Freedom of Overflight : A Study of Coastal State Jurisdiction in International Airspace
Merinda E. Stewart

Freedom of overflight is in large part uncontroversial. However, several recent international disputes and subsequent scrutiny of the exercise of coastal State jurisdiction in international airspace have highlighted the problematic legal nature of this freedom – namely, how a State's ‘creeping jurisdiction'may encroach upon the rights of other States. This groundbreaking book examines in depth the ambiguous areas at the nexus of air law and the law of the sea with respect to the balance between coastal State jurisdiction and freedom of overflight, thus providing greater legal certainty regarding State actions involving overflight in international airspace. The author identifies and thoroughly examines three highly salient matters impacting overflight in international waters: the right of a State to establish safety zones around maritime constructions and the legitimacy of extending these safety zones to the airspace; what, if anything, under international civil aviation law specifically, prohibits a State from discriminating against the aircraft of another State in international airspace within its flight information region; and whether air defence identification zones can be justified as customary international law. Also considered is the law of the sea concerning transit passage through international straits and archipelagic sea lanes as applied to airspace users. This is the first detailed study of overflight to combine the perspectives of international civil aviation law and the law of the sea. As such, it presents a comprehensive analysis of the legality of attempts by coastal States to exercise jurisdiction in international airspace over aircraft registered in other States, thus taking a giant step towards determining what freedom of overflight entails by establishing its legitimate limitations. It will be welcomed by practitioners, policymakers, and academics concerned with international transportation, national defence, international trade, and other areas of international law.

Kluwer Law International
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