AIR NAVIGATION ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Power to grant exemption from operation of Act.

PART I

Air Navigation

3. Power to give effect to Chicago Convention and to regulate Air Navigation.

4. Nuisance caused by aircraft on aerodromes.

5. Infringement of patents.

6. Exemption of aircraft and parts thereof from seizure on patent claims.

7. Special powers in case of emergency.

8. Establishment of aerodromes.

9. Trespass, Nuisance and responsibility for damage.

10. Penalty for dangerous flying.

11. Wreck and salvage.

12. Power to provide for investigation and accidents.

13. Indication of presence of obstructions near aerodromes.

13A. Power to exercise control over land in the interests of aviation.

PART II

Additional Provisions Applicable to Civil Aviation

14. Information to air transport undertakings and use of customs aerodromes.

15. Licensing of air transport and commercial flying.

PART III

Carriage by Air

16. Provisions of Warsaw Convention to have force of law.

17. Actions against High Contracting Parties who undertake carriage by air.

18. Application of section 16 and First Schedule to carriage by air which is not international.

19. Definition of Warsaw Convention.

PART IV

Administration

20. Appointment of Director-General of Civil Aviation.

21. Delegation of powers by Minister.

21A. Appointment of Agent and the functions of Agent.

22. Expenses.

23. Fees to be paid into Consolidated Fund.

PART V

Regulations and Orders

24. Regulations.

25. Further matters which may be provided for by regulations.

26. Power to provide for detention of aircraft.

27. Power to provide for certain transitional matters.

28. Regulations must be published in the.

29. Regulations must be laid before Parliament.

30. Power to apply to aircraft provisions of law relating to detention of ships

PART VI

Miscellaneous

31. Omitted.

32. Jurisdiction.

33. Proof of instrument made or issued by Minister.

34. Offences.

35. Penalties.

36. Power of court to order forfeiture.

37. Offences to be cognisable and to be Enable by Magistrates.

38. Interpretation.

39. Omitted

40. Savings of certain regulations.

41. Non-application of the Act and the orders and regulations or made thereunder.

SCHEDULES.

15 of 1950,

42 of 1964,

22 of 1981,

2 of 1982,

11 of 1983,

14 of 1987,

65 of 1988,

55 of 1992,

25 of 2003.

AN ACT to give effect to certain international conventions relating to Air Navigation and carriage by air. To make provision for the general regulation and control of Air Navigation, and for purposes connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 18th May, 1951]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Air Navigation Act.

2. Power to grant exemption from operation of Act.

(1) Regulations may be made under this Act empowering the Minister by Order to grant exemption from any or the provisions of this Act to such classes or description of aircraft or persons as may be prescribed in the regulations or to any aircraft or person belonging to any such prescribed class or description of aircraft or persons, to such extent or subject to such terms, conditions or restrictions as may be so prescribed.

(2) The Minister may, on the occurrence of any public emergency, by Order exempt any aircraft or person or class or description of aircraft or persons from any of the provisions of this Act to such extent or subject to such terms, conditions or restrictions as may appear to him to be necessary in the public interest, notwithstanding that he is not empowered to do so by regulations referred to in subsection (1).

(3) Every Order made by the Minister in pursuance of the regulations referred to in subsection (1) or the powers conferred by subsection (2) shall be as valid and effectual as though it were herein enacted.

PART I

Air Navigation

3. Power to give effect to Chicago Convention and to regulate air navigation.

(1) Regulations may be made under this Act providing for all such matters as the authority empowered to make such regulations may deem requisite or—

(a) for carrying out the Chicago Convention, any Annex thereto relating to international standards and recommended practices (being an Annex adopted in accordance with the Convention) and any amendment of the Convention or any such Annex made in accordance with the Convention; or

(b) generally for regulating air navigation.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (1), regulations may be made under this Act for or with respect to all or any of the following matters—

(a) the registration of aircraft in Sri Lanka;

(b) the prohibition of aircraft from flying unless certificates of airworthiness issued or validated under the regulations are in force with respect to them and except upon compliance with such conditions as to maintenance and repair as may be specified in the regulations;

(c) the licensing, inspection, regulation and control of aerodromes and the prohibition or regulation of the use of unlicensed aerodromes;

(d) the access to aerodromes and places where aircraft have landed, the access to aircraft factories for the purpose of inspecting work therein carried on in relation to aircraft or parts thereof, and the prohibition of trespassing on aerodromes;

(e) employment of persons in or (except in the maintenance at unlicensed aerodromes of aircraft not used for or in connection with commercial, industrial or other gainful purposes) in connection with, air navigation in such capacities as may be specified in the regulations except in accordance with provisions in that behalf contained in the regulations, and the licensing of those employed at licensed aerodromes in the inspection or supervision of aircraft;

(f) the conditions under which, and in particular the aerodromes to or from, which, aircraft entering or leaving Sri Lanka may fly, and the conditions under which aircraft may fly from one part of Sri Lanka to another;

(g) the conditions under which passengers and goods may be carried by air and under which aircraft may be used for other commercial, industrial or gainful purposes and the prohibition of the carriage by air of goods of such classes as may be specified in the regulations;

(h) the minimisation or prevention of the interference with the use or effectiveness of apparatus used in connection with air navigation, and the prohibition or regulation of the use of such apparatus as aforesaid and the display of signs and lights liable to endanger aircraft;

(i) generally for securing the safety, efficiency and regularity of air navigation and the safety of aircraft and of persons and property carried therein, the prevention of aircraft from endangering other persons and property and, in particular, the detention of aircraft for any of the purposes specified in this paragraph;

(j) the supply of meteorological information for the purposes of air navigation by persons engaged in, or employed in or in connection with, such navigation;

(k) the regulation of the making of signals and other communications by or to aircraft and persons carried therein;

(l) the regulation of the use of the civil air ensign and any other ensign established by the Minister for purposes connected with air navigation;

(m) the prohibition of the flying of aircraft over such areas in Sri Lanka as may be specified in the regulations;

(n) the application, adaptation or modification of the enactments relating to customs in relation to aerodromes and to aircraft and to persons and property carried therein and the prevention of smuggling by air;

(o) the manner and conditions of the issue, validation, renewal, extension or variation of any certificate, license or other document required by the regulations (including the examinations and tests to be undergone), and the form, custody, production, cancellation, suspension, endorsement and surrender of any such document;

(p) the regulation of the charges that may be made for the use of aerodromes and for services' provided at such aerodromes;

(pp) the regulation of the charges that may be made from over-flying aircraft for the use of air navigation services or facilities provided by any Governmental Authority or Airport in Sri Lanka;

[S 3(2)(pp) ins by s 2 of Act 22 of 1981.]

(q) prescribing the fees to be paid in respect of the issue, validation, renewal, extension, or variation of any certificate, license or other document or the undergoing of any examination or test required by the regulations and in respect of any other matters for which it appears to the authority empowered to make the regulations to be expedient for the purposes of the regulations to charge fees;

(r) the regulation and control of the conditions under which noise and vibration may be caused by aircraft on aerodromes and the application of the provisions of section 4 to any aerodrome as respects which provision as to noise and vibration caused by aircraft is so made.

(3) Regulations referred to in paragraph (m) of subsection (2) may, for the purpose of securing compliance with any provision thereof, provide for the taking of such steps (including firing on aircraft) as may be specified in the regulations.

4. Nuisance caused by aircraft on aerodromes.

No action shall lie in respect of any nuisance by reason only of the noise and vibration caused by aircraft on an aerodrome to which this section applies by virtue of any regulations made under this Act, so long as the provisions of such regulations are duly complied with.

5. Infringement of patents.

(1) Save as otherwise provided in section 6, where it is alleged by any person interested that a foreign aircraft making a passage through or over Sri Lanka infringes in itself or in any part of it any invention, design or model which is entitled to protection in Sri Lanka, it shall be lawful, subject to and in accordance with rules made as hereinafter provided, to detain such aircraft until the owner thereof deposits or secures in respect of the alleged infringement a sum (in this section referred to as "the deposited sum”), and thereupon the aircraft shall not, during the continuance or in the course of the passage, be subject to any lien, arrest, detention or prohibition, whether by order of a court or otherwise, in respect of or on account of the alleged infringement.

(2) The deposited sum shall be such a sum as may be agreed upon between the parties interested, or in default of agreement shall be fixed by the Minister or some person duly authorised by the Minister in that behalf, and payment thereof shall be made or secured to him in such manner as he shall approve. The deposited sum shall be dealt with by such court and in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by rules made by the Supreme Court for that purpose as well as for the purpose of providing generally for carrying this section into effect.

(3) For the purposes of this section and of section 6, the expression "owner” includes the actual owner of an aircraft, and any person claiming through or under him, and the expression "passage” includes all reasonable landings and stoppages in the course or for the purpose of a passage.

6. Exemption of aircraft and parts thereof from seizure on patent claims.

(1) Notwithstanding anything in section 5 of this Act or any other written law, any lawful entry into Sri Lanka, with or without landings, of an aircraft to which this section applies shall not entail any seizure or detention of the aircraft or any proceedings being brought against the owner or operator thereof or any other interference therewith by or on behalf of any person in Sri Lanka, on the ground that the construction, mechanism, parts, accessories or operation of the aircraft is or are an infringement of any patent, design or model.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in section 5 of this Act or any other written law, the importation into, and storage in, Sri Lanka of spare parts and spare equipment for aircraft to which this section applies and the use and installation thereof in the repair of such an aircraft shall not entail any seizure or detention of the aircraft or of the spare parts or spare equipment or any proceedings being brought against the owner or operator of the aircraft or the owner of the spare parts or spare equipment or any other interference with the aircraft by or on behalf of any person in Sri Lanka on the ground that the spare parts or spare equipment or their installation is or are an infringement of any patent, design or model:

Provided, however, that the preceding provisions of this subsection shall not apply in relation to any spare parts or spare equipment which are sold or distributed in Sri Lanka or are exported from Sri Lanka for sale or distribution.

(3) This section applies to an aircraft registered in any country or territory in the case of which there is for the time being in force a declaration made by the Minister, with a view to the fulfillment of the provisions of the Chicago Convention, that the benefits of those provisions apply to that country or territory, and to such other aircraft as the Minister may by Order specify.

7. Special powers in case of emergency.

(1) In time of war, whether actual or imminent, or of great national emergency, the Minister in charge of the subject of Defence may by general or special Order regulate or prohibit, either absolutely or subject to such conditions as may be contained in the Order, the navigation of all or any descriptions of aircraft over Sri Lanka or any portion thereof, or the territorial waters1 adjacent thereto; and may, by the same or any subsequent Order, provide for taking possession of and using for the purposes of the naval, military or air forces of the Republic any aerodrome or landing ground, or any aircraft, machinery, plant, material or things found therein or thereon, and for regulating or prohibiting the use, erection, building, maintenance or establishment of any aerodrome, flying school, or landing ground, or any class or description thereof.

(2) An Order under this section may make, for the purposes of the Order, such provision as regulations under this Act may make by virtue of paragraph (m) of
subsection (2) of section 3.

(3) Any person who suffers direct injury or loss, owing to the operation of an Order of the Minister under this section, shall be entitled to receive compensation from the Minister in charge of the subject of Defence from such moneys as may be provided by Parliament for the purpose, the amount thereof to be fixed, in default of agreement between the parties interested, by an arbitrator to be agreed upon between such parties or failing such agreement to be appointed by the Chief Justice:

Provided, however, that no compensation shall be payable by reason of the operation of a general Order under this section prohibiting flying in Sri Lanka or any part thereof.

8. Establishment of aerodromes.

(1) —

(a) —

(i) all immovable property in the possession and control of the Airports Authority on the day immediately preceding the appointed date shall be transferred to, and vest in, the Director-General of Civil Aviation;

(ii) all movable property including money to which the Airports Authority is entitled to, or which is in its possession and control on the day immediately preceding the appointed date shall be transferred to, and vest in, the Agent appointed under section 21A of the Air Navigation Act;

[S 8(1)(a) subs by s 3 of Act 11 of 1983.]

(b)—

(i) all rights, privileges and immunities arising from contracts and other obligations of the Airports Authority subsisting on the day immediately preceding the appointed date shall be deemed to be the rights, privileges and immunities of the Agent appointed under section 21A of the
Air Navigation Act;

(ii) all debts, obligations and liabilities incurred, and all contracts, deeds, agreements and other instruments executed or entered into, and all matters and things engaged to be done, by or with, the Airports Authority prior to the appointed date and subsisting on the day immediately preceding the appointed date shall be deemed to have been incurred, executed, entered into or engaged to be done, as the case may be, by or with the Agent appointed under section 21A of the Air Navigation Act.

[S 8(1)(b) subs by s 3 of Act 11 of 1983.]

(2) For the avoidance of doubts it is hereby declared that one of the purposes for which the Minister is empowered by this section to acquire land is the purpose of securing that the land adjacent to the site of an aerodrome which the Minister has established or is about to establish, shall not be used in such manner as to cause interference with, or danger or damage to, aircraft at, approaching or leaving the aerodrome.

9. Trespass, Nuisance and responsibility for damage.

(1) No action shall lie in respect of trespass or in respect of nuisance, by reason only of the flight or the ordinary incidents of the flight of aircraft over any properly at a height above the ground which, having regard to wind, weather, and all the circumstances of the case is reasonable, so long as the provisions of this Act and any regulations or orders made thereunder are duty complied with; but where material damage or loss is caused by an aircraft in flight, taking off, or landing, or by any person in any such aircraft, or by an article or person falling from any such aircraft, to any person or property on land or water, damages shall be recoverable from the owner of the aircraft in respect of such damage or loss, without proof of negligence or intention or other cause of action, as though the same had been caused by his willful act. Neglect or default, except where the damage or loss was caused by or contributed to by the negligence of the person by whom the same was suffered:

Provided that where material damage or loss is caused as aforesaid in circumstances in which—

(a) some person other than the owner of the aircraft would under any other law having effect in Sri Lanka be liable to pay damages in respect of such damage or loss; and

(b) such damages are recoverable and recovered from the owner of the aircraft by virtue only of the provisions of this section, the owner shall be entitled to be indemnified by that other person in respect of the damages so recovered from the owner.

(2) Where any aircraft has been bonafide demised, let, or hired out for a period exceeding fourteen days to any other person by the owner thereof, and no pilot, commander, navigator, or operative member of the crew of the aircraft is in the employment of the owner, this section shall have effect as though for references to the owner there were substituted references to the person to whom the aircraft has been so demised, let, or hired out.

10. Penalty for dangerous flying.

(1) Where an aircraft is flown in such a manner as to be the cause of unnecessary danger to any person or property on land or water, the pilot or the person in charge of the aircraft, and also the owner thereof, unless such owner proves to the satisfaction of the court that the aircraft was so flown without his actual fault or privity, shall each be guilty of an offence under this Act.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the expression "owner”, in relation to an aircraft, includes any person by whom the aircraft is hired at the time of the offence.

(3) The provisions of this section shall be in addition to and not is substitution for any general safety or other provisions prescribed by any order or regulations made under this Act.

11. Wreck and salvage.

(1) Any services rendered in assisting or in saving life from, or in saving the cargo or apparel of, an aircraft in, on or over the sea or any tidal water, or on or over the shores of the sea or any tidal water, shall be deemed to be salvage services in all cases in which they would have been salvage services if they had been rendered in relation to a vessel; and where salvage services are rendered by an aircraft to any person or property, the owner of the aircraft shall be entitled to the same reward for those services as he would have been entitled to if the aircraft had been a vessel. The preceding provisions of this subsection shall have effect notwithstanding that the aircraft concerned is a foreign aircraft, and notwithstanding that the services in question are rendered elsewhere than within the limits of the territorial waters1 adjacent to any part of Sri Lanka.

(2) The Minister may make regulations directing that the provisions of any law for the time being in force in Sri Lanka which relate to wreck, to salvage of life or property or to the duty of rendering assistance to vessels in distress shall, with such exceptions, adaptations and modifications, if any, as may be specified in the regulations, apply in relation to aircraft as those provisions apply in relation to vessels.

(3) For the purposes of this section, any provisions of any law for the time being in force in Sri Lanka which relate to vessels laid by or neglected as unfit for sea service shall be deemed to be provisions relating to wreck.

12. Power to provide for investigation and accidents.

(1) Regulations may be made under this Act providing for the investigation of any accident arising out of or in the course of air navigation and occurring in or over Sri Lanka or the territorial waters1 adjacent thereto, or elsewhere to Sri Lanka aircraft.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (1), regulations referred to in that subsection may contain provisions—

(a) requiring notice to be given of any such accidents as aforesaid in such manner and by such persons as may be specified in the regulations;

(b) applying, with or without modification, for the purpose of investigations held with respect to any such accidents the provisions of any law for the time being in force in Sri Lanka relating to the investigation of deaths and accidents;

(c) prohibiting, pending investigation, access to or interference with aircraft to which an accident has occurred, and authorising any person, so far as may be necessary for the purposes of an investigation, to have access to, examine, remove, take measures for the preservation of, or otherwise deal with any such aircraft;

(d) authorising or requiring the cancellation, suspension, endorsement, or surrender of any license or certificate granted in Sri Lanka under this Act or any order or regulations made thereunder, or the withdrawal or suspension of any validation conferred in Sri Lanka of a license granted by a duly competent authority elsewhere, where it appears on an investigation that the licence or certificate ought to be cancelled, suspended, endorsed, or surrendered, or the validation withdrawn or suspended, as the case may be; and for the production of any such licence or certificate for the purpose of being so dealt with:

Provided that nothing in this section shall limit the powers of any authority relating to wrecks and salvage under the Merchant Shipping Act.

13. Indication of presence of obstructions near aerodromes.

(1) If the Minister is satisfied, with respect to any building, structure or erection in the vicinity of any aerodrome that, in order to avoid danger to aircraft flying in that vicinity in darkness or conditions of poor visibility, provision ought to be made (whether by lighting or otherwise) for giving to such aircraft warning of the presence of that building, structure, or erection, he may by order authorise (subject to any conditions specified in the order) the proprietor of the aerodrome, and any person acting under the proprietor's instructions—

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