The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) are considered international law. Therefore each contracting state has to provide a comprehensive and effective aviation law which is consistent with the complexity of the State’s aviation activity and compliant with the requirements that are contained in the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The legislation governing civil aviation in Zimbabwe is the Civil Aviation Act, Chapter 13:16 of 1998. The Civil Aviation Act is commonly referred to as the primary aviation legislation.
The Civil Aviation Act empowers the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to publish customised regulations that effect the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The regulations address provision of standardised operational procedures in conformance with the SARPs. The regulations are divided into various instruments each targeting a specialised aviation activity, for example, Air Operator Certification. The regulations have to satisfy all provisions in the SARPs or higher and not lower. The regulations are commonly referred to as the secondary aviation legislation.