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Aviation law is the branch of law that concerns flight, air travel, and associated legal and business concerns. Some of its area of concern overlaps that of admiralty law and, in many cases, aviation law is considered a matter of international law due to the nature of air travel. However, the business aspects of airlines and their regulation also fall under aviation law. In the international realm, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provides general rules and mediates international concerns to an extent regarding aviation law. The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Aviation Law


Aviation law is the branch of law that concerns flight, air travel, and associated legal and business concerns. Some of its area of concern overlaps that of admiralty lawand, in many cases, aviation law is considered a matter of international law due to the nature of air travel. However, the business aspects of airlines and their regulation also fall under aviation law. In the international realm, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provides general rules and mediates international concerns to an extent regarding aviation law. The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Roman law and other ancient legal systems generally granted all rights in airspace to the owner of the underlying land. The first law specifically applicable to aircraft was a local ordinance enacted in Paris in 1784, one year after the first hot air balloon flight by the Montgolfier brothers. Several tort cases involving balloonists were tried in common law jurisdictions during the 19th century.

Development of public international law

Balloons were used in the Franco-German War of 1870-71, and the First Hague Conference of 1899 set a five-year moratorium on the use of balloons in combat operations, which was not renewed by the Second Hague Conference (1907). Prior to World War I, several nations signed bilateral agreements regarding the legal status of international flights, and during the war, several nations took the step of prohibiting flights over their territory. Several competing multilateral treaty regimes were established in the wake of the war, including the Paris Convention of 1919, Ibero-American Convention (1926)[3] and the Havana Convention (1928).[4] The International Air Transport Association (IATA) was founded in 1919 in a conference at The Hague, to foster cooperation between airlines in various commercial and legal areas.[2]

The lack of uniformity in international air law, particularly with regard to the liability of international airlines, led to the Warsaw Convention of 1929.

The Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation was signed in 1944, during World War II. It provided for the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization as a unit of the United Nations devoted to overseeing civil aviation. The Convention also provided various general principles governing international air service.

The Tokyo Convention of 1963 enacted new international standards for the treatment of criminal offenses on or involving aircraft. The Montreal Convention of 1999 updated the carrier liability provisions of the Warsaw Convention, while the Cape Town Treaty of 2001 created an international regime for the registration of security interests in aircraft and certain other large movable assets.

Source: Wikipedia



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