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  • New Air Code: why Ukraine needs it?


    Adoption of new Air Code of Ukraine is one of the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda priorities in transport field for 2010. This document defines legal essentials for civil aviation in Ukraine. Current Air Code has been effective since 1993 and has not met state of the art in many aspects. Currently, Ukrainian civil aviation is characterized by institutional imperfections in state governance of the sector, lack of correspondence with high safety and security standards, outmoded regulation of commercial activities. This all negatively influences sector efficiency and complicates Ukraine’s integration into international aviation area.

    Given Ukraine’s prospects to take part in the European common aviation area and its desire to broaden opportunities for Ukrainian citizens and air carriers to fly without limitations, it is extremely important to ensure new rules for civil aviation. Ukraine is a full member of such powerful international organizations as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECA), the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) and is a candidate member of Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) that are partly replaced by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). That’s why Ukraine cannot neglect regulatory requirements of these organizations. Besides, existing legislation does not ensure effective operation of the sector, where independent regulator should be created, companies of any ownership and type of organization should freely operate, and safety and security are to be at high level in the sky as well as on the land - in airports. 

    Therefore, new Air Code is necessary and it has to incorporate the following issues: i) streamlining of regulatory and supervisory functions in aviation as well as organization of state governance; ii) solutions for public financing of civil aviation sector; iii) state policy in licensing activities and state regulation of civil aviation enterprises of any ownership in line with unified norms and rules; iv) adaptation of Ukrainian legislation to the EU acquis communautaire. The latter one means empowerment of the State Aviation Administration in its activities related to safety supervision and creation of independent body investigating air accidents. In addition, Ukraine should harmonize its legislation with basic acquis communautaire, in particular with:

    • common European civil aviation rules (procedures and licensing);
    • air traffic management (licenses of air traffic controllers, joint measures for development of new generation of European air traffic management system (SESAR), regulations to create a single European sky);
    • flights safety;
    • technical standards of safety and operation (reports on incidents in civil aviation);
    • aircraft safety (airplanes of the third countries that use European airports, accidents and incidents in civil aviation, public disclosure of information about air carrier and black list of high risk carriers);
    • environmental requirements (impact of aircraft engine emissions and noise).

    On September 2, 2010 the CMU adopted new draft Air Code of Ukraine. It included more sophisticated regulations on security and safety, environmental protection, airfields and airports operations, and insurance. However, it does not fully cover issues on independency of the State Aviation Administration from the Ministry, independency of the National Commission for Air Accidents Investigation, whose formation order is not clear. Also, there are almost no issues on regulation of other, apart from civil and state, types of aviation. Correspondence with other legislative acts is not ensured. Less attention is paid towards ownership issues, etc.

    Thus, work on so long-expected and needed document as Air Code has not been done properly yet, so it requires more efforts. Though, its update could make it much easier to “open” skies of the EU, the USA and other countries for passengers, air carriers and aircraft producers of Ukraine.


    Note. Three different draft Air Codes have been presented to Verkhovna Rada of last convocation: No.2373, September 9, 2008 (it has been twice replaced since April 14, 2008 and was rejected on March 31, 2009); No.4419, April 29, 2009 (rejected on October 21, 2009), and No.6078, February 17, 2010 (presented for review on February 19, 2010). On May 31, 2010 the MTCU published the improved version of the draft Air Code, which was adopted by the CMU on September 2, 2010 and which is to be presented to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

    Tags:  Aviation, EU, Ukraine
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