Meaning of AIR LAW in English

law governing the use of airspace and occurrences therein. Airspace is understood as the area stretching from the ground to outer space. Although radio waves, projectiles, and other objects may traverse the airspace, the term air law generally refers only to laws regulating civil aviation and governing airplanes, dirigibles, balloons, and other such craft. A fundamental principle of international law is that of national sovereignty over airspace, a principle recognized by the Convention Relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation (Paris, 1919). That convention was superseded by the Convention of International Civil Aviation (Chicago, 1944), which also recognized that every state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory. The Chicago convention also stated that persons in an aircraft above a state are subject to the laws of that state. The aircraft must also obey the local rules of air and air-traffic control, including regulations pertaining to entry, clearance, immigration, passports, customs, health, and documents relating to the aircraft, crew, passengers, and cargo. Every state is entitled, by the rules of the Chicago convention, to regulate the transit and traffic of foreign aircraft in its airspace. Laws pertaining to airports are also considered a part of air law. In most countries airports are nationally licensed, and unlicensed places can be used for the landing and taking off of aircraft only under restrictive conditions, if at all. In the United States the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB; 193884) was charged with the power to make safety regulations, grant licenses, and establish other rules of flight; deregulation of the industry in 197879 curtailed the activities of the board, and in 1985 its remaining functions were assumed by other agencies. Parties to the Chicago convention must make airports open to aircraft of other parties on the same basis as they do to their own aircraft. Laws pertaining to airports also stipulate the mutual responsibilities of nearby landowners and airport operators. Courts have prohibited the establishment of airports where a strong showing of injury to neighbours has been made. The owner of a property adjacent to an airport may be prohibited from building structures that are hazardous to air navigation. Aircraft themselves are subject to the regulations of air law. Aircraft have to be registered in a country, and the Chicago convention stipulated that an aircraft engaged in international navigation is required to have a certificate of airworthiness issued by the state in which it is registered; the convention also requires that certificates of competency and licenses be issued to pilots and other members of the operating crew. Air law is also concerned with criminal jurisdiction in airspace. Formerly, when an aircraft flew in the airspace of a foreign nation, the law of that nation was applicable. Since that time, however, the criminal law of the state of registry has often been applied in order to avoid determining in which nation's airspace the criminal act was committed. Air law also provides a means to define piracy or acts of violence by the crew, as well as hijacking, known legally as unlawful seizure. It also defines the responsibility of states toward hijacked planes in their territory. The chief standing organization regulating air law is the International Civil Aviation Organization, affiliated with the United Nations and headquartered in Montreal. Additional reading A comprehensive general work covering both international and English air law is Shawcross and Beaumont on Air Law, 3rd ed. by P.B. Keenan, A. Lester, and P. Martin, 2 vol. (1966), with its supplements. An introductory work for the student is G.A. Seabrooke, Air Law (1964). A.D. McNair, The Law of the Air, 3rd ed. (1964); and P.C. Nathan and A.R. Barrowclough, Civil Aviation, in Halsbury's Laws of England, 3rd ed., vol. 5, pp. 1248 (1953), both deal with the subject from the standpoint of English law. For the United States, see A.J. Mathes and T. Mattern, Manual of Aviation Law (1952), a booklet that commends itself by its scope and brevity. Much more elaborate are F. De Billyou, Air Law, 2nd ed. (1964); and R.W. Fixel, The Law of Aviation (1967). Robert R. Wright, The Law of Airspace (1968), is on private rights and is not limited to air law, while D.H.N. Johnson, Rights in Air Space (1965), deals primarily with international law and is especially useful for its treatment of the historical evolution of the subject and the rules of air warfare. On the Chicago Convention, on ICAO, and on multilateral and bilateral agreements governing the operation of international nonscheduled flights and scheduled air services, see B. Cheng. The Law of International Air Transport (1962). H. Drion, Limitation of Liabilities in International Air Law (1954), a standard work, deals with both the Warsaw Convention and the Rome Convention. B. Cheng, The Law of International' and Non-international' Carriage by Air, The Law Society's Gazette (196364), covers the Warsaw Convention, the Hague Protocol, and the Guadalajara Convention. A.F. Lowenfeld and A.I. Mendelsohn, The United States and the Warsaw Convention, Harvard Law Review, 80:497602 (1967), is a more or less official apologia for absolute liability and the Montreal agreement. These were also the subject of two symposia: Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society (1967); and Symposium on the Warsaw Convention as Modified by the Montreal Agreement, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, 33:519726 (1967). T. Buergenthal, Law-Making in the International Civil Aviation Organization (1969); and J. Schenkman, International Civil Aviation Organization (1955), are both works of great scholarly merit. U.S. Library of Congress, Law Library, Air Laws and Treaties of the World, 3 vol. (1965), for the use of the Senate Committee on Commerce, is a mine of information. D.A. Cooper (ed. and trans.), The Air Code of the U.S.S.R. (1966; orig. pub. in Russian, 1961), has useful notes and explanatory comments. See also I.H. Ph. Diederiks-Verschoor, Introduction to Air Law (1983); and Gerard Pucci, Aviation Law, 4th ed. (1981). J. Ray Ferguson, Air Law: A Selected Bibliography of Articles, 18701980 (1982), is a useful reference source.

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