Economic and Environmental Regulation of International Aviation
From Inter-national to Global Governance
By Steven Truxal
The core structure of the regulatory regime for international civil aviation (the ‘Chicago System’) is inter-national (sic). The features of the Chicago System were designed in an era when the world’s airlines were State-owned, and the most pressing international concerns were for navigation and safety regulation. Economic liberalisation and intense globalisation since the Second World War have impacted on the industry; today, it is global.
This book observes the developing governance of global aviation, taking into account the concepts of sovereignty, jurisdiction and territoriality, and the proliferation of actors and participants as partners in a global public policy network, to posit that an upgraded system of global governance for civil aviation helps to explain the emerging complex landscape for global governance of civil aviation.
As evidence of the emerging, complex matrix of governance of global aviation, this book identifies and reviews a selection of contemporary, transnational economic and environmental challenges facing the globalised aviation sector, e.g. fair competition safeguards, consumer protection, noise pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and the respective ‘legal’ and policy actions taken at national level (United Arab Emirates, Qatar and People’s Republic of China), regional level (the European Union) and international level (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and International Civil Aviation Organization).
The book concludes that economic and environmental regulation of international aviation, designed for an inter–national world of yesterday, evolves into global governance of aviation, which is more suited for today’s global world.
This book will be of particular interest to scholars and practitioners of aviation law, competition law and environmental law, as well as in the areas of transnational law, global governance and international relations.
The changing landscape from the early days of the Chicago System – the Chicago Convention and its Annexes, and ICAO and its structures – in which a largely State-owned airline sector has evolved into a fast-growing, liberalised and global multi-national industry, together with global challenges like climate change, requires a new impetus for the economic and environmental regulation of international aviation, argues Truxal. The Chicago System that was designed for an inter-national world of yesterday should evolve into global governance of civil aviation, more suited for today’s global world, he says.
In the globalised economy, the nature of the law is layered and at times overlapping in terms of environmental regulation. Environmental protection is an essential component of the global public good and as a contributor to global climate change, the aviation sector must take an active role in finding solutions to this complex problem. Some States and groups of States, namely the European Union, have taken perceived unilateral action to already delivering solutions, such as including aviation with the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which met with international resistance.
“All the same, there is a genuine opportunity for global civil aviation vis-à-vis transnational environmental governance to contribute to innovation in global climate change policy,” writes Truxal. “If we accept the transnational nature of the problem and the limits of the international system generally, we may be able to reorientate the Chicago System, authority and governance of international civil aviation away from the exclusive, monopolistic State.
“By ‘going global’, I seek in this book to extend the scope of the territorial sovereignty-based Chicago System by including not only States but also non-State actors and private actors. I accept that globalisation diminishes the authority of the State, however highly contested that theory may be.”
The agreement by ICAO States to implement the CORSIA global market-based measure (GMBM) scheme for international aviation emissions last October has revealed an unprecedented and transformational shift from the traditional ‘standard-setting’ authority of ICAO, including environmental regulation, towards an upgraded system of global economic regulation that brings with it more inclusive norm-setting and decision-making processes, as well as responsibility for non-State and private actors.
“The GMBM and its processes are examples of how transnational climate governance is developing outside the UNFCCC negotiations and, if successfully implemented, can thus serve as a prospect for influencing global climate policy.”
About the author:
Dr Steven Truxal is senior lecturer in law at City, University of London.