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Faculty Seminar | Right to Occupy Airspace – Conflict between Airports and Landowners on the Use of Vertical Space in India


Allen & Overy Conference Room, First Floor, Training Centre, NLSIU


Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 4:15 pm

This week faculty seminar will feature a discussion by our faculty member Harsha N on the topic “Right to occupy airspace – Conflict between airports and landowners on the use of vertical space in India”. Faculty member Dr. Betsy Rajasingh will be the discussant.  The conversation will be followed by a Q&A session.


The population density is rising near airports in India due to the economic benefits one can derive. The opportunity to accommodate the interest of various groups for commerce and dwelling has created a dependency on vertical growth. The conflict arises from utilising vertical space by two competing interests, one of the airports and the other of the adjacent residents. Demolition of buildings and structures to ensure safe airspace has become a necessity. Earlier jurisprudence of limiting the rights based on upper and lower stratum might be irrelevant today. The paper will address the Indian perspective and judicial interpretations of airspace in three broad areas: the concept of airspace, challenges to the demarcation of rights and obligations, and the method of determination of rights and obligations in the airspace. The paper will look into the principles of property from Roman Law to the contemporary principles of property law and their applicability to aviation law. The issue of competing interests of various groups to occupy the airspace is also a focus area of the paper.