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The problems regarding aircraft liability in the international realm primarily relate to
resolving issues of legal status of inte
rnational airline passengers and cargo. The issues
are defined as follows: sovereignty over airspace, the impact of aerospace craft on the
environment, the role of aerospace technology in the international system, weather
modification, air safety and inte
rnational aviation relations. Remarkable growth and
development in the range of air transport services and technology earned the sector a
distinctive international character. The latter is the most outstanding feature of the
industry which allowed 'ever
y part of the world [to be reached] within a few hours of
every other and, in doing so ... brought about a revolution in world trade, in business
contacts, and in methods of diplomacy.' (1)




The principles of air law have been evolving at a ra
pid pace since the beginning
of the Twenty
-
first Century, however, they also remain inadequate to meet the needs of
contemporary society. Concern for this immense growth and the accompanying
implications produced the impetus to devise a means to ensure o
rderly and appropriate
development. Thus,

'The general policy of the world community in regard to emerging issues of air law
demands the maintenance and promotion of a balance between technological advance in
aviation and the preservation of a wholesome
environment by providing adequate
policies and prescriptions.' (2)




The initial governing treaty passed in 1929 is known as the Warsaw Convention.
This is a multilateral treaty among nations that governs international air transportation. It

was based on the idea that because aviation was in its infancy, there was a risk of
destroying the carrier airline if there was a major crash. Therefore, it limits the liability
for carriers. Unfortunately, this treaty also limited the liability for da
mages to injured
persons. Because of the latter clause, the U.S. renounced its participation and proceeded
to join the international aviation community in entering into the Montreal Agreement of
1965.

The Montreal Agreement was a special contract authoriz
ed by the Warsaw Convention
which states that the parties can agree to engage in certain activities only if there is a
consensus. The agreement also raised the limitation of liability, instituted absolute
liability for any accident, and developed a crite
ria for recovery for which the injured
party has to prove that the carrier was guilty of willful misconduct. This agreement only
applies to flights that start, stop or end or those which connect with an itinerary that
stops, starts or ends in the United
States. (3)

A third and more comprehensive convention was the Convention on International Civil
Aviation of 1944 also known as the Chicago Convention. This convention set out the
general principles of international civil aviation and established a framewo
rk of
international coordination, cooperation and regulation of services. It also addressed non
-
agenda items such as the technical aspects of air transportation affecting the environment
including engine fuel emission and noise generated by aircraft eng
ines.




The predominant external factor addressed in the aforementioned treaties is the
influence wielded by the existence of powerful aviation
-
centered countries as opposed to
the smaller, less self
-
sufficient aviation nation states. One o
f the most important and
controversial arenas concerning air law liability is that of airlines privately owned by
governments. Considering this fact, there is a tremendous impact on the government and
privately owned airlines to compete with each other fo
r air space. As such, there are
many controversies associated with which country has jurisdiction over liability in
airspace, common standards of safety, worldwide air traffic, and especially, who is
responsible for payment of damages resulting from airli
ne litigation.




The internal factors politicizing the arenas of aircraft liability are the economic
competition issues resulting from anti
-
trust regulation of airlines. The traditional air law
has not kept pace with problems associated with m
ass air transportation, the impact of
global economy, the impact of aerospace industry on property rights and privacy, and
noise and pollution. However, the industry has instituted important regulation governing
monopolies within nations solely based on s
overeign control of airspace. This is
particularly evidenced in the doctrine arising out of the Chicago Convention.




The Warsaw Convention, the subsequent Chicago Convention and the Montreal
Agreement serve as a balancing act for limiting airc
raft liability within sovereign states.
Therefore, the issues related to expansion of the role of national law in adjudicating
claims arising in the course of international transportation are under the purview of these
related conventions and treaties. Fu
rthermore, the convention realized that the
international aviation policy of the future has to encompass major problems of mass air
transportation and the increasing degree of interdependence within the aviation
community. As such, the existing convention
s must rely on the responsibility of air
traffic control services and regulations. Liability would then be based on proof of fault,
however it would be limited in nature, and the convention would facilitate quick
settlement of disputes placing less of a b
urden on the developing states.







WORKS CITED


1.



Goh, Jeffrey. Problems of Transnational Regulation: A Case Study of Aircraft
Noise Regulation in the European Community. 23 Transp. L.J. 277 Transportation Law
Journal. U
niversity of Denver, 1995, 278.

2.



Bhatt, S.. Aviation, Environment and World Order. Humanities Press, 1980.
Pp. 181. Index. 78 A.J.I.L. 1003 The American Society of International Law/The
American Journal International Law, 1984, p. 1005
.

3.



Olin, Michael S.. The Legal and Regulatory Environment: Safety and Labor. 20
Transp. L.J. 114 Transportation Law Journal. University of Denver, 1991, p. 114.

4.




Whalen, Thomas J.. Warsaw Convention: Giemulla, Schmid and

Ehlers.
Kluwer Law and Taxation Publishers, 1992. 21 Transp. L.J. 523 Transportation Law
Journal. University of Denver, 1993.

5.



Warsaw Convention. Text, 1929.
Http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/air_law/warsaw.html




Keywords:


problems regar
ding aircraft liability international realm primarily relate resolving issues
legal status international airline passengers cargo issues defined follows sovereignty over
airspace impact aerospace craft environment role aerospace technology international
sy
stem weather modification safety aviation relations remarkable growth development
range transport services technology earned sector distinctive character latter most
outstanding feature industry which allowed every part world reached within hours every
oth
er doing brought about revolution world trade business contacts methods diplomacy
principles have been evolving rapid pace since beginning twenty first century however
they also remain inadequate meet needs contemporary society concern this immense
growth
accompanying implications produced impetus devise means ensure orderly
appropriate development thus general policy world community regard emerging issues
demands maintenance promotion balance between technological advance aviation
preservation wholesome en
vironment providing adequate policies prescriptions initial
governing treaty passed known warsaw convention this multilateral treaty among nations
that governs transportation based idea that because aviation infancy there risk destroying
carrier airline th
ere major crash therefore limits liability carriers unfortunately this treaty
also limited liability damages injured persons because latter clause renounced
participation proceeded join community entering into montreal agreement montreal
agreement special
contract authorized warsaw convention which states that parties agree
engage certain activities only there consensus agreement also raised limitation instituted
absolute accident developed criteria recovery which injured party prove carrier guilty
willful
misconduct only applies flights start stop those connect with itinerary stops starts
ends united states third more comprehensive convention civil known chicago general
principles civil established framework coordination cooperation regulation services
addr
essed agenda items such technical aspects transportation affecting environment
including engine fuel emission noise generated aircraft engines predominant external
factor addressed aforementioned treaties influence wielded existence powerful centered
count
ries opposed smaller less self sufficient nation states most important controversial
arenas concerning airlines privately owned governments considering fact tremendous
impact government privately owned airlines compete with each other space such many
contr
oversies associated with country jurisdiction over airspace common standards safety
worldwide traffic especially responsible payment damages resulting from airline
litigation internal factors politicizing arenas aircraft economic competition resulting from

anti trust regulation airlines traditional kept pace problems associated mass transportation
impact global economy aerospace industry property rights privacy noise pollution
however industry instituted important regulation governing monopolies within nati
ons
solely based sovereign control airspace particularly evidenced doctrine arising chicago
warsaw subsequent chicago montreal serve balancing limiting within sovereign therefore
related expansion role national adjudicating claims arising course under purv
iew these
related conventions treaties furthermore realized policy future encompass major problems
mass increasing degree interdependence community such existing conventions must rely
responsibility traffic control services regulations would then based pro
of fault however
would limited nature would facilitate quick settlement disputes placing less burden
developing works cited jeffrey transnational case study noise european transp journal
university denver bhatt order humanities press index american society

american journal
olin michael legal regulatory safety labor transp journal university denver whalen thomas
giemulla schmid ehlers kluwer taxation publishers transp university denver text http iasl
mcgill html




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