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15th March 2022
Guidance for Members on the Russia-Ukraine conflict
First published 9 March; updated 15 March 2022 Useful Links
UK Department for Transport, Letter to Airports
UK Sanctions Guidance:
UK guidance clarification
The Regulations prohibit Russian aircraft from overflying United Kingdom (UK) airspace and landing in the UK. The Regulations include powers for Air traffic control to direct Russian aircraft not to enter the airspace over the UK, or to leave by a specific route (and the Secretary of State can direct air traffic control to give such directions). The Regulations also provide airport operators with power to control the movement of Russian aircraft by directing the operator or pilot to take off or not take off, or not to land. The Secretary of State can also direct an airport operator to give such a direction.
The Secretary of State can also direct an airport operator to secure the detention of a Russian aircraft or to secure the movement of a Russian aircraft to a specified airport.
In addition, the Regulations provide power to the Civil Aviation Authority (the CAA) to refuse the registration of aircraft on the United Kingdom register kept by the CAA, where they are owned, chartered or operated by a Designated Person (as defined in the 2022 Regulations, see definition below). They also provide the power for the Secretary of State to direct the CAA to terminate the registration of a United Kingdom registered aircraft that is owned, chartered or operated by a Designated Person (as defined in the 2022 Regulations, see definition below).
The Regulations also confer powers on the Secretary of State to notify a person that any part of the content of a direction, anything done under the direction, or the existence of the direction, is to be treated as confidential.
The Regulations make it an offence for an airport operator to fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a direction given to it by the Secretary of State. It is an offence for an operator or pilot of a Russian aircraft to fail to comply with a direction given by air traffic control. The Regulations also make it an offence for an operator or pilot of a Russian aircraft to fail to comply with a direction given by an airport operator.
A Russian aircraft is defined in the regulations as:
– an aircraft registered in Russia,
– an aircraft owned, operated, or chartered by a Designated Person, or
– an aircraft owned, operated, or chartered by a person connected with Russia.
Contravention of some of the Regulations is a criminal offence:
a) the operator or pilot of a Russian aircraft commit an offence if it overflies UK airspace or lands in the UK.
b) an airport operator commits an offence if it fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a direction given by the Secretary of State given under the Regulations.
c) an operator or pilot of a Russian aircraft commit an offence if they fail to comply with a direction given by Air traffic control or an airport operator.
d) any person who discloses confidential information in contravention of a direction under the Regulations commits an offence.
There is an exception to the prohibition on overflying UK airspace or landing in the UK, namely where such action (and consequent overflying) would endanger the lives of persons on board, or the safety of the aircraft. Furthermore, a Russian aircraft will not breach the prohibition if the Secretary of State has issued a direction permitting overflying in a particular case.
These Regulations do not apply to aircraft (that are not otherwise covered by the Regulations) originating from or destined for Russian airports; and aircraft carrying cargo to or from Russia are not within the scope of the transport sanctions unless they are “Russian aircraft” as outlined above. These Regulations do not apply to aircraft (that are not otherwise included in the Regulations) with Russian air crews, unless they include a Designated Person (who is a person that has been designated for the purposes of the aviation sanctions in the 2022 Regulations) owns, is operating, or chartering the Russian aircraft.
“Persons connected with Russia” is defined as
– an individual who is, or an association or combination of individuals who are, ordinarily resident in Russia,
– an individual who is, or an association or combination of individuals who are, located in Russia,
– a person, other than an individual, which is incorporated or constituted under the law of Russia, or
– a person, other than an individual, which is domiciled in Russia.
There is also a definition of “owned”. An aircraft is “owned” by a person if either the legal title to the aircraft, or to any share in the aircraft, is vested in the person, or if the person has a beneficial interest in the aircraft or in any share in the aircraft. It includes persons who hold a joint interest.
Further to that, there is also a definition of “beneficial interest” which is any beneficial interest, howsoever arising (whether held by trustee or nominee, or arising under a contract or otherwise), other than an interest held by any person as mortgagee.
The meaning of “Designated Person” is set out in the 2022 Regulations and is a person who is designated under regulation 5 of the 2019 Regulations for the purposes of the relevant Regulations under 2022 Regulations. This means that references in this guide to ‘Designated Persons’ are to persons who have been specifically designated for the purpose of the aviation sanctions in the 2022 Regulations.
Frequently asked Questions:-
When do the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 6) Regulations 2022 come into effect?
– The Regulations come into effect immediately, as of 17:00 on 8 March 2022.
How long will the provisions introduced by the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 6) Regulations 2022 last?
– The Regulations will remain in place until further notice.
Will the provisions introduced by these 2022 Regulations apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
– Yes, these sanctions will apply to the whole of the UK, and we continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations to support them in identifying Russian aircraft within scope of the sanctions.
Will these sanctions apply in the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories?
– No, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories are responsible for bringing their own legislation.
– On Sunday 27 February, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands announced they would close their airspace to Russian aircraft.
– We continue to work with the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories to bring in similar restrictions on Russian aircraft.
Do the Regulations apply to all Russian registered aircraft?
– Yes, the Regulations apply to all Russian registered aircraft.
Do the Regulations include aircraft such as Russian private jets?
– Yes, if they are owned, operated or chartered by persons connected with Russia (as defined), or by Designated Persons (as defined in the 2022 Regulations), or are registered in Russia.
Does the prohibition on UK airspace entry or landing in the UK apply to non-Russian aircraft inbound from Russian airports?
– The Regulations do not apply to aircraft (that are not otherwise included in the Regulations) arriving from or departing to Russian airports.
Does the prohibition on UK airspace entry or landing in the UK apply to all aircraft carrying cargo from Russia or which are bound for Russia?
– The aviation sanctions affect aircraft which are owned, operated or chartered by persons connected with Russia, or by persons who have been designated for the purposes of aviation sanctions, or aircraft which are Russian registered, irrespective of whether the aircraft is carrying cargo or not.
– Flights to or from Russia, including those carrying cargo, are not within scope of these specific transport sanctions.
Do the Regulations apply to all aircraft with Russian air crew on board?
– No, the Regulations do not apply to aircraft (that are not otherwise included in the Regulations) with Russian air crew, unless they include a Designated Person (as defined in the 2022 Regulations) who owns, or is operating or a chartering, the Russian aircraft.
– For the purpose of the 2022 Regulations, an aircraft is not operated by its air crew.
What if a British National is on board a Russian aircraft?
– The sanctions apply to Russian aircraft, as defined in the 2022 Regulations.
– Any British Nationals working on a Russian aircraft with concerns should contact the FCDO for further assistance.
Does the prohibition on UK airspace entry or landing in UK apply to dual nationals?
– The sanctions legislation defines that a person is “connected with Russia” if they are ordinarily resident in or located in Russia. Therefore, the restrictions would apply to aircraft owned, chartered, or operated by dual nationals who meet one of these conditions.
How can UK airports and Air traffic control accurately identify if an aircraft is owned, operated, or chartered by a person connected with Russia?
– UK Government will where appropriate support and assist UK airports and Air traffic control in their identification of Russian aircraft within scope of the Regulations.
– UK airports must comply with the Regulations. We are in contact with the UK Department for Transport who will support you in identification of Russian aircraft.
Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will coordinate the questions and responses.
What if an airport, Air traffic control, or aircraft does not comply with any of the requirements under the Regulations?
The offences within the Regulations are:
a) failure of an operator or pilot of a Russian aircraft to comply with the prohibition on entering UK airspace or landing in the UK.
b) Failure of an airport operator, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a direction given by the Secretary of State
c) Failure of an operator or pilot in command of a Russian aircraft to comply with a direction given by air traffic control or an airport operator.
d) Disclosing confidential information where directions have been made in relation to aircraft (where the person disclosing had been notified the information was confidential).
Note that where a company or other body corporate has committed one of these offences, individual company directors and other senior officers / managers can also be convicted of the same criminal offence.
Our colleagues at EBAA have some useful information at https://www.ebaa.org/industry-updates/sanctions-on-russia-faq/
We understand that if you have a Russian passenger, you should carry out detailed due diligence and request permission from the relevant authority for them to travel on a business jet flight, since in most cases this may not be possible and only scheduled travel is allowed.
Further to this, the EU considers dual passport holders to be covered by the restrictions.
For fractional ownership situations in the EU, if the aircraft is minority Russian owned then it is ok to use the aircraft for non-Russian shareholders, but not for the Russian shareholders.
President Biden announced in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, 8 March, that the USA will be joining the European Union and Canada in banning Russian aircraft, part of a worldwide effort to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the order prohibits all passenger, cargo and charter flights on “all aircraft owned, certified, operated, registered, chartered, leased, or controlled by, for, or for the benefit of, a person who is a citizen of Russia.”
Any aircraft operators who violate the ban on entering U.S. airspace “may be intercepted, and their pilots and other crew members detained and interviewed by law enforcement or security personnel, as appropriate.”