Regulatory frameworkRegulators and primary legislation
Which bodies regulate aviation in your country? Under what basic laws?
The National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) (Executive Decrees 239/2007 and 1770/2007) is the authority regulating compliance with the Argentine Aeronautical Code (AAC), bilateral and multilateral international agreements to which Argentina is a party, and all matters regarding air transport, civil aviation and airport activities, as well as matters regarding the development of Argentina’s air policy.
Executive Decree 13/15 (the Ministerial Law), created the Ministry of Transport and this agency assumed the functions of the Secretary of Transport and the Undersecretary of Air Transport, including air policy and traffic rights.
As of 1 July 2009, the ANAC has jurisdiction over the following:
- operational matters;
- the granting of slots (in conjunction with the airport concessionaire in certain airports);
- the granting of traffic rights to the carriers;
- the granting of licences to technical personnel;
- technical certification of aircraft; and
- handling of the aircraft registry, the accidents investigation board and meteorology.
The basic aeronautical laws and regulations are Law No. 17.285, as amended by Law No. 22.390, and Executive Decree 326/82, which regulate the activities connected with the civil and commercial use of private aircraft, infrastructure, liability, insurance, contracts on aircraft, the National Aircraft Register, personnel, etc.
Article 2 of the AAC sets forth that when a matter is not contemplated within its norms, the matter has to be resolved by the general principles of aeronautical rules, uses, traditions and customs of the aeronautical activity. If the solution of the case remains confused despite the application of those rules, analogous laws and general principles of the law of the country should be applied.
Executive Decree 802/2018 created the Secretary of Tourism. This Decree provides that the Secretary will participate in the elaboration of the air transport policy only when it is related to a tourism matter.
Other air transport regulations include the following:
- Law No. 19.030, as amended by Law No. 19.534 (the National Policy on Commercial Air Transport);
- Law No. 26.102 Airport Security Police (PSA);
- Executive Decree 239/07, as amended by Executive Decrees 1770/2007 and 52/94, as amended by Executive Decrees 1012/2006, 2186/92, 1401/98 and 1470/97;
- Executive Decree 1364/90, regulated by Air Force Resolution 444/91; and
- Executive Decree 2145/73, as amended by Executive Decrees 480/94 and 698/01.
Argentine Civil Aviation Regulations (RAAC) approved by ANAC Resolution No. 3/2005, and many others also regulate air transport in Argentina.
As from 2015, unmanned aircraft have to be registered under the same procedures as conventional ones (ANAC Disposition 172/2015). The basic rules that govern their operation are as follows:
- ANAC Resolution 457/2016;
- ANAC Resolution 368/2019 (Annex I);
- Ministry of Finance Resolution 40.250/2016;
- the Argentine Civil and Commercial Code (Law No. 26.994); and
- the Argentine Aeronautical Code (Law No. 17.285 as amended).
Argentina has ratified the following multilateral conventions:
- Decree-Law No. 15.110/46 and Laws Nos. 13.891 and 25.622 (ratification of the Chicago Convention 1944);
- Law Nos. 22.028, 23.399 and 23.519 (ratification of the 1977, 1984 and 1980 Montreal amendments to the Chicago Convention);
- Law No. 14.111 (ratification of the Warsaw Convention 1929);
- Law No. 17.386 (ratification of the Hague Protocol 1955);
- Law No. 23.556 (ratification of the 1975 Montreal Protocols modifying the Warsaw and the Hague Conventions);
- Decree-Law No. 12.359/57 (ratification of the Geneva Convention 1948 on the International Recognition of Rights in Aircraft);
- Law No. 17.404 (ratification of the Rome Convention 1952 on Damage Caused by Foreign Aircraft to Third Parties on the Surface);
- Decree-Law No. 18.730/70 (ratification of the Tokyo Convention 1963 on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft);
- Law No. 19.793 (ratification of the Hague Convention 1970 for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft);
- Law No. 20.411 (ratification of the Montreal Convention 1971 for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation);
- Law No. 23.111 (ratification of the Rome Convention 1933 for the Unification of Certain Rules on Precautionary Arrest of Aircraft);
- Law No. 23.915 (ratification of the 1971 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation);
- Law No. 25.806 (sub-regional agreement with Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay (Fortaleza Agreement) for the exchange of traffic rights in routes outside of the scope of the bilateral air services agreements between those countries);
- Law No. 26.451 (the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air signed at Montreal on 28 May 1999);
- Law No. 14.457 (ratification of the 1948 Geneva Convention on the International Recognition of Rights in Aircraft); and
- Law No. 27.357 (ratification of the Cape Town Convention.
With regard to Law No. 27.357 (ratification of the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and its Protocol signed at Cape Town, South Africa, on November 2001), Argentina has already deposited the accession document. The convention and protocol have been in force since 1 August 2018.
Argentina has also signed bilateral agreements on air transport services with the following countries, ratified by the following laws:
- Law No. 23.339 (Germany);
- Law No. 17.988 (Bolivia);
- Law No. 13.920 (Brazil);
- Law No. 23.453 (Canada);
- Law No. 25.834 (Korea);
- Law No. 25.836 (the Netherlands);
- Law No. 23.970 (Denmark);
- Law No. 23.426 (United States);
- Decree-Law No. 35.544 (Spain);
- Decree-Law No. 431/63 (Switzerland);
- Law No. 23.558 (France);
- Law No. 25.805 (Russia);
- Law No. 13.913 (Italy);
- Law No. 25.397 (Malaysia);
- Law No. 22.912 (Mexico);
- Law No. 25.621 (Mexico);
- Law No. 23.969 (Norway);
- Law No. 23.911 (New Zealand);
- Law No. 17.103 (Paraguay);
- Law No. 25.833 (the United Kingdom);
- Law No. 26.188 (China);
- Law No. 25.025 (Singapore);
- Law No. 24.237 (Sweden);
- Law No. 16.748 (Switzerland);
- Law No. 26.450 (Panama);
- Law No. 26.677 (Ecuador);
- Law No. 26.954 (Qatar);
- Law No. 26.956 (Turkey);
- Law No. 26.957 (Indonesia);
- Law No. 27.178 (the United Arab Emirates); and
- Law No. 27.357 (South Africa).
Memoranda of consultation have been agreed between Argentina and most of the countries with which it has signed the above agreements to amend or modify the ratified agreements.
Other memoranda of consultation have been signed with countries with which no bilateral air services agreements are in force.
In 2017 and 2018 Argentina also signed memoranda of understanding with Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Panama, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Aviation operationsSafety regulations
How is air transport regulated in terms of safety?
The ANAC sets out the rules on safety and checks compliance.
Every aircraft must fly with a pilot on board who is the principal authority. In case of danger, the captain must stay at his or her position until all of the safety measures have been taken. He or she ensures the efficiency of the aircraft and the safe conditions of the flight before taking off. A mechanic licensed by the ANAC must approve the safety conditions of the aircraft before it takes off. A flight dispatcher licensed by the ANAC takes responsibility for the weight and balance of the aircraft before it takes off, even if remote dispatch is implemented.
As of 1 July 2009, the ANAC establishes general rules related to aircraft circulation and may impose restrictions when national defence, public interest or the safety of the flight is at risk.
No aircraft can fly without a crew with valid licences, aircraft airworthiness and registration certificates, and a logbook. It is also required that when an aircraft has been repaired, modified or built, that an inspection is carried out by the ANAC before an aircraft can take off. The authorities can inspect persons, aircraft, crew and carried goods, particularly those that may endanger the safety of the flight, before departure, during flight, upon landing and while on the ground, taking the proper measures to secure the safety of the flight (AAC sections 3, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 and Law No. 24.051 on Hazardous Remains and Resolution 197/2019 (Environment Secretary). The PSA is in charge of security within the airport terminals and ramp according to Law No. 26.102. A national safety operational programme for civil aviation (2008/2011) was approved by the Argentine Air Force on 2/5709 by Disposition 28/2009 and revised by Disposition 074/10.
The ANAC is responsible for compliance with the Chicago Convention norms and its Annexes regarding safety.
What safety regulation is provided for air operations that do not constitute public or commercial transport, and how is the distinction made?
Section 92 of the AAC makes a distinction between air service transportation (the commercial transportation on an aircraft of passengers or goods from one airport to another), and aerial work, which includes all commercial air operations that are not transportation. To perform aerial work, operators need an authorisation granted by the ANAC (AAC section 131/32).
Aircraft performing aerial work must comply with the general aviation regulations and the rules applicable to any special equipment they carry on board, and seek approval of specific government agencies depending upon the activities they intend to perform.
Safety is governed by the AAF Resolution (RAAC) approved by the Joint Resolution 3/2005 issued by three AAF agencies (the Air Transport Authority, the Air Navigation Authority and the Air Licensing Authority). On 18 November 2010, the ANAC issued Resolution No. 980 approving modification No. 2 to the third edition of the Civil Aviation Regulations with regard to Parts 1, 18, 61, 63, 64, 65, 67, 91, 119, 121, 135, 145, 147, 153, 154, 155, 156, 175 and 212 (see www.anac.gov.ar).
By ANAC Resolution No. 205/2018, a work plan has been established in order to adapt or harmonise the Latin American Aeronautical Regulations (LAR) with RAAC.Market access
How is access to the market for the provision of air transport services regulated?
For the provision of domestic transport, according to sections 97 and following of the AAC, Argentine individuals or corporations domiciled in Argentina may be eligible to obtain an authorisation from the federal government (see question 5). Foreign carriers may be exceptionally authorised by the executive power subject to reciprocity from such country for Argentine carriers.
Domestic and international scheduled services are granted by concession of the executive authority (ANAC or the Ministry of Transport) but the concession to operate a route does not imply exclusivity.
Non-scheduled domestic and international services require authorisation granted by the same listed authority.
International transport may be operated by foreign companies in accordance with the international air services agreements signed by Argentina, or under authorisation from the ANAC in the legal framework of Law No. 19.030, as amended by Law No. 19.534.Ownership and control
What requirements apply in the areas of financial fitness and nationality of ownership regarding control of air carriers?
According to AAC article 105, no permit or concession will be granted without examining the technical expertise and financial soundness of the petitioner. Such control is conducted throughout the duration of the permit or concession once granted by the ANAC. A permit or concession may be revoked by the ANAC upon failure to comply with any pre-established condition attached to the granting of the permits.
According to section 99 of the AAC, 51 per cent of the share capital of an air carrier must be owned by Argentine individuals or Argentine legal entities, who must be domiciled in Argentina. In the case of legal entities, the president of the corporation must be Argentine and 51 per cent of the members of the administrative bodies must also be Argentine. Furthermore, the chairperson of the board and two-thirds of the board members must also be domiciled in Argentina. Changes of ownership must be notified by the Board of Directors and communicated to the aeronautical authorities. The AAC (section 129) establishes a public hearing procedure for Argentine carriers requesting a concession or permit, which is regulated by Executive Decree 1492/92, as amended by Executive Decree 2186/92. Aircraft with a take-off weight of less than 38 tonnes can be excluded from this procedure.
Executive Decree 52/94, as amended by Executive Decree 1012/06, has clarified that Argentinian commercial corporations, as referred to in section 99 of the AAC, may apply for the granting of a permit or concession even if its shareholders are foreigners.
There are several law projects to derogate both decrees, but at the time of writing none of them has been formally discussed by Congress.Licensing
What procedures are there to obtain licences or other rights to operate particular routes?
The licence or concessions procedure to operate particular routes is established by Law No. 19.030, as amended by Law No. 19.534 and by Executive Decree 2186/92. Licences are granted in relation to certain routes and for a period that will not exceed 15 years (the licence is renewable). See question 5.
What procedures are there for hearing or deciding contested applications for licences or other rights to operate particular routes?
A party interested in obtaining licences to operate commercial air services will have to describe the characteristics of the service it intends to operate and provide the documentation required by law. After the application is filed by the carrier, the ANAC will check if all the requirements have been met and notify the interested parties that a public hearing will be called. The interested parties must register with the Air Transport Board to take part in the hearing and be able to contest the application of the petitioners (AAC 129, Executive Decrees 1492/92 and 2186/92).
The Ministry of Transport’s Resolution 485-E/2016 approved the public hearing system for the consideration of authorisation of applications and concession of air transport services provided by articles 102 and 129 of the AAC, and the procedures to participate in the hearings. This proceeding does not apply for foreign airline companies with countries that have a current bilateral agreement with Argentina.Competition policy
Is there a declared policy on airline access or competition? What is it?
Law No. 19.030, as amended by Law No. 19.534, governs Argentine air policy.
Since 1998, permits and concessions to new carriers have only been granted on the basis of unsatisfied demand for certain routes. A detailed procedure to ascertain the unmet demand and the granting of routes is established in Annex 2 to Executive Decree 1401/98, as amended by Executive Decree 2186/92. Antitrust Law No. 25.156 as amended by Law No. 27.742 may apply to airline agreements and mergers. See question 29.Requirements for foreign carriers
What requirements must a foreign air carrier satisfy to operate in your country?
A party interested in obtaining traffic rights to operate between a foreign country and Argentina and vice versa must comply with the following requirements:
- a diplomatic designation by the country of the carrier’s flag, based on the Bilateral Air Services Agreement between its country of origin and Argentina or in a memorandum of understanding between both countries;
- the foreign carrier must register as an Argentine branch of the foreign corporation at the Argentine Superintendence of Corporations under the terms of section 118 of the Corporations Law No. 19.550; and
- once the foreign carrier has been duly registered in Argentina as a branch it must request the authorisation to operate international scheduled or non-scheduled air services to the ANAC and provide,
- the corporation’s documents;
- the commercial and operative permits obtained in its country of origin;
- details of the aircraft that it intends to operate on the route;
- certificates of registration and airworthiness of the aircraft; and
- an insurance certificate that covers the carrier’s operations and its liability regarding its passengers, cargo and mail, third parties on the ground and crew members.
Resolution No. 1302-E/2017 of the Ministry of Transport sets a deadline for local and international carriers to obtain an aircraft operating certificate (AOC) in accordance with articles 102 and 129 of the AAC. The term must not exceed one year from when the authorisation or concession was granted. The deadline for carriers where authorisation or concession has already been made must obtain the AOC within one year from the publication of said resolution. Non-compliance with these obligations causes revocation of the authorisation or concession (article 135 of the AAC).
Once the foreign carrier obtains a permit to operate to and from Argentina it has to obtain the slots.Public service obligations
Are there specific rules in place to ensure aviation services are offered to remote destinations when vital for the local economy?
Sections 48-50 of Law No. 19,030 establish that public transport services may be authorised if there is a national interest in providing services to areas where public transport needs are not fulfilled.
Executive Decree 1012/2006 sets out that the provisions for emergency air transport in Argentine territory previously declared by Executive Decree 1654/2002 will continue. The main reason for the continuity of air transport emergency provisions is to protect transport to remote destinations and keep the different areas of Argentina connected.
Article 138 AAC sets forth that certain routes of special interest to Argentina may be subsidised under certain conditions (see question 1).Charter services
How are charter services specifically regulated?
Charter services are regulated by Executive Decrees 1470/97 and 1364/90 (incoming), Resolution No. ST 205/1998 and the Ministry of Tourism Resolution No. 173/95 (outgoing). Some bilateral agreements contain provisions on charter flights. National or foreign air carriers authorised to operate commercial traffic of passengers internally or internationally may provide non-scheduled air transport services intended for the transfer of a group of tourists to points or cities outside the country that are not effectively covered by scheduled airlines. ‘Charter’ is the contract concluded between an air carrier and a tour operator whereby the carrier makes available to the operator the total capacity of an aircraft for the transport of persons in order to carry out a flight or a series of predetermined flights for a global price.Regulation of airfares
How are airfares regulated?
Resolution No. SSTA 275/87 establishes that there are minimum and maximum limits for domestic fares for each route. Carriers must notify the Ministry of Transport of the fares that will apply for each route. Executive Decree 1012/06 sets forth that fares for domestic transport must be charged by the carriers with regard to Executive Decree 1654/2002 and complementary Resolution No. 35 of the Ministry of Production, which establishes the possibility of applying touristic fares from those fixed, on routes of geopolitical, strategic or tourism interest. From time to time the Ministry has authorised increases in domestic airfares (ie, Resolution Nos. ST 257/08, ST 210/10, ST 23/2012 and ST 78/2012). On 30 July 2018, the Ministry of Transport issued Resolution No. 656 cancelling the minimum fare for domestic operations.
International airfares are deregulated but carriers must register its applicable airfares with the ANAC.Drones
How is the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) regulated?
As from 2015, unmanned aircraft have to be registered under the same procedures as conventional ones (ANAC Disposition 172/2015).
ANAC Resolution No. 527/2015 of 10 July 2015 defines rules and provisions on aircraft without pilots on board (drones) According to Argentinian law a drone is not an aircraft. This means that, in principle, the provisions and principles of the aeronautical law do not apply completely to the unmanned air vehicle (UAV). Nevertheless, it applies the aeronautical faults regime (Executive Decree 326/82 Regulatory of the Argentine Aeronautical Law).
The basic rules that govern the operation of UAVs are as follows:
- ANAC Resolution 457/2016;
- ANAC Resolution 368/2019 (Annex I);
- Ministry of Finance Resolution 40.250/2016;
- Argentine Civil and Commercial Code (Law No. 26.994); and
- Argentine Aeronautical Code (Law No. 17.285 as amended).
Article 66 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth that ANAC has the power to supervise the compliance of the laws and regulations.
According to article 5 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 drones must be registered in a special registry, which will be administered by the National Aircraft Registry, except from drones classes A and B for leisure purposes. The registration must be made by the owner.
Article 30 of Annex I of ANAC Resolution 368/2019 sets forth that a drone operator who wants to operate with commercial purposes needs a CO-VANT certificate, which specifies the class of drone and the type of operation.
Who is entitled to be mentioned in the aircraft register? What requirements or limitations apply to the ownership of an aircraft listed on your country’s register?
Section 48 of the AAC, as governed by Executive Decree 4907/73, states that the only requirement for registering an aircraft in Argentina is to have legal domicile in the country, which applies to both individuals and corporations.
Section 42 of the AAC sets out that aircraft that have a take-off weight of more than six tonnes may obtain a provisional Argentine registration if they comply with certain requirements. In this case the owner or mortgagee of the aircraft (or both) is recorded in the aircraft register. This section is used by Argentine carriers when leasing or acquiring aircraft in a foreign country to obtain a provisional Argentine registration until the full price agreed for the transaction is fully paid.
If the aircraft weighs less than 6 tonnes it can bear provisional Argentine registration if it is connected with a carrier holding commercial authority (article 43 AAC).
Argentina is already a party to the Cape Town Convention and Protocol. See question 1.Mortgage register
Is there a register of aircraft mortgages or charges? How does it function?
Mortgages and any rights on aircraft are registered at the Public Aircraft Registry.
A public or private instrument duly notarised and legalised by the nearest Argentine consulate or apostilled if the transaction was implemented outside Argentina, is necessary for registration (AAC sections 45, 52, 53 and sections 1 and 28 of Executive Decree 4907/73).
The Aircraft Registry is ruled by the AAC and Executive Decree 4907/73. The Registry updates the regulations that the parties need to comply with.
However, since Argentina has ratified the Cape Town Convention, these rules are being modified, as the convention and its protocol are in force.Detention
What rights are there to detain aircraft, in respect of unpaid airport or air navigation charges, or other unpaid debts?
Section 73 of the AAC sets forth the only five scenarios where an aircraft may be detained, as follows:
- in the case of a judicial sentence being executed;
- in the case of credits being granted for the accomplishment of a trip;
- in the case of unpaid credits originating in an aircraft’s contract of sale;
- in the case of unpaid airport fees for more than three months (according to Executive Decree 1674/1976); and
- in the case of non-compliance with certain regulations (deportees) set forth in the Immigration Law No. 25.871 (article 48).
Finally, it should be noted that Argentina is a party to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to the Precautionary Attachment of Aircraft (Law No. 23.111).Maintenance
Do specific rules regulate the maintenance of aircraft? What are they?
Maintenance is regulated by the RAAC and the Regulations of Airworthiness issued by the ANAC. Those regulations apply to all aircraft that bear Argentine registration and also to aircraft with a foreign registration if they are operating for an Argentine carrier.
Who owns the airports?
Section 25 of the AAC establishes that airports may be publicly or privately owned. Public airports are the ones used to public purpose. The others are private. A public airport may be granted as a concession to private entities at public auction.Licensing
What system is there for the licensing of airports?
The licences are granted by the executive power by means of public auction.Economic regulation
Is there a system of economic regulation of airports? How does it function?
For airports that have been privatised, the terms and conditions of the concession are to be complied with by the concessionaire. Such terms and conditions require the concessionaire, among other obligations, to pay a fee and to make certain investments in each of the privatised airports. Some concessionaries must pay a fixed fee, and others pay a percentage of the income they receive.
Investments, control and planning of the privatised airports must be regularly reported to the Regulatory Agency for the National System of Airports (ORSNA) for approval.
Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 (AA 2000) is the current concessionaire of 33 airports of the National Airport System including Ministro Pistarini, Ezeiza Airport and Jorge Newbery Airfield, serving Buenos Aires. This concession contract was renegotiated in 2007 as set forth in Executive Decree 1799/2007. Under the negotiated terms AA 2000 has the obligation to invest in the airport but not to pay a fee. This concession is controlled by the ORSNA.
Many investments will be made by forming a trust. The airport concessionaire may assign part of the airport fees and taxes to a fiduciary trustee in order to grant the execution of new construction.
Decree 114/2018 instructs the Ministry of Transport to carry out a survey of the need for works and interventions for the extension of territorial limits of member airports of the national airport system (SNA) in order to manage the increase in national and international aviation demand. This decree also established that ORSNA is in charge of the expansion planning works at SNA member airports and determination of the development of works and expansion interventions that must be carried out in places adjacent to the territorial limits at airport or concession areas corresponding to the aforementioned airports. The Ministry of Transport acts as enforcement authority to incorporate adjacent spaces into concession areas for the execution of works and interventions foreseen in previous ORSNA reports. Such incorporations will be made when the domain situation of the spaces involved allows the issue of a corresponding resolution.
Under the framework of the new Argentine policy for low-cost carriers, El Palomar Airport was incorporated into the A Group in the SNA (Resolution No. 534/2018).Access
Are there laws or rules restricting or qualifying access to airports?
Access to public airports should be granted by the ANAC, in the framework of Title I, Chapter I of the AAC. Every commercial arrival or departure to public airports must be authorised by the ANAC.
In order to operate international flights the airport must have been qualified as an international airport by the ANAC.
Airport access restrictions (operation procedures) are published in notices concerning the conditions or changes to any facility, issued by the ANAC.Slot allocation
How are slots allocated at congested airports?
ANAC Resolution No. 764/10, amended by Resolution Nos. 241/15 and 249/15, rules the allocations of slots.
Before a scheduled or non-scheduled commercial service is approved by the ANAC, the airport principal (appointed by the ANAC) and the airport administrator (appointed by the airport owner or concessionaire) must approve the slots. There are no specific rules for congested airports. At present, the ANAC is considering a new slots regulation.Ground handling
Are there any laws or rules specifically relating to ground handling. What are they?
Decree 49/2019 established that the ANAC will be in charge of the inspection of aircraft ground handling services (ramp services) at airports in the SNA and other airports under state jurisdiction. At present this Decree is being finalised. When the Decree comes into force, any company authorised by the ANAC may provide ground handling services to aircraft in accordance with the regulations issued for this purpose. The ANAC will approve the rates.
Decree 49/2019 amends Decree No. 2145 of 20 March 1973 and Decree No. 698 of 24 May 2001. Executive Decree 2145/73 established that the AAF was the exclusive provider of ground handling services to airlines at airports and it authorised the AAF to assign such service to third parties. Before Decree 49/2019 was issued the AAF had assigned the right to carry out ground handling services to a state-owned corporation, Intercargo. Also, Executive Decree 698/01 had removed the ground handling services exclusivity for domestic carriers, allowing carriers to provide ground handling services not only to themselves but also to other domestic operators.
Until Decree 49/2019 comes into force, Intercargo will undertake ground handling services.Air traffic control
Who provides air traffic control services? And how are they regulated?
On 30 July 2015, Law No. 27.161 was published in the Argentine Public Gazette. This law creates a government agency with the purpose of providing air navigation services. The agency is Air Navigation Company Argentina (EANA), within the legal framework of the Ministry of Transport. This government agency provides services for commercial and civil navigation, as well as administration of air transit and air traffic control, administration of air traffic flow management, airspace management, aeronautical information services, aeronautical communication services, navigations and surveillance, aeronautical meteorological services, search and rescue and the Airport Reservation Office.
EANA is a state-owned company and its shareholders are the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Defence. EANA is ruled by the legal norms and principles of private corporations.
The services provided by EANA are those that were provided by the Argentine Air Force, and its personnel and budget were transferred from the Air Force to EANA.
In addition, the fees charged to users for the provision of services constitute, among other funds, EANA’s budget.
According to Ministry of Transport Resolution No. 222/16, the service has been officially provided by EANA as of 1 August 2016.
Law No. 27.445 establishes that the operational control functions, coordination and supervision of air control will be transferred to EANA as well as positions, personnel, budgetary credits and the administration of the goods affected to its use. EANA plans and elaborates every-thing related to airspace organisation, management and the flow of air traffic, air traffic services and aeronautical information for its subsequent elevation to the ANAC, which supervises, publishes and redistributes such information in Argentina and to other countries. For its part, the ANAC provides the auxiliary services to air navigation and guarantees professional and technical training to EANA’s workers. Also, through Resolution No. 41/2016, the functions of operational control of the provision of air navigation public service and coordination and supervision air traffic control were transferred to EANA.
Liability and accidentsPassengers, baggage and cargo
What rules apply in respect of death of, or injury to, passengers or loss or damage to baggage or cargo in respect of domestic carriage?
According to sections 139-154 of the AAC, the carrier is responsible for the damages caused by death or corporal injury suffered by a passenger when the accident that occasioned the damage had taken place on board the aircraft or during embarkation or disembarkation (note that Argentine courts award moral as well as corporal damages). The carrier is also responsible in cases of destruction, loss or damage of registered luggage and cargo and when the cause of the damage has taken place during transportation. The carrier will not be held responsible if it proves that it has taken all the necessary measures to avoid the damage, that it was impossible for it to take them, or if it proves that the person that has suffered the damage caused or contributed to causing it.
The carrier’s liability is limited. The limitation will not, however, operate when the damage is caused by its wilful misconduct or by the wilful misconduct of a carrier’s employeeSurface damage
Are there any special rules about the liability of aircraft operators for surface damage? What are they?
The operator is responsible for damage caused by an aircraft in flight or a person or a thing thrown from it, or noise disruption. The responsibility of the operator can be attenuated or exempted if it proves that the victim caused the damage or contributed to causing it or in the case of illegal interference of the aircraft.
Liability is limited according to the aircraft’s take-off weight (sections 155-162 of the AAC).
According to Section 160 of the AAC, in the case of domestic air transport, the carrier is responsible for each accident up to the limit of the amount equivalent in pesos to the number of Argentinos Oro on the following scale, according to the value they have at the time of the occurrence of the event:
- 2,000 Argentinos Oro for aircraft whose weight does not exceed 1,000kg;
- 2,000 Argentinos Oro plus 1.5 Argentinos Oro for each kilogram exceeding 1,000kg for aircraft weighing more than 1,000kg and not exceeding 6,000kg;
- 10,400 Argentinos Oro plus 1 Argentinos Oro for each kilogram exceeding 6,000kg for aircraft weighing more than 6,000kg and not exceeding 20,000kg;
- 25,000 Argentinos Oro plus 0.5 Argentinos Oro for every kilogram that exceeds 20,000kg for aircraft weighing more than 20,000kg and not exceeding 50,000kg; and
- 43,600 Argentinos Oro plus 0.37 Argentinos Oro for each kilogram exceeding 50,000kg for aircraft weighing more than 50,000kg. Compensation in the case of death or injury shall not exceed 2,000 Argentinos Oro per deceased or injured person. In the case of concurrence of damage to persons and property, half of the amount to be distributed will be used to compensate for damage caused to persons. The remainder of the total amount to be distributed shall be prorated among the indemnities related to damage to property and to the uncovered part of the other indemnities.
Weight means the maximum weight authorised by the airworthiness certificate of the aircraft. If there are several victims in the same accident and the lump sum to be paid exceeds the limits mentioned, the proportional reduction of the right of each one must be carried out, so as not to exceed, altogether, the above limits.
Law No. 23.111 ratified the Rome Convention 1933 for the Unification of Certain Rules on Precautionary Arrest of Aircraft, which regulates international commercial air traffic. Liability is also limited by the aircraft’s weight. However, the Convention does not compensate for any damage caused by aircraft noise.Accident investigation
What system and procedures are in place for the investigation of air accidents?
Accident investigations are regulated by Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention, AAC sections 185-190 and Executive Decree 934/70, as amended.
The Accidents Investigation Board, which was within the jurisdiction of the ANAC, was moved by Executive Decree 1192/10 to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport. The Accidents Investigation Board is in charge of carrying out the investigation. It will determine the causes of accidents and incidents to aircraft or produced by them.
The Accidents Investigation Board confers a confidential character on certain information such as recordings of cockpit conversations and recordings of on-board images and any transcripts thereof for purposes other than technical investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents (Resolution No. 252-E/2017).Accident reporting
Is there a mandatory accident and incident reporting system? How does it operate?
Sections 185-190 of the AAC and Executive Decree 934/70 govern accident investigations in Argentina.
According to the above norms, any person who knows of a flight accident or incident has to communicate this to the closest authority (military agency or police) who will immediately notify the Accidents Investigation Board. Until the arrival of the personnel in charge of the investigation a guard must be stationed at the accident site to avoid the site being disturbed or evidence being removed.
The Chicago Convention and its Annexes apply.
Competition lawCompetition law
Do sector-specific or general competition rules apply to aviation?
There are no sector-specific competition rules applicable to aviation; general competition rules apply.
Antitrust Law No. 25.156, as amended by Law No. 27.742, establishes a procedure to avoid unfair competition based upon the abuse of a dominant position.Regulator
Is there a sector-specific regulator, or are competition rules applied by the general competition authority?
The competition rules are applied by the National Antitrust Commission (CNDC), which is the competition authority.
The CNDC must request the opinion of the ANAC in aviation-related matters (see question 7).Market definition
How is the relevant market for the purposes of a competition assessment in the aviation sector defined by the competition authorities?
The competition authorities have not defined the relevant market in the aviation sector. However, Law No. 25.156 defines the characteristics of the dominant position of an offeror of services with the intention of preventing offerors from unilaterally determining fares or avoiding competition; the relevant market may be defined as that in which one or more airlines, regardless of country, effectively exercise traffic rights between two countries.Code-sharing and joint ventures
How have the competition authorities regulated code-sharing and air-carrier joint ventures?
The ANAC approves code-sharing agreed by both carriers according to Executive Decree 1401/98. Any such agreement is published in the Official Gazette. Air carriers can undertake joint-venture agreements.Assessing competitive effect
What are the main standards for assessing the competitive effect of a transaction?
The main objective of the Antitrust Law is to protect the general economic interest (consumers and other competitors) and competition in the markets.
Law No. 25.156 introduces a preventive control that aims to avoid the abnormal operation of the market. A commercial operation is considered to be detrimental to the general public when a bidder gains control of the market. Law No. 25.156 is aimed at preventing the irreversible effects that an economic concentration of corporations might have on competition and the results that such a concentration might produce.Remedies
What types of remedies have been imposed to remedy concerns identified by the competition authorities?
Mergers and acquisitions must be notified to the CNDC.
In the case of mergers or acquisitions worth more than 200 million pesos, previous authorisation from the CNDC must be requested and obtained.
A few years ago, the CNDC rejected a vertical integration between an airport concessionaire and an airline. The CNDC in this case evaluated the airport concessionaire’s power to govern the regulation of fares. The negative evaluation of the effects of vertical integration was based on the existence of incentives that the airport operator (integrated vertically) could have used to expand its market power to domestic air transport.
Law No. 25.156 establishes fines in case of its violation, which may be appealed to the judicial courts.
Financial support and state aidRules and principles
Are there sector-specific rules regulating direct or indirect financial support to companies by the government or government-controlled agencies or companies (state aid) in the aviation sector? Is state aid regulated generally?
There are sector-specific rules regulating direct or indirect financial support to individual companies by the government in the aviation sector and they are contemplated in section 138 of the AAC, section 6 of Law No. 19.030 and Executive Decree 1012/2006.
Also, there are several state aid regulations that support the aviation sector in matters of fuel and fares (ST Resolutions 360/2007, 257/2008 and 315/2008, which set forth a compensation regime for domestic scheduled flights’ fuel price).
What are the main principles of the state aid rules applicable to the aviation sector?
Section 138 of the AAC states that the federal government may subsidise air transport services on routes of public interest.
This means that the state may grant subsidies at its discretion for commercial transport or aerial work, when the route to be subsidised or the aerial work activity is declared of public interest.
Section 6 of Law No. 19.030 also establishes that the state will distribute financial aid to compensate for financial loss originating from the application of promotional fares in scheduled air transport services to remote destinations that have been declared to be of general interest of the state where the service is not cost-effective.Exemptions
Are there exemptions from the state aid rules or situations in which they do not apply?
Provided the preconditions mentioned in question 34 are met, the government may grant subsidies to the best of its judgement. There are no general exemptions or other limitations contemplated by the applicable regulations exonerating government debt to allow for the privatisation of a state-owned company.
Nevertheless, when Aerolíneas Argentinas SE, a state-owned company, was privatised as Aerolíneas Argentinas SA (AR), a private corporation, it was exonerated by the government of all liabilities (Executive Decrees Nos. 1591/89, 461/90, 575/90, 1024/90, 1354/90, 2201/90 and 2438/90).
At present, AR is again a state-owned company. Law No. 26.466 of 2008 stated that the stocks of AR and its subsidiaries and affiliate companies are of ‘public interest’ and the stock has been expropriated in accordance with the Expropriation Law (Law No. 21.499).
Law No. 26.466 also says that the executive power shall provide the mechanism to cover the financial needs of AR and it shall prepare AR business, strategic and operative plans.Clearance of state aid
Must clearance from the competition authorities be obtained before state aid may be granted? What are the main procedural steps for doing so?
Clearance does not need to be obtained from the CNDC before state aid can be granted.Recovery of unlawful state aid
If no clearance is obtained, what procedures apply to recover unlawfully granted state aid?
In all cases where state aid is unlawfully granted, administrative and criminal procedures to recover illegally spent public funds apply.
The Criminal Code (CC) contemplates the following measures:
- section 260 establishes that a government employee who gives funds or effects a different destination from that which the law sets forth will be punished; and
- section 248 establishes that a government employee who violates the constitution, federal or local laws or does not carry out laws that he or she is obliged to fulfil will be punished.
A motion to vacate the administrative decision must be filed in court in order to recover funds from the beneficiary.
What rules regulate denied boarding, cancellation or (tarmac) delay?
The Ministry of Economy, Public Works and Services Resolution No. 1532/98 establishes general conditions for domestic and international contracts for air transport. Passenger protection rules regarding denied boarding, cancellations and delays are included.
ANAC Resolution No. 445/16 ruled the fines to be applied to airlines in case of delays. Resolution No. 445/16 sets forth that carriers will not be subject to fines if a four-hour delay takes place and the airline provides the services to passengers provided by article 12 of Resolution No. 1532/98. Resolution No. 445/16 also instructs the National Direction of Air Transport to establish a ranking of punctuality.
The liability limitations are set out in the international conventions that have been ratified by Argentina.Package holidays
What rules apply to the sale of package holiday products?
Package and holiday protection has been established by several rules issued by the Secretary of Tourism. Consumer clauses set forth by the Consumer Protection Law No. 24.240 are also applicable.Other consumer legislation
Is there any other aviation-specific consumer legislation?
In the case of bankruptcy, the passenger must file a proof of claim of his or her credit against the insolvent airline like any other creditor before the commercial courts.
There are no specific protection laws in case of disabled passengers and computerised reservation systems and distribution. Nevertheless there are general rules such as Laws Nos. 22.431, 23.592 and 24.515 and Executive Decree 1086/2005, which prevent discrimination.
Furthermore, Argentina is party to several treaties that prevent discrimination including, among others, the following:
- the American Convention on Human Rights (Law No. 23.054);
- the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man;
- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights (Law No. 23.313);
- the International Pact on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (Law No. 23.313);
- the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (Law No. 17.722);
- the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Law No. 23.179);
- the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Law No. 23.849); and
- the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Law No. 23.338).
Any passenger, as a service user, is protected by Law No. 24.240, as amended by Law No. 26.361 (the Consumer Rights Protection Law). Nevertheless, section 63 of this Law sets out that international liability conventions that regulate aviation liability take priority over Law No. 24.240. Furthermore, Law No. 26.361 created the Consumer Relationships Prior Conciliation Service (COPREC). This agency has authority to call for mediation hearings at the request of consumers who seek compensatory damages that do not exceed 55 minimum monthly salaries. The Secretariat of Commerce of the Ministry of Production issued Resolution No. 394/2018, by which the role of ‘defender of the client’ was created under the Consumer Rights Protection Law. The new role aims at addressing and resolving in a simple and expeditious manner the complaints and the claims of consumers or users either by proposing conciliatory agreements between the parties or by drafting opinions of a binding nature for companies in order to resolve the issue.
COPREC is supposed to apply article 63 of Law No. 24.240, as amended, but so far no COPREC decision has clarified that it must apply article 63.
ANAC Resolution 1195/2016 approved the statistical information system applicable to air commercial operations to establish a ranking. A group of carriers has been taken by the ANAC to produce quarterly IATA delay codes for delays of more than 15 minutes from the approved schedules.
Insurance and securityInsurance for operators
What mandatory insurance requirements apply to the operation of aircraft?
Sections 191-196 of the AAC establish that the following insurance must be provided to the ANAC in order to operate aircraft:
- employee insurance (for all those who carry out functions on board);
- insurance against damage caused by death or injury suffered by a passenger (note that according to Argentine jurisprudence, moral damages are granted for death or personal injury as well as for delay or cancellation of flights) or damage to transported cargo and mail; and
- insurance against damage caused to third parties on the surface.
For international flights, the insurance must at least cover the liability limitations set forth in the international conventions that have been ratified by Argentina and those established by the AAC.Aviation security
What legal requirements are there with regard to aviation security?
Law No. 26.102 created the PSA, a specific police force to ensure airport security. The PSA controls all airports and installations, and the areas near to all airports.
Each carrier operating in, to and from Argentina must provide the PSA with its security manual for the PSA’s approval. Security manuals must comply with ICAO and Argentine legal standards (in particular with PSA Disposition No. 074/10). ANAC Resolution No. 1044-E/2017 establishes a State Operational Security Programme in compliance with ICAO’s Annex 19.
PSA Disposition No. 244-E/2017 has approved the Air Cargo Security National Programme.
PSA Resolution No. 66-E/2018 establishes that the Airport Security Authority has to implement its terms at local level and all implemented procedures must be notified to the Aviation Security Directorate, which reports to the PSA.Serious crimes
What serious crimes exist with regard to aviation?
Serious aviation crimes are established in the CC. They include the following:
- threats to the safety of an aircraft: aggravated penalties apply if those threats result in an air accident, injuries to, or the death of a person (section 190 of the CC);
- impediment or obstruction of the normal functioning of air transport (section 194 of the CC);
- abandoning an aircraft or position before arriving at the final destination (section 195 of the CC);
- acts of imprudence or negligence that cause an accident or air collision, with aggravated penalties applying if the accident or collision causes injuries or death of a person (section 196 of the CC); and
- piracy: acts of plundering or violence against an aircraft while in flight or while engaged in pre-flight operations, or against persons or property on board, without being duly authorised by a belligerent nation. This also includes usurpation of the aircraft authority, impediment or obstruction of the defence of the aircraft attacked by hijackers and dealing with hijackers. Aggravated penalties apply if the act of piracy causes injuries or the death of a person (section 198 and 199 of the CC).
Regarding ratification of the conventions that deal with criminal activities related to aviation, see question 1.
Update and trendsEmerging trends
Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in air transport regulation in your jurisdiction?Emerging trends46 Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in air transport regulation in your jurisdiction?
An emerging trend in Argentina is the airport slot regulation project that the ANAC is working on. The regulation has not been issued yet, as it is still under consideration.