Thursday, April 18, 2013
In order to improve safety regulation and decrease notice time for non-scheduled flights, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) plans to create a separate regulatory division that will be assigned to the non-scheduled sector. Rule changes are also on the agenda. Apparently these reforms are intended to take place simultaneous to or in conjunction with India's grander goal of replacing the DGCA with a Civil Aviation Authority about which we'll have more to say later.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Earlier this week the EU Parliament voted against a proposal intended to increase the price of carbon permits. Some observers are concerned that the falling prices of permits will render the trading scheme useless and effectively end meaningful EU-wide efforts to prevent climate change, at least for the near future. The vote carries important implications for the regulation of aviation emissions. It hard to imagine that a Parliament unwilling to make changes to keep the scheme functioning properly within the EU will be able to muster the political will to reinstate the scheme's application to foreign air carriers once the one-year suspension ends in 2014.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Malfunctioning computer systems caused American Airlines to cancel approximately 700 flights this afternoon and delay many more. It is not yet clear from reports whether or not the outage has caused any violations of the DOT's new tarmac delay rules. It is interesting to speculate about what the consequences of such an outage would be under the EU's passenger rights regime. Under such a system American Airlines would potentially face a staggering number of compensation claims as a result of today's events.Would a computer outage of this magnitude constitute "extraordinary circumstances"? This certainly isn't the type of problem associated with routine maintenance or the normal exercise of the air carrier. Conversely, can the functioning of an airline's computer systems be fairly characterized as a circumstance beyond the carrier's actual control? Fortunately for American that is one problem it does not have to worry about today.