his collection covers the six GCC states. However, material on Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE (formerly the Trucial States) is of a different kind than the records on Saudi Arabia, reflecting the early independence and greater resources of the Saudi Kingdom. In fact Britain devoted much effort to negotiating overflying rights of Nejd and Hejaz territory and securing a landing ground in al-Hasa. It was the selection of the Arab coast route to India which reflected Britain´s close relationship with the Gulf emirates and which shows, through the documents, the development of political and commercial influence in the region.
The pre-war period showed how routes were established and agreements made with Arab rulers, with most aviation matters under British Administration. However, the years after the war saw the rise of international regulatory bodies and the origins of the national airlines of the Arab states.
"... every state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over airspace above its territory." [The 1944 Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation, article 1.] There are strong parallels between the evolution of civil aviation in the Gulf states and the development of oil resources; the same process of reconnaissance and evaluation; similar stages of negotiation and compromise leading to concession agreements and treaties. The results of the expansion of civil aviation were similar too: the opening of trade and transport links between the Arab rulers and the West also accompanied the ripening of Arab independence. .