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Decision on Amendment of Civil Aviation Law of the People's Republic of China Announced21/01/2019

On December 29, 2018, the Seventh Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress passed the Decision on Amendment of Seven Laws including the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China, which were announced in the No.24 Presidential Decree signed by President Xi Jinping. The Decision also includes amending the Civil Aviation Law of the People's Republic of China, the purpose of which is to carry out the requirements of delegating power, enhancing management and optimizing service, and to implement institutional reform. In particular, it involves the three areas of civil airport management, authorization of UAS legislation, and reform of quarantine institution.

New classification standards for civil airports were added. According to the requirements for classifying management of general airports set out in the Guiding Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Promoting the Development of General Aviation Industry, an amendment was introduced to Article 62 of the Civil Aviation Law. The new regulation stipulated that civil airports opened to the public shall continue to implement ex ante permits, while other civil airports shall change to ex post filing.

The legislation of UAS has been authorized. With the increasing popularity of UAS, safety problems are becoming more and more prominent, and it is urgent to improve relevant systems and strengthen supervision. It was noted that when formulating the Civil Aviation Law, UAS was not been widely used, therefore the management system was not applicable enough for drones. To provide legislative reference for the supervision and legislation of UAS, the amended Civil Aviation Law added Article 214, authorizing the State Council and the Central Military Commission to develop dedicated provisions for UAS.

A statement of quarantine was deleted. The responsibilities and teams of entry-exit inspection and quarantine of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China have been transferred to the General Administration of Customs. In this regard, Article 103 of the Civil Aviation Law was amended, and the statement of quarantine was deleted.

The original Civil Aviation Law was adopted at the 16th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eighth National People's Congress on October 30, 1995 and was implemented on March 1, 1996. It is the basic legal system in the aviation and civil aviation fields of China. In the 23 years of its implementation, the Civil Aviation Law has advanced constantly with the times. This is the fifth revision, with the previous four amendments being in 2009, 2015, 2016 and 2017.