Fundamentals of International Aviation
eBook - ePub

Fundamentals of International Aviation

Suzanne K. Kearns

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  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Fundamentals of International Aviation

Suzanne K. Kearns

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About This Book

International aviation is a massive and complex industry that is crucial to our global economy and way of life.

Fundamentals of International Aviation, designed for the next generation of aviation professionals, flips the traditional approach to aviation education. Instead of focusing on one career in one country, it has been designed to introduce the aviation industry on a global scale with a broad view of all the interconnected professional groups. Therefore, this is an appropriate introductory book for any aviation career (including aviation regulators, maintenance engineers, pilots, flight attendants, airline managers, dispatchers, air traffic controllers, and airport managers among many others).

Each chapter of this text introduces a different cross-section of the industry, from air law to operations, security to remotely-piloted aircraft (drones). A variety of learning tools are built into each section, including case studies that describe an aviation accident related to the content of each chapter.

This book provides a foundation of aviation industry awareness that will support the next generation as they choose a career path that best aligns with their interests and ambitions. It also offers current professionals an enriched understanding of the practices and challenges between the many interconnected professional groups that make up the rich fabric of international aviation.

Online slides and a test bank are available asaneResource for this book, whichcan be found at

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Chapter 1
International Air Law

Chapter Outcomes
At the end of this chapter, you will be able to . . .
  • Discuss the origins of aviation and the history of international aviation law.
  • Describe the 1944 Chicago Conference, as well as the structure and function of the International Civil Aviation Organization, which was created as a result of the Conference.
  • Differentiate between multilateral, bilateral, and national aviation regulations.
  • Identify the various international organizations that influence international aviation regulation.
  • Use your understanding of international air law to discuss a case study on the shooting down of KAL 007, a civilian aircraft, by a military aircraft.


The sheer complexity of international aviation law can be overwhelming to those first studying it. Questions are raised about how so many countries, with varying laws and cultural values and practices, can agree to follow the same rules and policies. Yet without large-scale international agreement, a safe and efficient aviation system would be impossible.
Consider for a moment what air travel might be like if each individual country designed its own unique methods for certifying aircraft as fit to fly, communicating and navigating, planning airports, or establishing pilot licensing standards. Whenever a flight crossed international borders, the flight crew would have to follow a new set of rules, which would be very confusing and probably unsafe! In addition, an aviation professional trained in one country might never be able to work in another country, as the standards and practices would vary.
For the aviation community to function safely and efficiently, international regulations must be standardized. International air law refers to the rules and regulations that impact global air transport, and is a unifying element of civil aviation. To gain a solid understanding of how the aviation industry functions on a global scale, it is necessary to develop a familiarity with international air law – for this reason, aviation law is the foundation upon which the following chapters in this text are built.
Figure 1.1 Early history of aviation
Figure 1.1 Early history of aviation

The Origins of Aviation

Flight has fascinated humankind for probably as long as people have walked the earth. Early recorded history is filled with legends of flight and early experiments – from the tale of Icarus who flew too close to the Sun, which melted the wax holding his wings together causing him to fall to Earth (Greek mythology, approximately 30 BCE) to the work of Leonardo da Vinci, who was the first to apply scientific principles to aviation in his sketches of flying machines (late 1400s). As long as humans have observed the flight of birds, there have been those who dreamed of joining them. In fact, the term aviation, which refers to the operation of aircraft, is derived from the Latin avis meaning ‘bird’.
Did You Know?
Early attempts at flight involved the use of ornithopters. An ornithopter is a device designed to achieve flight by flapping wings (powered by either an engine or the pilot’s muscles). Unfortunately, in the era of da Vinci, several monks lost their lives jumping off buildings or bridges with unsuccessful ornithopters.
The aviation industry, as we understand it today, is still relatively young. On 17 December 1903, brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright made history when Orville successfully flew their flyer about 37 metres (120 feet), earning the distinction of being the first to accomplish powered, controlled, heavier-than-air flight. In the years that followed the Wright brothers’ success, several other functional aircraft were developed.
Did You Know?
The Wright brothers were not the ‘inventors of aviation’. The Wright brothers built their success upon the contributions of earlier aviation pioneers. Otto Lilienthal, considered the Father of Gliding, performed many controlled glides in the late 1890s. Lighter-than-air flight – using hot-air balloons and airships – began with the French Montgolfier brothers in the late 1700s and evolved to include dirigibles (blimps) offering scheduled passenger service during the time of the Wright brothers. Several other pioneers were experimenting with powered flight, including Clément Ader, Hiram Maxim, Karl Jatho, and Augustus Moore Herring. Therefore, to be accurate, the Wright brothers were the first to accomplish powered, controlled, heavier-than-air flight.
World War I, which began in 1914, was the catalyst that dramatically accelerated the use of aircraft. During the war, aircraft were initially used for reconnaissance, and then eventually for bombing and air-to-air combat. When World War I ended in 1918, a surplus of trained pilots and aircraft were available for the first time in human history and the market for civil aviation began to develop. Air shows, flight training businesses, chartered passenger services, aerial surveying, firefighting, and advertising outfits that scattered printed material over towns grew in availability and popularity in the interwar era.
From the end of the First World War through the mid-1930s, airlines began springing up, including KLM from the Netherlands and Avianca from Colombia (both in 1919), Qantas from Australia (1920), Czech Airlines from Czechoslovakia (1923), Lufthansa from Germany (1926), Iberia from Spain, and Pan American World Airways from the United States (both in 1927), among others. For the first time in civil aviation, negotiations between countries over landing rights and privileges were important issues.
In World War II (1939–1945), aviation no longer served a supporting role in military combat; air power was crucial. The German air force, called the Luftwaffe, and the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service battled the Allies’ British Royal Air Force (which included the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force), the United States Army Air Forces, and the Soviet Air Force in brutal bombing and fighter missions throughout the war. Incredible operational and technical aviation advancements occurred during this period. By the time the Allies won the war in 1945, both military and civil aviation had grown exponentially and the public perception had shifted – aviation was no longer seen as something mystical, but rather as a part of everyday life.

History of Multilateral Aviation Regulation

International air law falls into three categories: 1) multilateral agreements between three or more States, 2) bilateral agreements between two States, and 3) national regulations within a single State. This first section will explore the development of multilateral agreements within international civil aviation.
Reviewing the early history of aviation helps in understanding when and how international regulations were established. In 1908, before World War I, at least 10 German balloons crossed the border and landed in France. This raised concerns and caused the French government to propose an international conference to determine regulations fo...

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