Mar 10, 2008

Warsaw Convention - A Brief Explanation, Warsaw-Life

The Warsaw Convention took place in Warsaw, on 12th October 1929. Experts in the field of Aviation Law, from thirty one nations, arrived in the Polish capital to create a legal framework that still binds international aviation today (albeit modified, most notable at the Hague in 1955 and Montreal 1999).

The principal purpose of the Warsaw Convention was to determine the liability of air carriers in the case of an accident, both in regards to passengers and also baggage and cargo. One of the main reasons that the Warsaw Convention needed amending in Montreal was because the maximum compensation that an airline could be forced to pay in the event of an international accident was 75,000 US dollars (for the death of one person). This limit, set to protect a fledging aviation industry from bankruptcy, has now been changed, so that the minimum a bereaved family can claim - without having to prove the airline’s negligence - is 135,000 dollars. And if the carrier is found at fault for the accident... Well, then the sky’s the limit.

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  • retrieved 10 March 2008

Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air

Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (Montreal, 28 May 1999)

Chapter I - General Provisions

Article 1 - Scope of application

Article 2 - Carriage performed by State and carriage of postal items

Chapter II - Documentation and Duties of the Parties Relating to the Carriage of Passengers, Baggage and Cargo

Article 3 - Passengers and baggage

Article 4 - Cargo

Article 5 - Contents of air waybill or cargo receipt

Article 6 - Document relating to the nature of the cargo

Article 7 - Description of air waybill

Article 8 - Documentation for multiple packages

Article 9 - Non-compliance with documentary requirements

Article 10 - Responsibility for particulars of documentation

Article 11 - Evidentiary value of documentation

Article 12 - Right of disposition of cargo

Article 13 - Delivery of the cargo

Article 14 - Enforcement of the rights of consignor and consignee

Article 15 - Relations of consignor and consignee or mutual relations of third parties

Article 16 - Formalities of customs, police or other public authorities

Chapter III - Liability of the Carrier and Extent of Compensation for Damage

Article 17 - Death and injury of passengers - damage to baggage

Article 18 - Damage to cargo

Article 19 - Delay

Article 20 - Exoneration

Article 21 - Compensation in case of death or injury of passengers

Article 22 - Limits of liability in relation to delay, baggage and cargo

Article 23 - Conversion of monetary units

Article 24 - Review of limits

Article 25 - Stipulation on limits

Article 26 - Invalidity of contractual provisions

Article 27 - Freedom to contract

Article 28 - Advance payments

Article 29 - Basis of claims

Article 30 - Servants, agents - aggregation of claims

Article 31 - Timely notice of complaints

Article 32 - Death of person liable

Article 33 - Jurisdiction

Article 34 - Arbitration

Article 35 - Limitation of actions

Article 36 - Successive carriage

Article 37 - Right of recourse against third parties

Chapter IV - Combined Carriage

Article 38 - Combined carriage

Chapter V - Carriage by Air Performed by a Person other than the Contracting Carrier

Article 39 - Contracting carrier - actual carrier

Article 40 - Respective liability of contracting and actual carriers

Article 41 - Mutual liability

Article 42 - Addressee of complaints and instructions

Article 43 - Servants and agents

Article 44 - Aggregation of damages

Article 45 - Addressee of claims

Article 46 - Additional jurisdiction

Article 47 - Invalidity of contractual provisions

Article 48 - Mutual relations of contracting and actual carriers

Chapter VI - Other Provisions

Article 49 - Mandatory application

Article 50 - Insurance

Article 51 - Carriage performed in extraordinary circumstances

Article 52 - Definition of days

Chapter VII - Final Clauses

Article 53 - Signature, ratification and entry into force

Article 54 - Denunciation

Article 55 - Relationship with other Warsaw Convention instruments

Article 56 - States with more than one system of law

Article 57 - Reservations

Document Information (metadata)

Output generated by SiSU 0.64.1 2008-01-09 (2008w01/3)

Montreal Convention, Wikipedia

The Montreal Convention, formally the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air[1], is a treaty adopted by a Diplomatic meeting of ICAO member states in 1999. It amended important provisions of the Warsaw Convention's regime concerning compensation for the victims of air disasters. The Convention re-establishes urgently needed uniformity and predictability of rules relating to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo. Whilst maintaining the core provisions which have successfully served the international air transport community for several decades (i.e the Warsaw regime), the new convention achieves the required modernisation in a number of key areas. It protects the passengers by introducing a modern two-tier liability system and by facilitating the swift recovery of proven damages without the need for lengthy litigation.

Under the Montreal Convention, air carriers are strictly liable for proven damages up to 100,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a mix of currency values established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), approximately $138,000 per passenger at the time of its ratification by the United States in 2003. (As of January 2007, the value has risen to roughly $149,000.) For damages above 100,000 SDR's, the airline must show the accident that caused injury or death was not due to their negligence or was attributable to the negligence of a third party. The Convention also amended the jurisdictional provisions of Warsaw and now allows the victim or their families to sue foreign carriers where they maintain their principal residence, and requires all air carriers to carry liability insurance.

The Montreal Convention also changes and generally increases the maximum liability of airlines for lost baggage to a fixed amount 1000 SDRs (the amount in the Warsaw Convention is based on weight of the baggage).

Montreal convention was brought about mainly to amend liabilities to be paid to families for death or injury whilst on board an aircraft.

EU countries jointly ratified the convention on 29 April 2004, and it came into force in those countries on 28 June 2004.

Civil Aviation Authority, Wikipedia

Country Authority name in English Authority name in local language
United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization n/a
Afghanistan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation of Afghanistan[1]
Albania Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Albania[2] Drejtoria e Përgjithshme e Aviacionit Civil të Shqipërisë
Angola National Civil Aviation Directorate Direcção Nacional de Aviação Civil
Armenia General Department of Civil Aviation[3] Քաղաքացիական ավիացիայի գլխավոր վարչություն
Australia Airservices Australia, Civil Aviation Safety Authority n/a
Austria Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology[4] Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie
Bahamas Department of Civil Aviation of Bahamas[5]
Bahrain Department of Civil Aviation Affairs[6]
Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh
Barbados Civil Aviation Department of Barbados[7]
Belarus Aviation Department of Belarus[8] Департамент по авиации
Belgium Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport[9] Service public fédéral Mobilité et Transports
Bermuda Deparment of Civil Aviation of Bermuda[10] n/a
Bhutan Deparment of Civil Aviation of Bhutan
Bolivia General Directorate of Civil Aviation of Bolivia[11] Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation[12] Bosna i Hercegovina Direkcija za civilno zrakoplovstvo
Botswana Department of Civil Aviation of Botswana[13]
Brazil National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil[14] Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil
Brunei Department of Civil Aviation of Brunei[15] Jabatan Penerbangan Awam
Bulgaria Directorate General Civil Aviation Administration[16] Главна дирекция "Гражданска въздухоплавателна администрация"
Cambodia State Secretariat of Civil Aviation[17] rdæelxaFikardæanGakascrsIuvil
Cameroon Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority[18]
Canada Transport Canada
Cayman Islands Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands[19]
China Civil Aviation Administration of China[20] 中国民用航空总局
Costa Rica Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Costa Rica[21] Dirección General de Aviación Civil
Croatia Civil Aviation Authority of Croatia[22] Uprava zračnog prometa
Cuba Institute of Civil Aeronautics of Cuba[23] Instituto de Aeronáutica Civil de Cuba
Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation of Cyprus[24] Τμήμα Πολιτικής Αεροπορίας
Czech Republic Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic[25] Úřad pro civilní letectví Česká republika
Ecuador Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Ecuador[26] Dirección General de Aviación Civil
Egypt Ministry of Civil Aviation of Egypt[27] وزارة الطيران المدني
El Salvador Civil Aviation Authority of El Salvador[28] Autoridad de Aviación Civil
Estonia Estonian Civil Aviation Administration[29] Lennuamet
European Union European Aviation Safety Agency
Fiji Civil Aviation Authority of the Fiji Islands[30]
Finland Finnish Civil Aviation Authority[31] Ilmailuhallinto
France Directorate General of Civil Aviation of France[32] Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile
Gabon Secretariat-General of Civil and Commercial Aviation Secrétariat Général de l’Aviation Civile et Commerciale
Gambia Gambia Civil Aviation Authority[33]
Georgia Georgian Civil Aviation Administration[34]
Germany Federal Office for Civil Aviation of Germany Luftfahrt-Bundesamt
Ghana Ghana Civil Aviation Authority[35]
Guatemala Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Guatemala[36] Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil
Guyana Guyana Civil Aviation Authority[37]
Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department 民航處
Iceland Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration[38] Flugmálastjórn Íslands
India Directorate General Of Civil Aviation[39]
Iran Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran[40]
Iraq Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Iraq[41] المنشأة العامة للطيران المدني
Ireland Irish Aviation Authority[42] Údarás Eitlíochta na hÉireann
Israel Israel Civil Aviation Authority
Jamaica Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority[43]
Japan Japan Civil Aviation Bureau[44]
Jordan Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission of Jordan[45]
Kenya Kenya Civil Aviation Authority[46]
Kiribati Civil Aviation Authority of Kiribati
Laos Department of Civil Aviation of Laos
Latvia Civil Aviation Agency of Latvia[47] Civilās aviācijas aģentūra
Lesotho Department of Civil Aviation of Lesotho[48]
Libya Libyan Civil Aviation Authority[49] مصلحة الطيران المدني
Liechtenstein Office of Civil Aviation of Liechtenstein
Lithuania Civil Aviation Administration of Lithuania[50] Civilinės aviacijos administracija
Luxembourg Directorate of Civil Aviation of Luxembourg[51] Direction de l’Aviation Civile
Macau Civil Aviation Authority of Macau[52] 民航局/Autoridade de Aviação Civil
Macedonia Civil Aviation Agency of Macedonia[53] Агенција за цивилно воздухопловство
Malaysia Department of Civil Aviation of Malaysia[54] Jabatan Penerbangan Awam Malaysia
Malawi Department of Civil Aviation of Malawi[55]
Maldives Civil Aviation Department of the Maldives[56]
Malta Department of Civil Aviation of Malta[57] Dipartiment ta' l-Avjazzjoni Ċivili
Marshall Islands Directorate of Civil Aviation of the Marshall Islands
Mexico Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Mexico[ Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil
Moldova Civil Aviation Administration of Moldova[58] Administraţia de Stat a Aviaţiei Civile a Republicii Moldova
Mongolia Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia Иргэний Нисэхийн Ерөнхий Газар
Myanmar Department of Civil Aviation of Myanmar[59] ေလေၾကာင္းပို႔ေဆာင္ေရးၫႊန္ၾကားမႈဦးစီးဌာန
Namibia Civil Aviation Authority Of Namibia[60]
Nepal Civil Aviation Authority Of Nepal[61]
Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management[62] Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat
New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
Nicaragua Nicaraguan Institute of Civil Aviation[63] Instituto Nicaragüense de Aeronáutica Civil
Nigeria Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority[64]
Norway Civil Aviation Authority of Norway Luftfartstilsynet
Oman Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Meteorology المديريه العامه للطيران المدني والأرصاد الجويه
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan
Panama Civil Aviation Authority of Panama[65] Autoridad Aeronáutica Civil
Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Authority of Papua New Guinea[66]
Paraguay National Directorate of Civil Aviation of Paraguay[67] Dirección Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil
Peru Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Peru[68] Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil
Philippines Air Transportation Office[69]
Poland Civil Aviation Office[70] Urząd Lotnictwa Cywilnego
Portugal National Institute of Civil Aviation of Portgual[71] Instituto Nacional de Aviação Civil
Qatar Civil Aviation Authority of Qatar[72] للهيئة العامة للطيران المدني
Romania Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority[73] Autorităţea Aeronautică Civilă Română
Russia Federal Agency for Air Transport
Rwanda Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority[74]
Samoa Civil Aviation Authority of Samoa
Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation[75] للهيئة العامة للطيران المدني
Serbia Civil Aviation Directorate of Serbia[76] Директорат Цивилног Ваздухопловства
Seychelles Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority[77]
Singapore Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
Slovakia Civil Aviation Authority of the Slovak Republic[78] Letecký úrad Slovenskej republiky
Slovenia Civil Aviation Directorate of Slovenia[79] Direktorat za civilno letalstvo
Somalia Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority for Somalia[80] n/a
South Africa South African Civil Aviation Authority[81] n/a
Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka
Sudan Civil Aviation Authority of Sudan[82]
Suriname Civil Aviation Department of Suriname[83]
Sweden Swedish Civil Aviation Administration
Syria Directorate General of Civil Aviation
Taiwan Civil Aviation Administration of Taiwan[84] 交通部民用航空局
Tanzania Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority[85]
Thailand Department of Civil Aviation of Thailand[86] กรมการขนส่งทางอากาศ
Timor-Leste Civil Aviation Division of Timor-Leste
Tonga Ministry of Civil of Tonga[87] n/a
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority[88] n/a
Tunisia Office of Civil Aviation and Airports[89] Office de l'aviation civile et des aéroports
Turkey Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Turkey[90] Sivil Havacılık Genel Müdürlüğü
Uganda Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda[91] n/a
Ukraine State Aviation Administration[92] Державна авіаційна адміністрація (Державіаадміністрація)
United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority[93] n/a
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom n/a
United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization
United States of America Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Vanuatu Vanuatu Civil Aviation Authority[94]
Venezuela National Institute of Civil Aviation of Venezuela[95] Instituto Nacional de Aviación Civil
Vietnam Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam Cục Hàng Không Việt Nam
Yemen Civil Aviation and Meteorological Authority of Yemen[96]
Zambia Department of Civil Aviation of Zambia[97]
Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe[98]

International Air Transport Association, Wikipedia

The International Air Transport Association is an international industry trade group of airlines headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where the International Civil Aviation Organisation also happens to be headquartered, even though they are different entities. The main objective of the organization is to assist airline companies to achieve lawful competition and uniformity in prices.

IATA was formed in April 1945, in Havana, Cuba. It is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association, founded in The Hague in 1919, the year of the world's first international scheduled services. At its founding, IATA had 57 members from 31 nations, mostly in Europe and North America. Today it has over 240 members from more than 140 nations in every part of the globe.

For fare calculations IATA has divided the world in three regions:

  1. South, Central and North America.
  2. Europe, Middle East and Africa. IATA Europe includes the geographical Europe and Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
  3. Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the Pacific Ocean.

To this end, airlines have been granted a special exemption by each of the main regulatory authorities in the world to consult prices with each other through this body. However, the organisation has been accused of acting as a cartel, and many low cost carriers are not full IATA members. The European Union's competition authorities are currently investigating the body. In 2005, Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Competition, made a proposal to lift the exception to consult prices. In July 2006, the United States Department of Transportation also proposed to withdraw antitrust immunity [1]. IATA teamed with SITA for an electronic ticketing solution [2].

IATA assigns 3-letter IATA Airport Codes and 2-letter IATA airline designators, which are commonly used worldwide. ICAO also assigns airport and airline codes. For Rail&Fly systems, IATA also assigns IATA train station codes. For delay codes, IATA assigns IATA Delay Codes.

IATA is pivotal in the worldwide accreditation of travel agents with exception of the U.S., where this is done by the Airlines Reporting Corporation. Permission to sell airline tickets from the participating carriers is achieved through national member organizations.

They also regulate the shipping of dangerous goods and publish the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations manual, a globally accepted field source reference for airlines shipping of hazardous materials.

Warsaw Convention, Wikipedia

The Warsaw Convention is an international convention which regulates liability for international carriage of persons, luggage or goods performed by aircraft for reward.

Originally signed in 1929 in Warsaw (hence the name), it was amended in 1955 at The Hague and in 1975 in Montreal. United States courts have held that, at least for some purposes, the Warsaw Convention is a different instrument from the Warsaw Convention as Amended by the Hague Protocol.

In particular, the Warsaw Convention:

  • mandates carriers to issue passenger tickets;
  • requires carriers to issue baggage checks for checked luggage;
  • creates a limitation period of 2 years within which a claim must be brought (Article 29); and
  • sets a carrier's liability to at least:
    • 250,000 Francs or 16,600 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for personal injury;
    • 17 SDR per kilogram for checked luggage and cargo,
    • 5,000 Francs or 332 SDR for the hand luggage of a traveller.

The sums limiting liability were originally given in Francs (defined in terms of a particular quantity of gold by article 22 paragraph 5 of the convention). These sums were amended by the Montreal Additional Protocol No. 2 to substitute an expression given in terms of SDR's. These sums are valid in the absence of a differing agreement (on a higher sum) with the carrier. Agreements on lower sums are null and void.

On April 1, 2007, the exchange rate was 1.00 SDR = 1.135 EUR or 1.00 SDR = 1.51 USD.

A court may also award a claiming party's costs, unless the carrier made an offer within 6 months of the loss (or at least 6 months before the beginning of any legal proceedings) which the claiming party has failed to beat.

The Montreal Convention, signed in 1999, will replace the Warsaw Convention system, once Montreal has been ratified by all states. Until then, however, there will be a patchwork of rules governing international carriage by air, as different states will be parties to different agreements (or no agreement at all).

Kenneth Beaumont, Wikipedia

Major Kenneth Macdonald Beaumont CBE DSO (10 February 188424 June 1965) is the individual probably most responsible for the development of international aviation law.

Beaumont served in the Army Service Corps in the First World War, reaching the rank of Major and being awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1918 for his services during the capture of Jerusalem.

After becoming a joint partner in 1911 of the London based legal practice, Beaumont and Son, (originally formed as a family practice by his grandfather in 1836) Major Beaumont turned the practice's focus to aviation law following an Imperial Airways accident in 1924. He was one of the three original legal advisers on the IATA (International Air Transport Association although it was then called the International Air Traffic Association) Legal Committee and served in this capacity from 1925 to 1946. In the early part of his career at the IATA he was responsible for drafting the terms and conditions for passenger tickets, baggage checks and consignment notes for cargo. In 1929 Major Beaumont attended, as an observer on behalf of the IATA, a conference in Warsaw at which the Warsaw Convention for the unification of certain rules relating to international carriage by air was drafted. He was instrumental in persuading the conference members not to schedule to the Convention standard forms of tickets, baggage checks and consignment notes.

Major Beaumont was elected Chairman of the C.I.T.E.J.A. (Comité International Technique d'Experts Juridiques Aérien) - soon to become the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) in 1946, of which he was also elected Chairman whilst serving as its UK representative. The terms of his engagement were expressed by Lord Nathan thus:

We understand that you know more about the international aspects of air law than we do at the Ministry. In these circumstances, are you prepared to attend meetings of the C.I.T.E.J.A. on the understanding that you receive no brief or instructions from us and that, if we approve of the way in which you handle these meetings, we shall receive the credit and that, if we do not approve, your employment will be terminated?

He was elected President of the legal committee of the ICAO in 1954. Major Beaumont was the author of a draft Convention intended to replace the Warsaw Convention but although, to his regret, his draft was not adopted, many of its provisions appeared in the Hague Protocol 1955. He retired from the ICAO in 1957, but continued to attend meetings as an observer on behalf of the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Law Association.

Major Beaumont was the co-author of Shawcross and Beaumont, the standard authoritative legal text on aviation.

Although best remembered for his contributions to the field of aviation law, he was also a championship figure skater and served as a referee or judge of World, European and Olympic Figure Skating Championships. He served as the President of the Royal Philatelic Society, London, and of the National Skating Association of Great Britain.

His family motto was: "Cartun pete finem" (Seek a sure end)