Before the advent of aircraft, law-makers cared little for the sky above. Even when Ghenghis Khan's falcons preceded his master's hoards of horseback warriors, it was probably a welcome intrusion on airspace: a life-saving signal to run and hide! But balloons made way to dirigibles, then to winged aircraft. In the First World War, weapons were fitted onto aircraft and the world took notice. All Nations and states looked up and demanded and enforced sovereignty over their respective territories. The idea of freedom to fly over other countries is based on a principle published in 1609 by Hugo Grotius defending the right of the Dutch India Company to trade in the Far East. Called Mare Librium, it stated that any country could sail on the seas without restrictions by other Nations. The work of Grotius and of others like him formed the basis of much modern International Law.
Overview: Development of International Air Law:
The question of National air space first arose when balloons used during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-71. After the war, opinion was divided as to whether the air should be treated like the high seas, free for the use of all, or whether a Nation should be able to control, who used it. The issue became relevant to powered flight in 1909, when the French pilot Louis Blériot crossed the English Channel to England. The next year, in 1910, an International Conference of Diplomats in Paris failed to reach an agreement on the question. After World War I, the United States, the "British Empire", Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Poland, Czechoslovakia in total 26 countries met in Paris and drew up the Convention Relating to the Regulation of Air Navigation known as Paris Convention, 1919. They voted to give each Nation “complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above their territory”. Neither the
United States nor... [continues]
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(2011, 03). A Role of Chicago Convention & Icao in Development of International Air Law. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/A-Role-Of-Chicago-Convention-619531.html
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