Chicago Convention Bilateral Agreement
The Australian Government has negotiated 90 bilateral air services and related agreements. These agreements allow our airlines to offer the range of services they offer today. Legend: Map of bilateral air services agreements between members of the World Trade Organization. Courtesy of the Air Services Agreement Projector, World Trade Organization, 2007 Before an airline can offer international flights to another country, the government must first negotiate a contract-level agreement with the government of the destination country. These agreements are called bilateral air services agreements. The Australian government is putting in place a bilateral air services negotiation programme to strengthen our airlines` access to the world and allow foreign airlines to improve their access to Australia. The result is that international air transport is regulated by a complex network of more than 3000 bilateral air services agreements. In recent years, groups of countries have come together to negotiate air agreements. These agreements are called plurilateral agreements, but most international air services continue to be traded bilaterally. In 1913, a bilateral exchange of banknotes between Germany and France was signed in the agreement probably as soon as possible in order to allow airship services.
In the meantime, within the framework of the bilateral system, we are working to liberalise air traffic agreements and gradually lift restrictions on routes, capacity and ownership of airlines. The bilateral system has its weaknesses, but it can also be flexible and allow for rapid changes on which the parties agree. Despite its limitations, the bilateral system has allowed international aviation to become the dynamic sector we have today. A bilateral air services agreement is concluded between two States Parties, which liberalizes commercial civil aviation services between these countries. Bilateral air services agreements allow designated airlines from these countries to operate commercial flights covering the carriage of passengers and cargo between these two countries. In addition, they normally regulate the frequency and capacity of air services between countries, pricing and other commercial aspects. An air services agreement (sometimes called an air services agreement, ATA or ASA) is a bilateral agreement that allows international commercial air services between signatories. As mentioned in our Article on the Five Freedoms of the Air, aviation is a unique regulated sector.