United Arab Emirates: Aviation Law - Country Guide: UAE - Q & A

Last Updated: 7 December 2017
Article by Rini Agarwal and Smriti Ganotra
Most Read Contributor in United Arab Emirates, November 2017

PART 1 - GENERAL

1.1 Please list and briefly describe the principal legislation and regulatory bodies which apply to and/ or regulate aviation in your jurisdiction.

The UAE's principal legislation governing aviation law is as follows:

  • Federal Law Number 20 of 1991 regarding the civil aviation (the Civil Aviation Law);
  • Federal Law Number 4 of 1996 concerning the Aviation Authority (the Aviation Authority Law);
  • Federal Law Number 20 of 2001 concerning the amendments in the Aviation Authority Law; and
  • Federal Law Number 8 of 1983 issuing Commercial Transaction Law, providing rules for Air Carriage.
  • Federal Act Number 22 of 1972 concerning the participation by the UAE in the project for the establishment of an Arab Testing Unit for Air Navigation Equipment.

Regulations include:

  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Licensing Regulation of July 2011;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – General Regulation of March 2013;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Operations Regulation of July 2011;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Airworthiness Regulations of July 2011;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Aviation Safety Regulations of February 2011;
  • Civil Aviation Regulations – Aviation Security Regulations of May 2016;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Air Navigation Regulations of September 2011;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Aerodromes Emergency Services of February 2017;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Safety Management System of June 2016;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Concerning Unmanned Aircraft System (CAR UAS) in February 2017;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air of May 2015;
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Foreign Operators Regulation of October 2016; and
  • Civil Aviation Regulation – Light Sports Aircraft of March 2013.

The Civil Aviation Law applies to all aircraft registered in the UAE, air traffic control, communications and civil airports, whereas the Aviation Authority Law has established the General Civil Aviation Authority (the GCAA). The GCAA is the regulatory authority which is designated to ensure proper compliance with the Civil Aviation Law in the UAE, whilst emphasizing the concept of security and safety. Having exclusive authority over the aviation industry in the UAE, the GCAA is responsible for en-route air navigation services and all aspects of air safety.

Subsequently, each Emirate has its own aviation authority which regulates all matters related to aviation in its respective Emirate, such as the Dubai Aviation Authority established under Law Number 21 of 2007, Department of Abu Dhabi Civil Aviation, Department of Civil Aviation of Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation, Department of Civil Aviation Fujairah.

1.2 What are the steps which air carriers need to take in order to obtain an operating license?

There are several steps involved in obtaining an operating license for air carriers which are as follows:

Pre-application Stage: Prior to submitting an online application, the applicant is required to meet with the GCAA and should discuss his initial plan during his pre-application meetings. During this stage, the applicant submits a pre-application statement of intent and the documents required by the GCAA. On the basis of information provided by the applicant, the GCAA will provide the formal application to be submitted by the applicant.

Formal Application Stage: This stage commences when the applicant submits a formal application for an Air Operator Certificate (the AOC) along with several documents and manuals describing its operations as directed by the GCAA. The application should begin at least 90 days prior to the actual revenue operations.

Document Evaluation Stage: This stage involves a detailed evaluation of documents and manuals for their content and compliance. During this stage, the GCAA will ascertain the technical fitness of the operations proposed by the operator. The documents and manuals submitted for consideration should not be at least 60 days prior to the commencement of proposed operations in order to avoid undue delay.

Inspection Stage: During this stage, the GCAA will inspect whether or not the physical facilities and equipment proposed by the applicant are suitable for the type and size of the operations. The applicant must demonstrate his ability to comply with all requirements and operating practices prior to the beginning of actual revenue operations.

Certification Stage: The stage begins when the GCAA is satisfied from the applications and proposed operations of the applicant and takes a necessary step to issue AOC. However, if the GCAA is unsatisfied during the Inspection Stage, the Certification Stage will not take place until the safety and security requirements are complied with.

1.3 What are the principal pieces of legislation in your jurisdiction which govern air safety, and who administers air safety?

The principal piece of legislation which governs air safety is the Civil Aviation Law; however, there is Aviation Safety Regulations (the Safety Regulation) of February 2011 which governs the air safety. The Safety Regulation consists of three chapters which include passenger cabin safety, transport of dangerous goods by air, aviation accident and incident investigation.

The Aviation security affairs sector administer and provide safety to the aviation industry, and the sector consists of several departments as follows:

  • Air Navigation and Aerodrome (the ANA);
  • Airworthiness (the AW);
  • Flight Operations (the FOP);
  • Licensing (the LIC); and
  • Policy, Regulations, and Planning (the PRP).

1.4 Is air safety regulated separately for commercial, cargo, and private carriers? Are air charters regulated separately for commercial, cargo and private carriers?

Commercial aircrafts, as well as private aircrafts, e regulated pursuant to the Civil Aviation Regulations on Air Safety of February 2011, and the Civil Aviation Regulations on Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air of May 2015 regulates cargos.

Air charters for commercial, cargo, and private carriers are regulated under the Air Safety Regulation of February 2011.

1.5 Are airports state-owned or privately owned?

All the major airports in each Emirate are owned by the government of the respective Emirate or the Department of Civil Aviation in that Emirate. However, there are several privately-owned airports in Abu Dhabi, such as: Al Futaysi Airport, owned by Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan; Al Jazeirah Airport, owned by Al Jazeirah Aviation Club; Arzanan Airport, owned by the Zakum Development Company; and Buhasa Airport, owned by the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations.

1.6 Do the airports impose requirements on carriers flying to and from the airports in your jurisdiction?

UAE airports impose several charges on outbound and inbound airlines, as follows:

  • Passenger Service Charges (the PSC), which is to be paid by the outbound airline. Infants, aircraft operating crew and transit/ transfer passengers continuing travel within 24 hours are exempted from PSC.
  • Passenger Security and Safety Fee (the PSSF), payable on outbound airlines. Infants, aircraft operating crew and transit/transfer passengers continuing travel within 24 hours are exempted from PSSF.
  • Advance Passenger Information Fee (the API) for arriving passengers on inbound airlines. Infants, aircraft operating crew and transit passengers continuing travel within 12 hours are exempted from API.
  • Passenger Facility Charge (the PFC), which has recently been implemented and is payable by outbound airlines for departing passengers. Infants, operating crew and transit passengers with two flights on the same journey are exempted; however, transfer passengers are obliged to pay this charge.

1.7 What legislative and/or regulatory regime applies to air accidents? For example, are there any particular rules, regulations, systems and procedures in place which need to be adhered to?

Civil Aviation Regulation Part VI-Chapter 3 (the Air Accident Regulation) applies to air accident and incident investigation(s). The Air Accident Regulation governs commercial, private, leased and chartered aircraft. It further includes, but is not limited to, the procedure for investigation, objectives of the investigation, powers of investigators, responsibilities of the GCAA, the roles of the investigating committee, investigations conducted by foreign states, besides other key provisions.

Procedure:

  1. Any person having knowledge of an aircraft accident or incident should immediately notify the GCAA, and such notification should include all the details including, but not limited to: the manufacturer, model, nationality, registration mark and serial number of the aircraft; complete details of the owner; the date and time of the accident; complete details of the flight commander and cabin crew; the last point of departure; and the landing destination;
  2. Upon the receipt of the information, the GCAA will request that the state of the operator, the state of the manufacturer and the state of design provide the complete details regarding the aircraft.

Thereafter, the GCAA will establish an Accident Investigation Committee to investigate the cause of such accident.

1.8 Have there been any recent cases of note or other notable developments in your jurisdiction involving air operators and/or airports?

The Dubai Government is planning to increase the number of flights, and it is anticipated that it will handle 100 million passengers on a daily basis.

To read this Guide in full, please click here.

Originally Published in ICLG to Aviation Law 2018.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

    Disclaimer

    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

    Registration

    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

    Cookies

    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

    Links

    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

    Mail-A-Friend

    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

    Emails

    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

    Security

    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions