Aviation law establishes the legal bases of air navigation and governs its organization.
Aviation law is one of the components of transport law by air. It encompasses the legal status of the aircraft, defined as ” an apparatus capable of sustaining itself in the atmosphere thanks to the reactions of the air “, and the rules relating to its natural environment, which is the air.
It also covers all the legal aspects of the components of air navigation, that is to say aerodromes, air routes, navigation personnel. It governs, the damage caused by aircraft to third parties or to other aircraft, insurance. Aviation law includes national and international criminal law and now that of terrorism in particular.
The legal framework for Aviation law is based on private law conventions and public law conventions.
As Aviation law quickly took on an international dimension, the need to standardize international legislation prompted States to consult.
The Warsaw Convention
The International Conference of Paris of 1925 gave birth to the first international convention on private law, on October 12, 1929 in Warsaw, relating to “the unification of certain rules relating to international air transport”.
The Warsaw Convention regulates the liability of air carriers and establishes a presumption of fault against the carrier. Thus, the victim does not need to provide proof of the fault of the carrier, author of the damage, because it is presumed. The latter must therefore reverse this presumption and can exonerate himself from his responsibility, by proving that he had taken all the necessary security measures. In addition, the agreement fixes the limit of the carrier’s liability at 125,000 F.
The Warsaw Convention is still in force today, despite the profound changes subsequently made by the Hague Protocol, adopted in 1955, which entered into force in 1963, and by the Montreal Agreement, which, in particular, elevates the liability limit
The Chicago Convention
Furthermore, the Chicago International Convention, adopted on December 7, 1944 and entered into force on April 4, 1947, has been ratified at present by one hundred and eighty-three states.
The Chicago Convention This determines the fundamental rules of public Aviation law and in particular affirms from its first article “the complete and exclusive sovereignty” of States over the airspace above their territory.
The Chicago Convention created ICAO, headquartered in Montreal. ICAO’s mission is to ensure compliance with the air navigation regime established by the Chicago Convention and its annexes. Its legal committee has been at the origin of numerous international conventions in public law, as well as in private and criminal law.
Conventions concerning offenses committed in airspace
Three international conventions relate to offenses committed in airspace, that of Tokyo of 1963, that of The Hague of 1970 and, finally, that of Montreal of 1971. These stipulate that the State in which the plane was registered is competent to judge offenses committed on board, and organize a repressive regime for acts of capture and piracy of civil aviation
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS ON Aviation LAW
WARSAW CONVENTION MONTREAL CONVENTION CHICAGO CONVENTION
GENEVA CONVENTION ON THE INTERTIONAL RECOGNITION OF AIRCRAFT RIGHTS