LABACE Convention News

Expert Commission Advises Brazil’s Congress on New Air Law

 - August 10, 2015, 4:40 PM
Presiding over CERCBA meeting are (L to R) designated report author Maria Helena Rolim, professor of international law; chairman Georges de Moura Ferreira, aviation lawyer; vice-chairman Dorieldo Luiz dos Prazeres, ANAC airport specialist. (With gray-and-white graphic behind, photo credit is Pedro França/Agência Senado; With Brazil map behind, credit is Geraldo Magela/Agência Senado)

Brazil’s Senate has appointed a committee of specialists with strong general aviation representation to propose, by year-end, an updated legal code governing the aviation sector in the country. The current 1986 Code of Aviation (CBA) predates by decades the creation of civil aviation agency ANAC, and needs to reflect today’s environmental and noise concerns, vastly increased air passenger traffic, privatization of airports–and new technology such as drones.

Senator Vicentinho Alves, who holds a commercial pilot license, originally proposed that the committee, which is known by the acronym CERCBA, should be created. Its chairman, Georges de Moura Ferreira, is an aviation lawyer who has represented GA associations and interests for many years. International law professor Maria Helena Rolim, who has been nominated to draft the committee report, is a specialist in maritime, space and aviation law.

The 24 members include ABAG general director Ricardo Nogueira; ABTAer air-taxi association president Milton Arantes Costa; CENIPA’s Colonel Fernando Silva Alves de Camargo (who investigated the 2007 TAM 3054 accident, where an A320 overran Runway 35L here at Congonhas due to a deactivated thrust reverser); air space control operations sub-department head Air Brigadier Gustavo Adolfo Camargo de Oliveira; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro professor Respício Antônio do Espírito Santo Junior, and ANAC specialists in airports and other areas.

Guided by the Chicago Convention

The goal is to “produce something that will last for another 30 years,” Ricardo Nogueira told AIN. The CERCBA documents on the Senate site show that the work is guided by international standards rather than clinging parochially to current law.

The committee has formed three sub-commissions, and their areas are defined by the areas of the Chicago Convention they are to examine: Aerial Navigation (Chicago Convention Annexes 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 and 15); Organization of Civil Aviation (Annexes 1, 7, 12, 13 and 16); and Air Transport (Annexes 2, 6, 8, 9, 14, 17, 18 and 19).

Committee spreadsheets compare current legislation, international standards and selected legislation from 15 neighboring countries, in Portuguese, English and Spanish. Asked about a reference to the law of Paraguay, not a leader in aviation, Nogueira responded that “Paraguay's legislation is really quite up-to-date,” and noted, “What’s most important is what’s in red, where there isn’t any provision in the CBA.”

Georges Ferreira emphasized the inclusiveness of the initiative: “The sessions are public, there’s a public e-mail, all are welcome to listen and to comment. The process is open.”

Sessions are broadcast live on the Senate site and can be found on YouTube. Some felt that under the former Secretary of Aviation the government’s concern focused on regional aviation, with general aviation being welcome only to whatever airlines didn’t need or want. Ferreira pointed out that, “All sectors of aviation are represented in CERCBA.

While general aviation is heavily represented, the airlines, infrastructure and other aviation entities are represented too. “While many general aviation associations are represented, such as the air taxi industry association and so on,” he continued, “I've told Ricardo Nogueira that ABAG is the spokesman of all of Brazilian general aviation in the commission.”

Once a proposal has been produced by the commission it will go to the Senate and then to the Chamber of Deputies.

The committee of specialists is part of a continued modernization effort, chairman Ferreira noting that its creation was the first recommendation in the report of the Senate subcommittee on civil aviation that met during the 2012-2013 session. Col. Camargo, reporting about safety to the full committee on August 3, explained that this part of the CBA was recently modernized by Congress–in 2014, with Law 12970.