25-Jun-2010 9:23 AM

EU–US sign second stage of open skies

EU and the US signed (24-Jun-2010) the second stage of their open skies agreement. Under the agreement, the US and Europe committed to removing remaining access barriers. Additional commercial rights will be exchanged subject to following legislative change:

Regulatory change:

  • Reciprocal liberalisation of airline ownership and control: Foreign ownership in US airlines is limited to 25% of voting rights. Upon legislative change in the US, the EU will reciprocally allow majority ownership of EU airlines by US nationals;
  • Airport noise-based restrictions. Subject to legislative changes in the EU concerning the process for introducing noise-based airport restrictions, EU airlines will gain additional rights to fly between the US and a number of non-European countries. Furthermore, a number of obstacles for EU investment in third-country airlines will be removed. Similar rights will be available for US airlines when US laws allow EU majority ownership of US airlines.

Regulatory cooperation:

  • Strengthened cooperation on environmental matters by requiring the compatibility and interaction of market-based measures (such as emission trading schemes) to avoid duplication;
  • Greater transparency for noise-based airport measures;
  • Enhancing cooperation on green technologies, fuels and air traffic management;
  • Dedicated article on the social dimension of EU-US aviation relations;
  • Raised cooperation on security to better allocate resources;
  • Extension of the role of the EU–US Joint Committee, the body that monitors the implementation of the agreement and coordinates the various work streams of regulatory cooperation. [more - European Commission]

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