Wednesday, February 24, 2016
A controversial new report emerged today, accusing Russian military forces of firing the missile that downed Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014. The report's conclusions have not been confirmed or endorsed by other experts or representatives of the Joint Investigation Team responsible for investigating culpability for the incident, and at this point it would be premature to make assumptions about the accuracy of the analysis. If true, however, it would dramatically change the international law implications of the tragedy. The operating theory until now has been that the aircraft was downed by Ukrainian separatists, non-State actors who would likely prove difficult to bring to justice. If this was an act of representatives of the Russian state new possibilities will be introduced, including reparations, sanctions, and international tribunals.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced this morning the finalization of an agreement to permit the operation of scheduled air services between the United States and Cuba for the first time in approximately half a century. Beginning March 2, U.S. carriers will have the opportunity to apply to operate the 110 daily round trip flights between the two countries permitted under the new agreement.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
The Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) yesterday recommended that the ICAO Council adopt a new standard that has been prepared with regard to CO2 emissions from aircraft. It would be the first international standard concerning CO2 emissions, though standards exist for other types of aircraft emissions and engine noise. The standard is intended to apply to all aircraft designs beginning in 2020 and to deliveries of in-production aircraft types beginning in 2023, with production of non-compliant aircraft to be phased out entirely by 2028. This is a major step for international efforts to reduce aviation emissions, though it is not to be confused with ICAO's ongoing efforts to draft a global plan for emissions reduction that applies to airline operations as opposed to aircraft design and manufacture.