Areas of Law and Guides
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 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) and the Havana Convention (1928). 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.
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.
Most recent Articles posted
Sipho Sono, he business rescue practitioner (BRP) of low-cost airline Mango, says he is proceeding with selling the airline after Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan failed to meet a deadline set by the High Court to make a decision on the proposed sale as required by the Public Finance Management Act.
An investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) of the affairs of SAA has recovered R14m and identified a further R3.4bn that has to be recouped from companies and individuals who were awarded contracts irregularly.
The proposed redevelopment and expansion of the Cape Winelands Airport estimated to cost about R7bn has entered the next phase, with an application to the Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning for environmental approvals.
A new plan to turn Plettenberg Bay into a regional aviation hub has got some heavyweight businessmen eyeing the crumbling runway.
SAA has entered into a ‘damp lease’ agreement with Turkish airline SunExpress to be used during the peak summer period.
The widow of a pilot who unsuccessfully tried to obtain information on the crash that led to his death has been granted access to the information by the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria).
A seasoned pilot has his wings back after the court allowed him to take to the skies again after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suspended his licence for six months after he flew too close to the ground to encourage people on the landing strip to move away.
The President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his family landed in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday on a R20m runway he built with his own money, reports News24.
The SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has suspended certain air traffic navigation procedures at more than 10 airports due to non-compliance.
A lawyer wrapping up the affairs of bankrupt Comair is confident a breach-of-contract dispute with Boeing will succeed – despite a US judge ruling against LOT Poland and Smartwings in a similar claim.
Shuttered South African airline Comair has sued Boeing for alleged fraud over its agreement to buy eight 737 MAX planes and is seeking damages of at least $83m (about R1.4bn).
Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan is expected to soon give the green light for the sale of troubled state-owned low-cost airline Mango.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has ordered the seizure of a multimillion-rand helicopter allegedly bought with funds stolen from a company with links to Durban property tycoon and ANC benefactor Vivian Reddy.
A charter aircraft from Angola is grounded at Cape Town International Airport for landing without a mandatory foreign operator permit (FOP), according to the Transport Department.
Low-cost airline Mango is one step closer to being sold as its preferred bidder delivered proof of funding, according to business rescue practitioner Sipho Sono in his latest status report.
SAA is talking to British Airways (BA) about the possibility of taking over its franchise agreement in SA, reports Fin24.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and at least 11 passengers travelled at huge cost on an SAA A340 passenger jet to the Southern African Development Community summit in Kinshasa last week because none of the SA Air Force VIP fleet is serviceable.
The Air Services Licensing Council has suspended low-cost carrier Mango's licences. TimesLIVE reports that the airline has been in business rescue since July 2021.
The Competition Commission yesterday said it is expediting its investigations into ‘excessive’ pricing by airlines after receiving formal complaints from consumers as ticket prices continue to soar.
Troubled state-owned low cost airline Mango’s creditors have agreed to the decision by its parent company, SAA, to withhold R85m.