Freedom of Air

News: A flight from Srinagar to Sharjah had to avoid flying over Pakistan after the country denied permission to use its airspace for the said flight. With this refusal, Pakistan has violated the first freedom of air.

Freedom of Air

  • Following the Chicago Convention in 1944, the signatories decided to set rules that would act as fundamental building blocks to international commercial aviation.
  • As a part of these rules, initially, six ‘freedoms of air’ were decided.
  • These freedoms or rights still operate within the ambit of multilateral and bilateral treaties.
  • It allows to grant airlines of a particular country the privilege to use and/or land in another country’s airspace.

·         The following types of freedoms are accorded:

  • Flying over a foreign country without landing
  • Refuel or carry out maintenance in a foreign country without embarking or disembarking passengers or cargo
  • Fly from the home country and land in a foreign country
  • Fly from a foreign country and land in the home country
  • Fly from the home country to a foreign country, stopping in another foreign country on the way
  • Fly from a foreign country to another foreign country, stopping in the home country on the way
  • Fly from a foreign country to another foreign country, without stopping in the home country
  • Fly from the home country to a foreign country, then on to another destination within the same foreign country
  • Fly internally within a foreign country
  • There has been no official explanation given by Pakistan authorities.
  • Indian has approached Pakistan to raise the issue of the refusal to use its airspace for the said flight.
  • Notably, other Indian airlines flying to west Asia from airports such as Delhi, Lucknow, etc have not been barred from using Pakistan airspace.
  • This also raises the concern of Pakistan violating the first freedom of air.