US airline group supports Preclearance facility agreements review bill

US trade group Airlines for America said it is supporting legislation introduced by US Congressional Representatives Pat Meehan and Peter DeFazio requiring DHS to assess the impact future Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance Facilities will have on passengers the US economy and security and customs staffing at US gateway airports.

According to the group, 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 what it sees as the negative impact these operations would have for US travelers, jobs, and the economy.

A4A said it has consistently advocated that DHS use its resources to focus on addressing lengthy wait times at several US gateway airports, which inconvenience US citizens and discourage travel to the United States.

Despite strong objections from members of congress and the US aviation industry, the administration is moving forward with its decision to establish a CBP preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi, an airport that no US carriers currently serve.

Calio also noted that domestic CBP facilities are partially funded by the airlines and passengers entering the United States through USD1.5bn in annual taxes they pay.

A4A launched the Draw the Line Here campaign, calling on the Obama Administration to drop its plan to provide preclearance US national security services at AUH.

Find out more at www.airlines.org.

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