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International Aviation — Emphasis on the contemporary international aviation world Essay Example

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The implementation of sustainable security measures, in the various forms of transport, is a key concern for stakeholders. Notably, the efficacy of interventions employed is dependent on the stakeholders’ ability to integrate both the human and the machine components. Moreover, this efficacy is also reliant on global cooperation and uniformity in rules and regulations. In fact, the need for uniformity in regulations concerning air travel led to the creation of the Convention of International Civil Aviation. The objectives of the Convention, in turn, led to the formation of the ICAO and the Annexes. Notably, these Annexes have facilitated the creation of agencies such as FAA. Furthermore, as indicated by the similarities between the Agency’s stipulations and the Annexes, they have contributed to uniformity in regulations. Arguably, the accomplishment of uniformity is a result of the Annex amendment process. This is because this process utilizes the consensus method. In addition, the success of the Chicago Convention has led to the adoption and modification of its Annexes in other transport areas; namely, the rail system.

International Aviation — Emphasis on the Contemporary International Aviation World

Globalization has increased the ease of movement of people, goods, and services. Arguably, this increased movement is facilitated by the advent of and continued technological advancements in air travel. Moreover, international and local air travel is facilitated by the stipulations set out and implemented by the Convention of International Civil Aviation and the International Civil Aviation Organization respectively.

The Convention of International Civil Aviation, commonly known as the Chicago Convention, was drafted in 1944, shortly after the Second World War. The aim of this Convention was to harmonize the laws and regulations that govern air travel. Arguably, the technological advancements that characterized the Second World War greatly contributed to the growth of civil and military aviation across the world. Considering this, the then American president invited 55 states to a Chicago conference. Notable invitees included members of the United Nations, nations that had been affiliated with the UN during the war, and countries that were neutral (Mackenzie, 2010). Notably, countries such as Germany, Japan, and Italy, were not among the invitees due to their “enemy” position during the war.

The 1944 November-December conference had three broad objectives to facilitate the accomplishment of the primary goal. The conference sought to establish international air travel rules, create an interim council, and establish frameworks that would facilitate the creation of a multilateral aviation convention and an international aeronautic body (Mackenzie, 2010). 52 of the states invited signed the convention and the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) was formed in 1945. The PICAO functioned until 1947 when the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was established (ICAO).

The ICAO is a specialized agency that works under the UN. The Agency, driven by its vision of achieving sustainable growth of the global aviation system (ICAO), works with the 191 Chicago Convention Contracting States and industries. Through stakeholders’ consensus, the Agency develops Standards and Recommended Practices and policies that facilitate the achievement of a safe, efficient, environmentally responsible, and economically sustainable aviation sector (ICAO). In addition, the Agency also works closely with states and supports these nations’ aviation programmes objectives.

Uniformity in states’ regulations fosters safety and increased ease of travel. Considering this, currently, the Chicago convention has 19 annexes. States’ compliance with the set stipulations is overseen by the ICAO. All states are expected to formulate laws that reflect these annexes to promote harmony in air travel regulations. Notably, the accomplishment of the annexes’ objectives is dependent on global cooperation.

Annex 1 concerns the licensing of all personnel who are in the air travel sector. They include pilots, air traffic controllers, and radio operators. Considering the complexity of airplanes and the importance of competence in promoting international cooperation. This annex provides for the dissemination of training manuals that outline States’ scope and depth of training curricula (Abeyratne, 2012). The guidelines also seek to promote adequate training with the aim of reducing incidents that arise from human error.

In addition, this annex is concerned with the licensing of qualified individuals. Subsequently, states are required to outline activities that an individual is authorized to perform to avoid instances of individuals performing complex tasks that are beyond the purview of their training. Moreover, a State over which a plane is flying is expected to confirm that the crew aboard is qualified to perform the required duties.

The second annex refers to the rules of the air. This annex consists of general rules, instrument, and visual flight rules. These rules indicate the altitude at which airplanes are expected to fly at, depending on weather conditions, the right of way, and the filing of flight plans (Abeyratne, 2012). Therefore, any plane undertaking an international and/or commercial flight is expected to file its flight plan with air traffic services. Some of the required details include the aircraft identity, destination information, route, and expected time of arrival. Notably, airlines are expected to adhere to the ICAO set rules unless these rules conflict with those of countries that they fly over.

The third annex, in turn, concerns the meteorological service for international aviation. As indicated earlier, weather conditions are tied to rules of the air. Consequently, provision of accurate information about routes and destinations’ weather conditions is of absolute importance. Considering this, the annex outlines weather update periods. For example, aerodrome forecasts are provided every 3-6 hours for a period of 9-24 hours. These forecasts consist of information about visibility, atmospheric pressure, surface wind, and runway visual range (Abeyratne, 2012). Since weather conditions are bound to change, meteorological watch offices are expected to notify pilots of any significant changes. Notably, most nations provide automated meteorological briefings about en-route weather conditions and upper-air temperatures. The accuracy of the information pilots receive is bolstered by the ICAO implemented World Area Forecast System (WAFS). Apart from promoting safety, this information also saves fuel by indicating optimal flying conditions.

Furthermore, due to globalized supply chains the speed at which raw materials and finished goods are transported directly impacts the global economy. Arguably, the existence of accurate air routes is of paramount importance. Therefore, the fourth annex requires all states to produce aeronautical maps (Abeyratne, 2012). This obligation is outlined in the Standards, Recommended Practices and explanatory notes, outlined in the Annex. Under this obligation, nations are expected to avail certain ICAO chart types, specify chart coverage, format, and identification. Furthermore, they are expected to use standardized symbols and colors. Some of the charts used in navigation include the Aeronautical Chart — ICAO 1:500 000 series and the World Aeronautical Chart — ICAO 1: 1 000 000 charts. The former charts are suitable for navigation training and medium navigation. The latter charts, in turn, are used to create other charts and they provide complete coverage of the world with uniform data presentation and constant scales.

Notably, with increased globalization, there is need to harmonize units of measurement to facilitate uniformity and curb confusion. Considering that each country has its own units of measurements, the fifth annex and its amendments have sought to establish a standardized unit of measurement. Currently, the ICAO nations utilize the International Systems of Measurements (IS) in addition to other temporary units of measurements such as the liter, the foot, and the nautical mile.

In addition to the human element, the state of any aircraft is essential in ensuring safety and efficiency. In light of this, Parts I, II, and III of Annex 6 focus on establishing the minimal requirements for safety for all aircraft (Abeyratne, 2012). The Annex also echoes the first Annex when it emphasizes the importance of skilled personnel in ensuring safety. Additionally, the annex also refers to contemporary issues such as hijackings and the need for safety precautions to reduce the occurrence of such incidents. Interestingly, the Annex also encourages the formulation of more stringent laws at the national level to complement its guidelines.

Considering the evolving modes of attack, Annex 17 complements the provisions of Annex 6. In order to ensure the safety of passengers and personnel, this Annex recommends the establishment of national civil aviation security programs. In addition, Amendment 7 provides Standards for reconciling baggage with passengers, controlling items left behind by passengers and controlling courier services (Abeyratne, 2012). Tied to the latter Standard, Annex 18 is concerned with the transportation of dangerous materials via air. Notably, provisions of the Technical Instructions, under this Anne, are binding upon Contracting Nations. These standards seek to eliminate instances of in-flight and facility attacks.

The role of the state of aircraft in ensuring safety is further emphasized by the eighth annex. This annex requires States of Registries to issue Certificates of Airworthiness only when the designs, construction, and operations of aircraft meet the set requirements. Notably, the burden of evaluating worthiness is on individual states as indicated by Article 33 of the Convention of International Civil Aviation (Abeyratne, 2012). According to the article, in instances of import, export, interchange, and exchange of aircraft, the State of Registry needs to recognize and acknowledge the validity of the Certificate of Airworthiness issued by the Contracting State (Abeyratne, 2013). To facilitate this process, the annex has four parts. Parts I and II concern definitions and procedures for certification respectively. Parts III and IV, on the other hand, concern technical requirements for newer large aeroplane designs and helicopters respectively.

In addition to the state of aircraft, the design of aerodromes contributes to the safety element. The design, operation, and maintenance of these spaces are outlined in Annex 14, volume I, of the Chicago Convention (Abeyratne, 2012). Volume II of the Annex, in turn, is concerned with heliports. Predictably, specifications depend on the function of these spaces and the aircraft.

Moreover, effective communication bolsters safety efforts. In light of this, Annex 10 focuses on aeronautical communication (Abeyratne, 2012). The volumes under it are concerned with facilitating communication between an aircraft and other pertinent stakeholders with the aim of preventing collisions and ensuring that crafts stay on the set routes indicated in respective flight plans. Furthermore, this communication facilitates notifications for adverse weather conditions and transmission of air traffic information. Like communication, air traffic control is instrumental in efforts aimed at avoiding collisions. As outlined in Annex 11, it is also essential in the maintenance of orderly air traffic flow, the provision of information about efficient and safe flights, and the notification of relevant authorities about flights that are in distress.

Unfortunately, in spite of the safety measures in place, accidents do occur. Subsequently, Annexes 12 and 13 are concerned with rescue and investigation efforts respectively. The chapters under Annex 12 detail steps that contribute to the adoption of coordinated and effective measures at each search and rescue phase. Predictably, the Annex recognizes that coordination between neighboring countries is instrumental in ensuring timely and efficient actions. Annex 13, in turn, concerns the identification of accident causes with the aim of addressing these factors and preventing future accidents. Notably, the State in which an accident occurs is responsible for carrying out the investigation. However, the emphasis is still on international coordination to ensure the accuracy of investigations’ findings.

Moreover, the safety of the nations over which aircraft fly, is reliant on the legitimacy of these crafts. In addition, the safety of passengers and crews is dependent on the ability of territories to recognize the countries of origin of the respective crafts. Subsequently, the seventh annex requires all crafts to display their registration and national identity marks (Abeyratne, 2012). Since Article 77 of the Chicago Convention allows joint operation agencies, the third amendment of the annex allows for aircraft operating under these agencies to be registered under basis other than nationality. Notably, the 2003 fifth amendment requires aircraft to carry an English translation of the Certificate of Registration, if the certificate is issued under a language other than English.

Arguably, the creation and maintenance of effective facilitation systems are important. Considering this, the ninth annex refers to a number of the Convention’s articles to increase the efficacy of facilitation in light of old and new concerns. Notably, in accordance with Article 22, the annex seeks to reduce instances of unnecessary delays of passengers, cargo, and to aircraft. Moreover, given the increase in the number of terrorist attacks, the 12th edition of the Annex requires Contracting States to standardize travel documents, rationalize border clearance measures, and cooperate with other countries in efforts aimed at resolving security issues.

In addition, states have the obligation to protect the environment from pollution. Notably, Annex 16 focuses on controlling noise and engine emission pollution. Under the annex’s stipulations, states are required to adopt standardized noise evaluation measures and to only award Noise Certification to those crafts that meet the set noise limits. This regulation only applies to crafts that exceed 5,700kg (Abeyratne, 2013). Additionally, the Standard limits the emission of greenhouse gases such as nitrogen oxides.

Notably, Annex 19 encompasses a number of provisions outlined under other annexes. However, the Annex also has a number of marked differences. For instance, its stipulations require all organizations involved in the design and manufacture of aircraft to adhere to the Safety Management System. Moreover, it seeks to promote safety through the collection, analysis, and exchange of safety data.

As indicated earlier, other national agencies are also involved in efforts geared towards promoting safety in the travel industry. They include the State Safety Oversight program, the IATA, FAA, and EASA. Like the ICAO, the State Safety Oversight is concerned with safety in the travel industry. However, unlike the ICAO, the Program is concerned with the rail transit system safety. Notably, the US system supports states efforts of promoting safety and awards certificates to those states that comply with MAP-12 as outlined under 49 U.S.C. Section 5329(e) (Federal Transit Administration).

The FAA and EASA, in turn, are concerned with aviation safety in the United States and Europe respectively. Created in 1958, the FAA is concerned with the publication and enforcement of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARS) (McCormick, 2014). The FAA’s Parts reflect the stipulations outlined in the Chicago Convention’s Annexes. To ensure compliance, the FAA works with designees. These individuals are authorized to perform a wide range of tasks under FAR Part 183 (2014). Some of the duties performed by these individuals include inspecting and approving aircraft maintenance work and licensing pilots. Notably, the responsibilities of the FAA are similar to those of the EASA in the European Union. However, the EASA is also responsible for approving repair stations and production facilities and maintaining training organizations outside of the EU (2014).

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), on the other hand, is an association of the world’s airlines. Currently, the association represents 275 airlines (IATA). Similar to the ICAO’s vision, the association seeks to create value and drive innovation that fosters the development and maintenance of a safe, secure, and profitable aviation sector. Notably, the association also works closely with the ICAO in the formulation of feasible and effective measures.

In conclusion, the maintenance of safety is a key concern for all stakeholders in the travel industry. Considering this, a number of national and international agencies, including the ICAO, FAA, and IATA, have been established to ensure the safety of individuals, goods, and the environment. Concerning air travel, arguably, the UN agency ICAO guides the actions of national and regional agencies to ensure compliance with the stipulations outlined in the Chicago Convention’s Annexes. Notably, these stipulations focus on personnel’s qualifications, airworthiness of aircraft, environmental protection, and security, in general.


Abeyratne, R. (2012). Air navigation law. Springer Science & Business Media.

Abeyratne, R. (2013). Convention on International Civil Aviation: A Commentary. Springer Science & Business Media.

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Convention of international civil aviation — Doc 7300. (n.d.). ICAO. Retrieved on August 12, 2017, from https://www.icao.int/publications/Pages/doc7300.aspx

Mackenzie, D. (2010). ICAO: a history of the international civil aviation organization. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

McCormick, G. (2014). Certification of civil avionics. In Spitzer, C., Ferrell, U., and Ferrell, T. (Eds.), Digital avionics handbook (3rd ed.) (91-115). Boca Raton: CRC Press.

State safety oversight (SSO) program. (n.d.). Federal Transit Administration. Retrieved on August 12, 2017, from https://www.transit.dot.gov/state-safety-oversight