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Liberalisation of International Civil Aviation – Charting the Legal Flightpath

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Document pages: 23 pages

Abstract: The paper focuses on the issue of liberalisation of international civil aviation, examining how the law could accommodate a reform of the Chicago regime. It looks into the strengths and weaknesses of the most prominent legal options available to States to implement liberalisation, namely, amending the Chicago Convention, including market access in air transport in the GATS Annex on Air Transport Services, waiving the nationality clauses and concluding inter-regional air transport agreements. Via this process, the paper aspires to identify the optimal legal path to liberalisation. The analysis suggests that there is no single way to achieve liberalisation nor is there a shortcut. Instead, it appears that what catalyses liberalisation is the combined effect of the interplay between the various legal options. The paper concludes that, however accommodating the law might be, liberalisation occurs when economics and politics merge, an outcome which in international civil aviation appears to be a long way down the road, but certainly not out of sight.

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