The Evolution of the Aviation Accident Concept in International Air Transport of Persons: A Study in Comparative Judicial Applications and Qatari Legislation

Dr. Yassin Al Shazly
Assistant Professor of Commercial Law – College of Law – University of Qatar
Dr. Nazal Al Kiswani
Associate Professor of Commercial Law – College of Law – University of Qatar


It is no wonder that the aviation industry has an important role in supporting transportation across the world. However, aviation accidents are still a real concern for many air carriers today, as they incur many losses to global air carriers as a result of the exorbitant financial compensation paid for those affected, in addition to other side effects related mainly to the commercial reputation of these companies internationally.
Qatari legislation lacked a clear definition of the concept of aviation accidents, just as international conventions did not single out clear provisions for this issue, leaving it to national courts to define them.
In this research, we tried to uncover the concept of aviation accidents in cases of transporting persons – specifically in international air transport of people – and then we monitored the stages of development of the American judiciary in this context. In this research, we relied on the analytical method in order to monitor the divergence of trends regarding the definition of an aviation accident.
We have reached several conclusions, the most important of which is the absence of a unified definition of an aviation accident at the level of national legislation and relevant international agreements. In addition, the American judiciary has gone through several stages until it developed a comprehensive concept of the accident, centered around the circumstances of the incident and its circumstances, and may include normal or unusual elements in its composition, as the moral is that there is an unusual or unexpected element outside the control of the traveler, which contributed to the occurrence of injury or death, even if it is associated with a number of expected factors including the health of the traveler.

Keywords: Aviation accidents, passenger protection, Air Carrier liability, Montreal Convention, Warsaw Convention.

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