Chamber passes bill on Romania's Airspace Code

On Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies unanimously adopted a bill on Romania's Airspace Code. The bill regulates civil and military aeronautical activities on Romania's soil and in its national airspace while establishing the bodies with responsibilities in the field of civil and military aviation administration, as well as the competences and attributions of other bodies in the field of aviation safety and security. "The new provisions create a legal framework necessary for civil-military co-operation at the institutional level and establish a common language and conduct in the aeronautical area for all users of the national airspace, without affecting their specific attributions. Thus, flight safety is guaranteed to increase by applying common standards to military aeronautical activities, standards that will be provided at the European and NATO levels, as well as to the areas of military interest and aeronautical servitude," reads a report on the bill released by Parliament's specialist committee. Under the bill, the provisions of the Airspace Code apply to civil and military aeronautical activities, as well as to individuals, legal entities or entities without a legal personality carrying out in the national airspace and on the soil of Romania aeronautical activities or other activities, which may, by nature, endanger the safety and security of aviation. The aeronautical activities on Romania's soil and national airspace are regulated by this Airspace Code, the applicable European regulations and, as the case may be, the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago on December 7, 1944, to which Romania acceded under Decree No.194/1965, the international treaties to which Romania is a party, as well as other pieces of legislation on the matter. The application of the Airspace Code is done without prejudice to the full and exclusive sovereignty over the national airspace, as well as the specific regulations regarding defence, public order and national security, according to the bill. It also says, inter alia, that a special flight is the flight that is performed exclusively for the transport of the President of Romania, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, the Prime Minister, deputy prime ministers, ministers, their foreign counterparts or other foreign officials visiting Romania. The special flight entails the imposition of security measures for the flights moving dignitaries. The measures are required not only in the case of an official mission, but also in the case of a private visit, as specified in the report on the bill by the specialist committee. The bill also says that any flight aboard an aircraft in the national airspace has to be authorised in order to be allowed. The procedure for authorising flights is regulated and approved by government decision. As from January 1, 2021, all aircraft operating in the national airspace are required to be equipped with a working location device to activate in an emergency. By way of exception, the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications, as well as the Ministry of National Defence can establish, by specific regulations, categories and/or types of civil aircraft, or state aircraft that can operate in the national airspace without having a tracking device in case of emergency. The Chamber of Deputies is the decision-maker in this instance. AGERPRES (RO - author: Alina Novaceanu, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Rodica State)

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