'The skies the limit!’: Open Skies – with limitations!

Fox, S. and Ismail, R. 2017. 'The skies the limit!’: Open Skies – with limitations! European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance. 4 (1), p. 7–42.


Although legal practitioners recognise the terminology ‘open skies’ there is no one accepted definition. The principle aim maybe the same, namely ‘to democratise aviation’ but interpretation and practice translates through into variances and divisions as to how liberal nations are willing to be. This paper explores the concept and development of ‘open-skies’ with the intention of questioning whether this hypothesis is a realistic and an accomplishable objective.

This paper commences with a relevant-contextualised, historical exploration of open-skies agreements. The development of the us and eu are analysed before the research discusses the on-going developments in terms of the ‘potential’ of, and ‘difficulties’ in, realising asean-eu and asean-us open skies agreement.

The findings show the challenges and successes within the global aviation sector as viewed from this triangulated approach, and the conclusion drawn is that there remains impediments which will be difficult to overcome.