Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020
- September 16, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020, which has already been cleared by the Lok Sabha in March this year, was passed by Rajya Sabha.
Features of the Act
- The Bill converts three existing bodies under the Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies under the Act. These three authorities are: (i) the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), (ii) the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), and (iii) the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB). Each of these bodies will be headed by a Director General who will be appointed by the centre.
- The DGCA will carry out safety oversight and regulatory functions with respect to matters under the Bill.
- The BCAS will carry out regulatory oversight functions related to civil aviation security.
- The AAIB will carry out investigations related to aircraft accidents and incidents.
- Under the Act, the central government may make rules on several matters. These include: (i) registration of aircraft, (ii) regulating air transport services, and (iii) prohibition of flight over any specified area
- Offences and Penalties: Under the Act, the penalty for various offences is imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both. These offences include: (i) carrying arms, explosives, or other dangerous goods aboard aircraft, (ii) contravening any rules notified under the Act, and (iii) constructing building or structures within the specified radius around an aerodrome reference point.
- Under the Bill, the central government may cancel the licences, certificates, or approvals granted to a person under the Act if the person contravenes any provision of the Act. Such licences include those given for: (i) the establishment of an air transport service, (ii) the establishment of aerodromes, and (iii) the operation, repair, and maintenance of aircraft.
- Courts will not take cognizance of any offence under this Act, unless a complaint is made by, or there is previous sanction from the Director General of Civil Aviation, BCAS, or AAIB. Only courts equivalent or superior to a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class may try offences under the Act.
- Exemption for Armed Forces: Aircraft belonging to the naval, military, or air forces of the Union are exempted from the provisions of the Act. The Bill expands this exemption to include aircraft belonging to any other armed forces of the Union. However, aircrafts belonging to an armed force other than the naval, military, and air forces which are currently regulated under the Act will continue to do so until specified otherwise by the central government.