Restoring Global Aviation's 'Cosmopolitan Mentalité'
40 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 14, 2011
For over six decades, the central juristic premise of the global regulatory regime for international civil aviation has been that citizenship defines ownership; the mentalité - the determinative category of thought - has been that nationality organizes air commerce. Through this conflation of commercial and national affiliation, there are American carriers, British carriers, Canadian carriers - but not a single authentically transnational carrier. Because nationality supervenes, there is no international airline as such; the concept of a multinational enterprise remains unknown in air transport, even in the 21st century.
In this article, we generate a fresh context within which to reevaluate the issue of airline nationality by first illuminating the implicit cosmopolitanism of the international aviation industry and of its (potential) global regulatory structure by recollecting the origins of the current order and by positioning the industry within the conceptual development of the notion of cosmopolitanism itself. To accomplish this, we use the recently-signed air services agreement between Canada and the European Union to project what we will call a “cosmopolitan mentalité” that can radically transform air transport law and regulation for the future. In particular, we will explore how a doctrine of “citizenship purity” has had a stranglehold on the natural cosmopolitanism of the aviation industry virtually since its establishment, and how the Canada/EU agreement, which contains features (or at least prospective features) excluded from all prior bilateral air services agreements through which countries exchange air route permissions, models a way past the industry’s inheritance of regulatory chauvinism.
Keywords: Aviation, Airlines, International Law, Foreign Ownership, International Trade, Cosmopolitanism, Canada, European Union, Chicago Convention, Mentalité
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