||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
Aviation law is the branch of law that concerns flight, air travel, and associated legal and business concerns. Some of its area of concern overlaps that of admiralty law and, in many cases, aviation law is considered a matter of international law due to the nature of air travel. However, the business aspects of airlines and their regulation also fall under aviation law. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governs applied aspects of flight. In the international realm, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provides general rules and mediates international concerns to an extent regarding aviation law. The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.
In the United States and in most European nations, aviation law is considered a federal or state-level concern and is regulated at that level. In the U.S., states cannot govern aviation matters in most cases directly but look to Federal laws and case law for this function instead. For example, a court recently struck down New York's Passenger Bill of Rights law because regulation of aviation is traditionally a federal concern. Aviation law, however, is not in the United States held under the same Federal mandate of jurisdiction as admiralty law; that is, which the United States Constitution provides for the administration of admiralty, it does not provide such for aviation law.
States and municipalities do have some indirect regulation over aviation. For example, zoning laws can be enforced to require an airport to be located away from residential areas and flights can be restricted to certain times of day.
State products liability law is not preempted by Federal law and in most cases, aviation manufacturers may be held strictly liable for defects in aviation products.
One of the first Americans regarded as an expert in aviation law was Stephen Latchford.
Space law, which governs matters in outer space beyond the Earth's atmosphere, is a rather new area of law but one that already has its own journals and academic support. Expectedly, much of space law is connected to aviation law.
- Kenneth Beaumont
- Warsaw Convention
- Cape Town Treaty
- Hague Protocol
- Civil Aviation Authority
- Montreal Convention
- Chicago Convention
- Tokyo Convention
- Ferguson v. NTSB
- Gates and Partners
- ALTA Aviation Law Americas
- International Aviation Law Institute (IALI)
- Peace Palace Library - Research Guide
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