Dubai issues new law for civil aviation sector in the region

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued Law No. (11) of 2020 on Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), to regulate the civil aviation sector in Dubai.

The new law will be applied to DCAA and all businesses and activities linked to aircraft and airports in the area. Dubai’s air navigation and aviation activities, including air control, air cargo, and balloon operations, will also be covered by the latest law.

The aim of the new law is to consolidate the global leadership of Dubai in civil aviation, increase its attractiveness as a destination for aviation businesses, and further strengthen the sector’s safety, security, and sustainability. It also seeks to ensure that the civil aviation sector is optimally governed and to further improve the efficacy of the regulatory and supervisory oversight exercised by the DCAA in cooperation with other government bodies.

The law No. (11) of 2020 specifies that in compliance with federal legislation and international agreements, the DCAA shall devise general aviation policies in Dubai and carry out activities linked to civil aviation operations. Furthermore, the DCAA will recommend civil aviation regulations and engage in all quality management activities carried out by international and federal bodies, including inspection and testing.

Under the new law, the DCAA has the power to sign contracts and MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) relating to air traffic rights to operate through Dubai airports and to coordinate and execute them with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). The DCAA is also responsible for allowing operators and those holding licenses issued by the GCAA to operate scheduled and chartered flights to Dubai.

According to the law, DCAA’s Director-General will be appointed by a decree issued by the Dubai Ruler. DCAA will represent Dubai in civil aviation matters locally and globally, including talks and discussions on air traffic rights, air space, air navigation in Dubai, disaster inquiries, accidents, and civil aviation emergencies.

Law No. (11) of 2020 replaces DCAA Law No. (19) of 2010 and repeals any other regulation that could contradict the new law. The decisions, guidelines, and rules issued for the implementation of Law No. (19) of 2010 will prevail effective as they do not contradict the latest law and its bylaws until decisions and rules replacing them are issued. The law will come into force from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.