The United States and the European Union in International Aviation

In this article (Paragraph No. 25,421) the author provides his views on two topics of current interest in the field of international aviation: the new United States (U.S.)/European Union (EU) Open Skies Air Transport Agreement and the 1999 Montreal Convention and the doctrine of forum non conveniens. Although the author says the Open Skies agreement manages “for the first time in the history of air law, to acknowledge Europe more or less as a single and unified entity,” the author does not believe the pact accomplishes very much that is new. Some of this is due to the highly inflated prices for takeoff/landing slots at London’s Heathrow Airport, which will make it difficult for cash-strapped U.S. airlines to open up new services allowed under the agreement. In addition, the author sees little progress on the serious and potentially divisive problems of foreign ownership and control of airlines and cabotage. The author feels it would be unwise for the United Kingdom (U.K.) or the European Commission to insist that the U.S. open its ownership and control laws in any substantial manner—and not useful for the U.S. to do so—until European airlines are feely and reciprocally available for purchase and control by U.S. interests. Finally, the author considers the doctrine of forum non conveniens in the context of the Montreal Convention, arguing that it should be applied in every crash case where foreign victims of their survivors sue tin U.S. courts. According to the author, most U.S. courts share the view that foreigners should more properly be compensated under the laws and by the courts of their domiciles, rather than under the laws and courts of the U.S. If, under the laws of their domiciles, plaintiffs receive only 25 percent of what they would receive in the U.S., or if they are required to pay a lawyer because no contingency fee system exists in their domiciles, the U.S. should not try to substitute or impose or export its system. To do otherwise would be to countenance and tacitly engage in the very type of “legal imperialism” that has been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Corporate Authors:

    International Aviation Law Institute

    DePaul University College of Law, 25 E Jackson Boulevard
    Chicago, IL  United States  60604
  • Authors:
    • Mendelsohn, Allan I
  • Publication Date: 2008


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Transfer Binder 2: 2004-2008
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 13271-13291
  • Monograph Title: Issues in Aviation Law and Policy

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01141789
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 9 2009 2:23PM