Securing the Skies

A Southwest Airlines aircraft prepares to land at Love Field in Dallas. © AP Image

A Southwest Airlines aircraft prepares to land at Love Field in Dallas. © AP Image

The sun breaks through heavy clouds at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. © AP Image

The sun breaks through heavy clouds at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. © AP Image

An American Airlines pilot smiles after looking over the cockpit of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. © AP Image

An American Airlines pilot smiles after looking over the cockpit of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. © AP Image

Overview

The Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs’ Transportation Affairs division at the Department of State is the unit primarily responsible for negotiating Open Skies agreements. The division is devoted to providing the fullest possible support to the U.S. global transportation industry. The division’s goal is to create a worldwide transportation system that is open, efficient, secure, and safe for the rapid and economical movement of people and goods.

Case Study

Colombia is a major aviation partner of the United States. Every year more than two million passengers travel between the two countries. In 2011, the United States government signed an Open Skies Air Transport agreement with Colombian government. Once the Open Skies takes full effect at the end of 2012, airlines from the United States and Colombia will be allowed to select routes, destinations, and prices for both passenger and cargo service based on consumer demand and market conditions.

Open Skies agreements strengthen and expand linkages between the United States and other nations. They benefit businesses and travelers by expanding air service and encouraging vigorous price competition while safeguarding aviation safety and security.

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