Civil Aviation Act


Published: 1976-10-07

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Civil Aviation Act
CIVIL AVIATION [CH.284 – 1


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LRO 1/2006 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CIVIL AVIATION

CHAPTER 284

CIVIL AVIATION

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 – 4B LRO 1/2006
5 – 14 Original



PART I
PRELIMINARY

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.


PART IA
ORGANIZATION OF THE CIVIL AVIATION DEPARTMENT

2A. Establishment of Civil Aviation Department.


PART II
FUNCTIONS OF THE MINISTER


3. Functions of Minister.
4. Minister to be corporation sole.


PART III
REGULATION OF CIVIL AVIATION


5. General power of the Minister to make regulations relating to civil

aviation.


PART IV
AERODROMES AND OBSTRUCTIONS


6. Power to establish and maintain aerodromes.
7. Minister’s power in relation to buildings likely to cause obstructions.
8. Trespassing on aerodromes.


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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

PART V
LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE CAUSED BY AIRCRAFT


9. Nuisance and liability for damage.
10. Nuisance caused by aircraft on aerodromes.
11. Responsibility where aircraft hired out, etc.


PART VI
DETENTION OF AIRCRAFT


12. Exemption from seizure of certain aircraft on patent claims.
13. Detention of aircraft.


PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS


14. Application of Act and regulations.
15. Jurisdiction.
16. Delegation of powers.
17. Liability of directors and officers of corporation.
18. Regulations may empower the making of subsidiary legislation.
19. Documentary evidence.
20. Repeal and transitional.

SCHEDULE — Enactments Repealed.


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LRO 1/2006 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 284

CIVIL AVIATION
An Act to amend and consolidate the law relating

to civil aviation.
[Assent 13th August, 1976]

[Commencement 7th October, 1976]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Civil Aviation Act.
2. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise

requires —
“accident” includes any fortuitous or unexpected

event by which the safety of an aircraft or any
person is threatened;

“aerial work” means any purpose other than public
transport, for which an aircraft is flown if hire
or reward is given or promised in respect of the
flight or the purpose of the flight;

“aerodrome” means a defined area on land or water
(including any buildings, installations and
equipment) intended to be used, either wholly
or in part, for the arrival, departure and
movement of aircraft;

“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;

“air navigation services” means —
(a) communication services, whether ground to air

or ground to ground, provided for the safety of
aircraft; and

(b) navigational services, that is to say, radio, radar
and visual aids to navigation; and

(c) air traffic services provided for the safety of
aircraft; and

8 of 1976
14 of 1977
24 of 1989
21 of 2001

Short title.

Interpretation.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

(d) meteorological services provided for the safety
of aircraft and for the regularity of flight;

“cargo” means movable property carried in aircraft;
“the Chicago Convention” means the Convention on

International Civil Aviation concluded at
Chicago on the seventh December, 1944, and to
which The Bahamas has adhered to on the
twenty-sixth June, 1975, and includes the
international standards and recommended
practices and procedures adopted by the
International Civil Aviation Organisation under
Article 37 of the Convention;

“crew” includes every person employed or engaged
in an aircraft in flight on the business of the
aircraft;

“Director” means the Director of Civil Aviation;
“domestic animal” means the male, female or young

of any animal of the following kinds, namely,
horse, ass, mule, cattle, sheep, goat or pig;

“Government aerodrome” means an aerodrome under
the control of the Government of the
Commonwealth of The Bahamas;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Civil
Aviation;

“owner” means, in relation to an aircraft or
aerodrome the person in whose name the
aircraft or aerodrome is registered or licensed,
and includes any person who is or has been
acting as agent in The Bahamas for a foreign
owner, or any person by whom the aircraft or
aerodrome is hired at the time;

“public transport” means the carriage of passengers
or cargo for hire or reward.

(2) Any reference in this Act to goods or articles
shall be construed as including a reference to mails and
animals.

CIVIL AVIATION [CH.284 – 4A


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PART IA
ORGANIZATION OF THE CIVIL AVIATION

DEPARTMENT
2A. (1) There shall continue to be a Civil Aviation

Department, called “the Civil Aviation Department of The
Bahamas” (in this Act referred to as “the Department”).

(2) The Department shall be headed by a Director of
Civil Aviation, (in this Act referred to as “the Director”),
who shall be appointed by the Minister and shall be
responsible for civil aviation in The Bahamas.

(3) The Director shall be responsible for the exercise
of all powers and the discharge of all duties of the
Department and shall have control over all personnel and
other activities of the Department.

(4) The Director may, subject to such regulations,
supervision and review as may be prescribed, authorise the
performance by any officer, employee, or administrative
unit under the Director’s jurisdiction of any function under
this Act.

(5) The Director is authorised to delegate any
assigned powers and duties to any properly qualified
private person, subject to such regulation, supervision and
review as may be prescribed.

(6) The Director shall ensure that such functions are
not delegated in such a way that air operators, aerial work
or general aviation operators and maintenance facilities, in
effect, regulate themselves.

PART II
FUNCTIONS OF THE MINISTER

3. The Minister shall have the general duty of
organising, carrying out and encouraging measures for the
development of civil aviation, for the promotion of


21 of 2001.

Establishment of
Civil Aviation
Department.

21 of 2001.

Functions of
Minister.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006





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safety and efficiency in the use of civil aircraft and for
research into questions relating to air navigation.

4. The Minister shall as respects the functions
assigned to him by or under this Act, be a corporation sole
with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, enter
into contracts, to sue and be sued and to do all things
necessary for the purposes of this Act, and all property
which becomes vested in him by this or any other Act shall
be held by him in trust for the Government of The
Bahamas for the purposes of this Act.

PART III
REGULATION OF CIVIL AVIATION

5. (1) The Minister may make such regulations as
he considers necessary or expedient to give effect and for
the better carrying out of the objects and purposes of this
Act, to provide generally for regulating air navigation and
air transport and for carrying out and giving effect to the
Chicago Convention.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
(1), the Minister may make regulations making provision
for —

(a) the licensing by the Minister of the use of
aircraft —

(i) for public transport; and
(ii) for flying undertaken for the purpose of

aerial work;
(b) the establishment of a Board to be known as the

Air Transport Advisory Board to advise the
Minister on the licensing matters referred to in
paragraph (a);

(c) appeals from the decisions of the Minister by
persons aggrieved by such decisions to the
Supreme Court on questions of law alone and
for prescribing the procedure and otherwise
regulating such appeals;

(d) the registration and marking of aircraft in The
Bahamas;

(e) prohibiting the flying of any aircraft —
(i) unless there is in force in respect of such

aircraft a certificate of air worthiness or
permit to fly issued or recognised in


Minister to be
corporation sole.
14 of 1977, s. 2.

General power of
the Minister to
make regulations
relating to civil
aviation.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

accordance with regulations made under
this Act; and

(ii) except upon compliance with such
conditions as to maintenance and repair as
may be prescribed or specified in the
certificate or permit;

(f) requiring persons performing prescribed
functions in relation to the operation or
maintenance of aircraft to be the holders of
licences or certificates of specified kinds and
providing for the grant, revocation, extension,
validation, suspension or variation of such
licences or certificates;

(g) prescribing the conditions under which, and in
particular the aerodromes to or from which,
aircraft entering or leaving The Bahamas may
fly and the conditions under which aircraft may
fly from one part of The Bahamas to another;

(h) prescribing the conditions under which
passengers and cargo may be carried by air and
under which aircraft may be used for other
commercial, industrial or gainful purposes, and
for prohibiting the carriage by air of goods of
such classes as may be prescribed;

(i) minimising or preventing interference with the
use or effectiveness of apparatus used in
connection with air navigation and prohibiting
or regulating the use of that apparatus and the
display of signs and lights liable to endanger
aircraft;

(j) generally securing the safety, efficiency and
regularity of air navigation and the safety of
aircraft and of persons and cargo carried therein,
and for preventing aircraft endangering other
persons and property;

(k) requiring persons engaged in, or employed in or
in connection with, air navigation to supply
meteorological information for the purposes of
air navigation;

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

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(m) prescribing a civil air ensign for The Bahamas
and regulating its use, and regulating the use of
any other ensign established by the Minister for
purposes connected with air navigation;

(n) prohibiting aircraft from flying over such areas
in The Bahamas as the Minister may by order
declare to be prohibited areas;

(o) prescribing the fees to be paid in respect of the
issue, validation, renewal, extension or variation
of any certificate, licence or other document or
the undergoing of any examination or test
required by regulations made under this Act and
in respect of any other matters in respect of
which it appears to the Minister to be expedient
to charge fees;

(p) prescribing charges or enabling some other
authority to prescribe charges to be paid in
respect of air navigation services and aerodrome
services including landing fees and parking fees,
and providing for the recovery of such charges;

(q) empowering an authority, prescribed for the
purpose, to exempt any aircraft or persons from
the provisions of regulations made under this
Act or any of them;

(r) the investigation in such manner as may be
prescribed, including by means of a tribunal
established for the purpose, of any accident
arising out of or in the course of air navigation
and occurring either in or over The Bahamas;

(s) prohibiting 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, remove, take measures for the
preservation of, or otherwise deal with any such
aircraft;

(t) requiring any person who owns an aircraft or who
carries on the business of operating aircraft for
hire or reward to furnish to such authorities as
may be prescribed such information relating to
the aircraft, the crew, the mails, the passengers
and the cargo carried, other work performed by
the aircraft, the journeys made by the aircraft and
such traffic reports, cost statistics and


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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

financial statements showing amongst other
things, all receipts and sources thereof as may be
prescribed;

(u) licensing, inspection and registration of
aerodromes, access to aerodromes and places
where aircraft have landed or may land, access
to maintenance establishments or places where
aircraft parts and engines are maintained for the
purpose of inspecting work therein carried on in
relation to aircraft or parts thereof and
prohibiting or regulating the use of unlicensed
aerodromes;

(v) prescribing the powers, including powers of
arrest, that may be exercised by the members of
the crew of an aircraft, in relation to persons on
board the aircraft, for the purpose of ensuring
the safety of the aircraft or its passengers, crew
or cargo or otherwise for the purposes of this
Act or the regulations made under this Act;

(w) requiring the installation, whether by lighting or
otherwise, on any building, structure or erection
in order to secure that aircraft may be navigated
with safety and efficiency, and for all matters in
connection therewith.

(3) Different regulations may be made for different
classes of aircraft, aerodromes, persons or property.

(4) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), any
regulation made under this section may provide, in respect
of contravention thereof or non-compliance therewith, for
the imposition of fines not exceeding a fine of one
thousand dollars and imprisonment for six months.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection
(4), any regulations made in pursuance of paragraphs (a) or
(e) of subsection (2) may provide for the imposition of
fines not exceeding in the case of a first offence, a fine of
five thousand dollars or, in the case of a second or
subsequent such offence, a fine of ten thousand dollars and
in default of payment imprisonment for a term not
exceeding two years.

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PART IV
AERODROMES AND OBSTRUCTIONS

6. (1) The Minister may establish and maintain
aerodromes, and provide and maintain in connection
therewith roads, approaches, apparatus, equipment and
buildings and other accommodations.

(2) The Minister may for the purpose of exercising
the powers conferred by subsection (1) acquire land or any
right in or over land by agreement or in accordance with
the Acquisition of Land Act.

7. The Minister may, notwithstanding anything to
the contrary contained in the Buildings Regulation Act, by
regulations impose restrictions on the powers of any person
to build or plant on land anything which is likely to create
an obstruction or danger to aircraft.

8. (1) Any person who trespasses on any land
forming part of a Government aerodrome or an aerodrome
licensed in pursuance of the regulations made under this
Act shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on
summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred
dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six
months or both such fine and imprisonment:

Provided that no person shall be liable to conviction
under this section unless it is proved that, at the material
time, notices warning trespassers of their liability under
this section were posted so as to be readily seen and read
by members of the public.

(2) Any person being the owner or for the time
being having charge of a domestic animal which trespasses
in or upon a Government aerodrome or licensed
aerodrome, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable
on summary conviction, in the case of a first offence, to a
fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, and in the case of
a second or subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding one
thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding three months or to both such fine and
imprisonment.

PART V
LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE CAUSED BY AIRCRAFT

9. (1) No action shall lie in respect of trespass or in
respect of nuisance, by reason only of the flight of an


Power to
establish and
maintain
aerodromes.

Ch. 252.

Minister’s power
in relation to
buildings likely
to cause
obstructions.
Ch. 200.

Trespassing on
aerodromes.

Nuisance and
liability for
damage.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

aircraft over any property at a height above the ground,
which, having regard to wind, weather and all the
circumstances of the case is reasonable, or the ordinary
incidents of such flight, so long as the provisions of this
Act and the regulations or other subsidiary legislation
made thereunder are duly complied with.

(2) Where material loss or damage is caused to any
person or property on land or water by, or by a person in,
or an article or person falling from, an aircraft while in
flight, taking off or landing, then unless the loss or damage
was caused or contributed to by the negligence of the
person by whom it was suffered, damages in respect of the
loss or damage shall be recoverable without proof of
negligence or intention or other cause of action, as if the
loss or damage had been caused by the wilful act, neglect,
or default of the owner of the aircraft:

Provided that where material loss or damage is
caused as aforesaid in the circumstances in which —
(i) damages are recoverable in respect of the said

loss or damage by virtue only of the foregoing
provisions of this subsection; and

(ii) a legal liability is created in some persons other
than the owner to pay damages in respect of the
said loss or damage,

the owner shall be entitled to be indemnified by that other
person against any claim in respect of the said loss or
damage.

10. (1) The Minister may make regulations under
section 5 as to the conditions under which noise and
vibration may be caused by aircraft on aerodromes or in
the vicinity thereof and such regulations may provide that
subsection (2) shall apply to any aerodrome as respects
which provision as to noise and vibration caused by aircraft
is so made.

(2) No action shall lie in respect of nuisance by
reason only of the noise and vibration caused by aircraft on
an aerodrome to which this subsection applies by virtue of
subsection (1), so long as the provisions of the regulations
mentioned in that subsection are complied with.

Nuisance caused
by aircraft on
aerodromes.

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11. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2(1),
where an aircraft has been bona fide demised, let or hired
out for any period exceeding fourteen days to any person
by the owner thereof, and during such period no pilot,
commander, navigator or operative member of the crew of
the aircraft is in the employment of the owner, this part of
this Act shall have effect as if for references therein to the
owner there were substituted references to the person to
whom the aircraft has been so demised, let or hired out.

PART VI
DETENTION OF AIRCRAFT

12. (1) Any lawful entry into The Bahamas or any
lawful transit across The Bahamas, 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 interferences therewith by or on behalf
of any person in The Bahamas 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) The importation into, and storage in, The
Bahamas of spare parts and spare equipment for an 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 The
Bahamas on the ground that the spare parts or spare
equipment or their installation are or is an infringement of
any patent, design, or model:

Provided that this subsection shall not apply in
relation to any spare parts or spare equipment sold or
distributed in The Bahamas.

(3) This section applies —
(a) to any aircraft registered in a country or territory

which is a party to the Chicago Convention;
(b) to such other aircraft as the Minister may

prescribe.

Responsibility
where aircraft
hired out, etc.

Exemption from
seizure of certain
aircraft on patent
claims.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

13. Any regulations made under this Act may
provide for the detention and forfeiture of aircraft to
secure compliance with this Act or the regulations and

may make such further provisions as appears to the
Minister to be necessary or expedient for securing such
detention and forfeiture.

PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS

14. The provisions of this Act and any regulations
shall, except where expressly excluded under this Act or
such regulations, apply to —

(a) all aircraft whilst in or over any part of The
Bahamas; and

(b) all aircraft registered in The Bahamas.
15. (1) Any act or omission which takes place

outside The Bahamas in an aircraft registered in The
Bahamas shall be deemed for purposes of civil and
criminal jurisdiction to have taken place in The Bahamas
and the law of The Bahamas shall have effect in relation to
that act or omission as if it had taken place in The
Bahamas.

(2) Any offence against this Act or against any
regulations made under this Act may be tried summarily
before a stipendiary and circuit magistrate.

16. (1) The Minister may, by writing under his hand
delegate any of his powers under this Act, other than the
powers to make regulations and prescribe orders, to a
public officer.

(2) Any such delegation —
(a) may be made subject to such terms and

conditions as the Minister thinks fit;
(b) while in force shall not prevent the discharge by

the Minister of the power thereby delegated; and
(c) may at any time be revoked by the Minister.
17. Where an offence under this Act or any regulations

made under this Act has been committed by a body corporate,
every person who at the time of the commission of the offence
was a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of
the body corporate, or was purporting to act in any such
capacity, shall be deemed to be guilty of


Detention of
aircraft.

Application of
Act and
regulations.

Jurisdiction.

Delegation of
powers.

Liability of
directors and
officers of
corporation.

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that offence unless he proves that the offence was
committed without his consent or connivance or that he
exercised all such diligence to prevent the commission of
the offence as he ought to have exercised having regard to
the nature of his functions in that capacity and to all
circumstances.

18. Any regulations made under this Act may
provide for the empowering of such authorities or persons
as may be specified in the regulations to make orders,
notices, proclamations, regulations, or to give instructions
for any of the purposes for which such regulations are
authorised by this Act to be made, and may contain such
incidental and supplementary provisions as appear to the
Minister to be necessary or expedient.

19. (1) The Minister may by order, subject to any
terms or conditions prescribed therein, confer authority for
the certification of a document as a true copy of, or extract
from, any record or document kept or issued by any officer
of authority or by any public officer under this Act or any
regulations or orders made as mentioned in section 20(2).

(2) In any legal proceedings whatsoever, any
document certified in accordance with an order under
subsection (1) shall be evidence of the matters appearing in
such documents.

(3) Any document purporting to be such a document
as is mentioned in subsection (2) shall be deemed to be
such a document unless the contrary is proved.

20. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the enactments
specified in the Schedule are repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding the repeal by subsection (1) of
the enactments specified in the Schedule all regulations
and orders made under those enactments and in force in
The Bahamas at the commencement of this Act shall so far
as they are not inconsistent with this Act remain in force as
if made under this Act, and shall accordingly be subject to
amendment or revocation by regulations made under this
Act.

Regulations may
empower the
making of
subsidiary
legislation.

Documentary
evidence.
24 of 1984, s. 26.

Repeal and
transitional.
Schedule.

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SCHEDULE (Section 20)

ENACTMENTS REPEALED
1. The Civil Aviation Act.
2. The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Act, 1949, as

applied to The Bahamas by the Civil Aviation 1949 (Overseas
Territories) Order, 1969.

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