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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
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
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
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.
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms. Introduction. 1. Defining Aviation
Safety in View of the Global Interest. 2. Regulation of Aviation Safety
by Means of a Technical Safety Code. 3. Protecting Aviation Safety from
Military Operations. 4. Strengthening Aviation Safety against Unlawful
Interference. 5. Enhancing Aviation Safety through the Rule of Law.
General Conclusions. Selected Bibliography. About the Author.