The Aviation Law Review has become a vital addition for the libraries of those with commercial, legal or academic interest in international aviation law; contributing a unique perspective on these subjects from experts in many countries around the world.
In litigation and regulatory terms the themes of previous years continue to predominate. The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) (i.e., the alternative legislature for Europe) continues to bear down on operators, and indirectly passengers, with judicial activism in the sphere of Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004. All rational defences on the basis of exceptional measures have been dismissed by the court in favour of what seems to be the theory that if it happens it was not exceptional! Ultimately passengers will bear the cost of this through increasing fares but this will be a bullet easily dodged by the judges, who, of course, have no electorate and no accountability.
Unmanned aerial vehicles also continue to be a hot topic, with regulation barely keeping up with their proliferation. The need for regulation is highlighted by ever more frequent near-miss reports; though the latest may have been in respect of an unmanned aerial plastic bag rather than one that was under control. Privacy regulations are also coming into force but the difficulty of identifying the particular operator of any unlicensed drone still poses difficulties that are likely to lead to registers created at the point of sale or by transferors to new users.
Sean Gates is a qualified English solicitor who has spent many years working in the aviation legal arena, including as senior partner of Beaumont and Son, and Gates and Partners. He is now the CEO of Gates Aviation Limited, which provides a range of services to aviation interests in the areas of safety, security and legal advice.
As legal adviser to the International Union of Aviation Insurers (IUAI) from 1998 to 2014, Mr Gates represented the IUAI at the diplomatic conferences giving rise to the Montreal Convention on surface damage, in 2009, and on passenger liability, in 1999, and in the 2013 legal committee meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization reviewing the Tokyo Convention on Offences Committed on Board Aircraft 1963. Mr Gates is chairman of Gates Aviation Ltd, which provides international legal, risk management, safety and security advice and support to a range of industries. He is also the legal adviser to the British Air Transport Association and the European Regions Airlines Association, and to Kenyon International Emergency Services Inc.
Mr Gates specialises in aerospace insurance, reinsurance and liability issues including disaster management and preparedness, and insurance coverage and policy issues. He has acted for airlines and their insurers as lead counsel in respect of numerous aviation disasters, and regularly represents international carriers and their insurers on a variety of issues. He is currently heavily engaged in significant product liability claims for and against aviation manufacturers; the provision of legal disaster risk management to a substantial Chinese manufacturer; and continues to work with British Airways on disaster response matters.
The publisher acknowledges and thanks the following for their learned assistance throughout the preparation of this book: