Civil Aviation Act 1971

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1971 c. 75


Civil Aviation Act 1971

1971 CHAPTER 75

An Act to establish a public authority concerned with civil aviation and to make provision as to the functions of the authority; to make further provision for regulating civil aviation; to establish a corporation with functions which include the function of controlling the activities of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and the British European Airways Corporation and to authorise in certain circumstances the dissolution of either of those Corporations; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[5th August 1971]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I The Civil Aviation Authority

Part I

The Civil Aviation Authority

Constitution and functions

Constitution and functions

S-1 Constitution of the Authority.

1 Constitution of the Authority.

(1) There shall be a body corporate, to be called the Civil Aviation Authority (and hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the Authority’), which shall be constituted in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2) The Authority shall consist of not less than six nor more than twelve persons appointed by the Secretary of State to be members of the Authority; and the Secretary of State—

(a ) shall appoint one member to be the chairman of the Authority; and

(b ) may appoint not more than two other members to be deputy chairmen of the Authority.

(3) The provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Authority.

(4) It is hereby declared that the Authority is not to be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown or as enjoying any status, privilege or immunity of the Crown or (subject to the provisions of this Act relating to stamp duty) as exempt from any tax, duty, rate, levy or other charge whatsoever, whether general or local, and that its property is not to be regarded as property of or held on behalf of the Crown.

(5) In Part II of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1957 , as it applies in relation to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, after the entry relating to the Channel Tunnel Planning Council there shall be inserted the words ‘The Civil Aviation Authority’; and in the Part substituted for the said Part II by Schedule 3 to that Act in relation to the Senate and House of Commons of Northern Ireland, after the entry relating to the Central Council for Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation there shall be inserted the words aforesaid.

S-2 Functions of the Authority.

2 Functions of the Authority.

2. The functions of the Authority shall be—

a ) the functions conferred on it by the following provisions of this Part of this Act
b ) the functions conferred on it by or under Part II of this Act with respect to the licensing of air transport, the licensing of the provision of accommodation in aircraft the provision of air navigation services, the operation of aerodromes and the provision of assistance and information
c ) such functions as are for the time being conferred on it by or under Air Navigation Orders with respect to the registration of aircraft, the safety of air navigation and aircraft (including airworthiness), the control of air traffic, the certification of operators of aircraft and the licensing of air crews and aerodromes;
d ) such other functions as are for the time being conferred on it by virtue of this Act or any other enactment.
Regulation of performance by the Authority of its functions

Regulation of performance by the Authority of its functions

S-3 General objectives, and guidance by the Secretary of State.

3 General objectives, and guidance by the Secretary of State.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Authority to perform the functions conferred on it otherwise than by this section in the manner which it considers is best calculated—

(a ) to secure that British airlines provide air transport services which satisfy all substantial categories of public demand (so far as British airlines may reasonably be expected to provide such services) at the lowest charges consistent with a high standard of safety in operating the services and an economic return to efficient operators on the sums invested in providing the services and with securing the sound development of the civil air transport industry of the United Kingdom;

(b ) to secure that at least one major British airline which is not controlled by the British Airways Board has opportunities to participate in providing, on charter and other terms, the air transport services mentioned in the preceding paragraph;

(c ) subject to the preceding paragraphs, to encourage the civil air transport industry of the United Kingdom to increase the contribution which it makes towards a favourable balance of payments for the United Kingdom and towards the prosperity of the economy of the United Kingdom; and

(d ) subject to the preceding paragraphs, to further the reasonable interests of users of air transport services;

and in this subsection ‘British airline’ means an undertaking having power to provide air transport services and appearing to the Authority to have its principal place of business in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and to be controlled by persons who either are United Kingdom nationals or are for the time being approved by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this subsection.

(2) Subject to the following subsection, the Secretary of State may from time to time, after consultation with the Authority, give guidance to the Authority in writing with respect to the performance of the functions conferred on it otherwise than by this subsection; and it shall be the duty of the Authority to perform those functions in such a manner as it considers is in accordance with the guidance for the time being given to it in pursuance of this subsection.

(3) No guidance shall be given to the Authority in pursuance of the preceding subsection unless a draft of the document containing it has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

S-4 Secretary of State's directions in national interest etc.

4 Secretary of State's directions in national interest etc.

(1) In time of war, whether actual or imminent, or of great national emergency, the Secretary of State may by order require that all or any property or rights of or under the control of the Authority shall be placed at the disposal of the Secretary of State; and while an order under this subsection is in force—

(a ) the Secretary of State may give to the Authority such directions as the Secretary of State thinks fit; and

(b ) in so far as any directions given in pursuance of this subsection conflict with any requirements of this Act apart from this subsection those requirements shall be disregarded.

(2) Section 28 of the Air Corporations Act 1967 (which also relates to the Secretary of State's powers in case of emergency) shall have effect as if any reference in subsections (3) to (5) of that section to an order under that section included a reference to an order under the preceding subsection.

(3) The Secretary of State may, after consultation with the Authority, give to the Authority directions to do a particular thing which it has power to do or refrain from doing a particular thing if the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to give such directions—

(a ) in the interests of national security; or

(b ) in connection with any matter appearing to the Secretary of State to affect the relations of the United Kingdom with a country or territory outside the United Kingdom; or

(c ) in order to discharge or facilitate the discharge of an obligation binding on the United Kingdom by virtue of its being a member of an international organisation or a party to an international agreement; or

(d ) in order to attain or facilitate the attainment of any other object the attainment of which is in the opinion of the Secretary of State appropriate in view of the fact that the United Kingdom is a member of an international organisation or a party to an international agreement; or

(e ) in order to enable the United Kingdom to become a member of an international organisation or a party to an international agreement; or

(f ) in order to prevent or deal with noise, vibration, pollution or other disturbance attributable to aircraft used for the purpose of civil aviation;

and in so far as any directions given in pursuance of this subsection conflict with the requirements of any provision of this Act except subsections (1) and (2) of this section those requirements shall be disregarded.

S-5 Special provisions as respects certain functions.

5 Special provisions as respects certain functions.

(1) Such functions of the Authority as may be prescribed for the purposes of this subsection shall not be performed on behalf of the Authority by any other person; and regulations may provide that for the purpose of performing a function prescribed in pursuance of this subsection the quorum of the Authority shall be such as may be prescribed.

(2) Regulations may provide for regulating the conduct of the Authority and other persons, including the procedure to be followed by them, in connection with the performance by the Authority of such of its functions as may be prescribed for the purposes of this subsection; and, without prejudice to the generality of the preceding provisions of this subsection, regulations made in pursuance of this subsection may include provision—

(a ) requiring or entitling the Authority, notwithstanding any rule of law, to withhold from any person (hereafter in this paragraph referred to as ‘the prospective recipient’) information which is furnished to the Authority by another...

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