International Aviation Law & Policy – Comprehensive


21 October 2017          

This month, the International Aviation Law & Policy course held at JAA TO welcomed a very interesting mix of attendees from Asia and European countries. They came from the Malaysian Aviation Commission and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, while others were from the Civil Aviation Agency of Slovenia, and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation.

In the picture: Attendees of the course and the instructor Peter

          The four-day course had two instructors:  Peter, who is adjunct professor of Law at the Institute of Air and Space Law of McGill University, in Montreal, apart from being advisor and trainer at JAATO, and Axelle, a former Senior Lecturer of the Leiden Law School, and advisor and trainer at JAATO.

         During the training, Axelle started with refreshing the knowledge of the participants by bringing to their attention the origins of international aviation law and policies. “Everything started with the Chicago Conference of 1944, and the Convention it produced. There was a discussion about what should happen with international aviation after the war. The need was felt for an organisation to take care of the industry that was about to expand”, says Axelle.


In the photo: Axelle's training, answering to questions and refreshing the knowledge of participants

          In the occasion, the governments discussed all aspects of international air transport, including economic matters, “but the primary focus of the conference was on technical and operational issues: safety first”, continues Axelle. At that moment what they really wanted was to regulate an infant industry, so it could develop in an orderly and safe manner.

            Nowadays, aviation is still one of the most regulated industries. “It is not just because of safety, there is much more behind it”, says Axelle. For example, most recently, ICAO restated that civil aviation should not be used as a weapon. “That was very important work of ICAO”, emphasizes Axelle.

           “Besides safety and security, also the impact of aviation on the environment was recently addressed. Economic issues were not forgotten either”, says Peter.      

In the photo: Peter, JAATO-qualified trainer of the course International Aviation Law & Policy

             And it doesn’t stop there. For example, if you are a pilot in several states, ICAO and EU’s EASA regulate the necessity of certification and licenses - that situation and leasing between airlines also has regulatory consequences.     

More about the course

          The International Aviation Law & Policy course explains the system of international civil aviation, from how it developed to what it is today. It describes the present responsibilities and activities of national governments (on behalf of their national airlines), of ICAO and, in particular of the European Union in the field of international aviation. It reviews in some detail the relevant laws/regulations, policies and practices of the stakeholders concerned.

           During the course, particular attention is paid to the Chicago Convention, the role of ICAO and a review of the liability conventions it helped to develop. Besides, the training makes an analysis of the system and contents of bilateral agreements, US initiatives to modernize the economic regulation of international air transport (Open Skies) and its approach to airline alliances. The ambitious and wide-ranging regulatory and policy actions of the EU, including the landmark EU – US air transport agreement, and the application of competition law to airline alliances and mergers – and state subsidies – are also addressed.

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Quotes from participants

“The course was very informative, because the trainers are very knowledgeable. It was also interactive and they allowed us to ask many questions. Besides that, we really enjoyed the facilities here – food, environment and people”, affirmed the participants from Malaysia. 

“The course was excellent, really comprehensive. The knowledge we gained here will be really useful to our jobs. We are already setting the budget to send new colleagues and we plan to attend new courses at JAATO”, declared the attendees from Thailand.