DIRITTO E POLITICA DEI TRASPORTI (ISSN 2612-5056), I/2021, p. 12 – 21
Abstract. The airspace sector regulation between air space and outer space and the role of ICAO. The emergence of new modes of transportation – such as, suborbital flights, which have the particularity that they use vehicles that occur both in aerospace and outer space by vehicles that in many instances could be deemed both aircraft and space objects – implies the setting up of new regulatory frameworks. Such new transport systems are (shall be) subject to a clear legal regime, within which they are called to develop and operate. Currently, air law and space law are subject to two different and separate regimes, which appear to be not consistent between each other. Yet, the existing international legal order has not created a unified or integrated regime of airspace law. The paper aims at identifying the main approaches and theories – developed especially at international level – with regards to the delimitation of the boundary of outer space and airspace. In the conclusions, we consider whether ICAO could be the proper international organisation, not only to lead the transition, that is under way, from air law and space law to airspace law, but also to regulate the entire airspace sector in the near future.