International Aviation Essay Example

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Executive Summary

It is manifest that the aviation industry is facing high levels of globalization and is intensely connected. This has then resulted in numerous concerns regarding the safety of the operations in this industry. The report has discussed some of the player, both national and international which has been significantly engaged in ensuring high levels of safety in the aviation operations. Precisely, the report has discussed the Chicago Convention, ICAO, the state safety oversight, and some supra national regulators like the FAA and EASA. The report has evaluated how these agencies and programs are related and the goal that they share regarding the maintenance of safety in the international aviation industry. Finally, the report has undertaken to give a vivid discussion how these different parties collaborate in promoting safety in aviation operations especially following the high levels of globalization and connectedness that they are associated with the industry.

Table of Contents

2Executive Summary


5Chicago Convention

7State Safety Oversight

7Supra-National Regulators

7Federal Aviation Administration

8European Aviation Safety Agency

8Relations of all the Agencies Regarding Safety in International Aviation




The aviation industry all around the world is evidently becoming more connected and standardized more so because of the international frameworks that govern them. Following this, various commonalities exist in most of the areas which cross the international boundaries (Zhang & Zhang, 2002). The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a body which supports aviation operations with the global standards regarding airline sustainability, efficiency, security, and safety (IATA, 2017). On the other hand, there are various frameworks and agencies like the Chicago Convention and its Annexes, supra-national regulators, ICAO, the State Safety Oversight as well as the operators’ responsibilities which are all aimed at supporting safety in the aviation industry internationally. Therefore, the report will evaluate how the frameworks and agencies named above support the safe conduct of aviation operations in the globalized aviation industry which is becoming more connected and standardized.

Aviation safety is increasingly becoming an issue of vital for various actors including the industry itself, the various governments, the traveling public, as well as the academic community. This has also been an issue of critical concern to ICAO which is an inter-governmental and global body which turned out to the specialized agency of the international body United Nations (ICAO, 2017). It was established in the year 1947. As the aviation industry is increasingly becoming globalized and connected, the risks that are involved are significant, and that is what the international frameworks are intended to reduce. Establishing safety standards then becomes an attractive and an essential element in the aviation practices. Additionally, it is evident that aviation safety needs to take a multidisciplinary approach which entails various aspects including the managerial, economic, technical, and legal issues (Halford, 2016). This is what the different frameworks and agencies like the Chicago Convention, FAA, ICAO and other bodies are trying to achieve in the long run.

Chicago Convention

This is the convention which established ICAO which will be discussed below which shows the interconnectedness that they have regarding achieving the common goal of overseeing that there is safety in the air operations. This Chicago Convention essentially establishes the necessary rules and regulations for the aircraft registration and their safety guidelines (Geib, 2005). This convention also works to exempt the transit of the air fuels from being taxed twice or more (double taxation) (Geib, 2005). This is a clear depiction that the aviation industry is highly connected and globalized that such matters are treated and considered a single entity as opposed to different entities following the fact that they are from different countries. Additionally, this convention has about 191 parties which include all the United Nations member states except for Tuvalu, Liechtenstein, and Dominica (Geib, 2005).

In this convention, there are various main articles which are concerned with ensuring that there are safety operations in the air transport sector. One of them is the third article which states that every country needs to avoid resorting to weapon utilization against the civil aircraft in the flight (Geib, 2005). Other articles are article 33 and 40 which are concerned with the issue of recognizing licenses and certificates in the international aviation. Mostly, all of the articles in the convention entail the necessary information which needs to oversee that international aviation is safeguarded and efficient more so following the fact that it is highly connected and globalized (Geib, 2005). Thus, just like ICAO, it is intended to establish regulations and frameworks which are expected to oversee that safety conduct of air transport internationally.


International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as has been highlighted earlier is an agency of the United Nations which basically codifies the techniques and principles of the international aviation (ICAO, 2017). Its main aim is to foster the necessary planning and development of air transportation globally to ensure that it experiences and orderly growth and most importantly that they are safe. This agency is concerned in ensuring that there is safe conduct in the operations of air transport in the globalized industry in which it exists through adopting the necessary standards as well as the recommended practices regarding various aspects of international aviation (ICAO, 2017). These aspects that ICAO focuses on include the aviation infrastructure, the prevention of various unlawful interferences, flight inspection, as well facilitating the various procedures of border crossing for the international aviation.

Additionally, this agency, ICAO, also defines the relevant protocols that need to be followed when there is an investigation of any air accident. These investigations are typically followed up by the different authorities for air transport in the nations which are signatories of the Chicago Convention (ICAO, 2017). Following the fact that the aviation industry is becoming highly globalized and connected, this agency comes in handy in ensuring that there are sage transitions and operations in the air transport through undertaking the mandate that has been stipulated to them and that has been highlighted above. Also, it is evident that it is a body concerned with overseeing the safe operations of the aviation industry through coordinating capacity building and the necessary assistance to the countries that need support regarding the various development objectives of the aviation industry (ICAO, 2017). It also undertakes to monitor the sector of air transport globally on the different relevant metrics of the industry performance (ICAO, 2017). Thus, it can conclusively be stated that ICAO is a body which seeks to support the safe conduct of air transport operations in the highly globalized industry.

State Safety Oversight

The state safety oversight is a regulatory safety process which is aimed at ensuring that the necessary safety regulatory requirements are achieved and implemented and is also applied to monitor the provision of aviation services in a safe manner (Barreto, 2002). However, unless the international legislation states otherwise, the state safety oversight is the responsibility of a given country. This is also a program which is intended to support the safe conduct of air transport operations through bearing the significant responsibility of regulating safety for the national systems of aviation as well as the aviation services (Barreto, 2002). Precisely, this agency undertakes its mandate through four primary elements including rule preparation, rule enactment, safety oversight, as well as enforcement of these rules.

This agency or program is a concern to ICAO which recognizes the responsibility of the national safety aviation oversight within the obligations of the state which is stipulated in the Chicago Convention (Barreto, 2002). This is then a clear depiction that ICAO, Chicago Convention, and the State regulatory oversight have the common objective of developing frameworks which complement one another to derive the maximum safety benefits from their collected action of overseeing that international aviation is embedded into safe operations. All of these agencies and bodies primarily offer a comprehensive guide intended to support safety oversight development.

Supra-National Regulators

Federal Aviation Administration

FAA is a national authority which is aimed at regulating almost all of the necessary aspects of civil aviation. Some of these aspects include aircraft and personnel certification, airports operation, air traffic management, as well as airports construction (FAA, 2017). However, one of the primary functions that are of interest, in this case, is the regulation of civil aviation with the aim of promoting transport safety (FAA, 2017). This is the same narrative that the other agencies and bodies are focusing on; providing safe operations in the aviation industry.

European Aviation Safety Agency

The EASA is also a supra-national European Union agency which is allocated the executive and regulatory tasks in international aviation. Among the primary functions of this agency is the research and analysis of safety as well as the implementation and monitoring of the necessary safety rules which entails the inspection of the EU member states as well (EASA). Just like FAA, it also has the main role of ensuring that the stipulated safety guidelines and measures are implemented and monitored over time to ensure that the aviation industry remains safe in its operations (EASA, 2017).

Relations of all the Agencies Regarding Safety in International Aviation

All of the bodies and agencies that have been discussed above have a common goal of supporting the safe conduct of air transport operations in the globalized aviation industry which is becoming highly standardized and connected. One of the ways is the requirement of proper licensing and certification of all the aviation staff and air-crafts to ensure that their safety is guaranteed all across the globe (Zhang & Zhang, 2002). This is a way of standardizing the requirements of licensing and certification so that all the aircraft owners, air traffic controllers, engineers, pilots, as well as various aviation organizations take the responsibility of meeting the security and legal safety standards (Zhang & Zhang, 2002). Therefore, all these agencies have a common voice which is to encourage the various entities in the international aviation industry to perform to safety standards which are above the minimum which is set up by them.

Another way in which these agencies collaborate to develop a standard safety framework is through having stable cooperative relations with the authorities of the various countries that they operate in (Halford, 2016). Following the fact that the international aviation is subject to globalization, doing this will provide the large aviation industry with the necessary advice and assistance to countries that are less privileged per se or are ‘small’ like the Cook, Niue, and Samoa Islands (Halford, 2016). Collaborating with these authorities and with the aim of assisting other countries and guaranteeing their aviation safety is critical in overseeing that the industry supports the safe conduct especially because the aviation operations are highly interconnected.

On the other hand, these relevant aviation agencies and programs have also collaborated in the past to establish various safety rules which are typically developed in consultation with the other aviation community. These safety rules are typically related to the licensing of the maintenance engineers, pilots, as well as the air traffic controllers, certification of the aircraft used as well as the certification of the various aviation airlines (Zhang & Zhang, 2002). The quality assurance systems have also been a priority for these agencies more so the Chicago Convention and ICAO which requires the utilization of quality assurance systems by the aviation operators for their maintenance and operations (Zhang & Zhang, 2002). This is one of the most significant aspects of upholding safety operations even on the global scale.

Following the high levels of the globalization of the aviation industry and the connectedness of the aviation industry, the agencies are also working on forming new international relationships which are intended to contribute to their efforts of ensuring that the aviation industry is safe (Halford, 2016). Having these stable working partnerships amongst themselves as well as other external partners are paramount, in their safety enhancement measures which will promote both safety in international aviation and the development of this industry at large (Halford, 2016). Additionally, as these agencies and programs, both national and international, enhance their engagements in the global aviation industry as well as with the international aviation safety regulators they have managed to improve the safety operations of the players in this industry regardless of the country that they do come from (Halford, 2016).


It is manifest that the aviation industry is becoming highly globalized and connected. At the same time, safety has become a question of utmost importance to many of the players of this industry and mostly for the international bodies like the United Nations. Following the fact that safety is central in the international aviation industry, there are various bodies, agencies, programs, and conventions that have been established in this regard. Some of these agencies include the ICAO, state safety oversight, the Chicago Convention, and other supra-national bodies like EASA and FAA. The common voice in all of these bodies is the importance of ensuring that there is the safe conduct of its aviation operations both nationally and internationally. Some of the ways in which these agencies collaborate to establish a common framework to oversee that there is this safety include standardization of the requirements for certification and licensing, and forming relationships with individual national authorities among others as having been discussed in the report.


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FAA. (2017). Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved 9th August 2017, from

Geib, R. (2005). Civil aircraft as weapons of large-scale destruction: Countermeasures, Article 3bis of the Chicago Convention, and the newly adopted German Luftsicherheitsgesetz. Mich. J. Int’l L., 27: 227-229.

Halford, C. D. (2016). Implementing Safety Management Systems in Aviation. London: Routledge.

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