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Fear of Flying Aviation Law 1

While I was teaching some Aviation Law for Captain’s recently it occurred to me

International Civil Aviation Organisation


that there’s some of it that may be of interest to fearful flyers…but only some!

The first law to be passed concerning Aviation was in France in 1784 when the authorities insisted that anyone wishing to become air born in a balloon would need permission. Aviation law is based on agreements and conventions, which have signatories and requires each state to apply the rules ‘ their own legal system.

Interestingly in  1919 The Paris convention was not ratified by the USA because they believed that there would be little traffic between America and Europe. The North Atlantic route is of course the busiest in the world.

The  famous Warsaw Convention of 1929  limited an Airline’s liability to passengers and others to £ 6,816. Subsequently increased to £13663, and now is at $75,000. I think however this limit is rarely enforced.

In 1944 the Chicago Convention established the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO)  and that still governs every aspect of Civil Aviation throughout the world.

Each country has its own airspace where its Laws apply. So a Chinese aircraft can be required to land by any State which it is flying over. Similarly a German plane over France is under French jurisdiction. However the Law of the place where the plane is registered still applies …but takes second place!

An Italian plane, for example, preparing to fly to Brazil  from the UK will be subject to British Law until the plane moves under its own power then both British and Italian Law until the end of the landing run when it becomes subject to Brazilian Law.

I think that’s enough of that……



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