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Airport operator and aircraft operator in case of bird strike. Relations, obligations and liability

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Author(s): Sylwia KACZYŃSKA-ADAMCZYK

Journal: Transport Problems : an International Scientific Journal
ISSN 1896-0596

Volume: 6;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: bird strike | airport operator | aircraft operator | obligations | libility | damage

ABSTRACT
Air transport is subject to various risks. One of them is bird strike hazard. Despite numerous regulations concerning prevention from this type of occurrence, it is not possible to eliminate them entirely.Bird strikes most often take place during take-off and landing, that is on or in the vicinity of an airport. For that reason airport operators are the first parties that can be made accountable for this occurence. International law imposes numerous responsibilities on airport operators in terms of bird strike hazard prevention on air operations, thus placing airport operators in a “key position” in the system of safety. However, the party that suffers significant damages in the first instance, is the aircraft operator. If a bird strike takes place on or in the vicinity of an airport, an aicraft operator can sue the airport operator for compensation of damages. Generally, the issue of indemnity is subject to out of court negotiations, however instances in which there is a lack of agreement between the parties, i.e. airport operator, aircraft operator or their insurers, lead to legal proceedings for compensation.This article attempts to illustrate the relationship between air traffic participants such as airport operators and aircraft operators in connection with their obligations and liability, particulary taking into account the legal obligations of an airport operator.
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