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Published on : Monday, November 18, 2013
Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, applauded legislation introduced by Representatives Pat Meehan (R-PA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) requiring DHS to assess the impact future Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance Facilities will have on passengers, our economy, and security and customs staffing at U.S. gateway airports. The bill also explicitly prohibits CBP from opening facilities at locations primarily served by foreign, state-owned carriers, including Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), because of the negative impact these operations would have for U.S. travelers, jobs, and our economy.
A4A 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. Despite strong objections from Members of Congress and the U.S. aviation industry, the Administration is moving forward with its misguided decision to establish a CBP preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi, an airport that no U.S. carriers currently serve.
“We thank Representatives Meehan and DeFazio for their efforts to ensure our government is not tilting the competitive playing field against U.S. airlines and their passengers,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “We believe CBP should focus its resources on fixing long lines in the U.S. to the benefit of passengers, jobs and our economy.”
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.
A4A launched the Draw the Line Here campaign, calling on the Administration to drop its plan to provide preclearance U.S. national security services at AUH. Thousands of letters from concerned citizens have already been delivered to the White House and DHS.