March 2, 2012
Latest Comments From ICAO On Emissions Regulation, Ownership Restrictions
According to ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin, the organization's governing council has narrowed down to four the list of options under consideration for a global aviation emissions solution, and intends to submit a final proposal by the end of 2012. See Allison Martell and Susan Taylor, U.N. Aviation Body Says Emissions Proposal by Year-end, Reuters, March 2, 2012 (available here). ICAO is under pressure to produce a global agreement for controlling industry emissions to quell the continued controversy over the European Union's extension of its Emissions Trading Scheme to foreign carriers. While the application of the EU scheme to the aviation industry began this year, carriers are not required to pay for their emissions until Spring of 2013, giving ICAO a brief window in which to devise an alternative solution. The above-cited article also quotes Benjamin as saying ICAO intends to press the issue of market liberalization during an upcoming March 2013 conference, and suggests the call for elimination of foreign ownership restrictions is growing louder.
March 1, 2012
The Triumph of Politics
A new article by blog authors Brian F. Havel and John Q. Mulligan, The Triumph of Politics: Reflections on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union Validating the Inclusion of Non-EU Airlines in the Emissions Trading Scheme, is now available in the current issue of Air and Space Law, which can be purchased from Kluwer Publishing here. A near-final draft of the article, which critiques the CJEU's judgment in case C-366/10 Air Transport Association of America v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, can be found on SSRN here.
February 28, 2012
FAA Seeks to Increase Pilot Qualification Requirements
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a new rule that would require significant increases in flight time requirements for co-pilots and make additional changes to training and certification requirements affecting pilots. See Press Release, Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Proposes to Raise Airline Pilot Qualification Standards, Feb. 27, 2012 (available here). The new regulation would require that co-pilots hold an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, for which they would need 1,500 hours of flight time. Currently co-pilots are only required to hold a commercial pilot certificate which can be obtained after 250 hours of flight time. The full text of the proposed rule, which will be published and available for public comment tomorrow, is available as a pdf here. The FAA has issued this rule under the authority granted it by Section 217 of the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, the full text of which is available here.
February 27, 2012
Domestic Pressures Could Derail Israel/EU Open Skies Pact
Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has announced that Israel won't sign an Open Skies agreement with the European Union without first assessing the probably impact on Israeli carriers. See Zohar Blumenkrantz, Israel Postpones 'Open Skies' Deal with EU, Citing Local Airline Companies' Interests, Haaretz, Feb. 27, 2012 (available here). Katz has received pressure from Israel's airlines, El Al, Arkia and Israir, as well as the Histadrut, Israel's leading trade union, and as a result will reportedly insist that the final terms of the agreement include protections for the Israeli air transport industry. See Gavriel Queenann, Katz Bows to the Histadrut Over 'Open Skies', Israel National News, Feb. 27, 2012 (available here). It is unclear what is meant by “protections” and whether it is even possible to write a true Open Skies agreement that insulates Israeli carriers from competition. We'll likely know more after the next round of talks take place March 20, but this is a worrisome development for Open Skies proponents.