- Recently, India has launched a direct flight between Srinagar and Sharjah (UAE) operated by budget airline GoFirst (formerly known as GoAir). The flight was to operate through Pakistani airspace.
- However, the flight was denied permission to enter Pakistan and the flight had to take a longer route to reach the destination.
- This has raised the concern of Pakistan violating the first freedom of the air.
- The freedom of air means a country grants airlines of a particular country the privilege to use and/or land in another country’s airspace.
- Freedom of air rule emanates from the Chicago Convention in 1944.
- The signatories to the convention decided to set rules that would act as fundamental building blocks to international commercial aviation.
- The convention provides Nine freedoms of air, but only the first five freedoms have been officially recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
- First Freedom Right: It is granted by one State to another State or States to fly across its territory without landing.
- In the case of the GoFirst flight (Indian carrier) was using the airspace of Pakistan (the second country) and was landing in the UAE (the third country).
- The right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State or States to land in its territory for non-traffic purposes.
- This means an Air India flight from New Delhi to New York can land at a British airport to get refuelled without embarking or disembarking passengers.
SOURCE: THE HINDU ,THE ECONOMIC TIMES, MINT