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Aviation Law

Aviation Law Advocates


What is Aviation Law?

Aviation law is the branch of law that concerns flight, air travel, and associated legal and business concerns. This practice area overlaps with admiralty law and, in many cases, aviation law is considered a matter of international law rather than domestic law due to the trans-national nature of air travel. The business aspects of airlines and their regulation also fall under aviation law.


Liability in the aviation sector is principally governed by parliamentary and subordinate legislation on aviation matters, multilateral international conventions and the common law.
Applicable legislation is centred on the Carriage by Air Act, No. 17 of 1946, which gives effect to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air in South African law, and covers the rights and liabilities of carriers, passengers, consignors, consignees and other interested parties. Added to this are several other statutes which govern domestic and international air services, air traffic and navigation, licensing and airports.
Given the regulated nature of aviation, with the Civil Aviation Authority acting as the domestic regulator, there is a significant overlap with administrative law given that regulatory decision-making is usually classified as administrative action.