Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the
leading U.S. airlines, today applauded the unanimous passage of an
amendment offered by Congressman Pat Meehan (R-PA), requiring the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review and report on both the
safety and competitive impact of reimbursement agreements with foreign
governments for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance
facilities. The Meehan amendment was agreed to by the House Committee on
Homeland Security during consideration of the Border Security Results
Act of 2013.
Last week, a bipartisan group of 11 Senators sent a letter
to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano demanding answers on the agency’s
decision to establish a preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International
Airport, a facility no U.S. carrier serves. The letter expressed
significant concerns over the agency’s authority to enter into the
agreement, as well as the dangerous precedent it sets. This follows a letter
spearheaded by Reps. Meehan and DeFazio (D-OR), and signed by 150
bipartisan members of the House, which also expressed concern about the
competitive disadvantage a CBP preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi would
have on the U.S. airline industry.
Airlines for America has consistently advocated that DHS use its
resources to focus on addressing lengthy wait times at several U.S.
gateway airports, which inconvenience U.S. citizens and discourage
travel to the United States.
“We thank Congressman Meehan (R-PA) for his leadership to ensure the
U.S. government is not signing deals that benefit foreign governments
and foreign competitors at the expense of U.S. workers, airlines and our
economy,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “The unanimous
support for the Meehan amendment further demonstrates the growing
concerns lawmakers have over the misguided Abu Dhabi agreement that
makes it easier to enter the United States from Abu Dhabi than it is
Calio also noted that domestic CBP facilities are partially funded by
the airlines and passengers entering the United States through $1.5
billion in annual taxes they pay.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S.
economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. A4A airline
members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S.
airline passenger and cargo traffic. America needs a cohesive National
Airline Policy that will support the integral role the nation’s airlines
play in connecting people and goods globally, spur the nation’s economic
growth and create more high-paying jobs.
For more information about the airline industry, visit www.airlines.org and
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For more information about the National Airline Policy campaign:
Copyright Business Wire 2013