Aviation Liability

Topics: Limited liability, Aviation law, International Civil Aviation Organization Pages: 25 (6099 words) Published: March 2, 2011





1.An older spelling of Warsaw in Polish is Warszewa or Warszowa, meaning "owned by Warsz". Warsaw is also known as the "phoenix city", as it was completely destroyed during World War II, and rebuilt with the heroic effort of Polish citizens. The inadequacy of the 1929 Warsaw Convention, which governed air carriers' liability for death and injury and of its subsequent revisions, led to the need to modernise and unify the rules on liability. In May 1999, the Contracting States of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) negotiated an agreement to modernise the Warsaw Convention rules, recasting them into a single legal instrument offering an appropriate level of compensation in the event of damage caused to passengers during international air transport. 2.The Warsaw Convention represents the culmination of more than four decades of efforts by the United States, initially to increase, and later to eliminate, the meager and arbitrary limits of liability (approximately $8,300 per passenger) applicable when passengers are killed or injured in international air carrier accidents and the harm was not due to the carrier's willful misconduct. The liability limits were set first in 1929 by the Warsaw Convention, which provides limitations on liability and uniform liability rules applicable to international air transport of passengers, cargo and mail. The United States has been a party to the Warsaw Convention since 1934. Efforts by the United States in the early 1950s to raise the limits of liability succeeded only in doubling the original Warsaw Convention liability limit to US$16,600, as codified in the Protocol to Amend the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, done at the Hague September 28, 1955 (``The Hague Protocol''). In response to the inadequacy of that limit, the United States considered a form of accident insurance legislation in conjunction with considering ratification of The Hague Protocol. The proposed legislation fixed various levels of compensation based upon the type of injury sustained by the passenger. The cost of the insurance would have been built into international carrier ticket prices. The Hague Protocol was sent to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification, but when the insurance legislation package failed, due largely to the inadequacy of the proposed liability limits, The Hague Protocol was withdrawn. The new Montreal Convention of 1999 introduced a uniform legal framework to govern air carrier liability in the event of damage caused to passengers, baggage or goods during international journeys. 3.There are currently more than 135 parties to the Warsaw Convention either in its original form or one of its amended forms. Some States separately have adopted laws or regulations relating to international carrier liability. In addition, as noted earlier, there are private voluntary agreements among carriers relating to liability. The result of these many instruments is a patchwork of liability regimes. The new Convention is designed to replace the Warsaw Convention and all of its related instruments and to eliminate the need for the patchwork of regulation and private voluntary agreements. The inadequacy of the 1929 Warsaw Convention, which governed air carriers' liability for death and injury and of its subsequent revisions, led to the need to modernize and unifies the rules on liability.

4.In India the Montreal Convention Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 30th April, 2008. During the last decade there have been significant developments in the civil aviation sector bringing India to the core of the international civil aviation scenario. We have now in fact become a trendsetter due to our size and impressive growth rates. The proceedings of...
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