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Daily Archives: 25. August 2012 − News & Stories


Rus­si­an com­mer­cial heli­co­p­ter traf­fic and the Spits­ber­gen trea­ty

The sub­ject of Rus­si­an heli­co­p­ter traf­fic is again sur­fa­cing as a mat­ter of con­tro­ver­sy bet­ween Rus­si­ans and Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties. Wit­hin their inten­ti­ons of incre­a­sing tou­rist acti­vi­ties in Bar­ents­burg and Pyra­mi­den, whe­re the hotel is soon to be ope­ned again, the Rus­si­ans want to offer heli­co­p­ter trans­port from Lon­gye­ar­by­en to their sett­le­ments on a com­mer­cial basis (flight­see­ing is gene­ral­ly not allo­wed in Spits­ber­gen).

They refer to the non-discri­mi­na­ti­on princip­le of the Spits­ber­gen-Trea­ty (often cal­led Sval­bard Trea­ty, but the ori­gi­nal text does not know the term Sval­bard), which gives all signa­to­ry coun­tries and their citi­zens equal rights. Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties point out that Nor­we­gi­an avia­ti­on laws to only allow Nor­we­gi­an com­pa­nies to offer com­mer­cial avia­ti­on ser­vices wit­hin Nor­way. In the end, it boils down to the ques­ti­on if Nor­we­gi­an natio­nal law is to be rated hig­her than the inter­na­tio­nal trea­ty which was signed in 1920 and came into power in 1925, which gives Nor­way »the full and abso­lu­te sov­er­eig­n­ty of Nor­way over the Archi­pe­la­go of Spits­ber­gen…«, no less, no more. Later in the same year a natio­nal Nor­we­gi­an law decla­red that »Sval­bard is part of the King­dom of Nor­way«.

Con­tro­ver­si­al: Rus­si­an heli­co­p­ter traf­fic

Russian commercial helicopter traffic and the Spitsbergen treaty ...

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