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
The government has earmarked R819m to recapitalise SAA’s beleaguered subsidiary Mango. The figure was revealed in Parliament yesterday, according to a Business Day report.
The National Union of Metalworkers and the SA Cabin Crew Association intend asking the Constitutional Court to compel the National Assembly to debate whether state-owned regional airline SA Express should be permitted to go insolvent, says a Fin24 report.
Mango, the state-owned low-cost airliner that is struggling to stay afloat in the absence of fresh government money, was back in the skies last night after a payment dispute with SA’s airport operator briefly saw it stop operating, leaving customers stranded.
SAA is the one state-owned entity for which there is the least case for public ownership. Although there is an aspect of airfreight that has wide benefits, air travel is an upmarket option and state funds would be far better spent rehabilitating rail.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) is calling for Comair's section 189 notices to be scrapped, accusing the airline of colluding with another union, Solidarity, to circumvent the ongoing retrenchment process.
Whether Comair's kulula.com and British Airways brands will be able to start operating again as from 1 December after all, might be impacted by an urgent Labour Court application by the National Union of Metalworkers of (Numsa), says a Fin24 report.
The future of Comair should be known by 18 September when creditors and shareholders are to make their decision on whether to adopt the business rescue plan tabled on Wednesday.
The business rescue plan for SAA has finally been approved after all conditions on which it rested were met yesterday, according to Business Day.
The business rescue of SAA has been prolonged after a dispute broke out between the government and the consortium of banks to which SAA owes money, on the eve of the finalisation of the rescue plan.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has ruled the provisional liquidators of SA Express can sell and transfer the state-owned airline’s property and try to attract new investment for the airline.
SA Express has become the first state-owned entity to be placed under provisional liquidation after the failure of its business rescue process, says a Business Maverick report.
The government has told the SAA business rescue practitioners (BRP) that it is unable to provide the airline with more funding, portending its imminent death or at best an orderly winding down, notes a Business Day report.
Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has struggled to explain why she disregarded a previous board decision and instruction from the Finance Minister to sign a leasing deal with Airbus in 2015 and instead tried to alter the agreement without board approval, says a Daily Maverick report.
A Labour Court judgment, which on Friday dismissed an application to compel SAA to consult employees pending retrenchments was a ‘travesty of justice’, according to Numsa, which, together with the Sacca, failed to force the employer to begin consultations as required by the LRA.
With the dust from its failed bid to avoid business rescue barely settled, SA Express (SAX) is already gearing up for another legal battle – this time over more than R4.7m which global baggage services company Bagport says it is owed by the ailing state-owned airline.
More damning evidence continues to pile up against embattled former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni in the North Gauteng High Court (Pretoria), where Outa and the SAA Pilots Association want her to be declared a delinquent director.
The appointment of Ntiyiso Consulting as a transactional adviser to Wonderboom Airport by the City of Tshwane, has been suspended.
SA Express, which was ordered yesterday by the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) to go under business rescue for failing to settle its debt of R11m to global logistics firm Ziegler SA, is to appeal the ruling.
Regional airliner SA Airlink is heading to court to get permission for litigation against SAA under business rescue, according to Rapport.
The Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) has reserved judgment in an application brought by a private logistics company for SA Express to be placed in business rescue over unpaid debt, notes a Fin24 report.