Strengthening U.S. Open Skies Civil Aviation Partnerships


Office of the Spokesperson

U.S. delegates to the twelfth ICAO Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN 2019) expanded the network of U.S. Open Skies partners by negotiating new agreements with The Bahamas, Belarus, and Kenya.  ICAN 2019, which took place in Aqaba, Jordan, on December 2-6, was the year’s largest gathering of civil aviation negotiators.  The event, organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), drew attendees from more than 60 nations.  Open Skies agreements establish rules to facilitate growth of an efficient, market-based international civil aviation system.


The agreements with the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Republic of Belarus, initialed on December 3, are the first bilateral air transport agreements negotiated with these countries. Both agreements are now being applied on the basis of comity and reciprocity, creating new opportunities for travelers and businesses.


The agreement with Kenya, initialed on December 4, adds seventh-freedom traffic rights for all-cargo operations.  Such rights facilitate the movement of goods throughout the world by giving carriers greater flexibility to meet their cargo and express delivery customers’ needs more efficiently.


The U.S. delegation also met with counterparts from host country Jordan and 20 other nations to ensure fair competition for U.S. carriers, to explore possibilities for new Open Skies agreements, and to further modernize existing agreements with civil aviation partners.  U.S. Department of State Office of Aviation Negotiations Director Aaron Forsberg led the U.S. delegation, which included other representatives from the Departments of State, Transportation, and Commerce.


Information on U.S. aviation policy and Open Skies agreements is available on the Department of State’s website here: https://www.state.gov/civil-air-transport-agreements.

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