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PatrickZ80
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If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Thu May 18, 2017 9:23 pm

I was just wondering this. An embassy is threated as a piece of ground of a foreign state. If there was an airport on that piece of ground, would it have the rights of an airport in that foreign state?

Let's say some European country decided to buy a large piece of land outside the city in the USA and put their embassy on it. They also build an airport on it that lies within the embassy proximity. Could this airport serve as a base for EU-based airlines? And would it grant them the right to fly from there to anywhere in the USA just like they're allowed to fly from everywhere in the EU to everywhere in the USA?
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Thu May 18, 2017 9:41 pm

Most embassies are not extra-territorial. They still belong to the host country, and laws of the host country still apply. But the Vienna Treaties say that persons of the host country can only enter the premises of the embassy upon approval. This even applies for firemen and other emergency response personnel.

And I'm pretty damn sure any opening and extension of an embassy will need the approval of the host country...

Given the space an airport (or even a heliport) needs, a military cemetery would be a better choice. Many military cemeteries truly are extraterritorial, so for example the bodies of U.S. servicemen who lie in Colleville-sur-Mer (Normandy) lie in a place where French laws are not applicable.


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
ATCav8r
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Thu May 18, 2017 9:41 pm

Considering most embassies are the size of a large house, good luck building a runway, let alone an entire airport.
 
ahj2000
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Thu May 18, 2017 9:45 pm

WOuldnt they also need airspace permission? Making this kinda unviable?
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PatrickZ80
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 5:54 am

ATCav8r wrote:
Considering most embassies are the size of a large house, good luck building a runway, let alone an entire airport.


Mostly, yes. But as far as I know there are no legal limitations to the size of an embassy.
 
harshvan123
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 6:20 am

Depends upon the rules and regulations of that country
 
cskok8
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 6:35 am

The old Soviet Union did take the term "diplomatic pouch" to include whole container trucks, so the idea of an airport in a large "embassy" might not sound so ridiculous after all.
 
bennett123
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 6:38 am

Also embassies are often city centre locations.

Think of the cost.
 
Noshow
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 7:20 am

Some different example: In midtown Berlin, Germany, North Korea still has it's old east german embassy up and running, One building is used as a purely commercial hostel earning hard currency for them. The actual embassy moved to another smaller building next door on the same compound.
Currently there is some debate as they evaded to pay the proper taxes and need to pay back several million euros. But until now they could have some purely commercial hotel within the embassy compounds. Not an airport but a different use. I'd love to have some Air Koryo Mi-8 helipad on the lawn next.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inla ... 08722.html
 
Pavlakakos
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 8:11 am

I don't even know if it is possible, but i'm sure it's impractical. You don't just build a runway and name it an "airport". The maintenance alone would cost the embassy some 100 times (or more) its bugdet. Apart from that, one rarely finds embassies in the suburbs, as they prefer to be near the host's government institutions, and usually that is found in the capital centers (the NIMBY's would jump over the roof :D :D ).

Now, even if you overlook the difficulties and make is feasible, the -hypothetical- plane in the airport would be in the sovereign territory of the embassy, but as soon as it took off, it would be under the jusridiction of the host country's ATC, losing any "diplomatic immunity" status that you may have thought creating the thread :)
 
trijetsonly
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 9:42 am

What about Ramstein Airbase? Is it an US terretory airfield in the middle (more or less) of Germany or is it German terretory?
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Andy33
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 10:15 am

There are US military bases in various parts of Europe that are leased. They're usually technically a base of the host country's military that just happens to have only US personnel there. That's certainly how it has been done in the UK, for example.
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 10:35 am

There are still building codes, set by the host country, to be observed. Just because an embassy is foreign territory - however that is defined - it does not mean that the guest country is allowed to build anything they want.
 
c933103
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 10:41 am

Given US embassy in Baghdad is almost as large as the Vatican City I would say it is not impossible to build a smal airport in it....
 
26point2
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 10:53 am

An embassy and its property is not as autonomous as you describe. Do we have to pass through immigration every time we step into an embasssy?
 
Gr8Circle
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 11:59 am

The question posed by the thread opener was purely hypothetical in nature and most of the responses are quite irrelevant......I'm sure the thread opener understands about "cost" and "city center" and "size of the property required", etc.......he was asking about what would happen IF such a thing were to be done......he also made a point about a European country opening an embassy with attached airport outside of city areas.......I think this response below is the first one that really addresses the issue:

26point2 wrote:
An embassy and its property is not as autonomous as you describe. Do we have to pass through immigration every time we step into an embasssy?


You don't enter into a different country when you enter an embassy, so if you enter an airport that was attached to an embassy, you would still be departing or arriving in the host country itself......
 
MalevTU134
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 12:30 pm

Gr8Circle wrote:

You don't enter into a different country when you enter an embassy, so if you enter an airport that was attached to an embassy, you would still be departing or arriving in the host country itself......

Well, that is debateable. According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the only enforceable law on the premises of an Embassy is that of the sending ("guest") country. While the territory the embassy occupies might not be counted as territory of the guest state, for all practical reasons of legality, it is part of that state.
And as somebody said above, you don't have passport controls to enter an embassy....while that may be true, it also stands that the authorities of the receiving country cannot enter the premises, so people can and do take refuge in embassies. Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London being the most famous case currently, but there have been many.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 12:40 pm

There is nothing that the US would have to allow immigration threw your airport embassy. No immigration. You just become Tom Hanks wandering an airport/embassy. Probably build a wall if it's the Mexican Embassy.
 
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Channex757
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 12:44 pm

Whilst we kick this idea around, there's also the fact that to approach and land at this extraterritorial airport any aircraft would have to fly through and be controlled by the ATC of the host nation. If there was some kind of dispute concerning the flights then all the host nation has to do is refuse overflight and entrance to the airspace surrounding the airport, rendering it more than useless as it's a fully functioning airport with no flights.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 12:46 pm

Currently can say a hellicopter leave Toronto and fly to a DC Embasy, without any US involvment?
 
PanHAM
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 1:52 pm

trijetsonly wrote:
What about Ramstein Airbase? Is it an US terretory airfield in the middle (more or less) of Germany or is it German terretory?


Ramstein and Spangdahlem AB are German territory leased to the USAF. The Military there are under the NATO troop statute, they have their own Military Police (as Germany does at their US bases, US troops are German income tx exempt and vv. The whole normal Operation between allied countries.

At Rhein-Main AB the Air Force was convinced to move their ops to Ramstein by the fact that Fraport build a second runway at Ramstein at their costs. When the AF vacates an AB the land falls back to the Federal Republic
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atcsundevil
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 1:58 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
Currently can say a hellicopter leave Toronto and fly to a DC Embasy, without any US involvment?

Only if they want an up close encounter with a couple of USAF F16s. The moment they approach the US Air Defense Identification Zone, they'd better be talking to FAA controllers or NORAD is gonna have something to say about it.
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ASQ400
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 1:59 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
Currently can say a hellicopter leave Toronto and fly to a DC Embasy, without any US involvment?

Nope!
US provides ATC on the way
 
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jetblastdubai
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 2:58 pm

c933103 wrote:
Given US embassy in Baghdad is almost as large as the Vatican City I would say it is not impossible to build a small airport in it....


The US Embassy in Baghdad has a separate, nearby heliport that is the size of a small airport. Multiple landing pads and parking spots. The Embassy also has an ATC tower with its own dedicated Class D airspace and Iraqi aircraft are required to get permission to transit through. FAA procedures and phraseology are used (not ICAO).

It's view-able on public sites such as google maps or google earth.
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YIMBY
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 5:24 pm

It would be possible if and only if agreed by the host country, e.g. with some kind of a leasing agreement that defines all the details. There are and have been military bases (e.g. Guantanamo) and civil structures (e.g. canals) on the territories of other countries where the legislation of the lessee country (or occupant?) is wholly or partially in vigor.

So if EU or any EU country buys a peace of land, gets all the permission of the federal government, state, municipality and some intermediate agencies, who knows what, they could have a "European" enclave in the US, so that all border formalities will be done when entering or exiting the zone, but the flight would be considered as domestic European flight.

That does not have to be associated with any embassy status. As said, embassy does not give any right for non-permitted transport and some quoted examples are rather using power than exercising legal rights in mutual basis.

In practice the EU airport in the US would be beyond bureaucratic imagination, but we can speculate for fun. Certainly there are easier ways to solve whatever problem that is associated to.
If somewhere, such model could be employed in some parts of Africa to set up a decent airport for civil transport and international emergency services.
 
steex
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 5:39 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
I was just wondering this. An embassy is threated as a piece of ground of a foreign state. If there was an airport on that piece of ground, would it have the rights of an airport in that foreign state?

Let's say some European country decided to buy a large piece of land outside the city in the USA and put their embassy on it. They also build an airport on it that lies within the embassy proximity. Could this airport serve as a base for EU-based airlines? And would it grant them the right to fly from there to anywhere in the USA just like they're allowed to fly from everywhere in the EU to everywhere in the USA?


Even in a scenario where that all worked out, there are two giant issues with the idea functionally:

1) A nation wanting to do so would need approval for the whole thing from the US government, which would at a minimum then certainly want the reverse rights. Nobody would really come out ahead.

2) Even if an airline could do that, the EU-based airline in your scenario still has no right to carry connecting traffic between two US points, so they haven't gained all that much. Pretty much nobody would go for the idea of needing to go through passport controls (potentially twice, once for the "international" flight and once in/out of the embassy) to fly between two domestic US points, and the Embassy itself doesn't generate demand, so who would be on these planes? If the planes would solely carry European connectors without any local or US domestic connecting traffic, the EU airline could already do that today using basically the same arrangement as QF's LAX-JFK service. There's nothing stopping BA from operating its own planes to US cities out of JFK so long as they only sell tickets connecting in/out of the US.
 
SFOATLFlyer
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 5:57 pm

ATCav8r wrote:
Considering most embassies are the size of a large house, good luck building a runway, let alone an entire airport.


Not to mention most embassies are in heavily urbanized areas, at least in the nations I've been to.
 
robsaw
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 7:29 pm

The Vienna Convention in Diplomatic Relations is what governs this sort of stuff:

1. The Embassy ("Mission") is NOT sovereign foreign territory; the premises are merely "inviolable" by convention.
2. The convention covers facilities necessary to carry out diplomatic duties in accordance with the "diplomatic mission" not for random commercial purposes; although transport for the purposes of the mission is covered if they think they need some sort of air-transport facility for THAT purpose.
 
MalevTU134
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 7:32 pm

robsaw wrote:
The Vienna Convention in Diplomatic Relations is what governs this sort of stuff:

1. The Embassy ("Mission") is NOT sovereign foreign territory; the premises are merely "inviolable" by convention.
2. The convention covers facilities necessary to carry out diplomatic duties in accordance with the "diplomatic mission" not for random commercial purposes; although transport for the purposes of the mission is covered if they think they need some sort of air-transport facility for THAT purpose.

Thank you, you are spot on.
 
airbazar
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 7:43 pm

ASQ400 wrote:
UpNAWAy wrote:
Currently can say a hellicopter leave Toronto and fly to a DC Embasy, without any US involvment?

Nope!
US provides ATC on the way

I don't think that is what was being asked. Assuming that they are authorized to fly the route, could a helicopter fly from Canada and land at the Canadian embassy in D.C. without having to clear immigration and CBP? I suspect that the answer is yes although I would also suspect that they would have to somehow checkin with immigration and CBP upon arrival, much like recreation sailors do when sailing into a port in the U.S.
 
ASQ400
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 9:15 pm

airbazar wrote:
ASQ400 wrote:
UpNAWAy wrote:
Currently can say a hellicopter leave Toronto and fly to a DC Embasy, without any US involvment?

Nope!
US provides ATC on the way

I don't think that is what was being asked. Assuming that they are authorized to fly the route, could a helicopter fly from Canada and land at the Canadian embassy in D.C. without having to clear immigration and CBP? I suspect that the answer is yes although I would also suspect that they would have to somehow checkin with immigration and CBP upon arrival, much like recreation sailors do when sailing into a port in the U.S.

He said "US involvement". ATC is part of that
 
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ua900
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Re: If you build an airport on an embassy, would it have the rights of an airport in the country of the ambassy?

Fri May 19, 2017 11:24 pm

Net net: If you want to conduct any air operations, you're gonna need the host country to acquiesce. This can come in the shape of an airport / airbase lease (or a port or a rocket launch site), a use agreement where the host country agrees to allow for free movement and quasi immunity of your aircraft, the use of transport equipment while declaring it a diplomatic shipment, or even the use of the host countries assets, e.g. a courier travelling on a foreign plane. Of course you can also outsource whatever activity you're conducting to host governments. Many ways to slice and dice.

As far as the use of an embassy or consulate itself, a heliport is probably as close as you get. Many diplomatic facilities have them as backups, especially in areas where surface transportation can be an issue. If it doesn't and you need the capability you can use the parking lot or a lawn on the compound. However, one always needs a certain degree of reciprocity and/or local collaboration to make this happen, diplomatic immunity or not. You won't trespass against their will if you have diplomatic relations with them.
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