Aviation Laws

Liberalization of the Indian civil aviation sector in the mid to late nineties has led to a large number of private players entering in addition to the two established national carriers (Air India and the erstwhile Indian Airlines). Apart from the fact that liberalization of this sector came alongside the phase of rampant economic development in India, growth of the Indian tourism industry and the ever increasing disposable income of the Indian middle-class have contributed to the admirable levels of growth the civil aviation sector has achieved in the last decade, in addition to the support provided in the form of structural reforms, airport modernizations, entry of private airlines, adoption of low fare model and improvement in service standards. The privates sector has played a vital role in development of Public Private Partnership (PPP) airport the development of Hyderabad and Bangaluru airport and modernization of Delhi and Mumbai International Airport have been an excellent example of PPP, this gave the hands in development to Aviation Laws. These laws have been divided in eight sections — ‘General’, ‘Air Worthiness’, ‘Air Transport’, ‘Aerodrome Standards and Air Traffic Services’, ‘Air Safety’, ‘Flight Crew Standards, Training and Licensing’ and ‘Aircraft Operations’. Aircraft Act, 1934 and Aircraft Rules, 1937 were formulated in order to control and manage various activities in the aircraft relating to manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export. The Indian government with the introduction of National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016 aims to provide and create, a conducive framework for creating a conducive framework for harmonized growth of various aviation sub – sectors including, development and modernization of airports by State Governments, private players and under the Public Private Partnership (“PPP”) model.

The basis of the Policy is also to create an affordable model which can take flying to the masses, to increase the connectivity between cities and also to enhance the ease of doing business in India. Basis of the introduction of this policy, the Government expects India to become the third largest aviation market by 2020 and the largest by 2030.

The Carriage by Air Act was enacted by the Parliament on December 19, 1972 and came into force on March 23, 1973. The Act fundamentally aims to implement the Warsaw Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air which was signed on October 12, 1929. The provisions of the Convention are made applicable in India by including the rights and responsibilities of travelers, carriers, consignors and other individuals in the First Schedule to the Act. The Aircraft (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) rules, 2003 it regulates air carriage of dangerous goods like explosive, radioactive material etc. and also provides for the establishment of training programs by on behalf of shippers of dangerous good, operators, ground handling agencies, freight forwarders and agencies involved in the security screening of passengers, their baggage and cargo. The Air Corporation Act, 1953 provides for the establishment of air corporations, namely, Indian airlines and Air India International and also facilitates acquisitions by such corporations. The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 it implements the convention for the suppression of unlawful seizure of Aircraft and provides for punishment for the offence of hijacking. These provisions shall be enforced in India for all carriages in an aircraft, whether the aircraft belongs to India or any other nation.

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