The Air Code of Ukraine

Date of entry into force:
September 16, 2011

The Air Code of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as “the Code”) establishes the legal grounds for activities in the aviation industry. State regulation of activities in the aviation industry and the use of Ukraine's airspace is aimed at ensuring safe aviation, providing for the interests of the state, national security, and the needs of the society and the economy for air transportation and aviation works.

Ukraine has full and exclusive sovereignty over Ukraine's airspace, which is a part of the Ukrainian territory (Article 2 of the Code).

According to Article 4 of the Code, state regulation in the aviation industry and the use of Ukraine's airspace entails creating the state policy and development strategy, determining the tasks, functions and operational conditions in the aviation industry and the use of Ukraine's airspace; implementing aviation safety measures; adopting compulsory aviation rules of Ukraine, exercising state control of adherence to them and instituting liability for their violation. The President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine ensure implementation of the state policy on Ukrainian aviation development according to the Constitution of Ukraine and the Laws of Ukraine. Aviation is divided into:
  • civil aviation (satisfies the needs of the state and the public for air transport and aviation works, as well as private flights; divided into commercial aviation and general purpose aviation);
  • state aviation (uses aircrafts in order to ensure national security, defense of the state and protection of the population – the tasks which are assigned to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military formations created according to the laws of Ukraine, law enforcement bodies, the specially authorized central body of executive power in the issues of civil protection, Ukraine state border control bodies, and the customs bodies).
The authorized body in the field of civil aviation is the central body of executive power in the issues of civil aviation, which is created and has its status determined by the President of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as "the authorized body in the issues of civil aviation"). The authorized body of executive power in the issues of civil aviation is the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The authorized body in the issues of civil aviation and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, within the scope of their authority, are charged with the issues of regulating the use of Ukraine's airspace. Investigation of aviation-related events, incidents involving Ukrainian and foreign civil aircrafts, and cases of violation of the procedure for the use of Ukraine's airspace are assigned to the specialized expert institution for investigation of aviation-related events.

Aviation safety consists of flight safety, aviation security, environmental safety, economic safety and informational safety (Article 10 of the Code).

Article 13 of the Code envisages that enterprises and organizations carrying out the following activities in the field of civil aviation must procure a certificate of conformance to the requirements of the aviation rules of Ukraine:
  • development of civil aviation machinery and changes to it aimed at approving standard designs, and serial manufacturing of standard design aviation machinery;
  • technical maintenance of civil aviation machinery;
  • management of maintaining airworthiness;
  • aircraft exploitation;
  • education of aviation personnel, personnel whose work is related to ensuring aviation security, and ground handling personnel;
  • ground handling;
  • air navigation services;
  • protection of civil aviation against unlawful interference;
  • other activities provided for by the legislation, including aviation rules of Ukraine.

The authorized body in the issues of civil aviation acknowledges certificates or similar documents issued by an aviation power body of another state or a competent organization, if this is provided for by an international agreement of Ukraine and appropriate international legal acts, or if the requirements to the issue of such document are at least as high as the ones applied in Ukraine (Article 14 of the Code).

The authority of state inspectors and persons authorized to perform certification inspections to verify the conformation to the requirements of the aviation rules of Ukraine are defined by Article 16 of the Code.

The expert institution for investigation of aviation-related events, together with the authorized body in the issues of civil aviation, create a mandatory incident reporting system to facilitate collection of data on actual or potential imperfections in ensuring flight safety (Article 21 of the Code).

According to Article 23 of the Code, managing the use of Ukraine's airspace entails:
  • determining the structure and classification of Ukraine's airspace;
  • planning and coordinating activities related to the use of Ukraine's airspace according to the state priorities;
  • ensuring authorization-based procedure for the use of Ukraine's airspace and/or providing information on the use of Ukraine's airspace;
  • managing air traffic, which includes: air traffic management; managing the use of Ukraine's airspace; air traffic flows management;
  • ensuring control over the adherence of the procedure and rules for the use of Ukraine's airspace in certain areas;
  • providing air navigation information;
  • emergency alerting;
  • meteorological support;
  • ensuring communication, navigation and surveillance.

State priorities in the use of Ukraine's airspace are envisaged by Article 24 of the Code.

According to Article 26 of the Code, Ukraine's airspace that is available for general air traffic flights is divided into:
  • controlled air traffic management airspace of Ukraine, within which all kinds of air traffic servicing (dispatcher support, operational flight information service, emergency support) can be provided according to the established procedure;
  • airspace of Ukraine outside of the controlled air traffic management airspace, within which operational flight information service and emergency support are provided according to the established procedure.

The use of Ukraine's airspace is carried out based on permits issued by the bodies of the united civil and military air traffic management system, according to the procedure established by the Provision on the Use of Ukraine' Airspace (Article 29 of the Code).

According to Article 31 of the Code, control over adherence to the procedure for the use of Ukraine's airspace during planning, coordinating and use of Ukraine's airspace, as well as air traffic servicing and management in flight information regions, control areas and air traffic servicing routes is carried out by the bodies of the united civil and military air traffic management system. Control over adherence to the procedure for the use of Ukraine's airspace during surveillance of the state border of Ukraine, state aircraft flight management, aircraft flight control, movement control of other objects that cross the state border of Ukraine or perform flights within restricted use areas, or in special areas of Ukraine's airspace, is carried out by divisions of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the law enforcement bodies and other military formations created according to the laws of Ukraine.

Aircrafts cross the state border of Ukraine according to the procedure established by the Provision on the Use of Ukraine's Airspace, on specifically designated air traffic service routes, information on which is published in air navigation information documents. The list of air traffic service routes for crossing the state border of Ukraine is approved by the authorized body in the issues of civil aviation, by agreement with the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Administration of the State Frontier Service of Ukraine (Article 32 of the Code).

Article 33 of the Code envisages that air traffic servicing in flight information regions, control areas and on air traffic servicing routes, including airspace over open sea in which the responsibility to service air traffic lies with Ukraine according to international agreements of Ukraine (except areas and airfields where air traffic servicing is carried out by appropriate divisions of the state bodies and bodies of local self-government), is organized and carried out according to the procedure established by the Provision on the Use of Ukraine's Airspace. Air traffic servicing outside of traffic servicing routes in Ukraine's airspace and airspace over open sea in which the responsibility to service air traffic lies with Ukraine according to international agreements of Ukraine (except areas and airfields where air traffic servicing is carried out by air traffic servicing bodies of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations), is organized and carried out by appropriate divisions/bodies of the united civil and military air traffic management system.

Aircrafts are divided into civil aircrafts and state aircrafts (Article 38 of the Code).

According to Article 39 of the Code, an aircraft is excluded from the State Register of Civil Aircrafts of Ukraine in the following cases:
  • exploitation of the aircraft type is stopped;
  • the aircraft owner or a person authorized by them submits an application to exclude the aircraft from the State Register of Civil Aircrafts of Ukraine;
  • the certificate of airworthiness or the flight approval has not been renewed during 24 months;
  • the aircraft rent or leasing agreement has expired.

Aircraft airworthiness is determined through certification of the air machinery product standard design, which is the primary definition of airworthiness (Article 42 of the Code).

Aircraft flight management is provided for by Chapter VI of the Code.

According to Article 49 of the Code, a person who is part of aviation personnel must satisfy professional and physical qualification requirements, and possess a properly issued certificate conforming to the aviation rules of Ukraine. The certificate is issued separately for each aviation personnel specialization. The certificate can contain notes on the right to perform certain functions of other specializations. A member of aviation personnel must have the certificate with them during their professional activity, and perform such activity according to the terms and limitations stated in the certificate. The certificate must be available for the following aviation personnel specializations:
  • aircraft pilot;
  • air traffic controller;
  • aircraft maintenance personnel;
  • test crew members;
  • passenger cabin crew member;
  • flight support dispatcher.

To receive the certificate, the candidate must demonstrate that their knowledge and professional skills conform to the requirements of issuing the appropriate certificate. The attestation procedure is determined by aviation rules of Ukraine. The candidate to certificate and rating must possess appropriate professional education received in a certified educational institution and under an approved program, as well as necessary experience and physical qualification, confirmed according to the established procedure. The procedure for aviation activity certification and clearance of aviation personnel is established by aviation rules of Ukraine (Article 51 of the Code).

The legal status of an aircraft crew is established by Chapter VIII of the Code.

The post of an aircraft commander can be held by a pilot possessing appropriate qualification and experience. The aircraft commander is appointed by the operator and selected from among the crew members to perform management functions on board the aircraft (Article 59 of the Code).

According to Article 60 of the Code, the aircraft commander:
  • is responsible for the safety of all crew members, passengers and cargo on board from the moment he comes on board and until he leaves the aircraft after the flight completion;
  • is responsible for the exploitation and safety of the aircraft from the moment of its readiness to be led out to the takeoff runway and until the landing is complete and the engine (engines) used as the main power unit has been stopped;
  • has the right to give orders he considers to be necessary and ensuring the safety of the aircraft, as well as the passengers and the cargo transported by the aircraft;
  • has the right to deny transportation: to any person or any part of the cargo that, in his opinion, can constitute a potential threat to the aircraft or passenger safety; to a person that is intoxicated by alcohol or medical substances to an extent that may threaten the safety of aircraft or passenger safety; to undesirable passengers, deported persons or incarcerated persons, if transporting them constitutes a threat to aircraft or passenger safety;
  • must provide for alerting the passengers of the locations of emergency exits, the location and usage instructions of the appropriate emergency and rescue equipment;
  • has the right to make the final decision on accepting or not accepting an aircraft with operational defects permitted by operational documents;
  • must provide for flight preparation.

Article 63 of the Code envisages that an airfield includes the following elements:
  • surfaces (artificial, ground or water) designated for landing, takeoff, taxi and parking of aircrafts, as well as movement of ground transport through the airfield territory;
  • ground airfield element;
  • air traffic service objects;
  • communication, navigation and surveillance facilities;
  • visual means of flight servicing;
  • objects and facilities for emergency rescue and fire safety support, ensuring aviation security, meteorological support and power supply of the airfield;
  • utility structures and networks that provide for the functioning of airfield objects.

Civil airfields are subject to state registration. The State Register of Civil Aviation Airfields of Ukraine is kept by the authorized body in the issues of civil aviation (Article 64 of the Code).

According to Article 65 of the Code, civil airfields of Ukraine and joint utilization airfields are subject to certification. Airfield certification entails inspection of all airfield elements and objects to determine their conformance to the requirements established by the aviation rules of Ukraine.

For the airfield environs, Article 69 of the Code establishes a special procedure for carrying out activities that may impact aviation safety and create obstacles for ground communication, navigation and surveillance means. Such activities include:
  • construction, blasting works;
  • activities that contribute to accumulation of birds;
  • installation of radio emitting devices;
  • works associated with the use of laser devices that may radiate into airspace;
  • works associated with launching of rockets, meteorological radio probes and pilot balloons;
  • activities associated with operating flying vehicles, or emissions of smoke and gases that may impair vision in the airfield area;
  • construction of high voltage lines, planting and growing trees or vegetation.

The airport operator provides for receiving and dispatching aircrafts, organizing land servicing of aircrafts, passengers, crews, luggage, cargo and mail, must possess the airfield, structures, equipment, machinery and personnel required for the above, and may include air traffic management system objects, meteorological support objects, helipads, access tracks with rights of way, social facilities and other structures and objects located on its territory. If the airport services international flights, then customs, border, sanitary and quarantine, and other types of control envisaged by the legislation of Ukraine must be carried out in it. The airport must have a system of passenger feedback towards the airport administration to allow timely response to passenger complaints (Article 70 of the Code).

According to Article 72 of the Code, the airport operator is responsible for organizing measures related to flight safety, aviation security, land service management, organization and execution of search, emergency rescue and firefighting works in case of emergency or extraordinary situations related to aircrafts on the airport territory and in the airfield area, as well as for efficient service provision to airport users. The airport operator can be the airfield operator simultaneously. The airport operator can provide services in the airport independently, as well as transfer the right for land servicing in the airport to legal entities or natural persons that satisfy the requirements of the aviation rules of Ukraine, on contractual terms. The airport operator must supply aircraft operators with meteorological information, through their own efforts or on contractual terms, according to the aviation rules of Ukraine. The airport operator ensures creating appropriate conditions for servicing disabled passengers.

Airport (airfield) lands are of public importance and are classified as transport lands by purpose (Article 74 of the Code).

The specifics of managing airport (airfield) property are provided for in Article 75 of the Code.

Airport construction and reconstruction constitute a public need (Article 76 of the Code).

According to Article 81 of the Code, if airports and airfields provide services related to aircraft landing and takeoff, passenger servicing in the air terminal, ensuring aviation security, search and rescue in the airport responsibility area, providing above-norm parking, cargo servicing, providing for receipt, storage, quality control and issue of aircraft fuel for loading into fuelling vehicles, or filling aircraft fuel tanks, and other services related to the airport functioning, then payment for such services is charged in airports and at civil airfields. The amount of the service fees for ensuring aircraft landing and takeoff, servicing passengers in the air terminal, ensuring aviation security, providing above-norm parking (airport fees) and for other services provided to the service users by the airport (airfield) is set according to the legislation of Ukraine.

Chapter XI of the Code is dedicated to civil aviation protection against acts of unlawful interference.

According to Article 86 of the Code, an act of unlawful interference into civil aviation activity is:
  • unlawful takeover of an airborne aircraft;
  • unlawful takeover of an aircraft on land;
  • hostage taking on board of an aircraft, on an airfield or in an airport;
  • forced entry on board of an aircraft, into a limited access area of an airport (airfield) or to locations of ground communication, navigation and surveillance means;
  • placement of weapons, dangerous devices or materials that may create potential threat to the safety of civil aviation, on board of an aircraft, in an airport or in a limited access area;
  • providing false information that threatens the safety of passengers or crew of an aircraft that is airborne or on land, or of personnel in an airport or on an airfield.

Preventive safety measures are envisaged by Article 87 of the Code.

According to Article 90 of the Code, in case any persons violate the established rules of conduct on board of an aircraft, create a threat to the safe performance of the flight, or refuse to comply with the requirements of crew members, they may be subject to suppression measures. Suppression measures can be applied to persons that have committed the following offences on board of an airborne aircraft:
  • violence, psychological pressure or direct intimidation, threats or intentional harm that constitutes a hazard to passenger life or property;
  • violence, threats or interference with actions of crew members during the performance of their duties; actions that may lead to rendering crew members incapable of performing their duties;
  • intentional damage of the aircraft or its equipment;
  • providing false information that may threaten the safety of the aircraft;
  • refusal to comply with legitimate orders or instruction of crew members given in the interests of safety or maintaining order on board the aircraft.

Suppression measures are used if other methods of restoring order on board an aircraft proved ineffective. They entail temporarily limiting the actions and freedom of movement of the offender, and making impossible displays of physical violence or psychological pressure on their behalf against other persons present on board of the aircraft during the flight. Procedures related to implementing suppression measures are determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Specialized equipment, the list and application rules for which are approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, can be used against offenders on board an airborne aircraft during implementation of suppression measures (Article 91 of the Code).

Article 92 of the Code envisages that the air carrier performing passenger and/or cargo transport for a payment and/or on hire must possess a license for passenger and/or cargo transportation by air. This license is issued by an authorized body in the issues of civil aviation according to the legislation of Ukraine. Transporting passengers and/or cargo for a payment and/or on hire without a license is forbidden. Possession of license does not grant the air carrier the right of access to specific air tracks or markets. In order to grant the right of access to specific air tracks or markets, the air carried must receive an appropriate document granting the right to use a certain air track from the authorized body in the issues of civil aviation. The licensing procedure is determined by the legislation of Ukraine.

According to Article 94 of the Code, the right to use an air track is granted by the authorized body in the issues of civil aviation based on a written application of an air carrier in respect of specific air tracks, to perform:
  • scheduled air services within Ukraine;
  • scheduled international air services to/from Ukraine;
  • chartered international air services to/from Ukraine or within Ukraine, constituting a systematic series, at least one flight per week or three flights per month;
  • air services in other countries.

The conditions for air services carried out by a foreign air carried are envisaged in Article 95 of the Code. The right to use an air track can be granted to a foreign air carrier if:
  • this is in agreement with the legislation of Ukraine;
  • Ukrainian air carriers enjoy the same rights in the state where the foreign air carrier is registered, or are granted such rights on reciprocity conditions;
  • Ukrainian airports provide for the possibility to service such flights and air services;
  • for non-scheduled air services – if such services cannot be performed by Ukrainian air carriers, or such services cannot be performed as part of scheduled flights between the same airports or cities, if the city is serviced by two or more airports.

According to Article 98 of the Code, air services are carried out under an agreement between the air carrier and the passenger or the cargo shipper. Each air service agreement and its conditions are certified by a transport document issued by the air carrier or organizations authorized by it (agents). Documents for air transport are:
  • ticket (paper or electronic) – for passenger transportation;
  • luggage slip (paper or electronic) – for transportation of items as passenger luggage;
  • waybill (air way bill) in a printed or electronic format – for cargo transportation.

Article 100 of the Code establishes the obligations and responsibility of the air carrier.

The passenger's rights to compensation in case of denied transportation, flight cancellation or significant flight delay are provided for by Chapter XIII of the Code.

Civil aviation is subject to obligatory aviation insurance in Ukraine. Obligatory aviation insurance is carried out by resident insurers that possess a license for providing obligatory civil aviation insurance, produced according to the established procedure (Article 117 of the Code).

Chapter ХVІІ of the Code establishes the order for investigating aviation-related events.

The liability for violating the legislation in the sphere of civil aviation is established by Chapter ХVІІІ of the Code.

The Code also introduces appropriate amendments to the Code on Administrative Offences of Ukraine, the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine, the Laws of Ukraine "On Licensing of Certain Types of Economic Activity", "On the Permit System in the Field of Economic Activity", "On the Main Principles of State Supervision (Oversight) in the Area of Commercial Activity", "On State Market Supervision and Control of Non-Food Products".
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