Abu Dhabi preclearance facility draws sharp rebuke from A4A, AEA

04/17/2013 | Routes News online

A deal between U.S. Department of Homeland Security and United Arab Emirates authorities to establish a preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi drew sharp criticism from European airlines. "Passengers arriving in the States have to wait up to three hours at certain airports before they can pass migration. Due to the recent U.S. budget cuts, the situation will get even worse," said Geert Sciot, general manager for communications for the Association of European Airlines. Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio also weighed in strongly against the proposal, saying "at a time when U.S. carriers and airports are fighting to maintain our global competitiveness, the U.S. government should not be signing a deal that benefits a foreign emirate and its wholly owned national carrier, particularly since no U.S. carrier serves that emirate." A4A led a coalition of aviation groups, including support from key airline unions, to launch the "Draw the line here" campaign urging the U.S. government to abandon the ill-conceived deal.

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