ACI-NA Host U.S. International Air Service Program

The ACI-NA U.S. International Air Service Program, which is supported by a separate dues assessment, advocates for U.S. airport participants’ interests in international air service and airport proprietary rights in U.S. international agreements and relations.  In 2011, Kazue Ishiwata, Seattle serves as the chair and Laura Jackson, Denver serves as the vice chair of the program.

The program has continued to be active in U.S. aviation relations with the European Union, China, Japan and several Latin American countries.  The United States concluded phased Open Skies agreements with Colombia and Brazil in November and December, respectively.  The program is very focused on likely changes to U.S. regulations that will allow U.S. international airports to apply to provide services to licensed charters to Cuba, provided that such airports have adequate customs and immigration capabilities and a licensed travel service provider has expressed an interest in providing services between that airport and Cuba.

The program closely monitored Mexico’s safety rating which was downgraded by the FAA in late July to Category 2 status which meant its carriers could not increase services to the United States.  The combination of the downgrade and Mexicana’s termination of its operations had a negative impact on many U.S. airports. Fortunately, Mexico rectified the situation and was restored to Category 1 status in December.

ACI-NA staff participated in the U.S/European Union Joint Committee meeting during November. The Joint Committee oversees the implementation of the U.S./EU Agreement.  In addition, ACI-NA submitted comments to the U.S. Government on how certain aspects of the U.S./EU second stage agreement should be developed.

The program organized ACI-NA's annual International Aviation Issues Seminar which was held on Dec. 9 in Washington, DC.  Christa Fornarotto, deputy assistant secretary of transportation for aviation and international affairs kicked off the seminar highlighting U.S. international air service developments.  Deputy Assistant Commissioner Kevin McAleenan outlined U.S. Customs and Border Protection initiatives and challenges.  Boeing and MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation provided attendees with a wide ranging update on markets, airlines and alliances.  The airline roundtable featured AeroMexico, British Airways and FedEx Express.  InterVISTAS, the Transportation Security Administration and the Air Transport Association addressed facilitation issues.   Kaplan, Kirsch & Rockwell examined FAA’s guidebook on airports’ air carrier incentive programs, citing areas of potential concern.