International and National Aviation Law

Aviation law is the branch of law that governs the legalities and business aspects of flight and air transport, such as air traffic rights, aviation safety and security, economic regulations of airlines, and the operation of airports.

It is one of the most complex branches of law. This is due to a number of factors, including: the globalization of aviation, the numerous countries involved, commercial and business competition, and overlapping requirements.

The most important role of the law of aviation is to provide a framework that keeps the aviation industry safe, fair, and efficient.

This branch of law contains both national and international branches. Established by the United Nations in 1947, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) governs international law. They mediate international air navigation, flight inspections, develop air transport standards, prevent unlawful interference, and facilitate border-crossing protocals for international civil aviation.

The ICAO also regulates the procedures for air accident investigations in countries that are party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, or Chicago Convention.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an international industry trade group of airlines concerned with the business aspects of aviation. It is not to be confused with the ICAO, as both are based in Montreal and regulate aviation law.

The organization moderates the competition between aviation companies, ensuring fair play and uniformity in pricing. The IATA divides the world into three regions, consisting of North, South, and Central America; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

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National Law Of Aviation

While the ICAO helps govern international law, the majority of aviation law is handled at the federal or state level. The two largest aviation agencies in the world are the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S and the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) in Europe.

These two agencies are responsible for certifying all new aircraft worldwide. Other countries have their own National Aviation Authority (NAA) governing civil aviation.

The responsibilities of the FAA and EASA vary from regulating flight operations to enforcing airworthiness standards. Other responsibilities include:

  • ensuring the safe design of aircraft, engines, and components,
  • establishing navigational aids,
  • maintaining aircraft and equipment,
  • licensing pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians,
  • certifying airports, and
  • issuing standards for air traffic control.

There are now many aviation attorneys throughout the world who represent aviation persons in matters related to violations of mandated aviation regulations.



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