Number of page: 256
Publisher: Kluwer Law International
Flight is inherently a risky venture, carried out in a hostile environment at great speed. Realistically and regrettably, a commitment to aviation safety can achieve no more than ‘as few accidents as possible’. Moreover, the tragic events of 11 September 2001 have conclusively demonstrated that aviation safety goes beyond accident prevention from a technical point of view and extends to more profound political, strategic and legal dimensions. Accordingly, aviation safety requires a multidisciplinary approach: technical, economic, managerial, and legal. This ground-breaking study analyzes, from a legal point of view, the mandate of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) relating to aviation safety in the light of changes which have taken place since the conclusion of the Chicago Convention, including the expansion of the international civil aviation community, the liberalization of the aviation industry, the introduction of new technology, and existing as well as new and emerging terrorist threats. The author clearly demonstrates that ICAO, as the worldwide governmental organization for international civil aviation, should be allowed a more proactive role in enhancing aviation safety. Describing in great detail the contributions of ICAO to the global safety regime and mechanisms, he submits effective ways to rationalize ICAO’s quasi-legislative and enforcement functions in order to enhance aviation safety through the rule of law. Among the important topics arising in the course of the analysis are the following: global ramifications of national and regional initiatives; auditing of state compliance with international standards; characterization of crimes against the safety of civil aviation; importance of ensuring that safety requirements are not compromised by profit considerations; burgeoning of airline alliances, code-sharing and outsourcing activities; demands for simplification and unification of certain regulatory procedures; prohibition of the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight; development of new technology, such as satellite-based navigation systems; and importance of the rule of law and the system of checks and balances in international organizations. As a plea to consider civil aviation safety obligations not only as merely contractual obligations between States but as obligations owed to the international community as a whole, this book is sure to give rise to far-reaching discussions and follow-up among policymakers and the interested legal community in the years to come.