The Nine Freedoms of the Air

There’s been a lot of talk about violations of the fifth freedom of the air. But what are the other air freedoms? And what do they mean?

The freedoms of the air form the core principles of the international commercial aviation route network. Drafted as part of the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, which was signed by 54 nations and later became known as the Chicago Convention, the freedoms of the air are international commercial aviation agreements that grant a country’s airlines the privilege to enter and land in another country’s airspace. Of the nine individual freedoms of the air, most countries exchange first and second freedoms through an International Air Services Transit Agreement. Additional freedoms are generally established through bilateral or multilateral air services agreements.

This article was originally published in the May 2019 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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