The Supreme Court (Civil Chamber) recently issued its judgment following cassation proceedings against a 2015 Madrid Provincial Audience judgment. The proceedings stemmed from a 2011 collective action against Iberia, which the Spanish Consumers and Users Organisation had filed with the Madrid Commercial Court in order to obtain the annulment of several clauses of Iberia's standard terms and conditions.
A new amendment to the Law on Air Navigation expressly recognises the rights of owners of premises in the vicinity of such airports to be indemnified for any damages arising from aircraft noise. It obliges the state to guarantee that noise quality standards are respected and to implement any necessary action plans whenever a noise easement is approved that allows an increase in those standards.
A new royal decree governs the grant, renewal, amendment and revocation by the Spanish aviation safety agency of licences granted to air navigation services providers. Meanwhile, the Autonomous Community of Madrid has been given exclusive control over airports and heliports suitable for practising aerial sports and those where commercial activities do not take place.
The provisions of Royal Decree 1919/2009 on security in civil air shows apply to all civil air shows that offer an exhibition or performance during a public event, no matter whether the show is open to the general public or has restricted access, as well as to flights that are not included in the official programme, but which are conducted to promote the show.
In a recent case the plaintiffs purchased two flight tickets to travel from Barcelona to Mexico City via London. The flight to London took off late and the plaintiffs missed their connecting flight to Mexico City. The first instance court partially accepted the plaintiffs' claim that the airline had breached its obligations and the Barcelona Provincial Court confirmed the amount of compensation determined at first instance.
Aeronautical inspection regulations have recently been passed to implement Law 21/2003. These regulations have developed the concept of safety within the law, which no longer refers to extraordinary security controls, but rather implements audit structures to assess the suitability of the safety systems and procedures continuously. The regulations provide a framework for aeronautical inspection activities.
Royal Decree 714/2009 recently entered into force, transposing into law an EU directive regarding the criteria for the conduct of ramp inspections at EU airports. The decree applies to third-country aircraft landing at airports in Spain that are open to international air traffic.
The Supreme Court has confirmed the Madrid Court of Appeal's ruling on the inapplicability of liability limitations in air transportation under Articles 22 and 25 of the Warsaw Convention. The court held that the air carrier's employees had acted recklessly, as indications in the bill of lading and on package labels were ignored.
On August 1 the Council of Ministers set out the new model for managing Spanish airports. AENA (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea - Spanish Airports and Air Navigation) will continue to be a public entity. A new company owned entirely by AENA will manage Spanish airports. Autonomous regions will be given stakes in the management companies of airports with a sufficient number of passengers.
Many players in the sector have understood that a legal action for damages caused by an aircraft, whether in the air or on the ground, must be brought within six months of the date on which the underlying facts occurred. However, the Supreme Court has held that this term is extended for a period of one year from the acknowledgement of damages by the aggrieved party.
A new system for the management of the Spanish air regulation authority will be established pursuant to the provisions of Royal Decree 184/2008. It will be based on the division of duties currently performed by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, which will share this role with the newly created Air Safety Agency. Once incorporated, the agency will take over various duties from the directorate.
The government recently approved a royal decree to harmonize security measures required for airlines of non-EU countries with those applicable to EU member airlines. The new regulations are aimed at increasing the level of security and protection for passengers by verifying the technical and commercial capabilities of relevant airlines prior to their commencing operations in Spain.
Earlier this year the Supreme Court issued an important ruling in the context of an appeal for cassation on interlining agreements in the air transport sector. This sector has specific features that are inherent to it which allow for the possibility of certain agreements, decisions and concerted practices being exempt from the prohibition contained in the general competition rules.
Spain has a relatively complex double registration system for aircraft: aircraft are initially registered with the Administrative Registry, and then with the Movable Property Registry. The Resolution of June 5 2007 of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Development introduced the possibility of processing certain aircraft registration matters electronically in the Administrative Registry.
Royal Decree 279/2007, which establishes the requirements for the operation of civil helicopters for commercial transportation purposes, was recently published in the Official Gazette. The purpose of the decree is to incorporate into Spanish law JAR-OPS 3, which was issued by the Joint Aviation Authorities.
The leasing of aircraft among airlines is common practice in the aviation sector. Aeronautical Circular 3/2006 was recently published in the Official Gazette. The circular, which was issued by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, deals with the leasing of aircraft which have not been registered with the Aircraft Registry.
Earlier this year, the Royal Decree on the Safety of Third-Country Aircraft Using Airports and Other Aerodromes Located in the Spanish Territory implemented new regulations. The decree establishes a ramp inspection procedure for third-country aircraft using Spanish airports to ensure that the aircraft comply with international safety standards.
The decree implementing the EU Occurrence Reporting in Civil Aviation Directive came into force on February 22 2006. The decree establishes how to report, on a mandatory basis, any occurrence in civil aviation - namely, any operational interruption, defect, fault or other irregular circumstances that have or may have influenced flight safety and have not resulted in an accident or serious incident.
The Supreme Court has recently ruled on the enforceability of Article 8 of the International Air Transport Association's Standard Ground Handling Agreement. In both judgments, the court declared the validity under Spanish law of the exoneration from liability established in Article 8, Paragraph 1 of the agreement.