircraft, and security and dangerous goods requirements placed upon a foreign air carrier operating into or out of [STATE].

Part 11 of the Model Regulations sets forth the requirements for aerial work operations, including agricultural aviation, helicopter external load carrying, glider and banner towing, TV and movie operations, sight-seeing flights, fish spotting and traffic reporting. Although the requirements of Part 11 appear to address operations internal to [STATE], in some instances, aircraft registered in [STATE] will be able to perform aerial work in contiguous states. If such operations can be carried out outside the boundaries of [STATE], the aircraft must be operated and maintained in accordance with ICAO standards set forth in other Parts of these Model Regulations.

The Authority of [STATE] should consider the benefit of correlating their civil aviation laws and regulations with those of other Contracting States in the region. Correlation of regulations can lead to greater unity of air safety efforts by [STATE] and its neighbors. This approach can facilitate the safety regulation of commercial consortia operating in a region that includes [STATE]. The Model Civil Aviation Safety Act and the Model Regulations provide a basis for such correlation.

October 2002

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