Dr. Juan Jose Espino, partner of our law firm, co-authored the Global Overview of Getting the Deal Through: Air Transport 2018. The publication of Air Transport addresses the most important issues and gives ‘first step’ advice from local experts in key jurisdictions, covering: Regulatory bodies, safety regulation, provision of air transport services, acquisition of licenses and other rights, regulation of airfares, aircraft registration, airports, liability and accidents, competition law and financial support and state aid.
Chapter: Air Transport 2018
1. Which bodies regulate aviation in your country, under what basic laws?
All aviation activities are supervised by the Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC), an entity under the competence of the Ministry of Government and Justice of Panama.
The AAC exists and operates in accordance with the powers granted by means of Law 22 of 29 January 2003. All civil aviation activities are considered and defined under the framework of Law 21 of 29 January 2003 (Law 21 of 2003).
Regulation of aviation operations
2. How is air transport regulated in terms of safety?
The AAC of Panama supervises and grants all operational permits and safety related to operators, aircraft operations, crew maintenance and air traffic control.
Within the AAC there are a number of departments that individually supervise all activities related to safety and operations. Panama is signatory to a number of international civil aviation treaties and agreements, such as the Chicago Convention; the AAC follows the recommended Chicago Convention standards as per its article 37 and it is also a participant of the ICAO. All international standards for safety are reï¬‚ected in the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) of Panama, which complement all civil aviation activities considered in Law 21 of 2003.
3. What safety regulation is provided for air operations that do not constitute public or commercial transport, and how is the distinction made?
Law 21 of 2003 defnes such services in its Title VI. Aerial works, as defned in articles 72 and 93, constitute a commercial operation that encompasses any other civil aviation activity that does not include transportation of passengers or goods and cargo.
Private ï¬‚ights or operations are those that are not for a commercial purpose or for valuable consideration.
4. Is access to the market for the provision of air transport services regulated, and if so how?
Yes, commercial activities for civil aviation services are regulated by Law 21 of 2003, Title VI, and the CAR, which establishes distinctions for operations within the territory of Panama as well as for those related to international aviation.
5. What requirements apply in the areas of financial fitness and nationality of ownership regarding control of air carriers?
AAC Law 21 of 2003 and its regulations demand fnancial ftness and technical capacities for all air transport applications.
For commercial operations provided within the territory of Panama, a minimum ownership of 60 per cent should be held by Panamanians during the running of the operation.
For operations for companies created in Panama to provide international services, the minimum Panamanian ownership shall be 51 per cent, as per article 79 of Law 21 of 2003.
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