International Aviation:

Implications of Ratifying the Montreal Aviation Protocols

T-RCED-90-83: Published: Jun 19, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 1990.

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GAO discussed how the Montreal Aviation Protocols would affect the level and timeliness of compensation for victims of international aviation accidents and whether the protocols might also affect the safety of international air travel. GAO noted that: (1) the protocols would more fully compensate Americans for economic and non-economic losses because they increase the current limit on airline liability; (2) the protocols would provide for more timely restitution by not requiring claimants to prove fault and by furnishing incentives for airlines to settle claims quickly; (3) the protocols would increase the likelihood that Americans will be able to bring suit in U.S. courts, because they add the country where the passenger resides as a new basis of jurisdiction; (4) it is unlikely that ratification of the protocols will adversely affect airline safety; and (5) although the protocols will eliminate the civil litigation of fault, available evidence indicates that litigation has not affected airline safety.

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