Aerial Warfare Law and Legal Definition

Aerial warfare refers to warfare relying on the use of military aircraft and other flying machines. Aerial warfare is a recent concept and is hardly a century old. Earlier, there were only naval warfare and land warfare. However, with technological advances, aerial warfare was developed. Air warfare is used for the purpose of carrying out offensive and defensive aerial operations with the intention of achieving aerial superiority. The target of aerial warfare may be both civilian population and civilian property.

The gravity of aerial warfare is much higher compared to any other warfare. Aerial warfare leads to the following repercussions that include:

1. Causing superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering to humankind;

2.Causing widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment;

3.Causing harm to mankind with the use of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases and of bacteriological methods of warfare.

Although there is no specific body of law devoted to air warfare, it has been regulated under international law through various treaties and conventions. There are rules such as the Hague Regulations and Protocol I additional to the Geneva Conventions that contain pertinent restrictions, prohibitions and guidelines to combat aerial warfare.