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[Senate Treaty Document 106-45]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



106th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
                                 SENATE       
 2d Session                                                      106-45
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     




 
             CONVENTION FOR INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE BY AIR

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

 THE CONVENTION FOR THE UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL 
            CARRIAGE BY AIR, DONE AT MONTREAL, MAY 28, 1999




    September 6, 2000.--The Convention was read the first time, and 
  together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on 
 Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate

                               -------

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
79-118                      WASHINGTON : 2000



                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                The White House, September 6, 2000.
To the Senate of the United States:
    I transmit herewith, for Senate advice and consent to 
ratification, the Convention for the Unification of Certain 
Rules for International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal May 
28, 1999 (the ``Convention''). The report of the Department of 
State, including an article-by-article analysis, is enclosed 
for the information of the Senate in connection with its 
consideration of the Convention.
    I invite favorable consideration of the recommendation of 
the Secretary of State, as contained in the report provided 
herewith, that the Senate's advice and consent to the 
Convention be subject to a declaration on behalf of the United 
States, pursuant to Article 57(a) of the Convention, that the 
Convention shall not apply to international carriage by air 
performed and operated directly by the United States for 
noncommercial purposes in respect to its functions and duties 
as a sovereign State. Such a declaration is consistent with the 
declaration made by the United States under the Convention for 
the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International 
Carriage by Air, done at Warsaw October 12, 1929, as amended 
(the ``Warsaw Convention'') and is specifically permitted by 
the terms of the new Convention.
    Upon entry into force for the United States, the 
Convention, where applicable, would supersede the Warsaw 
Convention, as amended by the Protocol to Amend the Warsaw 
Convention, done at Montreal September 25, 1975 (``Montreal 
Protocol No. 4''), which entered into force for the United 
States on March 4, 1999. The Convention represents a vast 
improvement over the liability regime established under the 
Warsaw Convention and its related instruments, relative to 
passenger rights in the event of an accident. Among other 
benefits, the Convention eliminates the cap on carrier 
liability to accident victims; holds carriers strictly liable 
for proven damages up to 100,000 Special Drawing Rights 
(approximately $135,000) (Special Drawing Rights represent an 
artificial ``basket'' currency developed by the International 
Monetary Fund for internal accounting purposes to replace gold 
as a world standard); provides for U.S. jurisdiction for most 
claims brought on behalf of U.S. passengers; clarifies the 
duties and obligations of carriers engaged in code-share 
operations; and, with respect to cargo, preserves all of the 
significant advances achieved by Montreal Protocol No. 4.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to this Convention and that the Senate give its 
advice and consent to ratification, subject to a declaration 
that the Convention shall not apply to international carriage 
by U.S. State aircraft, as provided for in the Convention.

                                                William J. Clinton.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                         Washington, June 23, 2000.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you the 
Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for 
International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal May 28, 1999 
(``the Convention''). I recommend that this Convention be 
transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to 
ratification, subject to a declaration to be made on behalf of 
the Untied States that the Convention shall not apply to 
international carriage by air performed and operated directly 
by the United States for non-commercial purposes in respect to 
its functions and duties as a sovereign State. Such a 
declaration is consistent with the declaration made by the 
United States under the Convention for the Unification of 
Certain Rules Relating to International Transportation by Air, 
done at Warsaw October 12, 1929 (the ``Warsaw Convention'') and 
is specifically permitted by the terms of the new Convention. A 
detailed article-by-article analysis of the new Convention is 
enclosed for the information of the Senate.


                               background


1. The Warsaw Convention (1929) and The Hague Protocol (1955)
    The Convention represents the culmination of more than four 
decades of efforts by the United States, initially to increase, 
and later to eliminate, the meager and arbitrary limits of 
liability (approximately $8,300 per passenger) applicable when 
passengers are killed or injured in international air carrier 
accidents and the harm was not due to the carrier's willful 
misconduct. The liability limits were set first in 1929 by the 
Warsaw Convention, which provides limitations on liability and 
uniform liability rules applicable to international air 
transport of passengers, cargo and mail. The United States has 
been a party to the Warsaw Convention since 1934.
    Efforts by the United States in the early 1950s to raise 
the limits of liability succeeded only in doubling the original 
Warsaw Convention liability limit to $16,600, as codified in 
the Protocol to Amend the Convention for the Unification of 
Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, done 
at the Hague September 28, 1955 (``The Hague Protocol''). In 
response to the inadequacy of that limit, the United States 
considered a form of accident insurance legislation in 
conjunction with considering ratification of The Hague 
Protocol. The proposed legislation fixed various levels of 
compensation based upon the type of injury sustained by the 
passenger. The cost of the insurance would have been built into 
international carrier ticket prices. The Hague Protocol was 
sent to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification, 
but when the insurance legislation package failed, due largely 
to the inadequacy of the proposed liability limits, The Hague 
Protocol was withdrawn.
2. The Montreal Inter-carrier Agreement (1966)
    Failure of the insurance legislation domestically, coupled 
with increasing dissatisfaction with the Warsaw liability 
limits, even as increased by The Hague Protocol, led the United 
States, in 1965, to submit a notice of denunciation of the 
Warsaw Convention. However, before it went into effect, the 
United States withdrew this notice of denunciation in 
consideration of a private voluntary agreement negotiated under 
the auspices of the International Air Transport Association 
(IATA) that was signed by all major foreign and U.S. carriers 
serving the United States (the ``Montreal Inter-carrier 
Agreement''). The Montreal Inter-carrier Agreement ensured that 
accident victims on flights to or from the United States are 
compensated for up to $75,000 of proven damages, whether or not 
the negligence of the carrier was the cause of the accident. In 
time, all foreign carriers operating services to or from the 
United States accepted the terms of the Montreal Inter-carrier 
Agreement.
3. The Guadalajara Convention (1961)
    During the period when The Hague Protocol and supplemental 
insurance legislation were under consideration, a further 
diplomatic conference was heldin Guadalajara, Mexico for the 
limited purpose of supplementing the Warsaw Convention to address 
indirect carriage of cargo. In operations involving indirect carriage 
of cargo, a consignor purchases transportation from one carrier, such 
as an air freight forwarder or consolidator (``the contracting 
officer''), but the transportation is provided by another carrier (the 
``actual carrier''), in accordance with an agreement between the 
carriers. The product of the diplomatic conference was the Convention, 
Supplementary to the Warsaw Convention, for the Unification of Certain 
Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air Performed by a Person 
Other than the Contracting Carrier, done at Guadalajara September 18, 
1961 (the ``Guadalajara Convention''). The United States did not ratify 
the Guadalajara Convention, due in part to questions within the U.S. 
Government as to whether, in light of the unreasonable limits on 
airline liability for passengers, the United States should withdraw 
from the Warsaw Convention. The essential terms of the Guadalajara 
Convention have been incorporated into the Convention at Chapter V, 
which addresses, among other things, modern code-share arrangements.

4. The Guatemala City Protocol (1971)

    Further efforts to advance the cause of passenger rights 
were reflected in the Protocol to Amend the Convention for the 
Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage 
by Air, as amended by The Hague Protocol, done at Guatemala 
City March 8, 1971 (``Guatemala City Protocol''). This Protocol 
held carriers strictly liable for up to 1,500,000 francs 
($100,000) of proven damages in the event of passenger death or 
injury, but that amount constituted an unbreakable limit on 
liability per passenger, even if the carrier engaged in willful 
misconduct. However, the Guatemala City Protocol expressly 
recognized the right of States to supplement passenger 
recoveries through State legislated insurance plans. This 
Protocol had not been sent to the U.S. Senate for its advice 
and consent to ratification, when there arose another 
opportunity to negotiate a more favorable and more 
comprehensive revision of the Warsaw Convention. This 
opportunity was the 1975 Diplomatic Conference on Air Law in 
Montreal.

5. The 1975 Montreal Protocols

    At the 1975 diplomatic conference, called primarily to deal 
with cargo issues, the key substantive provisions of the 
Guatemala City Protocol were incorporated into Additional 
Protocol No. 3 to Amend the Convention for the Unification of 
Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, as 
amended by The Hague Protocol and the Guatemala City Protocol, 
done at Montreal September 25, 1975 (``Montreal Protocol No. 
3''). In translating the Guatemala City Protocol provisions 
into the Montreal Protocol No. 3, the only change in content 
was the replacement of the gold standard with the currency 
conversion formula based on ``Special Drawing Rights'' 
(hereinafter referred to as ``SDR,'' which is an artificial 
`basket' currency developed by the International Monetary Fund 
for internal accounting purposes).
    Also negotiated at the same diplomatic conference as 
Montreal Protocol No. 3 was the Protocol to Amend the 
Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to 
International Carriage by Air, as amended by The Hague 
Protocol, done at Montreal September 25, 1975 (``Montreal 
Protocol No. 4''). Among other things, this Protocol eliminated 
the outmoded cargo documentation provisions of the Warsaw 
Convention, thereby facilitating the application of electronic 
commerce to international air cargo. For example, Montreal 
Protocol No. 4 eliminated the need for consignors of cargo to 
complete detailed air waybills prior to consigning goods to a 
carrier. In place of such detailed air waybills, consignors 
could use simplified electronic records of facilitate 
shipments.
    Finally, there were two other Protocols negotiated at the 
1975 diplomatic conference, referred to as Montreal Protocols 
numbers 1 and 2. These protocols related solely to the 
conversion from a gold standard to the SDR standard for 
purposes of calculating allquantitative limitations on 
liability under the Warsaw Convention and under the Warsaw Convention 
as amended by The Hague Protocol. The United States signed Montreal 
Protocols Nos. 3 and 4, but not Nos. 1 and 2, when they were opened for 
signature on September 25, 1975.
    Following the singing of Montreal Protocol No. 3, and 
consistent with its provisions, the United States considered 
domestic legislation that would have established a Supplemental 
Compensation Plan providing for a $200,000 insurance based 
supplement to the Montreal Protocol No. 3 carrier liability 
limit for passengers (increasing total recovery to 
approximately $300,000). An effort in 1981 to achieve Senate 
advice and consent to U.S. ratification of that Protocol, along 
with Montreal Protocol No. 4, was unsuccessful, due in large 
part to concerns about accepting any limits on passenger 
recoveries. Similarly, a subsequent effort to achieve Senate 
advice and consent to ratification of Montreal Protocol No. 3 
in conjunction with a new Supplemental Compensation Plan that 
contained no liability limits also did not garner the necessary 
support in the Senate.

6. The IATA and ATA Inter-carrier Agreements (1997)

    In the face of the failure of governmental efforts to 
modernize the liability regime for passengers, the Department 
of Transportation facilitated communications among U.S. and 
foreign carriers, under the auspices of the IATA and the Air 
Transport Association (ATA) to develop private voluntary 
agreements under which carriers would waive the passenger 
liability limits of the Warsaw Convention and its related 
instruments (the ``Warsaw liability limits''). In February 
1997, the Department of Transportation approved a set of two 
IATA and one ATA inter-carrier agreements, all of which, at a 
minimum, waived the Warsaw liability limits in their entirety. 
Because these agreements waived the Warsaw liability limits for 
participating carriers, they effectively superseded the 1966 
Montreal Inter-carrier Agreement, by which carriers had merely 
waived the limits on liability up to $75,000 per passenger.
    As of June 1, 2000, 122 international carriers, 
representing more than ninety percent of the world's air 
transport industry, have signed the IATA Inter-carrier 
Agreement on Passenger Liability (IIA), which waives the Warsaw 
liability limits. Most of the carriers signing the IIA also 
signed the second IATA agreement, which requires carriers to 
pay up to 100,000 SDR (approximately $135,000) to accident 
victims, regardless of carrier negligence. Consequently, any 
accident victim having a claim against a carrier that was party 
to this second IATA agreement would have an absolute right to 
recover up to 100,000 SDR of proven damages. The ATA agreement, 
signed by a number of U.S. carriers, describes the manner in 
which carriers agree to implement the two IATA agreements. In 
addition to waiving the Warsaw liability limit for passenger 
injuries and accepting 100,000 SDR of strict liability, 
airlines signatory to the ATA agreement also agree, subject to 
application law, that compensation for passenger injuries may 
be determined by reference to the law of the domicile or 
permanent residence of the passenger. Meanwhile, at 
governmental levels, a number of States adopted domestic laws 
or regulations to address their growing dissatisfaction with 
the Warsaw liability limits.

7. Montreal Protocol No. 4 and Cargo Operations

    Until 1988, nothing had been done in the United States to 
modernize the rules relating to the air cargo industry. 
Accordingly, following Senate advice and consent to 
ratification, given on September 28, 1998, the United States 
accomplished its objective of modernizing rules for the 
international air-cargo industry by ratifying Montreal Protocol 
No. 4, which entered into force for the United States on March 
4, 1999. Among other things, this Protocol eliminated 
requirements for paper-based transactions, including the 
requirement to completed detailed air waybills. In accordance 
with the provisions of Montreal Protocol No. 4, the United 
States also became bound by the provisions of The Hague 
Protocol when it ratified Montreal Protocol No. 4. The 
passengerliability limitations contained in The Hague Protocol, 
although objectionable to the United States decades earlier, no longer 
were an obstacle, because they were effectively superseded by the IATA 
and ATA Inter-carrier Agreements, by which most major international 
scheduled carriers had waived those limits.

8. The 1999 International Conference on Air Law

    The IIA and Montreal Protocol No. 4 together represented a 
reasonable interim fix, but not a long-term solution, to the 
problem of creating a modernized uniform liability regime for 
international air transportation. Work on that larger task 
commenced at the International Civil Aviation Organization 
(ICAO) in 1997 and was completed at the May 1999 International 
Conference on Air Law in Montreal at which the convention was 
negotiated and open for signature.
    ICAO had long recognized the need for a new convention to 
replace the patchwork of liability regimes around the world. At 
present, carriers are subject to vastly different liability 
regimes, depending upon the treaties to which their governments 
are parties and the private inter-carrier agreements that they 
have signed. In addition, differences in size and financial 
strength of the world's carriers, as well as differences in the 
objectives and legal systems of ICAO member States, have 
complicated any effort to achieve international consensus on 
modernization. Despite these differences, the Convention 
adopted on May 28, 1999 in Montreal represents a success with 
respect to all key U.S. policy objectives. It was immediately 
signed by 52 countries, including the United States.
    The Convention requires ratification, acceptance, approval 
or accession by thirty States before it enters into force. Upon 
entry into force, the Convention will take precedence over the 
Warsaw Convention and any of its amendments and related 
instruments, and as a practical matter will supersede the 
private inter-carrier agreements, when the State or States 
relevant in a particular accident are party to the new 
Convention. For the United States, the new Convention, 
following U.S. ratification and entry into force, would 
supersede the Warsaw Convention, as amended, for flights 
between the United States and Foreign States also party to the 
Convention and for international flights having their origin 
and destination in the United States (round-trips).

                             the convention

    There are currently more than 135 parties to the Warsaw 
Convention either in its original form or one of its amended 
forms. Some States separately have adopted laws or regulations 
relating to international carrier liability. In addition, as 
noted earlier, there are private voluntary agreements among 
carriers relating to liability. The result of these many 
instruments is a patchwork of liability regimes. The new 
Convention is designed to replace the Warsaw Convention and all 
of its related instruments and to eliminate the need for the 
patchwork of regulation and private voluntary agreements.
    The most notable features of the new Convention include: 
(1) it removes all arbitrary limits on recovery for passenger 
death or injury; (2) it imposes strict liability on carriers 
for the first 100,000 SDR of proven damages in the event of 
passenger death or injury; (3) it expands the bases for 
jurisdiction for claims relating to passenger death or injury 
to permit suits in the passenger's homeland if certain 
conditions are met; (4) it clarifies the obligations of 
carriers engaged in code-sharing operations; and (5) it 
preserves all key benefits achieved for the air cargo industry 
by Montreal Protocol No. 4. A more detailed review of the 
essential elements of the Convention follows.
    The Convention generally is limited by Article 1 to 
commercial international air carriage, including flights 
between two States Parties to the Convention or a round trip 
from a State Party to the Convention with an agreed stopping 
point in another State, regardless of whether that State is 
party to the Convention. Article 2 notesthat the Convention may 
cover air carriage provided by a State for compensation.
    Articles 3 through 11 of the Convention discuss 
documentation requirements for international air carriage of 
passengers, baggage, and cargo. Most significantly, they 
preserve the benefits to the cargo industry achieved under 
Montreal Protocol No. 4, including the elimination of the need 
for consignors of cargo to complete detailed air waybills prior 
to consigning goods to a carrier. Under the new provisions, as 
under Montreal Protocol No. 4, consignors may use simplified 
electronic records to facilitate shipments. Articles 12 through 
16 address the relative rights and obligations of carriers, 
consignors, and consignees of air cargo. As with Articles 3 
through 11, these provisions preserve all of the significant 
advances benefiting the air cargo industry established by 
Montreal Protocol No. 4.
    Article 17 defines conditions required for carrier 
liability for harm to passengers, including a death or bodily 
injury and an accident occurring within a defined time frame. 
At the International Conference on Air Law at which the 
Convention was adopted, delegates considered making express 
reference to recovery for mental injury, but instead resolved 
to leave untouched legal precedents developed under the 
language of the Warsaw Convention, acknowledging that such 
precedents currently allow the recovery of mental injury in 
certain situations and that the law in this area will continue 
to develop in the future. Article 17 also contains rules for 
carrier liability for lost, damaged or destroyed baggage, just 
as Article 18 contains such rules for cargo. Liability for 
damages associated with the delay of passengers, baggage or 
cargo is addressed in Article 19.
    Consistent with provisions of the Warsaw Convention and its 
related instruments, Article 20 details the conditions under 
which a carrier can exonerate itself, wholly or partly, from 
liability by showing, for example, that the person claiming 
compensation caused or contributed to the damage by negligence 
or a wrongful act or omission.
    The Convention, at Article 21, eliminates all arbitrary 
limits on air carrier liability with respect to accident 
victims. The carrier may avoid liability for the full amount of 
damages only if it proves that it was not negligent or that a 
third party was solely responsible for the damages. Thus, 
victims or their heirs may recover all provable damages allowed 
under applicable State law, in contrast to the arbitrary caps 
under the Warsaw Convention and its related instruments. As a 
further benefit for accident victims, Article 21 holds carriers 
strictly liable for the first 100,000 SDR of proven damages for 
each passenger, i.e., the carrier may not avoid liability for 
this amount, even if the carrier can prove that the harm was 
not caused by its negligence. The only exception to this strict 
liability is that the carrier may be able to avoid paying any 
damages under the exoneration (i.e., contributory negligence) 
provisions of Article 20.
    Article 22 generally preserves limits on liability in 
relation to delay, baggage, and cargo. These limits--4,150 SDR 
(approximately $5,600) for delay of passengers; 1,000 SDR 
(approximately $1,350) per passenger for claims related to 
baggage; 17 SDR (approximately $23) per kilogram for cargo--
follow precedents set by the Warsaw Convention, as amended by 
The Hague Protocol and Montreal Protocol Nos. 3 and 4.
    Article 24 of the Convention provides for inflation based 
increases every five years of the various SDR amounts and 
limits that remain in the Convention. Operation of the 
provision would result in inflation-based increases whenever 
the inflation factor exceeds ten percent at the time of a 
review. However, if a majority of States Parties register 
timely disapproval of an increase, then the matter is referred 
to a meeting of States Parties. This provision applies to the 
limit of ``strict'' liability set by Article 21 for passenger 
claims and the Article 22 limits in relation to delay, 
baggageand cargo. Article 25 acknowledges the rights of carriers to 
stipulate to raising or eliminating the limits of liability established 
by the Convention.
    The Convention has a provision on advance payments, Article 
28, which acknowledges the right of States to have national 
laws that require their own carriers to make such payments in 
the event of passenger death or injury and addresses certain 
procedural issues related to such payments. In addition, a 
resolution adopted by the Diplomatic Conference as part of the 
Final Act encourages States to adopt such laws.
    The Convention's provision on jurisdiction, Article 33, 
reflects the U.S. success in achieving a key U.S. objective 
with regard to the Convention--the creation of a ``fifth 
jurisdiction'' to supplement the four bases of jurisdiction 
provided under the Warsaw Convention. Article 33(1), like the 
Warsaw Convention, allows a suit to be brought against a 
carrier in the country: (1) of its incorporation, (2) of its 
principal place of business; (3) where the ticket was 
purchased, and (4) of destination of the passenger. Article 
33(2) of the new Convention allows cases involving the death or 
injury of a passenger to be brought in the country of the 
passenger's principal and permanent residence, so long as the 
carrier provides service to that country, either directly or 
via a code share or other similar arrangement with another 
carrier, and the carrier conducts business there from premises 
leased or owned by it or by a carrier with which it has a 
commercial arrangement, for example, a code-share arrangement. 
Given the number of carriers whose operations in the United 
States satisfy these criteria, this fifth jurisdiction 
provision should ensure that nearly all U.S. citizens and other 
permanent residents of the United States have access to U.S. 
courts to pursue claims under the Convention.
    Articles 39-48 of the Convention define the rights of 
passengers and consignors in operations where all or part of 
the carriage is provided by an airline that is not party to the 
contract of carriage (e.g., code-share operations, freight 
consolidators, etc.). The provisions follow the precedent set 
by the Guadalajara Convention. Pursuant to Article 40, when a 
claim arises under the Convention, a claimant may bring suit 
against the carrier from which the carriage was purchased or 
against the code-sharing carrier operating the aircraft at the 
time of the accident.
    In accordance with the provisions of Article 53, the 
Convention requires that thirty States consent to be bound to 
the Convention before it may enter into force. Article 53 also 
permits Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIO) 
(such as the European Union) to be parties, but does not grant 
them the right to vote or otherwise to be counted. Accordingly, 
as noted in Article 53(2), a REIO would not be counted for 
purposes of a determination, in accordance with Article 24, as 
to whether liability limitations in the Convention should be 
adjusted for inflation. Similarly, a REIO would not be counted 
for purposes of bringing the Convention into force, as noted in 
Article 53(6). The Convention has no termination date, but may 
be denounced by any State Party, pursuant to Article 54.
    To accomplish its fundamental purpose of establishing 
uniformity in the context of international carriage by air, the 
Convention limits reservations available to States party to it. 
Article 57 describes the only two possible reservations that 
States may make. These reservations allow States to exempt from 
application of the Convention: (a) the operations of State 
aircraft and (b) the operations of aircraft chartered by the 
military. These limited reservations generally are consistent 
with the reservations available under the Warsaw Convention and 
its related instruments. The reservation relating to State 
aircraft operations was revisited to clarify that the 
reservation is available only for non-commercial operations 
related to the functions and duties of a sovereign State. 
Consistent with the past practice of the United States under 
the WarsawConvention and its related instruments, I recommend 
that the United States make the declaration, pursuant to Article 57(a) 
of the Convention, to exempt only the operations of State aircraft from 
application of the Convention.

                               conclusion

    The provisions described above reflect the many benefits 
that will accrue under the Convention to the air transportation 
industry and its consumers. One key benefit not reflected in 
the provisions themselves is the benefit of uniformity. Based 
upon the response to the Convention at the diplomatic 
conference and communications with other governments since that 
time, I believe that U.S. ratification of this Convention will 
encourage ratification by a number of other States and will 
lead to a much-needed and long sought after modernized 
unification of the liability regime applicable to international 
air carriers.
    Certain of the passenger benefits codified in the 
Convention already are provided for under the IATA/ATA 
Agreements. However, those agreements are voluntary on the part 
of carriers; they are not embodied in law. Also, while airlines 
that have signed those agreements uniformly waive the Warsaw 
liability limits, they do not all accept strict liability up to 
100,000 SDR. Furthermore, the inter-carrier agreements do not 
contain provisions to protect against inflation. In addition, 
those agreements do not contain the invaluable supplementary 
``fifth'' jurisdictional provision codified at Article 33(2) of 
the Convention. Finally, in the case of code-share operations, 
the IATA/ATA Agreements do not assure passengers and cargo 
consignors of recourse against both the contracting carrier and 
the actual carrier operating the flight.
    A more detailed article-by-article analysis of the 
provisions of the Convention is enclosed for the information of 
the Senate. The Department of Transportation and the Department 
of State cooperated in the negotiation of the Convention. 
Together with the Department of State, the Departments of 
Defense, Justice, and Transportation all concur in the 
submission of the Convention to the Senate for its advice and 
consent to ratification. Support for the Convention within the 
United States is broadly based and includes groups representing 
families of aircraft accident victims, the carriers, 
manufacturers, and lawyers specializing in representing 
plaintiffs and defendants in aviation accidents. Responses from 
all fronts have been positive.
    The entry into force of the new Convention would represent 
the culmination of a four decades-long effort by the United 
States and other countries to persuade the international 
aviation community to provide increased economic protection for 
the international air traveler and shipper with a regime of 
liability and modernized procedures that match the developments 
in today's aviation industry. I therefore recommend that you 
transmit the new Convention to the Senate at an early date with 
the recommendation that the convention be approved at the 
earliest possible time, subject to a declaration on behalf of 
the United States that the Convention shall not apply to 
international carriage by air performed and operated directly 
by the United States for non-commercial purposes in respect to 
its functions and duties as a sovereign State.
    Respectfully submitted,
                                                    Strobe Talbott.