Title: Aviation Legislation currently in force in Australia

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Title: Aviation Legislation currently in force in Australia

The Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 and Aviation Transport Security 2004 Act provide the Australian aviation industry with reinforced security following the ratification of international conventions. There are strengths that can be pointed out in the Act that have come in to strengthen aviation security despite numerous challenges and criticism. Other participants are required to duly comply with security programs designed by aviation industry participants. The Act outlines the various penalties for offences against the set regulations (Budd, Bell & Warren, 2011). Setting a limit to penalties is important to ensure that justice is done. The regulations provide that access to areas, zones, and aircraft at an airport can be restricted to goods, vehicles and persons that have received clearance. Receiving clearance calls for going through the screening process. The regulations can provide for cargo to be subjected to screening using regulated air cargo agents. The regulations spell out that a person who is permitted or allowed to possess a weapon under his control has to comply with conditions that will be outlined to him or her. Weapon’s control is a crucial part of preventing unlawful interference within the aviation. The regulations further explain requirements with regard to the carriage as well as use of weapons. The regulations explain that apart from weapons there are other things that can be used to unlawfully interfere with aviation. On-board security describes regulations concerning aircraft security encompassing control of passengers who are on board as well as baggage management. The regulations further provide guidelines concerning persons who are in custody under another Act and are at the airports or aircraft. The regulations entail arrangements regarding such persons together with circumstances that a pilot commanding the aircraft can refuse to permit such people on board.

In Australia the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and The Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 provides a regulatory framework for safeguarding against unlawful interference within Aviation. Australia has ratified international conventions and developed legislation to put in place programs stipulated in the conventions. The action provides minimum security requirements within the civil aviation industry in Australia through providing obligations on people engaged in activities that are related to civil aviation. It compels certain participants in the aviation industry to come up with as well as comply with the aviation security programs (Budd, Bell & Warren, 2011). The essence of The Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 is regulation of the participants within the aviation industry. The Act comes up with mechanism of safeguarding against unlawful interference within aviation. The industry participants in aviation are required to have transport security programs that have been approved. The programs have to expound on how participants in aviation will successfully manage security within in the course of their operations. The Act directs designation of airports as security controlled airports as well as developing landside and airside areas, event zones, and security zones for the airports (Abeyratne, 2012). After they have been put up, the zones and areas are subject to requirements developed to safeguard against unlawful interference within aviation.

Special security directions have been provided under the regulations in the Act. These special circumstances can come about requiring additional security measures apart from what is described in the Act. There is a time limit provided for special security directions and mostly they cease to exist after a period of three months. (Wilkinson & Jenkins, 2013 The compliance directions are used to ensure compliance to the Act as prescribed by the aviation security inspectors. Types of persons with variations qualifications given powers and responsibilities under the Act include law enforcement officers, aviation security inspectors, airport security guards and screening officers. Employees within the departments as well as law enforcement officers can be appointed to act as aviation security inspectors. The inspectors are given various powers of determining whether a person is complying with the Act or not. The powers provided to the inspectors are defined in the Act. It is paramount for aviation security to make sure that all security incidents are reported appropriately (Thomas, 2008). Meanwhile it is a good start for Australia to have come up with legislations that responds to the requirements that enhances aviation safety as stipulated in the international conventions crafted over time. All the stakeholders in aviation have to go through the legislation and offer their honest opinions with read to further amendments. The Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 enhances security and responsibility within the aviation industry. It puts the participants in the aviation sector directly in charge of their own safety and the safety of the general public. It calls for cooperation with other government agencies to avert any dangerous and unlawful interference in the aviation sector (Wilkinson & Jenkins, 2013). The Act covers the requirements of the Montreal Convention that comprises of damage to any air navigation facilities as well as aircraft sabotage, and involves other activities before departure and embarkation. It spells out that acts of violence can endanger the aircraft safety. Communication of serious information is included in some of the offenses. The Act provides to what has to be boarded on an aircraft and what has been prohibited (Abeyratne, 2010).

However, the aviation industry has been accused of being highly self-critical and possesses a ‘take no prisoners’ perspective to public discourse. This can be counter-productive to enhancing rational public debate concerning aviation safety and creating a collaborative and positive national aviation safety culture. In some circumstances the government has to make sure that protecting security does not in any way undermine other citizens’ fundamental rights. Some provisions within the Acts lead to violation of basic human rights in democratic governments like Australia. Some of the provisions have been criticized for opening a door to arbitrary detention, searching without warrants, and negating from the established fair trial procedures. An accused person can be charged and consequently tried without the evidence against them being divulged. The use of torture against terror suspect in the pretense of national security has been highly criticized (Thomas, 2008). The weaknesses of the Acts can be seen on the enforcement and perceived infringement on the individual fundamental rights and freedoms.


Abeyratne, R., 2012. Strategic Issues in Air Transport: Legal, Economic and Technical Aspects, Springer Science & Business Media, Melbourne.

Abeyratne, R., 2010, Aviation Security Law, Springer Science & Business Media, Melbourne.

Budd, L., Bell, M. and Warren, A., 2011. Maintaining the sanitary border: air transport liberalization and health security practices at UK regional airports, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36(2), pp.268-279.

Thomas, A. R. 2008, Aviation Security Management, ABC-CLIO, Sydney.

Wilkinson, P. and Jenkins, B., 2013. Aviation terrorism and security (Vol. 6), Routledge.