Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the authority of the Minister for Transport and Communications

Air Navigation Act 1920

Air Navigation Regulations (Amendment)

Subsection 26(1) of the Air Navigation Act 1920 provides that the Governor-General may make regulations for the purposes of the Act.

Australia has an international legal obligation to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The amendments implement Security Council Resolution 757 (1992), adopted on 30 May 1992. That Resolution requires all States to deny permission to any aircraft to take off from, land in or overfly their territory if it is destined to land in or has taken off from the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), unless the particular flight has been approved for humanitarian or other purposes by the Committee established by Security Council Resolution 724(1991).

The amendments to the Air Navigation Regulations implement Resolution 757 (1992) by providing:

-       an Australian aircraft must not travel to or from Serbia or Montenegro without the express approval of the Secretary;

-       an aircraft that, after the commencement of this regulation, leaves the territory of Serbia or Montenegro or is destined to land in the territory of Serbia or Montenegro must not be landed in, flown over or flown from, Australian territory without the express approval of the Secretary.

In deciding whether to give approval the Secretary must take into account Australia's relations with other countries and its obligations under international law. This formulation ensures that the requirements of the Resolution are met and obviates the necessity of further amending the Regulations if further Security Council Resolutions amend the conditions governing flights to and from Serbia or Montenegro.

The amendment also provides that any air services agreement between Australia and the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is rendered inoperative by Security Council Resolution 757. Accordingly, the international air licence granted to the designated carrier of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (JAT) is also rendered inoperative.

No provision is made for review on the merits of decisions made pursuant to the amendments. Review on the merits is not considered appropriate because the decisions made under the amendments are for the purpose of fulfilling Australia's international obligations and because of the effect on Australia's relations with other countries.

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