International Norms Governing Liability for Damage Caused by Aircrafts on the Surface of the Earth: A Critical Evaluation 

Neha Biswas
WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

This research paper shall deal with the international norms laid down by two major aviation agreements for third party damage and liability caused by foreign aircrafts, namely the Convention on Damage Caused by Foreign Aircraft to Third Parties on the Surface, 1952 and its amending Montreal Protocol, 1978. The research shall first identify the subsisting areas of concern in the international norms of third party damage by aircrafts, by analysing the 1952 Convention and its related documents. Further into the study, the research shall be focused on the concept and principles of liability of foreign aircrafts for third party damage caused on the surface of the earth and its developments throughout the years, thereby highlighting the opinions of a few nations with established aviation sectors and the rationale behind such viewpoint. Following this, the paper shall critically analyse all the provisions of the 1952 Rome Convention and the 1978 Montreal Protocol, and elaborate on any existing issues in the area. As we already know, there has not been much progress in this area by the ICAO or the different nations involved in aviation sector, mostly due to the varied opinions of different nations regarding the liability scheme of aircrafts in case of a third party damage on the surface. Any progress made, have mostly turned ineffective in the long run, thereby keeping such a crucial issue in the aviation industry at bay. Finally, to reach to an amicable arrangement among most nations for settling such subsisting issues, the paper shall conclude by providing the author’s suggestions on the various areas of concern subsisting in third party damage by aircrafts, highlighting the legal changes which may be brought about to mitigate the issue of third party damage by aircrafts. Hence, for ease of dealing with this issue elaborately, the research paper has been divided into various Chapters and heads, discussing the various aspects of third party damage and liability of aircrafts.