Protection of Aircraft Act 1973



Protection of Aircraft Act1973

1973 CHAPTER 47

An Act to give effect to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, and to make other provision for the protection of aircraft, aerodromes and air navigation installations against acts of violence; to amend the Hijacking Act 1971; and for connected purposes.

[25th July 1973]

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 Penalties for Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Aircraft

Part I

Safety of AircraftPenalties for Unlawful Acts Against

S-1 Destroying, damaging or endangering safety of aircraft.

1 Destroying, damaging or endangering safety of aircraft.

(1) It shall, subject to subsection (4) of this section, be an offence for any person unlawfully and intentionally—

(a ) to destroy an aircraft in service or so to damage such an aircraft as to render it incapable of flight or as to be likely to endanger its safety in flight, or

(b ) to commit on board an aircraft in flight any act of violence which is likely to endanger the safety of the aircraft.

(2) It shall also, subject to subsection (4) of this section, be an offence for any person unlawfully and intentionally to place, or cause to be placed, on an aircraft in service any device or substance which is likely to destroy the aircraft, or is likely so to damage it as to render it incapable of flight or as to be likely to endanger its safety in night; but nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the circumstances in which the commission of any act—

(a ) may constitute an offence under the preceding subsection, or

(b ) may constitute attempting or conspiring to commit, or aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring, or being art and part in, the commission of such an offence.

(3) Except as provided by the next following subsection, subsections (1) and (2) of this section apply whether any such act as is therein mentioned is committed in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, whatever the nationality of the person committing the act and whatever the State in which the aircraft is registered.

(4) Subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply to any act committed in relation to an aircraft used in military, customs or police service unless—

(a ) the act is committed in the United Kingdom, or

(b ) where the act is committed outside the United Kingdom, the person committing it is a person to whom the next following subsection applies.

(5) This subsection applies to any person who is—

(a ) a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies;

(b ) a British subject by virtue of section 2 of the British Nationality Act 1948 ;

(c ) a British subject without citizenship by virtue of section 13 or section 16 of that Act;

(d ) a British subject by virtue of the British Nationality Act 1965 ; or

(e ) a British protected person within the meaning of the British Nationality Act 1948.

(6) In this Part of this Act ‘unlawfully’—

(a ) in relation to the commission of an act in the United Kingdom, means so as (apart from this Act) to constitute an offence under the law of the part of the United Kingdom in which the act is committed, and

(b ) in relation to the commission of an act outside the United Kingdom, means so that the commission the act would (apart from this Act) have been an offence under the law of England if it had been committed in England or of Scotland if it had been committed in Scotland.

(7) In this section ‘act of violence’ means—

(a ) any act done in the United Kingdom which constitutes the offence of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, culpable homicide or assault or an offence under section 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28 or 29 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 or under section 2 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883 , and

(b ) any act done outside the United Kingdom which, if done in the United Kingdom, would constitute such an offence as is mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

S-2 Other acts endangering or likely to endanger safety of aircraft.

2 Other acts endangering or likely to endanger safety of aircraft.

(1) It shall, subject to subsections (4) and (5) of this section, be an offence for any person unlawfully and intentionally to destroy or damage any property to which this subsection applies, or to interfere with the operation of any such property, where the destruction, damage or interference is likely to endanger the safety of aircraft in flight.

(2) The preceding subsection applies to any property used for the provision of air navigation facilities, including any land, building or ship so used, and including any apparatus or equipment so used, whether it is on board an aircraft or elsewhere.

(3) It shall also, subject to subsections (4) and (5) of this section, be an offence for any person intentionally to communicate any information which is false, misleading or deceptive in a material particular, where the communication of the information endangers the safety of an aircraft in flight or is likely to endanger the safety of aircraft in flight.

(4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (3) of this section to prove—

(a ) that he believed, and had reasonable grounds for believing, that the information was true, or

(b ) that, when he communicated the information, he was lawfully employed to perform duties which consisted of or included the communication of information and that he communicated the information in good faith in the performance of those duties.

(5) Subsections (1) and (3) of this section do not apply to the commission of any act unless either the act is committed in the United Kingdom, or, where it is committed outside the United Kingdom,—

(a ) the person committing it is a person to whom section 1(5) of this Act applies, or

(b ) the commission of the act endangers or is likely to endanger the safety in flight of a civil aircraft registered in the United Kingdom or chartered by demise to a lessee whose principal place of business, or (if he has no place of business) whose permanent residence, is in the United Kingdom, or

(c ) the act is committed on board a civil aircraft which is so registered or so chartered, or

(d ) the act is committed on board a civil aircraft which lands in the United Kingdom with the person who committed the act still on board.

(6) Subsection (1) of this section also does not apply to any act committed outside the United Kingdom and so committed in relation to property which is situated outside the United Kingdom and is not used for the provision of air navigation facilities in connection with international air navigation, unless the person committing the act is a person to whom section 1(5) of this Act applies.

(7) In this section ‘civil aircraft’ means any aircraft other than an aircraft used in military, customs or police service.

S-3 Inducing or assisting commission of acts excepted from ss. 1 and 2.

3 Inducing or assisting commission of acts excepted from ss. 1 and 2.

(1) It shall be an offence for any person in the United Kingdom to induce or assist the commission outside the United Kingdom of any act which—

(a ) would, but for subsection (4) of section 1 of this Act, be an offence under that section, or

(b ) would, but for subsection (5) or subsection (6) of section 2 of this Act, be an offence under that section.

(2) The preceding subsection shall have effect without prejudice to the operation, in relation to any offence under section 1 or section 2 of this Act,—

(a ) in England and Wales, or in Northern Ireland, of section 8 of the Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 , or

(b ) in Scotland, of any rule of law relating to art and part guilt.

S-4 Penalties and proceedings.

4 Penalties and proceedings.

(1) Any person who commits an offence under this Part of this Act shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

(2) Proceedings for an offence under this Part of this Act shall not be instituted—

(a ) in England and Wales, except by, or with the consent of, the Attorney General, or

(b ) in Northern Ireland, except by, or with the consent of, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland;

but the preceding provisions of this subsection shall not prevent the arrest, or the issue of a warrant for the arrest, of any person in respect of any offence, or the remanding in custody or on bail of any person charged with any offence.

(3) As respects Scotland, for the purpose of conferring on the sheriff jurisdiction to entertain proceedings for an offence under this Part of this Act, any such offence shall, without prejudice to any jurisdiction exercisable apart from this subsection, be deemed to have been committed in any place in Scotland where the offender may for the time being be.

(4) In relation to proceedings instituted in Northern Ireland, paragraphs (3)(b and (5) of Article 7 of the Prosecution of Offences (Northern Ireland) order 1972 (which relate respectively to proof of consent, to describing the offence, or any property or place, to which, or a person to whom, a consent relates, and to amending a consent) shall apply as if subsection (2) of this section were a consent provision within the meaning of that Article.

S-5 Extradition.

5 Extradition.

(1) There shall be deemed to be included—

(a ) in the list of extradition crimes in Schedule 1 to the Extradition Act 1870 , and

(b ) among the descriptions of offences set out in Schedule 1 to the Fugitive Offenders Act 1967 ,

any offence under this Part of this Act and (so far as not so included by virtue of the foregoing) any attempt to commit such an offence.

(2) Where no such arrangement as is mentioned in section 2 of...

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