A History of International Civil Aviation : From its Origins through Transformative Evolution book cover
1st Edition

A History of International Civil Aviation
From its Origins through Transformative Evolution

ISBN 9780367887407
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
148 Pages

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Book Description

For civil aviation to progress it has never been just about technology and business practices. To go from the rudiments of the early services that plied across short distances in Europe and America to what we experience today required most of all that politicians and policy-makers address the central problems of national sovereignty over air space and national ownership and control over airlines. Those problems have plagued the development of seamless and efficient air services for consumers in the international sphere. One would have thought that international airlines might have led the way towards a uniform globalized system given the nature of their enterprise, but that has definitely not been the case. Sovereignty and security issues have more often than not trumped commercial arguments for a more level playing field for international airlines. There has thus been an on-going tussle between sovereignty, state security and mercantilist practices on the one hand and the ambition for civil aviation to flourish on the other. As one early commentator put it:’ one is convinced that the sovereign state cannot be left without authority over what happens just above its territory, (but) … one shrinks from the idea that aerial navigation could be the object of narrow-minded restrictions.How those narrow-minded restrictions were gradually eroded, though still not eliminated, to enable civil aviation to flourish is at the heart of this work.

This book will be of direct interest to students of aviation, modern history, international relations and transport. It is also of value to airline industry professionals and government transport departments.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction: From Civil Aviation’s Origins to the Paris Convention 1919

Chapter 2. The inter-war predatory bilateral system 1919-1939

Chapter 3. Wartime Planning and The Chicago Conference 1939-44

Chapter 4. The Chicago-Bermuda Regime – its operation and the challenge of deregulation 1945-1992

Chapter 5. Creating the Single European Aviation Market

Chapter 6. Open Skies and a fully globalised world market – challenge and reality 1992-2016

Chapter 7. Conclusion: Unfinished Business?



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Alan Dobson, honorary Professor at Swansea University, has written extensively on Anglo-American relations and civil aviation. He has held fellowships at the Norwegian Nobel Institute, at St Bonaventure University (Lenna) and at Baylor University (Fulbright) He is editor of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies and of the International History Review.


"The primary documents, along with the author’s years of experience make this work a valuable contribution to somewhat a diffuse body of knowledge: the book succeeds in packing many important aspects of the debates surrounding the liberalization of commercial aviation." -Guillaume de Syon, Albright College, USA