LL.M. in International Aviation Law 2020-2021

General information

Prerequisites for enrolment
Bac + 5
Length of studies
1 year - 310 hours
Cost and financial aid
Initial education : 6000 euros
Continuing education : 10 000 euros
[Partner companies : 6000 euros]
Accessible as
Teaching languages
What next?

The aviation sector is experiencing tremendous growth in a globalized and highly competitive environment. Air traffic is set to double by 2030, especially in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Private entities and public institutions are both involved in the complex challenges – combining public policies, private interests and global issues – that are facing the sector. Regional and international regulation authorities, airlines and alliances, airports operators, aircraft manufacturers, ground-handling firms all have to deal with a growing number of complex challenges and have to deal with a growing number of legal and regulatory issues.

In this context, the demand for qualified legal expertise is booming.

For half a century, Toulouse-France has been home to major international aeronautic players (Airbus, ATR...) and the most renowned centre for education and research in the aerospace sector (ISAE-Supaero / ENAC). The University of Toulouse Capitole and its well-known European School of Law offers cutting-edge programs, fully taught in English, and widely recognized in the business world.


This LL.M. brings solid expertise and delivers appropriate solutions to aviation sector players. With 310 hours of in-class teaching – a set of comprehensive modules addressing the major current issues in aviation law – and many academic and industrial partnerships, this LL.M. is unique worldwide. It takes a strategic and interdisciplinary approach to the main legal challenges whithin this field and is designed both for graduate students and for top executives. The modules combine academic knowledge with professional expertise in order to meet the needs of major players worldwide.
For 2021-2022 this diploma becomes "Master (M2) LLM International Aviation law - ESL. 


Business partnerships


Partnerships (under negotiation) include major firms, academic and institutional organizations such as: Airbus, ATR, ISAE-Supeaero, Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC), Orrick Law Firm, Selene Law Firm… 
LL.M. partners participate in the steering committee, deliver lectures and seminars and consider internship applications from LL.M. students.



Prerequisites for enrolment : Bac + 5

Admission conditions


The LL.M. is open to applicants:
  • holding a Master's degree
  • holding an engineering diploma
  • holding an equivalent diploma in the fields of Law, Economics, Management, Engineering, Tourism...
  • or having proven solid professional experience related to the aviation sector
A good command of English is mandatory.


Applications can be sent to laurent.grosclaude@ut-capitole.fr (copy to eslfc@ut-capitole.fr).

They must include:
  • Application form (downloadable from the right side of this page);
  • Resume;
  • Letter of motivation;
  • Copies of diplomas + grade transcripts;
  • Certificates of professional experience;
  • Letters of reference (not mandatory);
  • Certificate of English proficiency (not mandatory).
Selection is processed via file review and face-to-face interview. (Skype interview may be allowed).
A previous Master's degree is required to enter this specialization LL.M. This university diploma does not entitle succesful students to apply for a PhD upon completion.


Courses start in September 2020.

Cost and financial aid :

Initial education : 6000 euros
Continuing education : 10 000 euros
[Partner companies : 6000 euros]


The LL.M. includes 310 hours of teaching and seminars divided into 2 core modules and 4 specialized modules. All modules are mandatory to pass the LL.M. degree. Classes start in September.

Participants also have either to complete an internship or to conduct a group-work project under academic or professional supervision.

Standalone modules and topics are available on demand and subject to special arrangements.


This module is designed to equip students with the fundamental legal framework and instruments applying to the aviation sector.
  • Private international law (15 hrs): main rules of conflict of law and of jurisdiction applicable to aviation; focus on the law applicable to international contracts; method for dealing with an international issue.
  • Dispute settlement (15hrs): litigation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution modes. Focus on arbitration in aviation and airports-related disputes.
  • Public international law (10 hrs): main principles ruling airspace, state sovereignty, international agreements covering rights of traffic (open sky agreements).
  • Aviation international and European framework (15 hrs) – the Chicago convention Dec. 1944 and its annexes (Standard and Recommended Practices/ role and binding force); mission and functioning of ICAO, EU and greater Europe framework (EASA, Eurocontrol, Single European Sky…); Aviation single market within the EU.
  • Intellectual property in the aviation sector (10 hrs) – innovation protection in the aviation industry at domestic and international levels (patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyright).
This module aims at giving a basic economic and management background to legal experts of the sector. It also deals with historical and geopolitical notions and addresses sustainable development challenges in the air sector.
  • Compliance in the aviation sector (10h) - The development of legal compliance and its impacts on companies
  • Aviation economics (10 hrs) - Introduction to basic economic theories / concepts and application to the aviation industry (barriers to entry, demand and supply, profit maximisation and cost minimisation); main trends of this sector; airline business models and their key economic and financial drivers; LCC economic model; airlines profitability.
  • Aerospace management (15 hrs) – main business issues, strategies and marketing policies in a competitive environment (airlines, aircraft manufacturers, ground handling firms, airports…)
  • Insurance issues in the air sector (10 hrs) – domestic, EU and international regulations on insurance. Impact of liability as well as security and safety rules.
  • Sustainable development and air transport (10 hrs) – combining significant traffic growth with environmental constraints: green aircrafts, airport extensions. Domestic, EU and international instruments (CORSIA programme).
  • Aviation historical and geopolitial landmarks (5 hrs) – aviation developments through recent history; role played by air transport in international relations in the past; air service agreements as markers of geopolitical challenges.
This important module targets all contracts aspects from negotiation techniques to the drafting of key clauses. It focuses on all the legal questions relating to the operation of an aircraft by an airline: sales, leasing, lease-back, structured finance, guarantees.
  • Sales, purchase and support contracts in the aviation sector (15 hrs) – notions of contract negotiation in various cultural contexts. Due diligence and confidentiality issues. Focus on the drafting of essential clauses: choice of the law applicable, settlement of disputes, difficulties, NDA…
  • Guarantees (10 hrs) –  Guarantees available to creditors: Cape Town convention and aviation protocol - other guarantess.
  • Aircraft financing - leasing and lease-back operations (15 hrs) – importance of leasing operation in aviation industry; main legal arrangements; operational and financial lease; dry and wet lease. Structured finance and fiscal effects. Guarantees available to lessors.
  • Export control (10h) – Export constraints for aircraft and UAV manufacturers
  • Aviation and competition law (10 hrs) – the aviation industry involves strong international competition; issues include: code-sharing agreements and airlines alliances confronted to cartels and prohibited agreements legislation; abuse of dominant position as applied to airports in their relation with ground-handling firms; airlines mergers and acquisition, state aids to aircraft manufacturers, airlines and airports… EU framework, US antitrust law, China and other countries. WTO agreements and settled cases.
This module relates to aviation security, air safety and the liability regime of the players, specifically airlines.
  • Aviation security (10 hrs) – this subject relates to measures and resources implemented to prevent unlawful acts targeting aircraft, passengers and airports facilities; 9/11 events, new threats lead to the recast and the permanent evolution of regulations, both at domestic and international levels. ICAO and the EU are working on security standards and implement common security procedures.
  • Aviation safety and accident investigation (10 hrs) – aviation safety relates to the prevention of all accidents, errors or unintentional defects in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of aircraft. The subject also includes ICAO and EU accident investigation procedures as well as EU safety standards applicable to airlines (EU banned list).
  • Carriers liability / passengers' rights (20 hrs) – this topic mainly addresses the application of the 1929 Warsaw  and the 1999 Montreal conventions providing common rules on the liability of the carrier consecutive to an accident: liability conditions, caps, exoneration causes, main jurisdiction options… It also relates to the compensation for delays, boarding denial and flight cancellation under EU and other legal frameworks.
  • Data protection in aviation (10 hrs) – closely connected to aviation security, this subject addresses the main questions relating to the balance between the protection of fundamental rights and changing security requirements (passengers name record, bodily and baggage search…)
  • Human factors (10 hrs) – human factor is involved in most major accidents worldwide. This subject deals with human-machine interface and with the analysis of human risk and the possibilities to reduce its impact.
Airports are key players in the aviation sector and the growth of global traffic leads to the challenge to extend airport capacity.
  • Airport construction, ownership & management models (15 hrs) – airport infrastructures represent sizeable investments for public actors that often chose PPP / concession models. Issues include: revenue model, return on assets, duration of concession, compensation for termination… Since the 1980s, there has been progressive movement towards private sector involvement and investment: commercialisation of airports (i.e. profitable purpose / evolution of traditional airport activities), corporatisation of airport management, equitization, IPO & airports listing.
  • Airport facilitation & slots management (10 hrs) - Airport facilitation relates to the management of the flow of passengers, baggage, cargo and mail through airport facilities and their legal framework. This subject also deals with the airport slot allocation process and the possibilities for a secondary slot trading market.
This almost non-legal module aims at giving technical background to LL.M. students. Taught by aerospace engineers, the following subjects introduce basic notions on aircraft structures and fluid mechanics as well as type certification; the module also relates to issues raised by the booming sector of drones.
  • Drones regulatory framework (15 hrs) – from simple toys to sophisticated war drones, the UAM are disrupting the traditional aviation sector and raise multiple and complex legal issues. Domestic regulations remain vague / incomplete and EU / ICAO are currently working on a regional / global framework but work is still in progress.
  • Aerospace engineering (15 hrs) – basic knowledge on aircraft design, structure, fluid mechanics, flight, avionics and related subjects.
  • Airworthiness (10 hrs) – this subject aims at giving an overview of the conditions and procedure for type certification under EASA and FAA, in compliance with ICAO SARPs. It also addresses the legal aspects of airworthiness both at EU and international levels.
The completion of an internship within a firm / organization or the participation in a group-work project is a full part of the LL.M. programme. Details can be provided by the LL.M. director on demand.

Conditions of validation

  • Core module 1 is assessed with a case study of a duration of 3 hours and graded out of 20.
  • Core module 2 is assessed with a case study of a duration of 3 hours and graded out of 20.
  • Specialized modules are assessed with a single oral and graded out of 20.
  • Internships / Group-work projects are assessed with a report and oral defense

Year of highschool graduation
Bac + 5

Career Opportunities

Business sector

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LL.M. graduates may join aviation firms, law firms, airports, public organisations, international institutions as legal experts.
These include:

  •         International law firms specialized in the aviation sector,
  •         Audit and legal counsel companies,
  •         French, EU and international aviation-related organization: ICAO, EASA, Eurocontrol…
  •         Civil aviation authorities worldwide,
  •         Associations of aviation stakeholders: IATA, Airport Council International…,
  •         the aviation industry: Airbus and subsidiaries, Thalès, Dassault, ATR, Safran, MBDA…,
  •         Airports and airport groups (ADP),
  •         Leasing and financing companies: Aer Cap, ILFC, GECAS…,
  •         Airlines and airline alliances,
  •         the tourism industry...

The LL.M in Aviation Law is a post-Master diploma of Toulouse Capitole University, selecting candidates who already hold a Master’s degree, equivalent diploma or professional experience. Upon completion this LL.M does not qualify to register for a PhD

Contact details




Registrar office contact details



European School of Law

Bureau AR 334
2 rue du Doyen Gabriel Marty
31042 Toulouse Cedex 9
Courriel: eslfc@ut-capitole.fr
Tél : 0033 (0)5 61 63 38 48