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. Sheffield expresses the freedom in its literal form, then breaks them down for you below.

 

First 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 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 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.

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