Thu, Jul 06, 2006
In November 2005, the DoT issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
(NPRM) on Actual Control of U.S. Air Carriers in which DOT proposed
to allow foreign participation in various commercial aspects of a
U.S. carrier, provided that the foreign participants are citizens
of a country which has an Open Skies agreement with the United
States and affords U.S. citizens similar opportunities to
participate in its carriers.
ACI-NA filed comments on behalf of its U.S. airport members
supporting DOT's proposed policy because it would reduce government
involvement in aviation; encourage foreign investment in U.S.
carriers; and enhance air service opportunities.
In May 2006, DOT issued
a Supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) in response to the comments received on
the NPRM. The SNPRM's main clarifications and changes as compared
to the NPRM are:
- DOT proposes to require that any delegation of authority over
commercial matters by U.S. citizens to foreign citizens must be
"revocable", which particularly has raised concerns on the part of
some foreign carriers.
- DOT proposes to broaden the scope of the decision-making that
must remain in the actual control of U.S. citizens from decisions
related to implementing FAA and TSA regulations and participation
in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet to decisions regarding safety and
On July 5, ACI-NA filed
comments on behalf of its U.S. airport members supporting DOT's
proposed policy as refined in the SNPRM and urging DOT to adopt a
final rule implementing the proposed policy change regarding its
review of foreign participation in U.S. carriers. However, ACI-NA
also strongly recommended that DOT explicitly indicate in its final
order that it will accept the kinds of provisions on minority
shareholder rights and termination conditions, protections, and
penalties normally found in commercial arrangements.
ACI-NA supported DOT SNPRM for the reasons cited with respect to
the NPRM and indicated that many of our members also supported the
SNPRM because they hope that the final DOT order with the suggested
clarifications will facilitate the conclusion of November 2005
draft European Union/United States Agreement, which they view as
bringing transportation and trade benefits.
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