International Aviation:

Implications of Ratifying Montreal Aviation Protocol No. 3

RCED-91-45: Published: Dec 3, 1990. Publicly Released: Jan 4, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined how a proposed Montreal Aviation Protocol and its supplemental compensation plan for victims of international aviation disasters could affect the timeliness, cost, and level of compensation.

GAO found that: (1) under the protocol, and supplemental compensation plan, claimants would be required to prove only the amount of the losses that they suffered, which would reduce the time required to compensate accident victims; (2) legal costs would be lower under the protocol and the supplemental compensation plan than they were under current international agreements; (3) the protocol and the supplemental compensation plan could increase the level of compensation for American victims of international aviation accidents; (4) Americans could be compensated more by having their damage awards decided in U.S. courts; and (5) the protocol was unlikely to jeopardize airline safety, since adverse economic impacts were the primary incentives for airlines to operate safely.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The protocol continues to be considered by the full Senate.

    Matter: Because the current international agreements impose a heavy burden on American claimants trying to recover damages for international aviation accidents, the Senate may wish to ratify the protocol with the provision that the final version of the supplemental compensation plan conforms to Department of Transportation guidelines.


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