Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Obama Signs ETS Prohibition Act

Yesterday President Obama signed the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011. The Act instructs the Secretary of Transportation to prohibit U.S. operators from participating in the EU emissions trading scheme if he or she determines such a prohibition to be in the public interest. The administration undoubtedly hopes that the Secretary will never have to make that determination. The recently announced one-year suspension of the ETS's application to foreign carriers will delay the impact of the EU ETS Prohibition Act for at least one year. ICAO is attempting to negotiate an acceptable international agreement on aviation emissions reduction in the intervening period.

November 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Passengers Entitled to Compensation for Lost Baggage Checked in Another Passenger's Name

The Court of Justice for the European Union has ruled that the Montreal Convention requires airlines to compensate passengers for lost items even if those items were stored in baggage checked in another passenger's name. The primary effect of this ruling will be to increase the number of passengers that can claim damages for one lost bag. This is significant because the Montreal Convention caps damages at 1000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per passenger. In the case in question Iberia lost two suitcases belonging to a Spanish family of four. The CJEU's decision allows the family to recover for lost property belonging to the two children, increasing the family's total potential recovery to 4000 SDRs rather than the 2000 SDRs they would have been limited to had the CJEU only required Iberia to compensate the two parents in whose names the suitcases were checked.

November 27, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Court Dismisses 9/11 Claim Against United Airlines

Last week a U.S. federal court judge dismissed United Airlines from a lawsuit seeking damages from the 2001 hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 and subsequent crashing of the aircraft into the World Trade Center. The complaint alleged that United Airlines should be held partially responsible for injuries caused by the terrorist attack because United shared authority over a security screening checkpoint at Portland International Jetpoint through which two of the hijackers passed before flying to Boston, where the hijackers would once again pass through another security checkpoint before boarding Flight 11. The first security checkpoint was United's only connection to Flight 11.

November 26, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

EC Probes State Aid to airBaltic, Adria Airways

The European Commission has opened in-depth inquiries concerning Latvian carrier airBaltic and Slovenian carrier Adria Airways. Both airlines are majority-owned by their respective states and have received loans or capital injections over the past few years that may violate EU state aid rules.

November 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Anti-ETS Bill Moves to President's Desk

The U.S. Congress today passed the final version of the legislation prohibiting U.S. carriers from complying with the EU ETS. The House of Representatives had passed an earlier draft in 2011, but needed to approve changes that had been made in the Senate's version of the bill. President Obama has yet to give any indication whether or not he will sign the bill, and environmental groups are hoping a veto will initiate a strong second term effort to combat climate change. As a result of the recently announced one-year ETS suspension, the short-term consequences of the President's decision will be largely political. 

November 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 12, 2012

EU Agrees to Delay ETS Impacts for One Year

In major news today, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard announced that the European Commission was willing to suspend the application of its ETS to flights to and from non-EU States for an additional year to allow ICAO time to work toward a global aviation emissions program. Flights between EU States will still be subject to the scheme, placing EU carriers at a competitive disadvantage. The EU Member States still need to approve the proposal. The announcement follows last week's ICAO council meeting, where three potential emissions mitigation measures were reportedly discussed. The EU may have heard enough at the meeting to generate optimism that ICAO would produce a solution in 2013. Regardless of what was said at the meeting, some kind of enforcement delay was probably necessary as ICAO is not expected to have its plan ready by April when the charges under the EU plan come due. With carriers from China and India refusing to comply the prospect of a standoff over fines, possibly escalating to flight bans, loomed over the industry. This announcement better aligns the EU and ICAO timeframes, keeping alive the possibility that the EU will permanently exempt foreign carriers if a sufficient international regime is agreed upon. It is hoped that with the delay the EU regulation will no longer distract from talks regarding a global solution. The pressure is now squarely on ICAO to foster an agreement by the end of next year.

November 12, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Autumn Issue of IALP

The Volume 12, Autumn 2012 issue of the International Aviation Law Institutes's journal, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy (IALP), will be available early next month. The following articles will appear in the issue:

  • Ruwantissa Abeyratne, Aircraft Emissions - In Search of a Global Framework for Market-Based Measures
  • Mitchell Garber, Douglas Amster & Douglas McQueen, Undisclosed Medical Conditions in the International Aviation Community: The Risks of Medical Certification Systems Based Upon Voluntary Self-Disclosure
  • David E. Rapoport, Jan Brown & Lindsey A. Epstein, Babies Have a Right to a Safe Seat with Proper Restraints - The Infant Seat Exception Should be Abandoned
  • Pamela C. Hicks, Injuries from Turbulence: Forecasting Conditions for Liability
  • Ana Dedijer, Extending the Aviation Regime of the European Union: The EU External Aviation Policy Toward Its Neighbors
  • Moses George, Private Airports in India - Private or Public?

Blog readers interested in subscribing to IALP, ordering back issues, or perusing a list of published articles may do so at the Institutes's website here.

November 9, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Flexibility in ETS Enforcement

A column in Reuters today speculates that EU States may move slowly next Spring to penalize non-compliant carriers in the hopes of buying more time to find an international solution.

November 8, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 2, 2012

EU Ministers Reach General Approach on Slot Trading

Air Transport World has the details.

November 2, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)