A bilateral air transport agreement is concluded between two contracting countries and liberalizes commercial civil aviation services between these countries. Bilateral air transport agreements allow designated airlines from these countries to operate commercial flights involving the carriage of passengers and cargo between these two countries. They also generally regulate the frequency and capacity of air services between countries, prices and other commercial aspects. Bilateral air transport agreements were later extended into multilateral air transport agreements. “A multilateral air transport agreement is the same as a bilateral air transport agreement, the only difference is that it includes more than two contracting states” (Wikipedia)4. These agreements later led to another form of agreement known as the Open Skies Agreement. Since 1992, the Department has pursued an “open skies” policy aimed at eliminating government involvement in airlines` decision-making on routes, capacity and prices in international markets. The Open Skies agreements also contain provisions on business opportunities, safety and security. The United States has negotiated open skies agreements with more than 100 aviation partners. conduct comparative analyses of air transport agreements; **Summaries of provisions have no formal status as an interpretation of the intentions of the parties to air transport agreements or the content of such agreements.

The summaries therefore do not replace the text of the Agreement itself. The Chicago Convention stipulates that no scheduled international air service may be operated over or to the territory of a State Party without its authorization. In the years that followed, ICAO developed a set of movement rights known as air freedoms. These freedoms continue to form the basis of the rights traded today in the air services negotiations (The Australian Government. Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, 2009)2. Air transport services are governed by a specific annex to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The Annex excludes from the Agreement most air transport services: traffic rights and services directly related to transport. However, these services are subject to regular review by the Council for Trade in Services to examine the possibility of further application of the GATS to the sector. A first review was held in 2000-2003. The second review is still ongoing. In preparation for the second review, the WTO Secretariat developed the Database and Methodology for the Review of Quantitative Air Transport Agreements (QUASAR) to assess the degree of liberalization of the aviation sector at a universal level.

The Bureau of International Aviation and the United States The Department of State negotiates bilateral and multilateral air transport agreements with foreign partners of the United States in the field of aviation. These agreements provide the basis on which airlines of participating countries can provide international air transport services for passengers, cargo and mail. Through air transport agreements, the United States is developing a competitive operating environment for U.S. air services between the United States and abroad. For more information on specific air transport agreements, please contact us. The U.S. open skies policy has gone hand in hand with the globalization of U.S. airlines.

By giving U.S. airlines unlimited access to our partners` market and the right to fly to destinations in between and beyond, Open Skies agreements provide U.S. airlines around the world with maximum operational flexibility. One of the first ATAs after World War II was the Bermuda Agreement, signed by the United Kingdom and the United States in 1946. The features of this agreement have become models for the thousands of such agreements to follow, although in recent decades some of the traditional clauses of these agreements have been modified (or “liberalized”) in line with the “open skies” policy adopted by some governments, notably the United States. [2] In most cases, air services are exempt from U.S. trade agreements. Where air services are included, the scope of coverage is very limited. In these cases, the Bureau of International Aviation works with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of State to ensure that these provisions are consistent with U.S. aviation policy. In the General Agreement on Tariffs for Services (GATS), the Annex on Air Transport expressly limits the scope of air services to the repair and maintenance of aircraft, computerized reservation systems and the sale and marketing of air transport equipment.

Under our bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), air service coverage is limited to aircraft repair and maintenance and specialized air transport services. For more information, please contact us. In 1913, probably the first agreement of its kind, a bilateral exchange of notes[1] was signed between Germany and the France to provide airship services. The bilateral system is based on the Chicago Convention and its associated multilateral treaties. The Chicago Convention was signed in December 1944 and has governed international air traffic ever since. The Convention also contains a number of annexes covering issues such as aviation security, security oversight, airworthiness, navigation, environmental protection and facilitation (acceleration and departure at airports). The Global Air Services Agreements (WASA) database is the world`s most comprehensive database of air transport agreements. Air services are included in the new services negotiations, which started in January 2000 […].