Washington Law Review


This article aspires to give such boundaries as the subject will permit to a branch of the law so recent in its origin that its terminology is still in dispute. For the present we shall designate as "air law" that developing group of legal principles which apply to the occupancy, use and navigation of the air. But the difficulties which this definition encounters will be apparent as we proceed, and our excuse for its present employment is that it describes the matter in familiar terms. The discovery of new arts and instrumentalities has always exerted powerful influence upon the trend of the development of law So it is that in our time the invention and perfection of aircraft and of the radio transmitter and receiver have compelled the formulation of a law for the air. This air law found ready made and properly adaptable to the new use, many familiar concepts, and these will be given little more than passing notice. But on the other hand, air law presents some problems of sovereignty, jurisdiction and the limitations of private property which are unique and largely incapable of solution by direct application or analogy of the common law.

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