Essay On Airspace Sovereignty

Sovereignty is the control of the airspace shared with a particular state. It can be described as the right of a country to exercise regulatory, legislative and judicial authorities in the form of national airspace. Under Article 28 of the Chicago Convention, supremacy is the duty of the State (Chrystel, 2012). The article does not assign the State responsibility for the extension of navigation facilities overboard. This Article sets out the situations in which a State can choose to offer treatment, and these facilities must comply with ICAO guidelines (Organisation, 2013). The article states that sovereignty of airspace cannot be delegated. A sate may delegate its responsibility for performance to a third party. Such delegated responsibilities include providing navigation service, but the state maintains with the choice of designating to another third party, the foreign entity of national entity, a service provider. Delegation does not necessarily mean leaving the sovereignty.

Sovereignty competence is not affected when a delegation occurs. Delegating a service to a third party is exercising sovereignty. The state remains the sole proprietor of the sovereignty. Therefore, it can prescribe the terms when settling on the delegation. The obligation and rights of a State to delegate its air traffic service overboard are retained, and this does not implicate any derogation of its sovereignty as it was defined during ICAO Assembly held in 2010. For instance, USA and Canada conducted a mutual (Chrystel, 2012). Additionally, Tonga and Samoa successfully delegated its navigation service to New Zealand. When a delegation occurs, the State retains any liability as defined by the Article 28 of Chicago Convention. The residual liability is, however, limited to enable service is regulated. It can be seen that every State has the full ownership of airspace in its territory. National sovereignty cannot be delegated. Service of air navigation can be delegated, and therefore delegation cannot be termed as the derogation of its sovereignty.


Chrystel, E. (2012). Sovereignty Over Airspace: International Law, Current Challenges, and Future Developments for Global Aviation. Iinquiries Journal Vol. 4 (5), 1-4.

Organisation, C. A. (2013). Worldwide Air Transport Confrence (Atconf). International Civil Aviation Organization, 1-6.

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