Freedoms of the Air

Sheffield School of Aeronautics is one of the oldest and most prestigious dispatching schools. In our time, educating students on the wonders of the field of aviation expertise has changed quite a bit. When Sheffield opened its doors in 1944, the commercial aviation industry was still very young, and many of the rules and regulations we know today did not exist. There are nine fundamental freedoms of the air that aircraft dispatchers know. Specifically, The Freedoms of the Air refer to a set of aviation rights that govern the ability of airlines to operate in foreign countries. There are nine freedoms in total, which range from the right to overfly a foreign country without landing, to the right to operate flights between two foreign countries without touching one’s own country. The first four freedoms are considered the most basic, while the fifth to ninth freedoms are more complex and involve the rights to make stopovers, carry passengers or cargo, and operate purely domestic flights in foreign countries. These freedoms have a significant impact on the global aviation industry and are subject to negotiation and agreement between countries through bilateral air services agreements. Sheffield expresses the freedom in its literal form, then breaks them down for you below where the freedoms of the air are explained. Keep reading.

What Are the 9 Freedoms of the Air? 

It may be important for you as an aspiring FAA flight planning professional to make sure that you understand what these freedoms mean and how they could translate into your future job and career. Below, our aircraft dispatcher school details exactly what you could expect when the time comes for you to internalize them and what they mean for your new job. Below, you could find a detailed list of the freedoms of the air examples.

First Freedom of the Air

This is the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State or States to fly across its territory without landing. This means that an airline from one country can overfly another country’s airspace.

Second Freedom of the Air

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 that a commercial aircraft can land to refuel in another country.

Third Freedom of the Air

The right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to put down, in the territory of the first State, traffic coming from the home State of the carrier. This means that an airline can deliver passengers from the airline’s home country to another country.

Fourth Freedom of the Air

The right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to take on, in the territory of the first State, traffic destined for the home State of the carrier. This means that an airline can carry passengers from another country to the airline’s home country.

Fifth Freedom of the Air

The right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to put down and to take on, in the territory of the first State, traffic coming from or destined to a third State. This means that an airline can take passengers from its home country, deposit them at the destination, and then pick up and carry passengers on to other international destinations.

Sixth Freedom of the Air

The right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, of transporting, via the home State of the carrier, traffic moving between two other States. This means that an airline can carry passengers or cargo between two foreign countries, provided that the aircraft touches down in the airline’s home country. The sixth freedom is not like the first five, as it is not incorporated as such into any widely recognized agreements amongst air services.

Seventh Freedom of the Air

The right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State, of transporting traffic between the territory of the granting State and any third State with no requirement to include on such operation any point in the territory of the recipient State, i.e. the service need not connect to or be an extension of any service to/from the home State of the carrier. This means that an airline can carry on flights that originate in a foreign country, bypass its home country, and deposit the passengers at another international destination.

Eighth Freedom of the Air

The right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, of transporting cabotage traffic between two points in the territory of the granting State on a service which originates or terminates in the home country of the foreign carrier or outside the territory of the granting State. This means that an airline can carry passengers from one point in a country to another point within the same country on a flight that originates in the airline’s home country. This is known as cabotage and isn’t widely used outside of Europe.

Ninth Freedom of the Air

The right or privilege of transporting cabotage traffic of the granting State on a service performed entirely within the territory of the granting State. This means that an airline from a particular country can originate a flight in a foreign country and carry passengers from one point to another within the foreign country. This is also known as the stand alone cabotage and does not directly relate to one’s own country.

As you’ll learn in dispatching schools, the eighth and ninth freedoms have been exchanged in a few instances. As of today, U.S. law prohibits these cabotage operations. The International Civil Aviation Organization, established the same year Sheffield School of Aeronautics was born, works to reach general agreements on international aviation standards.

Why Should Aircraft Dispatchers Understand the Freedom of the Air Examples? 

An aircraft dispatcher should learn the 9 freedoms of the air because they are essential principles of international aviation law that dictate the rights of countries to operate air services over the territory of other countries. As a result, understanding these freedoms will help an aircraft dispatcher to make informed decisions when planning and coordinating flights, particularly when operating flights that cross international borders. This is especially important for people to understand when they are looking into getting their aircraft dispatcher license because they outline many responsibilities. The concrete reasons why are listed below: 

  • Planning routes – Understanding the relationship between foreign countries, allowing them to plan an effective route.
  • Negotiating with foreign governments – The nine laws could be used to negotiate traffic rights and landing slots with foreign governments. 
  • Ensuring compliance with foreign laws – International air laws differ, which highlights the need for understanding exactly the basis of these laws.
  • Assessing any potential risks -The nine freedoms of the air also make it possible for aircraft dispatchers to assess certain risks associated with operating in certain regions. By analyzing the specific freedoms that apply to a particular route, an aircraft dispatcher can determine whether there are any legal or safety risks associated with the route and take appropriate measures to mitigate them.

More About Sheffield School of Aeronautics

If you enjoyed this freedom of the air explained article, we have much more to offer. Sheffield School of Aeronautics is here to make sure that you understand exactly what to expect when it comes to learning about getting your FAA dispatch license. This means that you should be keen to visit our website to learn more about the requirements for getting your FAA license so that you could start your dream career. Contact us today to learn more about our aircraft dispatch courses today and aircraft dispatcher license requirements. 

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