Opinion Number. 462

Subject

AIR NAVIGATION WHETHER COMMONWEALTH HAS POWER TO REQUIRE AIRCRAFT TO BE REGISTERED : WHETHER REQUIREMENT TO REGISTER VEHICLES FOR DEFENCE PURPOSES EXTENDS TO AIRCRAFT

Key Legislation

CONSTITUTION, ss. 51 (i), (vi), 98: DEFENCE ACT 1903-1911, s. 67

Date

Certain proposed regulations relating to aerial navigation are now under con-sideration of the Department of Defence.

In this connection the Council of Defence recommended that the opinion of the Attorney-General be obtained as to whether a clause could be inserted in the regu-lations requiring all aerial machines to be registered.

The Defence Act by section 67 provides that the owners of vehicles and animals may be required by the regulations to register them periodically.

As special provision is made for registration of vehicles and horses, I think that Par-liament must be considered to have intended that registration was to be limited to ve-hicles and horses. The language of section 67 indicates that the word 'vehicles' was not used in that section as including aerial machines.

Assuming the proposed regulations are to be made under the Defence Act 1903-1911, I am of opinion that a clause could not be inserted in them to require all aerial machines to be registered. I am of opinion also that the Commonwealth Parlia-ment has power to pass an Act to require aerial machines to be registered or to author-ise regulations to be made for the purpose.

[Vol.10,p.269]