Georgia Ratifies Open Skies Treaty

June/July 1998

On June 12, Georgia became the 23rd state to ratify the Open Skies Treaty. Belarus, Russia and Ukraine must still ratify before the treaty can enter into force. Some signatory states, including Russia and Ukraine, have conducted and permitted trial flights since 1993.

Under the treaty, each party is allocated an "active" quota (the number of overflights that it may conduct) and a "passive" quota (the number of overflights that it is obliged to accept) based on the size of its territory. Parties may conduct unrestricted, unarmed reconnaissance flights over another state-party's territory after giving at least a 72-hour notice and providing a flight plan 24 hours in advance. The observed party can require the flight to be conducted in its own aircraft but may only alter the flight plan for safety reasons.