I INTRODUCTION

Because of Norway's long and rugged coastline and low population density (5.2 million inhabitants in an area of 385,252 square kilometres), and in some parts, in particular in the interior and the north, poor rail and road infrastructure, aviation is an important part of the infrastructure. Norway is the country in Europe with the most airline trips per capita, and it is dependent on air transport.2

Norway is not a member of the EU; however, it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), in which the Agreement on the EEA provides for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the European Single Market. The EEA was established in 1994 upon entry into force of the EEA Agreement. The aim of the EEA Agreement is to extend the provisions applied by the European Union in its internal market to the remaining countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The EEA parties are the 28 EU Member States, as well as three of the four member states of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). Norway is part of the common EU aviation market, through the EEA Agreement.

As a matter of Norwegian law, an international treaty or convention does not have direct domestic effect. When signed and ratified by Norway, an international treaty or convention will only have domestic legal effect when transformed or incorporated into Norwegian law by statute (usually in the form of an act of parliament). As a consequence, the EEA Agreement has been incorporated and transformed into Norwegian law by way of act of parliament in the EEA law of 27 November 1992. The regulations and directives from the EU are either incorporated or transformed into Norwegian law, especially under the form of administrative regulations.

Norway is a party to many treaties and conventions in the aviation field, the most important being the Chicago Convention and the Montreal Convention.

The Norwegian government department responsible for civil aviation is the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC), which has overall responsibility for the framework conditions for, inter alia, civil aviation. The Civil Aviation Authority Norway (CAAN) is an administrative agency responsible for ensuring safe and efficient operation of civil aviation and developing regulations that govern all aspects of civil aviation in Norway. Avinor is a state-owned company that owns state airports and plans civil aviation infrastructure. It provides airport and aviation safety services for passengers and airlines and other users of civil aviation installations. In addition, there is an Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN), which is an administrative agency responsible for investigating accidents in the transport sector, including civil aviation. The AIBN shall not apportion any blame or liability under civil or criminal law.

As a rule, there is an unrestricted right to establish scheduled air service within the EEA, and Norwegian airports must give equal access to Norwegian and EEA/EU air carriers, or foreign carriers if warranted by multilateral or bilateral agreement between Norway and the foreign state in question. However, tender procedures are conducted on the assumption that no operator will choose to operate a flight route area without a tender contract and exclusive rights, typically route areas in the north.

Norway has been a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) since 2005.

Single European Sky entered into force for Norway in 2007.

Avinor operates 46 airports with scheduled service. Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) is the largest airport in Norway, with approximately 24.6 million passengers travelling from it each year. There is competition on most of the main routes. As in the rest of Europe, Norway has seen the emergence of low-cost carriers in Norway and Europe, co-existing with full-service carriers and charter airlines. The impact of low-cost carriers on fares of incumbent carriers is significant on the routes opened up to competition.

Norwegian aviation industry is dominated by four major players. One is Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), which is the largest company in Scandinavian aviation. Norwegian Air Shuttle started up as a low-cost company in 2002 and was listed on the stock exchange in 2003. The airline has shown a strong growth domestically and in Europe, and has established a company in Ireland and one company in the UK. Wiederøe is currently the largest regional company in the Nordic region, and tendered routes represent a significant part of its operations. Ryanair has flights from Sandefjord Airport Torp and Haugesund, and has run flights from OSL since 2016.

Slots are allocated on a neutral, transparent and non-discriminatory basis, as laid down in Council Regulation 95/93, and incorporated into Norwegian regulation.3

II LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR LIABILITY

i International carriage

Norway is party to the Montreal Convention of 28 May 1999. The Convention was incorporated into Norwegian law by the Act of 16 January 2004, No. 4 Part I (the Aviation Act),4 and entered into force on 28 June 2004. The EU Regulation (EC) No. 2027/97 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No. 889/2002 were simultaneously incorporated into Norwegian law by amending the Aviation Act, Section 10-17a and attached to the Aviation Act. Norway is also a party to the Warsaw Convention of 12 October 1929, which was incorporated by the Act of 12 June 1936; see Section 19-3 in the Aviation Act regarding the Warsaw Convention. Norway has also ratified additional protocols to amend the Warsaw Convention, including the Hague Protocol of 28 September 1955, which is the only protocol incorporated into Norwegian law.5

ii Internal and other non-convention carriage

Non-convention carriage is governed by the Aviation Act, and the incorporated conventions and EU Regulation also apply to internal aviation.

iii General aviation regulation

The main act dealing with both civil and military aviation in Norway is the Aviation Act.

The EEA Agreement applies to the territory of Norway, and Norway's position is that it does not apply to the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf or the high seas. Thus, it is Norway's position that helicopter operations offshore on the Norwegian continental shelf fall outside the scope of the EEA Agreement. One important consequence is that helicopter operators operating offshore must be located and certified in Norway. The Aviation Act also applies to offshore aviation activity on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Norway may in certain situations choose to incorporate legal acts whose scope encompasses the exclusive economic zone, or the continental shelf into the EEA Agreement, on the condition that the incorporation does not change the principle that the EEA Agreement has a geographical limitation.

An airline domiciled in an EU or EEA country can operate routes within the EU or EEA area without being dependent on a special public permit. This also applies to Norwegian airlines. The EEA Agreement, however, does not apply to third-country relationships. The aviation agreements that the EU has entered into with third countries, therefore, do not apply to Norwegian airlines. The Scandinavian-based airline SAS nevertheless benefits greatly from the EU agreements with third countries, as SAS can also operate as a Swedish or Danish company. A Norwegian airline can establish itself (directly or via a subsidiary) in any EU or EEA country, and it can then fly according to the aviation agreements this county has acceded to.

iv Passenger rights

EU Regulation 261/2004 (on denied boarding, cancellation or long delay) is transformed into Norwegian law by Regulation 17.2.2005, No. 141.

Treatment of passenger claims is based on EU Regulation 261/2004, which is transformed into Norwegian law; see Aviation Act Section 10-44 and Section VIII.

v Other legislation

Air carriers are subject to a number of general rules and regulations governing Norwegian undertakings.

The Norwegian Pollution Act applies also to air carriers, under which undertakings may be fined for violations of the Act.

The Norwegian Working Environment Act also essentially applies to civil aviation. For flight crews, the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for supervision pursuant to public law. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority is responsible for the supervision of all other personnel. The Working Environment Act applies to Norwegian territory.

Regarding competition rules, see Section VI.

III LICENSING OF OPERATIONS

i Licensed activities

Commercial activity and regular traffic (scheduled flights) within Norwegian territory, requires concession (operating licence) and an air operator certificate (AOC), compliance with environmental requirements, approved operational procedures and an approved aircraft at its disposal.

Aviation operated by authority of an Air Transport Services Agreement requires approval from the Ministry, as stipulated in Section 8-1 of the Aviation Act. However, commercial aviation within the EEA only requires a licence in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008. Hence, airlines with a licence from an EU or EEA Member State have free access to the domestic network. This does not apply to helicopter activity on the continental shelf, where a Norwegian licence is required to operate on the Norwegian part of the shelf.

Flight training, display flying, competition flying and other aviation activities of a non-commercial nature need authorisation from the Ministry. On 25 August 2016, Regulation (EC) No. 965/2012, Annex VI for non-commercial aviation operations with complex motor-powered aircraft was implemented into Norwegian law by Regulation BSL D 1-1.

The CAAN is the licensing authority in Norway.

ii Ownership rules

Aviation within Norwegian territory may only be undertaken using aircraft that have either Norwegian nationality, or nationality of an EU or EEA Member State, in accordance with the nationality requirements laid down in Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008, or nationality in a foreign state that has signed an agreement with Norway regarding aviation rights, or special authorisation granted by the civil aviation authority.

The nationality conditions for entities not covered by the EEA Agreement are regarded as Norwegian if the entities are:

  1. the Norwegian central government and systems that are controlled by the central government;
  2. Norwegian local authorities;
  3. Norwegian citizens;
  4. foundations with a 100 per cent Norwegian board, headquartered in Norway;
  5. associations and similar groups with a 100 per cent Norwegian board, headquartered in Norway, at least two-thirds of whose members are Norwegian citizens or have equivalent status under this section;
  6. private limited liability companies or public limited liability companies with a 100 per cent Norwegian board, headquartered in Norway, in which Norwegian citizens or the equivalent under this section own shares representing at least two-thirds of the share capital and are entitled to exercise at least two-thirds of all votes at the general assemblies of the company; or
  7. other companies that consist exclusively of Norwegian citizens or the equivalent under Section 3-2 of the Aviation Act.
iii Foreign carriers

When flying within Norwegian territory, foreign aircraft must have either a certificate of airworthiness and a certificate of compliance with environmental requirements as mentioned in the Aviation Act, Section 4-4, or similar certificates that have been issued or approved by a foreign state that has entered into agreements with Norway regarding recognition of these certificates in Norway.

IV SAFETY

Safety and security are mainly dealt with at EU level through various regulations established by EASA, which are transformed or incorporated into Norwegian regulations by the CAAN.

Carriers must at all times be airworthy. An aircraft cannot be considered airworthy unless it satisfies all safety requirements, and complies with environmental requirements as laid down by the ministry regarding noise abatement, air pollution, etc. The CAAN performs inspections of aircraft. A certificate of airworthiness is issued by the CAAN, or as equivalent and recognised certificate from another EU or EEA Member State, or from a state where bilateral agreements has been entered into.

The EFTA Surveillance Authorities (ESA) monitors the EEA legislation, and cooperates with the EU transport agencies. The ESA can impose fines and periodic penalty payments on companies in the EEA and EFTA States for breaches of provisions of EASA rules upon request of the EASA.

The Norwegian Aviation Act, Chapter XII, regarding notification, reporting and investigation was amended on 1 July 2016, implementing Regulation (EU) No. 376/2014 into Norwegian law by Regulation of 1 July 2016, No. 868.

Regulation (EC) No. 2015/1018 on the reporting, analysis and follow-up of occurrences is implemented in Norwegian law by Regulation BSL A 1-3.

Reports about accidents and serious incidents shall be sent to the CAAN and AIBN. Other occurrence reports (i.e., incidents that are not serious) must be sent to the CAAN only.

Joint European rules have been established for the working-hour rules for flight crews, which also apply in Norway.

V INSURANCE

All aircraft being used for aviation activities pursuant to the Aviation Act shall have valid, approved insurance or other security to cover liability, as mentioned in the Aviation Act, and insurance in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 785/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators.

The specific requirements regarding the insurance coverage are provided in Regulation No. 785/2004, under which air carriers are obligated to establish and maintain insurance in respect of liability for passengers, baggage and cargo, and third parties. The minimum requirement for liability towards passengers, which is 250,000 special drawing rights (SDR) per passenger, is the same, regardless of whether the flight is non-commercial or commercial.

If the mandatory minimum insurance provision is not complied with, the aircraft's certificate of airworthiness will be invalid (see Section 4-5 of the Aviation Act).

VI COMPETITION

The Norwegian Competition Act, which is partly harmonised with EU competition rules, includes prohibition against cartels and abuse of dominance. The EEA Competition Act of 2004 establishes competence for the Competition Authority to apply Articles 53 and 54 of the EEA Agreement, which correspond to Articles 101 and 102 TFEU and Articles 53 and 54 of the EEA Agreement.6

i Section 10

Section 10 of the Norwegian Competition Act prohibits agreements between competitors, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices that have as their object or effect to prevent, restrict or distort competition (e.g., price and bid fixing, market sharing, retail price maintenance). The prohibition applies to both horizontal and vertical relations (e.g., non-compete clauses, exclusivity agreements).

Section 10(2) provides that agreements (or clauses that infringe the prohibition in Section 10(1)) are wholly or partially void. This means that a court will not be able to order the parties to fulfil their contractual obligations if the provisions in question infringe Section 10. Moreover, fines up to 10 per cent of the company's turnover may be imposed for the infringements of the Competition Act. An agreement that falls within Section 10(1) of the Competition Act is not necessarily automatically void. If the restrictive agreement produces sufficient net benefits (effectiveness), the agreement may be exempted under Section 10(3) of the Act.

ii Section 11 of the Competition Act

Section 11 of the Norwegian Competition Act corresponds to Section 102 TFEU and Article 54 of the EEA Agreement. As under the EU rules, the undertaking in question must (1) have a dominant position, and (2) in some way have abused its market position to the detriment of competition.

EU case law and the Commission's Guidance on the Commission's enforcement priorities (Article 82) play important roles in the interpretation of the Norwegian provisions.

iii Sanctions and leniency

An undertaking that has breached the Competition Act may be sanctioned either by administrative penalties (up to 10 per cent of the company's turnover), or by penalties or imprisonment.

Leniency may be granted to undertakings that assist the Competition Authority by revealing that it or others have infringed the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements in Section 10 of the Competition Act. To be granted full leniency, a company must be the first company involved in the infringement to, on its own initiative, provide the Competition Authority with evidence, cooperate with the Competition Authority during the entire process and cease any further involvement in the infringement or any other actions related to the case.

iv State aid

The development of the aviation sector is the responsibility of public authorities. At the same time, granting subsidies and compensation underlies the strict state aid regulations. The state aid rules in the EEA Agreement are broadly equivalent to the state aid rules in the EC Treaty. The ESA monitors the EEA legislation, and cooperates with the EU transport agencies, also in the aviation sector.

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has adopted Aviation Guidelines for state aid to airports and airlines, corresponding to similar guidelines adopted by the European Commission.

Hence, the EU state aid rules apply to airports, which have to behave as 'commercial undertakings' and are not allowed to favour certain carriers.

v Procurement of air services (public service obligation routes)

As a rule, there is an unrestricted right to establish scheduled air services within the EEA. However, public procurement of air services is conducted on the assumption that no operator will choose to operate a flight route area without a tender contract and exclusive rights. The contracting authority is the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MTC). Tender procedures for scheduled routes that are considered public service obligations (PSO) are announced according to the rules of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008.7 The successful tenderer is awarded exclusive rights to operate the flight route areas covered by the tender procedure. At present, Widerøe is the dominant actor with regard to the PSO routes. This is owing to the requirements for the type of aircraft, type of navigational equipment, etc. According to Institute of Transport Economics (TØI) report 1116/2010, satisfactory competition for the PSO routes has not been established. In order to remedy this, the Institute of Transport Economics has proposed changes to the airport structure, and suggested using smaller aircraft to avoid the requirement for a specific navigational system, etc. In the current route tenders, loyalty programmes are banned.

VII WRONGFUL DEATH

See Section VIII concerning compensation for loss of financial support for dependants (a dependant is typically a child or in some circumstances a spouse) and for reasonable funeral costs.

Further compensation might be granted if the wrongful death was caused intentionally or as a result of gross negligence.

VIII ESTABLISHING LIABILITY AND SETTLEMENT

i Procedure

Passengers may bring their complaint against air carriers to a travel complaint handling body, according to Regulation 20 January 2012, No. 84 (the APCB Regulation) if a complaint to the service provider (airline) is not successful. The time limit for filing a complaint with the body is in all cases four weeks from the date on which the passenger received a definitive response from the airline. The decision of the travel complaint handling body is not legally binding. Internal flights and flights to and from Norway are covered by the travel complaint handling body. The establishment and operation of the body is financed through fees paid by the airlines and airport operator (Chapter 8 of the APCB Regulation).

The APCB Regulation contains provisions on how the body is organised, its secretariat and the board, and procedural regulations. Pursuant to Section 5-1 (2) and (3), the body will not consider complaints where the passenger has not first filed a complaint with the airline and the airline has rejected or refused the passenger's complaint, or where the airline has not made any reply or response to the complaint within four weeks. Should the airline not have a publicly known address or if they have not made arrangements for the passengers' possibility to file a complaint, these provisions will not apply. The time limit for filing a complaint with the body is in all cases four weeks from the date on which the passenger received a definitive response from the airline (Section 5-2).

Claims for damages are settled through the Norwegian courts, in the first instance, the district courts. However, as long as a case is pending before the travel complaint handling body, the case cannot be brought before the court.

Claims are generally brought against the carrier. Pilots and crew members are rarely joined in the proceedings and will, as a general rule, not be found liable if the injured person has also claimed compensation from the owner or carrier.

ii Carriers' liability towards passengers and third parties

The Aviation Act, Section 10-17 provides that the carrier is liable for injury or death caused to passengers while on board the aircraft, including embarking and disembarking. The carrier's liability includes liability for loss of provider. Pursuant to Section 10-17(a), Regulation No. 889/2002 amending Council Regulation (EC) No. 2027/97 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents applies as law.

Section 10-18 of the Aviation Act provides for liability for luggage, in the case of destruction or complete or partial loss of checked-in luggage, provided that the occurrence that caused the damage took place on board the aircraft or in the course of the passenger's embarking or disembarking from the aircraft, or while the luggage was in charge of the carrier. Exception is made to the extent that the damage was caused by the inherent nature of the goods or by deficiencies in the goods. The carrier is only liable for hand luggage in the case of negligence on its part.

The Aviation Act, Section 10-22a provides that in the event of injury or death of a passenger caused by an aircraft accident, an advance payment shall be made as soon as possible, and no later than 15 days after the identification of the passenger is established, to the natural person entitled to compensation, to cover their immediate economic needs on a basis proportional to the suffered damage. In case of death of the passenger, an advance payment of no less than 16,000 SDR per passenger shall be paid.

Under Section 10-20, the carrier is liable for loss resulting from delay in the transport by air of passengers, luggage or goods, unless he or she proves that he or she personally, and his or her agents, took all precautions that can reasonably be expected to avoid such loss, or that it was not possible for them to take such precautions.

The Regulation of 6 January 2011, No. 9, regarding the Carrier Liability Regulation contains provisions on the limits for the carrier's liability pursuant to the Aviation Act 1993, Section 10-22.

Under Section 10-22, the carrier liability is limited to 113,100 SDR in the case that the damage was not caused by wrongdoing of the part of the carrier, his or her employees or others for whom he or she is responsible for, or if the damage was exclusively caused by wrongdoing of a third party.

Carrier liability for loss incurred as a result of delay in the carriage of passengers shall be limited to 4,694 SDR per passenger.

Carrier liability for loss incurred in connection with the transport of luggage and as a result of luggage being delayed, damaged or completely or partly lost shall be limited to 1,131 SDR per passenger.

Carrier liability for loss incurred in connection with the transport of goods and as a result of goods being delayed, damaged or completely or partly lost shall be limited to 19 SDR per kilogram.

Strict liability for damage to third parties is laid down in Section 11-1 of the Aviation Act. The owner or lessee (pursuant to a lease agreement approved by the CAAN) of an aircraft is invariable liable for damage or losses that are suffered outside the aircraft as a result of the aircraft being used for aviation.

iii Product liability

Several laws, including non-statutory law, govern Norwegian product liability and apply to all businesses producing or selling a product. According to these laws, Norwegian businesses are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe and do not pose a hazard to consumers. Moreover, businesses may be held liable for any damage or harm caused by their products.

Under Norwegian law, product liability claims typically fall into three categories: negligence, strict liability and contractual. Negligence claims against manufacturers are based on customary norms derived from court rulings and legal theory.

The EU Product Liability Directive 85/374 is incorporated into the Norwegian Product Liability Act, in order to harmonise the Norwegian law with EU legislation.

Strict liability under the Product Liability Act focuses on the product and the damage it causes, rather than the negligent behaviour of the manufacturer.

Section 1-1 of the Norwegian Product Liability Act applies to the liability of a producer for damage caused by a product made or supplied for sale as part of its profession, business or equivalent activity.

Based on Section 1-2 of the Product Liability Act and also Article 2 of the EU Product Liability Directive, the term 'products' includes goods and movables, whether a natural product or industrial product, raw material or finished product, part product or main product, as well as products incorporated into other movables or real property.

Section 1-3 of the Product Liability Act includes not only the manufacturer in its definition of 'producer', but also the person importing a product for sale or distribution in the course of its business. Therefore, the term producer in the Product Liability Act encompasses manufacturers, importers, suppliers and sellers, among others, ensuring that nearly everyone in the chain of distribution may be held responsible.

Damages recoverable under the Product Liability Act include personal injury claims relating to bodily injuries and mental harm. Damage to property is also recoverable, provided that the property is meant for private use or consumption and was used by the claimant mainly for private purposes or consumption.

Additionally, Section 3-5 of the Product Liability Act provides compensation for pain and suffering (non-material damages) if the damage is caused intentionally or is the result of gross negligence.

iv Compensation

The basic principle under Norwegian law is that the injured person should be placed in the same financial position he or she would have been in had the accident not happened. Under the Norwegian Act on Compensatory Damages,8 an injured person may claim compensation for loss of earnings, compensation for expenditures (such as medical care and related expenses), compensation for loss of ability to work, and compensation for permanent injury. Damages for non-economic loss requires that the damage was caused intentionally by a wilful act or as a result of gross negligence.

Loss of earning is calculated as the actual loss of earning from the time of the accident until the injured person returns to work.

If the injured person has suffered permanent injury, this will be converted to a percentage rate representing the degree of injury suffered, according to a separate disablement table, and the person will be entitled to compensation.

If a passenger is killed in an accident, the relatives or persons who were dependent upon the deceased may claim compensation for loss of provider, and direct expenses, including, inter alia, funeral expenses.

In cases of damage to goods, it is the actual loss suffered that should be compensated.

Deduction is made for costs covered by social security, such as hospital costs and health services from the national insurance scheme, sickness benefit, disability pension and damage covered by insurance paid by the injured. The state cannot recover any cost from third parties in relation to support paid under social security.

Punitive damages are not recognised under Norwegian law.

IX VOLUNTARY REPORTING

An electronic reporting form called NF-2007 can be accessed through the state portal (www.altinn.no). This makes it easy for foreign operators and individuals to sign up and report any occurrence that could compromise the safety of aviation, which is part of the mandatory reporting system in line with Regulation (EU) No. 376/2014. In addition, there is a voluntary reporting template online available to members of the general public who wish to report an unsafe event experienced on a commercial airline or on a business flight to the CAAN. The reports filed are subject to confidentiality. Reported occurrences will be made anonymous and filed in the Norwegian national database, where they will be included in different statistics and summaries used to improve aviation safety.

X THE YEAR IN REVIEW

Regional airline Fly Viking Air, a newcomer in the Norwegian market in 2017, had to close in 2018 following a series of technical and other problems. A new limited company has been created to maintain the Ørland-Oslo route.

i Competition

In June 2014, the ESA conducted an unannounced inspection at the premises of the airline company Widerøe's Flyveselskap AS (Widerøe).

In June 2016, the ESA opened formal antitrust proceedings against Widerøe to investigate whether the company may have infringed the EEA competition rules. It stated in a fact sheet:

Widerøe is an airline that operates on public service obligation routes (PSO routes) in Norway. The routes are publicly financed to ensure adequate transportation in Norwegian regions. For safety reasons, a satellite-based approach system (called SCAT-1) is installed at several regional airports on the PSO routes. It was previously required that aircraft have SCAT-1 receivers installed on board to operate the PSO routes at airports with this system in place. As Widerøe owns all of the available on-board receivers, the company appears to be the only airline that could win public tenders for PSO routes affected by that requirement during the period under investigation.

In a statement to Widerøe dated 3 May 2018, the ESA took the preliminary view that it had abused a dominant position in breach of Article 54 of the EEA Agreement by refusing to supply SCAT-1 receivers to possible competitors. A final decision will be taken after Widerøe has made its comment, which it must do by 3 July 2018. If the ESA's preliminary conclusions are confirmed, it may adopt a decision requiring Widerøe to cease the conduct identified as restrictive of competition and may also impose a fine.

ii Labour law

The airline Norwegian won an important labour case in an appeals court in January 2018. The conflict arose as a result of a major reorganisation of the airline's structure in 2013–2017, with Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (NAS) as a parent company and two subsidiaries (CSN and PSN) owned by NAR (an Irish subsidiary of the Norwegian parent) as employers that also delivered staffing services to the parent company. An important part of the reorganisation and strategic plan is to ensure interoperability, including that the crew should be able to fly on all of Norwegian group's AOCs. The cabin crew and the pilots wanted NAS, and the holder of the AOCs, as their employer, and the court of first instance sided with their claim, and ruled that NAS is the legitimate employer, and that Norwegian was engaged in illegal hiring practices. However, the appeals court found that NAS was not their employer, and thus was not involved in illegal hiring practices. The appeals court concluded that the AOC could outsource activities such as crew services, including pilots, despite these personnel categories being considered safety critical, with reference to Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012 regarding air operations, which is incorporated into Norwegian law. The fact that the CAAN also agreed that the crew management should be handled by NAR and not by the holder of the AOCs, was also emphasised by the appeals court. The employees have filed an appeal to the Norwegian Supreme Court, and the judgment at the time of writing is not final.

XI OUTLOOK

Norwegian aviation has seen strong domestic and international growth for decades. There are now signs of domestic traffic growth flattening out, but continued growth is expected for international traffic.

The use of drones in Norway is increasing at a significant pace. According to information from the CAAN, the number of operators of drones for commercial use rose from 200 in 2015 to 4,000 in 2018. The government is working actively with the European Union to develop common rules regarding use of drones, and new regulation is expected to arrive this year or in 2019. In 2018 the MTC launched its first strategy concerning drones, which predicts that Norway will be a pioneer country in the use of drones, owing to the combination of plentiful airspace, well-developed infrastructure and high availability of technical expertise in this field. The CAAN is also working to enable drones to be used in private and public services, such as inspection of infrastructure and search-and-rescue operations, as well as delivery of pacels, drone taxi, etc.


Footnotes

1 Hanne S Torkelsen is an attorney-at-law and partner at Advokatfirmaet SGB Storløkken AS.

3 Cf. Norwegian Regulation of 15 July 1994, No. 691 regarding incorporation and enforcement of the EEA agreement in aviation.

4 The Aviation Act of 11 June 1993, No. 101.

5 See Aviation Act of 11 June 1993, No. 101 Section 10-40 defining the Montreal Convention and Warsaw Convention.

6 Equivalent to the TFEU Articles 101 and 102.

7 Rules of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community, cf. Annex 7.

8 Skadeserstatningsloven, 13 June 1969 No. 26.