Civil Aviation Act
Act 28 of 2017
- Published in Malawi Gazette on 22 August 2017
- Assented to on 18 August 2017
- Commenced on 1 September 2020 by Civil Aviation Act , 2017: Commencement
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short title and commencementThis Act may be cited as the Civil Aviation Act, 2017 and shall come into operation on a date to be appointed by the Minister, by notice published in the Gazette.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"accident" means any occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which, in the case of a manned aircraft, takes place between the time a person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until the time when all persons have disembarked, or in the case of an unmanned aircraft, takes place between the time the aircraft is ready to move with the purpose of flight until the time when it comes to rest at the end of the flight and the primary propulsion system is shut down, in which—(a)a person is fatally or seriously injured as a result of—(i)being in the aircraft;(ii)direct contact with any part of the aircraft, including parts which have become detached from the aircraft; or(iii)direct exposure to jet blast,except when the injuries are from natural causes, self-inflicted or inflicted by other persons, or when the injuries are to stowaways hiding outside the areas normally available to the passengers and crew;(b)the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure which—(i)adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft; and(ii)would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component,except for engine failure or damage, when the damage is limited to a single engine, including its cowlings or accessories, to propellers, wing tips, antennas, probes, vanes, tires, brakes, wheels, fairings, panels, landing gear doors, windscreens, the aircraft skin such as small dents or puncture holes, or for minor damages to main rotor blades, tail rotor blades, landing gear, and those resulting from hail or bird strike including holes in the radome; or(c)the aircraft is missing or is completely inaccessible;“acts of unlawful interference” means any acts, conspiracy or attempted acts intended to, or which have the result of jeopardizing the safety of civil aviation and air transport and include—(i)unlawful seizure of aircraft in flight or on the ground;(ii)hostage taking on board aircraft or on aerodromes;(iii)forcible intrusion on board an aircraft, at an aerodrome or on the premises of an aeronautical facility;(iv)introduction on board aircraft or at an airport of a weapon or hazardous device or material intended for criminal purposes;(e)communication of false information that jeopardizes the safety of an aircraft in flight or on the ground, of passengers, crew, ground personnel or the general public, at an airport or on the premises of a civil aviation facility;[Please note: numbering as in original.](f)destroying or causing damage to air navigation facilities, or interfering with their operation, where the act is likely to endanger the safety of aircraft in flight;(g)violence against a person on board an aircraft in flight, if that act is likely to endanger the safety of that aircraft;(h)causing destruction to an aircraft in service, or causing damage to an aircraft which renders it incapable of flight or which is likely to endanger its safety in flight;(i)unlawfully and intentionally using any device, substance or weapon, to—(i)perform an act of violence against a person at an airport serving civil aviation which causes or is likely to cause serious injury or death; or(ii)destroy or seriously damage the facilities of an airport serving civil aviation or an aircraft not in service located at the airport or disrupting the services of the airport, if that act endangers or is likely to endanger safety at that airport; or(j)use of an aircraft in service for the purpose of causing death, serious bodily injury, or threats of bodily harm to passengers and crew or persons not on the aircraft but whose safety are of interest to passengers or crew on the aircraft or serious damage to property or the environment;“aerial work” means an aircraft operation in which an aircraft is used for specialized services such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, observation and patrol, search and rescue or aerial advertisement;“aerodrome” means any defined area on land or on water, including any building, installation or equipment therein, used or intended to be used either wholly or in part, for the arrival, departure and surface movement of aircraft, and includes any area as the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette declare to be an aerodrome;“aircraft” means any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air other than the reactions of the air against the earth’s surface;“aircraft engine” means any engine used, or intended to be used, for propulsion of aircraft;“aircraft in flight” means the moment when all external doors of an aircraft are closed following embarkation until the moment when one such door is opened for disembarkation or, in case of a forced landing, until the competent authorities take over the responsibility of the aircraft, persons and property on board;“aircraft piracy” means any actual or attempted seizure or exercise of control of an aircraft within the jurisdiction of Malawi by force, violence or by any other form of intimidation;“air navigation” means the process of planning and directing the progress of an aircraft between selected geographic points or over a selected route;“air navigation facility” means any facility used, available for use or designed for use, in aid of air navigation and any other structure or mechanism having a similar purpose for guiding or controlling flight in the air, or the landing and take-off of an aircraft;“air navigation services” means services provided to air traffic during all phases of operations including air traffic management, communication, navigation and surveillance, meteorological services for air navigation, search and rescue and aeronautical information services;“air operator” means any organization which engages in domestic or international commercial air transport, whether directly or indirectly, by a lease or any other arrangement;“Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation” means the Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation containing the Standards and Recommended Practices applicable to civil aviation;“appliances” means instruments, equipment, apparatus, parts, appurtenances, or accessories, of whatever description, which are used, or are capable of being or intended to be used, in the navigation, operation, or control of aircraft in flight, including parachutes, communication equipment and any other mechanism installed in or attached to aircraft during flight, and which is not part of aircraft, aircraft engine, or propeller;“approved maintenance organization” means an organization approved by the Authority to perform aircraft maintenance activities;“approved training organization” means an organization approved by the Authority to perform training in civil aviation;“Authority” means the Civil Aviation Authority established under section 4 of this Act;“aviation security” means a combination of measures, human and material resources intended to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference;“certification” means the process of determining that a person or organization possesses the knowledge and key competencies required of a specified operation;“Chicago Convention” means the Convention on International Civil Aviation concluded in Chicago, United States of America on 7th December, 1944 and came into effect in 1947, and to which Malawi acceded, by notification, dated the 11th September, 1964;“civil aircraft” means any aircraft other than a state or public aircraft;“civil aviation” means the operation of any civil aircraft for the purpose of general aviation operations, aerial work or commercial air transport operations;“commercial air transport” means an aircraft operation involving the transport of passengers, cargo or mail for remuneration or hire;“Contracting State” means any State which is party to the Chicago Convention;“controlled area” means a controlled airspace extending upwards from a specified limit above the earth;“crew member” means a person assigned to perform duties on an aircraft in flight;“dangerous goods” means articles or substances which are capable of posing significant risks to health, safety or property when transported by air;“Director General” means the Director General of the Authority appointed under section 18 of this Act;“flight path” means the level of passage of an aircraft through the air;“general aviation operation” means an aircraft operation other than a commercial air transport operation or an aerial work operation;“ICAO” means the International Civil Aviation Organization;“incident” means an occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft which affects or may affect the safety of aircraft operation;“investigator-in-charge” means the investigator-in-charge appointed pursuant to section 48 of this Act;“National Civil Aviation Security Programme” means an integrated set of regulations and activities promulgated and performed by the State aimed at safeguarding civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference;“operator” means a person, organization or enterprise engaged in, or offering to engage in an aircraft operation;“owner” in relation to an aircraft or aerodrome, means the person in whose name the aircraft or aerodrome is registered, and includes any person who is or has been acting as an agent in Malawi for a foreign owner, or any person by whom the aircraft or aerodrome is hired at the time;“personnel licences” means licences issued by the Authority to personnel required by this Act to acquire licences to carry out specific functions in civil aviation;“public aircraft” means an aircraft used exclusively in the service of any government but does not include any government owned aircraft engaged in operations which meet the definition of commercial air transport operations;“publication” includes information given in any of the following publications issued, whether before or after the commencement of this Act—(a)notices to airmen;(b)aeronautical information publications;(c)notices to licenced aircraft maintenance engineers and to owners or operators of civil aircraft;(d)civil aviation publications;(e)aeronautical information circulars;(f)manuals of air traffic control instructions; and(g)other official publications issued for the purpose of enabling any of the provisions of this Act or regulations made there under to be complied with;“regulated agent” means an agent, freight forwarder or any other entity approved by the appropriate authority that conducts business with an air operator and provides security controls that are accepted or required by the appropriate Authority in respect of cargo, courier and express parcels or mail;“restructuring plan” means a plan to give effect to the institutional and financial reform of a state-owned enterprise or company and the release of individual assets or mobility services owned or provided by the enterprise or company;“safety recommendation” means a proposal of the investigatorin-charge, based on information derived from an investigation or other sources, made with the intention of preventing accidents or incidents and which in no case has the purpose of presumption of blame or liability for an accident or incident;“security programme” means any measure or procedure adopted to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference;“service provider” means an organization, serving operators and other providers, that is part of aviation activity and is functionally separated from the regulator;“State aircraft” means aircraft used in military, customs and police services of Malawi or of any other State or any other civil registered aircraft at the time performing a state function and fully converted to offer services to heads of states, military service, customs or police or to any other state;“National Safety Programme” means an integrated set of regulations and activities promulgated and performed by the Authority aimed at improving safety and efficient delivery of aviation services;“Safety Management System” means a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structure, accountabilities, policies and procedures;“Transit Agreement” means the International Air Services Transit Agreement drawn up on the 7th December, 1944 and which Malawi signed on 27th March 1975, together with amendments and additions as may be declared;“Tribunal” means the Civil Aviation Tribunal established under Part VIII; and“validation” means a written acceptance by the Director General of an action of the Authority of another country.
Part II – The Civil Aviation Authority
4. Establishment of the Civil Aviation AuthorityThere is hereby established the Civil Aviation Authority (in this Act, referred to as “the Authority”) which shall be—
5. Independence of the AuthorityThe Authority shall be independent in the performance of its functions and exercise its powers but shall give effect to any policy direction relating to its powers and functions which may be issued to it by the Minister, in accordance with this Act.
6. Functions of the Authority
7. Powers of the Authority
8. Composition of the Authority
9. Appointment of members
10. Disqualification from membershipA person shall be disqualified from being appointed as member of the Authority, if the person—
11. Tenure of officeA member of the Authority, other than an ex-officio member, shall hold office for a period of three years and be eligible for appointment for a further term.
12. Vacation from office
13. Filling of vacanciesWhere a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Authority, the Minister shall, within three months, appoint additional persons as may be necessary to ensure the composition of the Authority remains in accordance with section 8.
16. Co-opted personsThe Authority or any of its committees may co-opt, by invitation, any person with specific knowledge, information or expertise to attend any of its meetings and address it on a matter, but the person so invited shall not be eligible to vote at the meeting on any decision of the Authority.
17. Allowances of members
18. Director General
19. Tenure of office
20. Removal from office
21. Duties of the Director General
22. Appointment of other staff of AuthorityThe Authority may appoint other employees, subordinate to the Director General, as the Authority considers necessary, for the discharge of its functions under this Act:Provided that the Authority may delegate to the Director General, power to appoint other staff below the rank of director.
23. Delegation of duties of Director General
24. Protection from liability
Part III – Financial provisions
25. Funds of AuthorityThe funds of the Authority shall consist of—
26. Business plan
27. Financial yearThe financial year of the Authority shall be the financial year of the Government.
28. Annual estimates and budget
29. Borrowing powers
30. Bank accounts
31. Records, audits and accounts of Authority
Part IV – Use of air space, safety and security in civil aviation
32. Safety in civil aviation
33. Use of air space, air navigation facilities and services management
34. Air traffic rulesThe Authority shall, in the interests of civil aviation safety, make air traffic rules for—
35. Dissemination of meteorological dataThe Authority shall, in collaboration with the authority responsible for meteorological services, disseminate meteorological information and data as may be necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation operations to, from or within Malawi, and satisfy the needs of international air navigation.
36. Safety and security of persons
37. Transport of dangerous goods by air
38. Inspection of aircraft and aerodromes
39. Right of access for inspectionThe Authority shall, for purposes of carrying out inspections, have unrestricted access to—
40. Safety and Security Standards Inspectorate
41. Power to obtain information, documents and evidence
42. Use of aviation informationThe Authority shall not put any aviation safety and security information obtained, gathered voluntarily or otherwise given to the Authority under this Act to any inappropriate use:Provided that the Authority shall not be precluded from sharing aviation safety and security information with other civil aviation authorities in other Contracting States subject to appropriate safeguards.
Part V – Certificates, licences and authorizations
43. Issuance of certificate, licence and authorization
44. Variation, suspension and revocation of certificates or licences
Part VI – Aerodromes
45. Powers related to aerodromesThe Authority may, out of moneys appropriated by Parliament, for the purpose of establishing regulatory safety oversight, finance—
46. Acquisition of land
47. Access to land
Part VII – Air accident and incident investigation
48. Accident investigation procedures
49. Investigation and enforcement proceedings
Part VIII – The Civil Aviation Tribunal
50. Establishment of Civil Aviation TribunalThere is hereby established a tribunal to be known as the Civil Aviation Tribunal (in this Act, referred to as “the Tribunal”) which shall operate on an ad hoc basis.
51. Jurisdiction of the TribunalThe Tribunal shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine complaints or appeals arising from—
52. Powers of the Tribunal
53. Composition of the Tribunal
54. Tenure and vacation of office
55. AllowancesMembers of the Tribunal shall be paid allowances approved by the Minister, in consultation with the Minister responsible for finance.
56. Proceedings before the Tribunal
57. Awards by the Tribunal
58. Appointment of assessorsThe chairperson of the Tribunal, in consultation with the other members of the Tribunal, may appoint, in writing, any person with special skills or knowledge on aviation matters which are the subject matter of any proceedings or inquiry before the Tribunal, to act as an assessor in an advisory capacity in any case where it appears to the Tribunal that the special skills or knowledge are required for proper determination of the matter.
60. Disclosure of interestA member of the Tribunal who has a direct interest in any matter that is the subject of proceedings before the Tribunal shall disclose in writing the nature of that interest and shall not participate in the deliberations of the Tribunal in respect of that matter.
62. Reference of matters to the Tribunal
Part IX – Offences and penalties
63. Place of commission of offence
64. Operating aircraft without certificate, licence or authorization
65. False or misleading aircraft markingsA person who displays or causes to be displayed on any aircraft, any marks that are false or misleading as to the nationality or registration of the aircraft commits an offence and, shall on conviction be liable to a fine of K10,000,000 or to imprisonment for ten years.
66. Interference with air navigationA person who intentionally and willfully—
67. Interference with crew membersA person who intentionally and willfully, while on board an aircraft—
68. Interference with aircraft operationsA person who intentionally and willfully interferes or attempts to interfere with operation of an aircraft commits an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to a fine of K10,000,000 or to imprisonment for ten years.
69. Removal of parts of aircraft involved in accidentAny person who intentionally or willfully, and without authority removes, conceals or withholds, or attempts to remove, conceal or withhold any part of a civil aircraft involved in an accident, or any property which was on board the aircraft at the time of the accident, commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine of K5,000,000 or to imprisonment for five years.
70. Aircraft piracyA person who commits or attempts to commit—
71. Transportation of dangerous goodsA person who intentionally and willfully—
72. Refusal to testify or produce documentsA person who refuses, for purposes of inspection or investigation under this Act, to—
73. Giving of false informationA person who intentionally and willfully imparts or conveys or causes to be imparted or conveyed, false information, knowing the information to be false, in contravention of the provisions of this Act, commits an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to a fine of K5,000,000 or to imprisonment for five years.
74. Reporting and record keeping violationsAny air operator, approved training organization, approved maintenance organization, authorized aviation service providers or any other person or organization involved in civil aviation activities who or which intentionally and willfully fails or refuses to—
75. Failure to comply with interception orderAny person who fails to comply with an interception order commits an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine of order K10,000,000 or to imprisonment for ten years.
76. Dangerous flying of aircraft
77. Failure to comply with summons or giving of misleading informationA person who, without lawful excuse, refuses or fails to comply with a summon or voluntarily gives false or misleading information or evidence in any proceedings before the Authority, commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine of K5,000,000 and to imprisonment for five years.
78. General penalty
Part X – Miscellaneous
80. Trespass, nuisance and responsibility for damages
81. Noise and vibration
82. War and emergencies
83. Infringement of patents
84. Exemption of certain aircraft and parts from seizure on patent claims
85. Detention of aircraft
86. Requisition of search and rescue
87. Indemnification of the Government and certain officersNotwithstanding any legal provision to the contrary, Government and its officers and employees acting in the performance of their duty shall not be liable for—
88. Capacity building
89. Rules, orders, directives, circulars and notices
90. Record keeping
91. PublicationsThe Authority shall publish—
93. International obligationsThe Minister shall be responsible for—
94. Assessment and auditsThe Minister shall assess and audit the performance standards of the functions of the Authority to ensure that they meet prescribed international standards at time intervals as he may consider appropriate.
Part XI – Transitional provisions
95. Vesting of assetsThe assets of the Department of Civil Aviation shall be transferred to the Authority or other service providers at the commencement of this Act, including Government owned aeronautical aviation equipment in Malawi and other assets no longer needed by the Department of Civil Aviation as agreed between the Government and the Authority.
96. Repeal and savings
History of this document
01 September 2020
Commenced by Civil Aviation Act , 2017: Commencement
31 December 2017 this version
22 August 2017
Published in Malawi Gazette
18 August 2017