Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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.
Monday, November 26, 2012
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.