The Agenda of items in the Work Programme of the Legal Committee of ICAO for its thirtyseventh session comprised: Study of legal issues relating to remotely piloted aircraft; Consideration of guidance on conflicts of interest; Acts or offences of concern to the international aviation community and not covered by existing air law instruments; Consideration, with regard to CNS/ATM systems including global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), and the regional multinational organisms, of the establishment of a legal framework; Determination of the status of an aircraft – civil/State; Promotion of the ratification of international air law instruments; Safety aspects of economic liberalization and Article 83 bis; and Implementation of Article 21 of the Chicago Convention. These items reflect issues that have been discussed by the Legal Committee for some time and are repetitive and tired. Worthy as they are of continuing discussion, focus on them has seemingly precluded both the Secretariat and the Council of ICAO from looking at current and future legal challenges that the evolving aviation industry presents.
Some of these challenges come from the megatrend of information technology which has artificial intelligence and internet technology as sub-sets that would affect many emergent applications which the aviation industry would be compelled to use. This article contains a commentary on the issues discussed at the Legal Committee as well as a review of issues that have a profound legal effect on current and future trends in aviation which the ICAO Assembly should hear about.Air and Space Law