Translation Endorsed by the Law Committee of the National Assembly of the Lao PDR
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC PEACE INDEPENDENCE DEMOCRACY UNITY PROSPERITY
National Assembly No. 43/PO
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
On the Promulgation of the Law on Civil Aviation
Pursuant to Chapter 6, Article 67, point 1 of the Constitution of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic;
Pursuant to Resolution No. 24/NA, dated 20 May 2005, of the National Assembly of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic regarding the adoption of the Law on Civil Aviation; and
Pursuant to Proposal No. 05/NASC, dated 23 May 2005, of the National Assembly Standing Committee.
The President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic Decrees that:
Article 1. The Law on Civil Aviation is hereby promulgated.
Article 2. This decree shall enter into force on the date it is signed.
Vientiane, 25 May 2005
President of the Lao People’s Democratic
[Seal and Signature]
Translation Endorsed by the Law Committee of the National Assembly of the Lao PDR
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
PEACE INDEPENDENCE DEMOCRACY UNITY PROSPERITY
National Assembly No. 01/NA
19 May 2005
LAW ON CIVIL AVIATION
The Law on Civil Aviation defines principles, regulations and measures relating to the establishment, operation and management of civil aviation in the Lao PDR aiming to ensure safety, convenience, speediness, growth, modernisation, achievement of international standards and effectiveness, thus contributing to the nation’s socio-economic development.
Civil aviation refers to activities relating to the operation of aircraft for the purpose of transporting passengers, baggage, cargo and mail, conducting surveys and scientific research, and conducting activities in the areas of agriculture and forestry, education, culture, public health, sports, search and rescue and other civil activities.
Terms that are used in this Law on Civil Aviation shall have the following meanings:
The State promotes domestic and foreign investors to invest in the development of civil aviation, such as: aircraft, aerodromes, vehicles, technical equipment, personnel and air transport services, through the different policies provided in the relevant laws and regulations of the Lao PDR.
This Law on Civil Aviation shall apply to regulate the establishment and activities of civil aviation in the Lao PDR, including other relevant sectors.
1 The term “policies” in this context takes the meaning of “privileges”.
The State promotes the establishment of international relations and co- operation with foreign States and international organisations for the exchange of experience and expertise on the development of infrastructure, technology, data, aeronautical information, personnel development and the connecting flight network within the country and with other countries, aiming to ensure convenience, safety, modernisation, effectiveness and the achievement of international standards.
Components of Civil Aviation
Civil aviation has the following technical and material components: aircraft, aerodromes, vehicles, miscellaneous equipment, spare parts and aviation fuel.
Civil aviation has the following personnel components: crew members, aviation technicians, technical and administrative officials and service staff.
Any aircraft that intends to fly within the airspace of the Lao PDR shall be registered and shall have nationality and registration marks in accordance with the laws of the Lao PDR or of the concerned2 State.
Aircraft registration in the Lao PDR must be carried out in accordance with the following conditions:
The individual registering the aircraft shall be its owner or another individual who has the right to operate such aircraft. This could be, but is not limited to, the following:
2 The term “concerned” is used in the sense of “relevant”.
Aircraft registration shall be cancelled in cases where:
When a person or organisation has duly registered its own civil aircraft in the Lao PDR, the rights in such aircraft shall be recognised in accordance with the relevant international conventions to which the Lao PDR is a party.
Each aircraft shall have the following documents:
With the exception of numbers 6 and 7, the above-mentioned documents shall state their periods of validity.
3 Readers may wish to refer to the Law on Lao Nationality for the distinction between aliens, apatrids (i.e. persons unable to certify their nationality) and foreign individuals.
A certificate of airworthiness refers to a document that certifies the readiness and capability of an aircraft to fly safely [that is] issued by the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction of the Lao PDR.
An aircraft of a foreign State operating within the airspace of the Lao PDR shall also have a similar certificate issued by the competent authority of the relevant country and recognised by the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction of the Lao PDR.
The certificate of airworthiness of each aircraft shall be consistent with airworthiness standards under international conventions and shall be valid.
An aircraft will only be permitted to operate within the airspace of the Lao PDR if it has a journey logbook in which a competent person must enter important details during the flight of the aircraft and [details of] the implementation of activities of crew members in each flight, in such form as provided in the laws and regulations of the State of registry.
Entries in any logbook are considered prima facie proof of the truth of the circumstances that occurred in flight and form the basis for investigation4 when there is a violation of laws and regulations, or orders or directives relating to civil aviation.
Each aircraft shall be equipped with standard, licensed communication equipment that has been installed in accordance with technical standards and with methods prescribed in regulations, and that is working. Only aircraft correctly equipped with working communication equipment in accordance with regulations will be permitted to operate within the airspace of the Lao PDR.
Flight manual refers to the manufacturer’s document that provides details of technical instructions of aircraft performance and control to assist the crew members in proper operation.
Operation manual refers to the air carrier’s document that provides enterprise policies, rules and procedures with which the crew members have to comply for the safe and efficient conduct of flight.
4 The Lao word for “investigation” is a compound word: “investigation-interrogation”, where investigation has the sense of inquiries through means other than the questioning of witnesses. Since the English word “investigation” does not connote a similar exclusion or carve-out, the translators have translated the compound word (and its variants) simply as “investigation”.
Only aircraft with a certified noise limit in accordance with the international standards provided in the Convention on International Civil Aviation will be permitted to operate within the airspace of the Lao PDR.
An aerodrome shall consist of the following basic components:
The aerodrome surrounding area refers to the area contiguous to the aerodrome perimeter covering the approach and departure paths of aircraft in accordance with the aerodrome classification.
Within the aerodrome surrounding area, the width and height [of such aerodrome surrounding area], and height limitations on buildings and trees, shall be determined to ensure the safety of flight, people’s lives and property, and the environment.
The government shall determine the location, construction permit and classification of domestic and international airports, including determining the airports or locations for temporary landing or take-off.
The construction of civil aviation aerodromes in the Lao PDR shall be in accordance with technical standards prescribed from time to time by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Foreign and Lao aircraft conducting international transport shall be permitted to operate only at the international airport except when specific authorisation is received from the government to operate at other airports.
All civil aviation aerodromes in the Lao PDR shall be under the management of the government of the Lao PDR by delegating authority to the management organisation subject to assigned levels of management prescribed in this law.
In the case of aerodromes that are constructed by, or in respect of which concessions have been granted to, domestic or foreign investors, such investors will have the right to operate, maintain and gain benefits5 as provided in the laws and regulations of the Lao PDR.
Crew Members and Civil Aviation Technical Officers
The type of aircraft, configuration, flight stage lengths and particular use in which the aircraft is engaged will be taken into consideration for the composition of crew members.
The composition of crew members shall be in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction and consistent with standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Aviation technical officers include:
The composition of aviation technical officers shall be subject to their specialties, skills and competencies, and shall be in appropriate numbers to fulfil their tasks in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction.
5 This is a literal translation. The translators are unable to definitively resolve whether “maintain” qualifies “aerodromes” (like operate) or “benefits”.
General standards for flight crew members and aviation technical officers are as follows:
Additional standards for flight crew members:
Additional standards for cabin crew members:
Additional standards for aviation technical officers:
Knowledge and skills relating to maintenance and repair of aircraft, inspection and quality assurance, flight dispatch, air traffic control and communication operations.
Detailed standards and conditions will be determined in separate regulations.
The air carrier shall designate one pilot as the pilot-in-command for each flight segment and another as his assistant who shall, when necessary, assume command.
In flight, the pilot-in-command shall be responsible to fly to the destination in accordance with the schedule taking into consideration the safety of passengers, baggage, mail, cargo, and crew members on board and that of the aircraft.
The pilot-in-command shall have the principal powers and duties to:
In carrying out his duties, every individual crew member and technical officer shall be the holder of a personal license issued by the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction.
Each crew member of an aircraft registered in another State shall also be the holder of a personal license issued by the competent authority of the relevant State.
Such licenses shall be consistent with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Air Traffic Control
Air traffic operating within the airspace of the Lao PDR shall strictly comply with the air traffic rules of the Lao PDR consistent with the air traffic rules established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
The pilot-in-command of an aircraft of Lao registry flying in the airspace of another State shall strictly comply with the air traffic rules of such
State or, if over the high seas, such rules established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Airway refers to a flight corridor with bearing, width and height limits established by the government of the Lao PDR based on regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
No-fly zone refers to [a zone] that has been deemed as prohibited, restricted or dangerous for flight.
A prohibited area refers to a State-reserved area into which aircraft shall never be permitted to fly.
A danger area or restricted area, such as a military training area, densely populated area, magnetic area, or area with turbulent air, refers to an area within which a risk of flight safety may exist. Aircraft may be permitted to enter these areas during specified periods and at specified heights.
All aircraft shall strictly fly in an established airway, and never fly into any prohibited area or enter into any danger area or restricted area. In the event that an aircraft deviates from an airway, flies into a prohibited area, or into a danger area or restricted area outside of the specified period and height, the pilot-in-command shall promptly resume an authorised airway as ordered by the air traffic controller. If not, the appropriate measures shall be applied to that aircraft.
Air traffic service refers to the provision of facilitation and control of air traffic, including for overflights over the territory of the Lao PDR. Air traffic services shall be conducted under common regulations throughout the entire country, consistent with regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation for ensuring the safe, speedy, and orderly flow of air traffic.
Overflight service refers to the control of, and provision of facilitation to, air traffic in overflight over the territory of the Lao PDR by using modern means6, equipment and technology, and qualified personnel, that can be integrated into the communication systems of countries in the region and at the international level, in order to ensure the effectiveness of overflight.
6 In the Lao language, the same word is used for “instruments”, “vehicles” and “means” in their conceptual sense (e.g., “words are the vehicles of meaning”) and also to refer to physical, tangible instruments and vehicles. Generally, the translators have used the more neutral “means” rather than “vehicles”, which is likely to be understood as tangible, motorised vehicles, unless the context clearly indicates that vehicles is intended.
An incident refers to an occurrence to an aircraft in flight that can be solved and may or may not affect the safety of such flight.
An accident refers to a serious occurrence to an aircraft in flight such as major damage, a crash or a disappearance that causes injury, loss of life and damage to property.
Individuals or organisations that discover an aircraft accident are obligated to immediately inform local administrative authorities or concerned officers.
In the event that an aircraft incident or accident occurs within the airspace of the Lao PDR, air traffic services and search and rescue units from the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction shall take all necessary measures to render appropriate and immediate assistance.
In the event of an aircraft accident, the National Search and Rescue Committee shall coordinate with airport authorities, local administrative authorities and other concerned officers to promptly carry out search and rescue operations.
When an incident or accident involves an aircraft of foreign registry within the territory of the Lao PDR, the air carrier or the officers of the concerned government may be permitted to participate in search and rescue operations, which at all times will be under the control of the relevant authority of the Lao PDR.
When requested by other States or by international organisations, the government of the Lao PDR will consider rendering search and rescue assistance to a foreign aircraft, where an accident has occurred in a neighbouring State.
The investigation of any aircraft incident or accident occurring in the territory of the Lao PDR shall be conducted immediately, comprehensively and completely, in conformity with the laws and regulations of the Lao PDR.
In the event that an incident or accident involving an aircraft registered in another State results in loss of life or serious injury in the territory of the Lao PDR, the government may consider requests to permit observers duly appointed by such other State to be present at the investigation.
The government of the Lao PDR shall notify said foreign government of the results of the investigation.
Ensuring Flight Safety
Each air carrier shall have measures for the safety of passengers in conformity with the standards specified in the operation manual. In addition, the air carrier shall prepare and maintain the existing emergency equipment in readiness for use at all times, such as: seat belts, breathing apparatus, life jackets, pressurisation system, warning lights, first aid kits and other necessities.
Cabin crew members shall give instructions, assist passengers in the use of safety equipment and immediately aid sick passengers.
Each air carrier shall have measures for the safety of baggage, cargo and mail by checking and properly securing [them] in conformity with relevant regulations to ensure protection against damage or loss.
For the safety of human life, each aircraft must fly at the assigned altitude. [There shall be] no acrobatic or training flights above densely populated areas, unless specific authorisation is received from the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction on the basis of prior coordination with the other concerned sectors7.
Each air carrier shall regularly inspect, maintain, repair, and use equipment and aircraft in conformity with the prescribed regulations, so as to maintain their airworthiness and readiness for use and the capacity to fly of the aircraft, including having safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and warning systems.
Aerodromes shall have perimeter walls or fences to ensure safety, shall clearly define public areas and prohibited areas, and shall have personnel and equipment to ensure safety that meets international standards, such as fire fighting and rescue systems, security protection and safety systems, information and communication technology and public relations.
7 The term “sector” is used in many Lao laws to refer to the cluster of government ministries or agencies engaged in a particular activity.
Crew members shall be protected from any interference from outsiders while on duty. In addition to this, they shall receive regular medical assessments and adequate rest periods, shall restrain from the consumption of any psychotropic substances before or while on duty, and shall strictly comply with the on-duty requirements.
The air carrier shall assign crew members in conformity with regulations on flight duty periods, follow up on their medical assessments, and intensively improve their knowledge and skills relating to flight safety.
The transport of dangerous materials such as chemicals, inflammable materials, explosive items, firearms and other dangerous substances shall be operated by specific flights in conformity with the regulations on the safe transport of dangerous goods by air of the Lao PDR and consistent with such regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
In the event of an airborne emergency to any Lao or foreign aircraft operating within the airspace of the Lao PDR, officers from all concerned sectors shall fully follow-up, assist, and provide facilitation in order to help the aircraft to land immediately, to ensure safety and minimum loss.
No individual or organisation shall:
In addition, no air carrier or crew member shall:
Fees and Service Charges
Aviation fee refers to a payment for the issuance of licenses, certificates and permits, such as: license for the establishment of aviation enterprise, license for crew members and aviation technical officers, air operator certificates, certificates of aircraft registration, certificates of airworthiness of aircraft, certificates of noise and other fees relating to aviation.
Aviation service charge refers to a payment for the provision of services, such as: overflight service charge, landing service charge, service charges relating to air navigational aid, airport tax, service charge for certification of technical inspection, service charge for inspection of passengers, baggage and cargo, service charge for transport,9 service charge for transport of cargo, service charge for mail, service charge for ground handling services, and other services.
The State determines the rates of fees and service charges relating to civil aviation.
Relevant State organisations collect fees and service charges relating to civil aviation, including overflight service charge, in conformity with their assigned roles and duties, the management and utilisation of which shall comply with the State Budget Law.
Income from services of State enterprises shall be managed and used in conformity with laws and regulations.
8 Readers may wish to refer to Article 155 of the 2005 Amended Penal Law for more information on this concept.
9 This term is intentionally broad. The apparent slight overlap with the next term is also intended.
Civil Aviation Business
Civil Aviation Business Operation
Aviation business includes the following activities:
In addition to the conditions under the Business Law, the establishment of an aviation enterprise shall also comply with the following conditions:
In addition to the license for the establishment of business enterprise, an air carrier shall also have an air operator certificate issued by the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction.
There are two types of air transport:
Domestic air transport refers to the operation of an aircraft transporting passengers and cargo from one place to another within the territory of the Lao PDR.
Cross-border or international air transport refers to the use of aircraft for transport from a place in the territory of the Lao PDR to one or several places outside the territory of the Lao PDR according to flight schedules and then to return to the Lao PDR.
10 The Lao language does not require nouns to contain information as to whether they are singular or plural. See Explanatory Notes 6(ii). This was an instance where the translators could not resolve whether a term was intended to be singular or plural and have used the singular form.
The air transport agreement is a document that certifies an agreement between the air carrier and passengers, or cargo or mail owners. There are also two kinds of agreements corresponding to the kinds of transport described in Article 53 of this law.
The air carrier has the obligation to transport passengers with baggage, cargo and mail to the destination safely, without loss, damage, deterioration or change in form.
Passengers, and cargo and mail owners, have the obligation to pay for the transport as agreed. The detailed contents and format of the agreement shall be consistent with the relevant laws and regulations.
The government determines the tariffs for domestic air transport.
The tariffs for international air transport shall comply with agreements that the Lao PDR has signed with foreign countries.
Liabilities of Air Carriers
In each flight, the air carrier shall be civilly liable for damages to passengers in the following cases:
The air carrier shall not be civilly liable or shall only be partly liable for damages in the following cases:
11 This is a literal translation. The intention is to refer to “those matters that must be included”. See Article 11 of the Contract Law for a similar use of “contents”.
The air carrier shall be civilly liable for damages to the cargo or mail owner in the event that the cargo or mail is lost, is damaged, is destroyed, has deteriorated or is delayed.
The air carrier shall not be civilly liable for the damages so incurred when caused by any of the following:
The air carrier shall be civilly liable for the damage caused by any aircraft, aircraft operation, personnel, part of an aircraft or part attached to an aircraft to individuals, other than passengers, who may be on board or outside an aircraft, resulting in injury or loss of life or damage to their property.
In the event that a foreign aircraft causes injury or loss of life to any individual outside of such aircraft or damage to his property within the territory of the Lao PDR, the relevant laws of the Lao PDR shall be applied.
The air carrier shall not be liable under the above paragraph if it proves that such damage was caused by the fault of the party concerned.
To assure the compensation for civil liability as determined in Articles 58, 59 and 60 of this law, Lao air carriers and foreign air carriers undertaking air transport service operations within the Lao PDR, including overflight over Laos, shall have relevant and valid insurance that meets the minimum requirements of the relevant laws and regulations of the Lao PDR or of the State of registry and consistent with relevant international conventions to which the Lao PDR is a party.
Civil Aviation Management and Inspection
The management organisations of civil aviation include:
In carrying out the management of civil aviation, the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction has the following main rights and duties:
In carrying out the management of civil aviation, the communication, transport, post and construction division of each province, city and special zone at which an aerodrome is located, has the following main rights and duties:
In carrying out the management of civil aviation, the communication, transport, post and construction office of each district and municipality at which an aerodrome is located, has the following main rights and duties:
Inspection organisations of civil aviation are the same organisations as provided in Article 62 of this law.
In carrying out the inspection of civil aviation in conformity with the assigned levels of management, the inspection organisations have the following main rights and duties:
12 The translators are aware that there are subtle (and presumably intended) differences between this clause 5 and Article 64(6).
The inspection of civil aviation comprises three types:
Regular inspection refers to an inspection performed regularly according to plans and at pre-determined times.
Inspection with advance notice refers to an inspection which is not included in the plan, which is performed when deemed necessary and for which advance notice is given.
Emergency inspection refers to a sudden inspection without advance notice to the persons to be inspected.
In conducting inspections, the officers of the inspection organisations shall strictly comply with the laws and regulations.
Policies Towards Persons with Outstanding Achievement
and Measures Against Violators13
Individuals or organisations with outstanding achievement in the implementation of laws and regulations on civil aviation resulting in safe and efficient flight operations will be rewarded and granted other policies as appropriate.
13 The term “policies” is often used as an indirect way of referring to “incentives’ or “privileges” and the term “measures” is often used as an indirect way of referring to “sanctions”.
Individuals or organisations that violate any provision of this Law shall be subject to re-education14 , fines or shall be civilly liable for damages and/or be subject to penal sanctions, depending on the severity of the case. In addition, their business operations may be suspended, and their licenses or certificates of civil aviation operation may be withdrawn.
Individuals or organisations may be re-educated if their acts are not dangerous or cause no serious damage, such as:
Individuals or organisations shall be fined if they commit the following acts:
An air carrier causing damage to passengers, baggage, cargo, mail or to third parties as provided in Articles 58, 59 and 60 of this law shall be liable in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Lao PDR and consistent with relevant international conventions to which the Lao PDR is a party.
An individual shall be punished if he commits any of the following criminal offences:
14 Here, “re-education” does not mean the same as “re-education without deprivation of liberty” referred to in the Penal Law.
The government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic shall issue a decree and implement this law.
This law shall enter into force after ninety days from the promulgating decree of the President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
All regulations or provisions that contradict this law are null and void.
Vientiane, 19 May 2005
President of the National Assembly
[Seal and Signature]
|Requirement for air carriers to be insured||Lao air carriers and foreign air carriers undertaking air transport service operations within the Lao PDR must have valid insurance||Active|
|Requirement for air carriers to have air operator certificate||Air carriers must possess an air operator certificate||Active|
|Requirement for air traffic services to operate according to internaitonal standards||Air traffic services must be conducted under |
common regulations throughout the entire country,
consistent with regulations of the ICAO
|Requirement for aircraft tohave certificate of airworthiness||Aircraft operating within the airspace must have a certificate of airworthiness issued by the relevant national body or a foreign certificate issued by the competent authority of the relevant country and recognised in the Lao PDR.||Active|
|Requirement for aircrafts to be registered||Aircrafts that intend to fly within the airspace of Lao PDR must be registered and have nationality and registration marks||Active|
|Requirement for crew andtechnical officers to be licensed||Individual crew members and technical officers of|
aircrafts whether registered nationally or in another
State must hold a personal license
|Requirement for international flights to operate only from special aerodromes||Foreign and Lao aircrafts conducting international|
transport are permitted to operate only at the
international airport except when specific
authorisation is received from the government to
operate at other airports.
|Requirement to operate in accordance with other established criteria||An aircraft must meet other criteria to be permitted|
to operate within the airspace of the Lao PDR.
These include journey logbook, aircraft
communication equipment, and certificate of noise
|Requirements for establishment of aviation enterprises in accordane with national, bilateral or internaitonal agreements||Aviation enterprises may be established based on|
criteria which include: national requirements for
enterprises engaging in domestic air transport crew
and technical officers; existing bilateral agreements or international conventions to which the Lao PDR is a party for enterprises engaging in international air transport. A foreign air carrier seeking to establish a representative or branch office in the Lao PDR must follow the conditions in the agreement that the Lao PDR has signed with that country or in international conventions to which the Lao PDR is a party.
|Requirements for registration of aircrafts||An Aircraft registered in the Lao PDR cannot be registered in another State; and aircraft registered in another State cannot registered in the Lao PDR, unless the former registration is cancelled.||Active|