In the current operational scenario of Air Traffic Management (ATM), liability is mainly allocated to the operators who are responsible for air traffic control and air navigation. However, this scenario will rapidly change: the adoption of new technologies with high automation levels is likely to raise new legal issues related to liability. The paper presents an outline of the issues of liability in relation to automation, focusing on the concept of autonomy and on the delegation of tasks to automatic systems or to hybrid human‐machine systems. Finally a proposal to handle such issues is presented, based on a model of ATM as a socio-technical system, where the allocation of liabilities may be seen as a governance mechanism enabling the enhancement of the functioning of ATM.
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