23 Sep What is Cabotage and How Does it Affect Flying Private?
What Private Flight Travelers Need To Know About Cabotage
Many people in the United States of America have never heard of the word Cabotage. This word is largely used in the maritime and aviation industries. For such a relatively unknown word, cabotage has very large implications in the nature of foreign and domestic market economies, as well as national, and public security.
So what is Cabotage?
In fact, the word itself is French in nature and refers to the right of foreign countries having the ability to travel and supply goods and transport passengers to the borders of foreign countries. Largely mercantile in nature, these laws most commonly apply to shipping and passenger transport vessels that operate in international waters. They were developed in order to protect the domestic industries and economies inside the borders of maritime countries, or countries with coastlines.
The granting of cabotage rights, or the right to operate inside the borders of sovereign countries, is not a common act. For instance, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 requires that all goods transported on water between U.S. ports be transported on vessels that are constructed, owned, and crewed by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
How does Cabotage impact private jet travel?
While cabotage rights are common in the maritime shipping industry for many countries, it is much less common in the aviation industry. As later, in 1944, the same logic was applied to the aviation industry via the Chicago Convention. While Cabotage in the aviation industry refers to the ability to transport passengers inside the borders of a nation by foreign aircraft. Check out the Different Types of Jet Aircraft available to make flying private easier.
With private jet flights, there are certain exceptions that can be made via “Beyond Rights,” specifically sixth freedom rights, which allows the transport from point A in one country to point B in another country. While rare, these rights and negotiations exist due to the nature of private jet travel, where flying over multiple states or countries is relatively common.
These exceptions exist in order to reduce the number of empty flights and reduce logistical inefficiency. This means that an aircraft can apply for these exceptions to charter a flight from a location that is not it’s designated home base.
Exemptions to Cabotage in the EU
While Cabotage is a necessary rule set in order to protect the domestic economy of many countries, that does not mean that they are without exceptions. As stated in the paragraph above, in the U.S., there is a set of rules for exceptions known as Beyond Rights. This allows privately-owned aircraft to apply for an exception to charter a flight from a domestic location. Just keep in mind that a U.S. Tax for Private Aircraft still applies.
While rare, these exceptions do exist, and they vary from country to country. For instance, in the EU, all countries that are member states are granted cabotage rights within certain conditions. Australia and New Zealand have agreements in place that allow international and domestic travel between certain airlines. Australia will also allow some airlines that have been incorporated into Australian law to charter domestic flights.
Chile, being more liberal due to its geography, has a similar exemption rule set to Australia. It is allowing for the incorporation of foreign airlines under Chilean law.
Freedoms of the Air
The Chicago Convention of 1944 set aside international commercial aviation exemptions. At the time, the United States had called for a standardized set of air rules between states. However, the international community at large was concerned about the size of the U.S. Airlines and that it would easily dominate the skies if there were not a strict set of rules in play. So at this convention, the building blocks of international travel were developed and set into law, known as the Freedoms of the air. However, most private flights will often avoid the sea.
The First Freedom
The first freedom grants the ability of a foreign country to fly over without landing. The International Air Services Transit Agreement grants this freedom to 129 of its member states. For the member states, this freedom is generally universal; however, notification and the application of reasonable fees may apply.
The Second Freedom
This freedom of the air allows for the stopping of a flight for issues related to the technical nature of flight, such as refueling or potential maintenance. As long as the passengers of such a flight do not embark or disembark during this period. This is also universal between the member states of the International Air Services Transit Agreement.
The Third and Fourth Freedoms
While the first two freedoms refer to transit rights, the following two freedoms refer to transit rights. They allow for the transport between two countries, where the third freedom covers the right to carry passengers or cargo from a country to another; the fourth freedom refers to the transport from a country to one’s own.
These rights are more controversial than the Freedoms of the Air rule set, as sometimes being seen as the allowance of unfair competition. This is due to the allowance of traveling from a domestic source to a second country and then on to a third. While intended to increase the economic viability of long haul flights, they again are sometimes seen as unfair. These rights include the Fifth and Sixth Freedoms.
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