Air Law

Clément Ader and his pioneering work in aviation

Some consider the plane of Clément Ader, Éole, to have been the first true aeroplane, given that it left the ground under its own power and carried a person through the air for a short distance, and that the event of October 1890, was the first successful flight.

The future of dirigible balloons

Dirigible balloons are currently enjoying renewed interest, as evidenced by ongoing programs in France or abroad. This very old aeronautical solution presents an interesting alternative from an economic point of view, because of its sobriety in terms of fuel consumption. Another advantage is its hovering capacity.

Aircraft certification

In our research on Air Law, we wanted for this new Space Legal Issues article focus on aircraft certification. The recent crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane casts doubt on the certification methods of airliners. These long and laborious procedures have been proven, but the crash of two Boeing 737 Max in a few months, calls into question their effectiveness.

The Sources of Public International Law

Public International Law, also known as “Law of Nations”, is the name of a body of rules which regulate the conduct of sovereign states in their relations with one another. Sources of Public International Law include treaties, international customs, general principles of law as recognised by civilized nations, the decisions of national and lower courts, and scholarly writings.

The 1999 Montreal Convention

The 1999 Montreal Convention (MC99) establishes airline liability in the case of death or injury to passengers, as well as in cases of delay, damage or loss of baggage and cargo. It unifies all of the different international treaty regimes covering airline liability that had developed haphazardly since 1929. MC99 is designed to be a single, universal treaty to govern airline liability around the world.

The Air Mail Act of 1925

In our researches on Space Law, working on the New Space effect and the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) NASA program, let’s have a look at the Air Mail Act of 1925, also known as the Kelly Act, which turned over the mail service to private contractors.

The lawfulness of drones in France

The use of civilian drones in France is governed by two recent regulations that came into force on January 1, 2016. These regulations separate civilian drone use into three categories: hobby and competition flying, flying for experimental and testing purposes, and “particular activities”, which essentially means everything else, including commercial use of drones.

Drones: new uses, new regulations, new technologies

As everyone can see, the new applications of drones – or at least the ideas of use – are extremely numerous and varied. Drones are today used for agriculture, the medias, long-range surveillance, the transport of packages or passengers, swarming for military use, and so on.

The Berlin Space Protocol

The Berlin Space Protocol, marking a significant step forward in harmonizing and unifying the rules of national laws on the subject of asset-backed finance for mobile space equipment, seeks to extend the benefits of the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment to “space assets”.

Space Rider, a planned ESA uncrewed orbital spaceplane

Space Rider is a planned uncrewed orbital spaceplane aiming to provide the European Space Agency (ESA) with affordable and routine access to outer space. Space Rider will have the potential to allow experiments in microgravity, such as exposure of materials to outer space and in-orbit validation of technologies, as well as deployment of small satellites.

The legal status of Stratolaunch and the future of orbital launch systems

Stratolaunch has recently taken flight for the first time, on April 13, 2019. It must theoretically be used to carry and drop at a 10-kilometre altitude a small rocket that will then light its engine, and will propel itself to outer space to place satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). What is the legal status of Stratolaunch and the future of orbital launch systems?

The difference between Public and Private International Law

International law, which consists of two branches: public international law and private international law, is the set of legal rules that govern relations between states (and international organizations) or between private persons in an international context.

United States v. Causby

In the debate over the delimitation of airspace and outer space, which has persisted since the dawn of the Space Age, without resolution, it is interesting to look at the United States Supreme Court’s Decision United States v. Causby (1946).

Stratobus or the legal status of High Altitude Platform Stations

Stratobus is an autonomous stratospheric platform concept halfway between the satellite and the drone. Complementing the global satellite coverage, what is the legal status of those High Altitude Platform Stations or geostationary aircraft?

The International Civil Aviation Organization

In order to understand better what Space Law is and how it works, let’s keep studying Air Law and discuss throughout this article the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’ legal status, its structure and missions.

The Chicago Convention of 1944

The Chicago Convention of 1944, drafted by fifty-four nations, was established to promote cooperation and create and preserve friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world. The Convention on International Civil Aviation established the core principles permitting international transport by air.