Model Clauses

The issue of how to ensure fair competition in an environment of liberalization was discussed by the Fifth Worldwide Air Transport Conference (ATConf/5, 2003). In its conclusions, ATConf/5 agreed that liberalization must be accompanied by appropriate safeguard measures to ensure fair competition, and effective and sustained participation of all States. Such measures should be an integral part of the liberalization process and a living tool corresponding to the needs and stages of liberalization.

While general competition laws may be an effective tool in many cases, it was felt that aviation-specific safeguards to prevent and eliminate unfair competition were required for international air transport. ATConf/5 agreed that States should give consideration to the use of the ICAO model clause on "Safeguards against anti-competitive practices" in Air Services Agreements (ASAs). 

Concurrently, Policy and Guidance Material on the Economic Regulation of International Air Transport (Doc 9587) was updated with the incorporation of the model clause on "Safeguards against anti-competitive practices". The ICAO model safeguard clause and other model competition/safeguard clauses developed by States or regional organizations are presented in this section.

Model clauses can be negotiated and, if acceptable for the parties, included in ASAs which are negotiated and concluded between two States to allow international air transport services between their territories.

ASAs are usually bilateral but may also be regional or plurilateral. In addition, provisions in ASAs, including those on competition/safguards, may also vary to reflect the approach agreed by the parties as to the extent of liberalization of market access and other related aspects to best fit their pace and path for liberalization.

Article 83 of the Chicago Convention sets out the obligation of States to register with the Council of ICAO any agreement and arrangement relating to international civil aviation. ICAO maintains an online database of ASAs (WASA) including codified summaries of their main provisions. To obtain access to WASA, please click here or contact us at :

​List of Model Clauses (non-exhaustive):


​Relevant Articles

ICAO Template Air Service Agreement (ASA) 
​Art.15, Art. 18, Art.19
US Open Skies Template 
​EU Recommended Fair Competition Clause

​EU Model Horizontal Agreement
​Art. 6

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