News and Activities in 2022

Below are the events and news from 2022 (until 30 August 2022)

IASL students at the Spring Convocation 2022


IASL Class attends ICAO Symposia

IASL Sessional Lecturer, Dr. Joseph Wilson and his students in the Government Regulation of Air Transport Course attended two Symposia organized by ICAO on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) from 7 to 9 November, and Drone Enable from 14 to 16 November at ICAO Headquarters in Montreal. “The symposia presented a unique opportunity for the students to hear the industry experts and to see how their work provides the basis for ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs)” said Dr. Wilson. The Symposia enriched the learning experience for the students and gave them the opportunity to network with industry stakeholders and meet with their country’s delegations at the ICAO. A distinct feature of the McGill IASL Air & Space Law program is its close and long history with ICAO and IATA which are both headquartered in Montreal.

The students thoroughly enjoyed their participation.

"Attending the 2022 ICAO RPAS Symposium on Unmanned Aviation was an incredible experience. Not only it was a unique opportunity to deepen my knowledge on unamanned civil aviation but also it enabled me to see first hand how ICAO policy making functions and to network with experts in the field". Ilaria Saretto, exchange student from Italy, said.

"The ICAO Drone Enable Symposium 2022 was a great opportunity to get a first practical insights into ICAO's way of working and to familiarize oneself with the issues that are currently of most relevance to the aviation industry" her colleague LL.M student Mario Kühn added.

Interim Director, Prof. Donal Hanley welcomed the initiative of Dr. Wilson “ We are proud of our lecturers who provide our students with excellent opportunities and practical experience to succeed in the fast-paced aviation and space industry”


Guest Lecture by Professor Francis Schubert

Last week, the Institute of Air and Space Law had the pleasure of welcoming Adjunct Professor Francis Schubert at McGill University. Over three days, Prof. Schubert delivered an engaging lecture about Liability of Air Traffic Control.

"We are very proud of our experienced adjunct faculty who provide our students with practical experience and set them up for future success in the industry. Francis’ career as an air traffic controller brought a unique perspective to an already engaging subject matter" Interim Director, Prof. Donal Hanley said.

Prof. Schubert was welcomed to the Institute by Maria D'Amico, Senior Administrative Assistant, and Stefan-Michael Wedenig, Executive Director.

1st IASL Webinar of the Season a Success

A screenshot of a computer

Description automatically generated with low confidence

On Friday, 4 November 2022, the Institute of Air and Space Law held its first webinar for the academic year 2022/23. The newly established IASL Aerospace Webinar Series was kicked off with the first episode titled “The Race Back to the Moon: Legal and Geopolitical Implications”. For two hours, the high-level panel consisting of Prof. Olga Volynskaya, Prof. Jinyuan Su, Prof. Eytan Tepper and Prof. Tommaso Sgobba discussed the legal and geopolitical implications of a race back to the moon under the moderation of Prof. Aram Kerkonian. The webinar was a great success with over 80 participants from all over the world attending.

“We are delighted to continue our successful webinar series which was established under the thoughtful guidance of my predecessor Prof. Ram Jakhu. The great number of participants shows the need for a discussion on such contemporary issues in air and space law”, Interim Director Prof. Donal Hanley said.

We thank Prof. Aram Kerkonian for the moderation and Stefan-Michael Wedenig, Executive Director of the Institute and Centre of Air and Space Law, for the organisation.

Military Promotion for Major Matthew Ormsbee

On 28 October 2022, the Institute of Air and Space Law celebrated the military promotion of Matthew Ormsbee to Major in the United States Air Force.

Matt joins the Institute as an active-duty military member as he pursues his LL.M. in Air and Space Law (Thesis). Before beginning his studies, Matt served at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and Misawa Air Base, Japan. He has filled numerous positions as a prosecutor, international law attorney, and defense attorney. He was in private practice in New York before commissioning with the Air Force in 2016.

Air Force Captains (O-3) are competitively selected for promotion to Major (O-4), typically after five to seven years of service as a Captain. Matt was joined in the celebration by Katie Denton, his wife, and Emiko Ormsbee, his sister. He was also delighted to celebrate this milestone with his classmates, Sessional Lecturer Yaw Nyampong, Prof. Ludwig Weber and Stefan-Michael Wedenig, Executive Director of the Institute.

“I am so humbled and excited to celebrate today with those I hold in the highest regard—my friends and classmates, my family, and the faculty of the Institute.” the newly minted Major said.

“Matt continues a lengthy and historical relationship between McGill University’s Faculty of Law and the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps and we are delighted by this wonderful news” Interim Director Prof. Donal Hanley announced.

The Institute of Air and Space Law is proud of its relationship with the U.S. Air Force since the 1960s. Ongoing interaction between the Air Force and McGill University is essential for intellectual diversity at the law school and national security interests for American stakeholders.

Congratulations, Matt!

A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated


Career Talk with Wayne Tyrell

A person giving a presentation to a group of people

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

The Institute of Air and Space Law took great pleasure in welcoming Mr. Wayne Tyrell, Senior Legal Advisor Irish Aviation Authority, to the Institute to give a career talk to this year’s cohort.


“Wayne’s background both in the Irish Defence Forces and Aviation Authority provides an interesting combination of experience. I am delighted that he agreed to talk to our students” Interim Director, Prof. Donal Hanley said.


For a full hour Mr. Tyrell covered contemporary issues in aviation and outer space, offered a unique insight in different career paths in the industry and answered the questions of the students present. Mr. Tyrell and Prof. Hanley were accompanied by Executive Director, Stefan-Michael Wedenig.

IASL signs Mermoradum of Understanding with Korean Aerospace University

A group of people standing in front of a window

Description automatically generated with low confidence

On Tuesday 4 October 2022, the President of Korea Aerospace University Prof. Dr. Heeyoung Hurr and Prof. Dr. Woon-Kyung Song visited the Institute of Air and Space Law to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions. Korea Aerospace University is a leading university in Korea specialised in aviation and aerospace.

Meeting in the splendid Common Room of the Old Chancellor Day Hall with Institute Interim Director Prof. Dr. Donal Hanley and Executive Director Stefan-Michael Wedenig, Prof. Hurr and Prof. Song recalled the signing of the previous Memorandum of Understanding between the then Hankuk Aviation University and the Institute in 1990, when Prof. Dr. Michael Milde was the Director. Prof. Hanley then showed Prof. Hurr and Prof. Song the Institute’s original copy of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (also known as Chicago Convention) before discussing areas of potential collaboration.

Both institutions look forward to deepening their relationship of over thirty years’ standing and to collaborating further in the near future.