International Air Services Transit Agreement
- Type: Convention
- Date of signature: 07/12/1944
- Place of signature: Chicago, USA
- Depositary: Government of the United States
- Date of entry into force: 30/01/1945
What is it about?
Also known as the ‘Two Freedoms’ Agreement, this instrument recognizes and establishes two freedoms of air in respect of scheduled international air services, which encompass the rights (i) to fly across the Contracting States’ territory without landing and (ii) to land for non-traffic purposes. It also deals with the designation of routes to be followed within the Contracting States’ territory; the charges for the use of airport and other facilities related to air transit; and the settlement of disagreements amongst the Contracting Parties.
Why is it relevant?
The two freedoms established by this instrument, referred to as technical rights, constitute part of most current bilateral air transport agreements, allowing direct air services and facilitating air transport. In addition, this agreement has more than 120 Contracting Parties, representing an international legal harmonization on international air transit.
The present Agreement deals specifically with some aspects of transit rights (rights related to the act of passing through the territory of another State), leaving the actual regulation of international scheduled flights mostly to bilateral agreements. On their part, bilateral air transport agreements establish a regulatory mechanism for the performance of air service between the participating Governments, determining items such as international airline routes, frequency, and capacity.1 In this sense, bilateral agreements constitute an essential instrument of international aviation diplomacy. The privileges stipulated by this agreement are not applicable with respect to airports utilized for military purposes to the exclusion of any scheduled international air services. In addition, the exercise of these privileges should be also in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (also signed in Chicago, 07/12/1944). 1 For many years, Governments used as a model for bilateral air services agreement the bilateral agreement between United States and Great Britain, known as Bermuda I (1949). In 1976, Great Britain renounced the Bermuda I and one year later another bilateral agreement was negotiated, the Bermuda II. Nevertheless, Governments have not resorted to this last agreement as a model. This refusal is justified by its very detailed approach, which specifically deals with the relationship between the United States and Great Britain.
- Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago, 07/12/1944)
- International Air Transport Agreement (Chicago, 07/12/1944).