Joint Statement Concerning an Air Transport Agreement Between the United States of America and the Sultanate of Oman
Following cordial and productive negotiations in Washington on May 20-21, 1999 and subsequent consultations in Muscat and Washington, representatives of governments of the United States of America and the Sultanate of Oman reached agreement, ad referendum. on the text of a new Air Transp0l1 Agreement ("the Agreement").
The Agreement will further enhance the positive relationship between our two countries and open new opportunities for expanded air transportation services, benefiting travelers, airlines and shippers.
It is the intention of the aeronautical authorities of the United States of America and the Sultanate of Oman to permit operations consistent with the terms of the Agreement on the basis of comity and reciprocity pending formal signature of the Agreement.
Done at Muscat, on 16th September 2001
AIR TRANSPORT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SULTANATE OF OMAN
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of The Sultanate of Oman (hereinafter, "the Contracting Parties");
Desiring to promote an international aviation system based on competition among airlines in the marketplace with minimum government interference and regulation;
Desiring to facilitate the expansion of international air transport opportunities;
Desiring to make it possible for airlines to offer the traveling and shipping public a variety of service options at the lowest prices that are not discriminatory and do not represent abuse of a dominant position, and wishing to encourage individual airlines to develop and implement innovative and competitive prices;
Desiring to ensure the highest degree of safety and security in international air transport and reaffirming their grave concern about acts or threats against the security of aircraft, which jeopardize the safety of persons or property, adversely affect the operation of air transportation, and undermine public confidence in the safety of civil aviation; and
Being Contracting Parties to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, opened for signature at Chicago on December 7, 1944;
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise stated, the term:
1. "Aeronautical authorities" means, in the case of tile United States, the Department of Transportation, or its successor, and in the case of the Sultanate of Oman, the Minister of Transport and Communications, and any person or agency authorized to perform any functions on civil aviation exercised by the said Minister, or similar functions;
2. "Agreement" means this Agreement, its Annexes, and any amendments thereto;
3. "Air transportation" means the public carriage by aircraft of passengers, baggage, cargo, and mail, separately or in combination, for remuneration or hire;
4. "Convention" means the Convention on International Civil Aviation, opened for signature at Chicago on December 7, 1944, and includes:
a. any amendment that has entered into force under Article 94(a) of the Convention and has been ratified by both Contracting Parties, and
b. any Annex or any amendment thereto adopted under Atticle 90 of the Convention, insofar as .such Annex or amendment is at any given time etTective for both Contracting Parties;
5. "Designated airline" means an airline designated and authorized in accordance with Article 3 of this Agreement;
6. "Full cost" means the cost of providing service plus a reasonable charge for administrative overhead;
7. "International air transpottation" means air transportation that passes through the airspace over the territory of more than one State;
8. "Price" means any fare, rate or charge for the carriage of passengers (and their baggage) and/or cargo (excluding mail) in air transpottation charged by airlines, including their agents, and the conditions governing the availability of such fare, rate or charge;
9. "Stop for non-traffic purposes" means a landing for any purpose other than taking on or discharging passengers, baggage, cargo and/or mail in air transportation;
10. "Territory" means the land areas under the sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, or trusteeship of a Contracting Party, and the territorial waters adjacent thereto; and
11. "User charge" means a charge imposed on airlines for the provision of airport, air navigation, or aviation security facilities or services including related services and fad I ities.
Grant of Rights
1. Each Contracting Party grants to the other Contracting Party the following rights for the conduct of international air transportation by the airlines of the other Contracting Party:
a. the right to fly across its territory without landing;
b. the right to make stops in its territory for non-traffic purposes; and
c. the rights otherwise specified in this Agreement.
2. Nothing in this Article shall be deemed to confer on the airline or airlines of one Contracting Party the rights to take on board, in the territory of the other Contracting Party, passengers, their baggage, cargo, or mail carried for compensation and destined for another point in the territory ofthat other Contracting Party.
Designation and Authorization
a. substantial ownership and effective control of that airline are vested in the Contracting Party designating the airline, nationals of that Contracting Party, or both;
b. the designated airline is qualified to meet the conditions prescribed under the laws and regulations normally applied to the operation of international air transportation by the Contracting Party considering the application or applications; and
c. the Contracting Party designating the airline is maintaining and administering the standards set forth in Article 6 (Safety) and Article 7 (Aviation Security).
Revocation of Authorization
1. Either Contracting Party may revoke, suspend or limit the operating authorizations or technical permissions of an airline designated by the other Contracting Party where:
a. substantial ownership and etTective control of that airline are not vested in the other Contracting Party, the Contracting Party's nationals, or both;
b. that airline has failed to comply with the laws and regulations referred to in Article 5 (Application of Laws) of this Agreement; or
c. the other Contracting Party is not maintaining and administering the standards as set forth in Article 6 (Safety).
2. Unless immediate action is essential to prevent further noncompliance with subparagraphs 1b or 1c of this Article, the rights established by this Article shall be exercised only after consultation with the other Contracting Party.
3. This Article does not limit the rights of either Contracting Party to withhold, revoke, limit or impose conditions on the operating authorization or technical permission of an airline or airlines of the other Contracting Party in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 (Aviation Security).
Application of Laws
6. When a Contracting Party has reasonable grounds to believe that the other Contracting Party has departed fi'om the aviation security provisions ofthis Article, the aeronautical authorities of that Contracting Party may request immediate consultations with the aeronautical authorities of the other Contracting Party. Failure to reach a satisfactory agreement within 15 days from the date ofsuch request shall constitute grounds to withhold, revoke, limit, or impose conditions on the operating authorization and technical permissions ofan airline or airlines of that Contracting Party. When required by an emergency, a Contracting Party may take interim action prior to the expiry of 15 days.
1. The airlines ofeach Contracting Party shall have the right to establish offices in the territory ofthe other Contracting Party for the promotion and sale ofair transportation.
2. The designated airlines ofeach Contracting Party shall be entitled, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the other Contracting Party relating to entry, residence, and employment, to bring in and maintain in the territory ofthe other Contracting Party managerial, sales, technical, operational, and other special ist staff required for the provision ofair transportation.
3. Each designated airline shall have the right to perform its own ground-handling in the territory ofthe other Contracting Party ("self-handling") or, at its option, select among competing agents for such services in whole or in part. The rights shall be subject only to physical constraints resulting from considerations ofairport safety. Where such considerations preclude self-handling, ground services shall be available on an equal basis to all airlines; charges shall be based on the costs of services provided; and such services shall be comparable to the kind and quality of services as if self-handling were possible.
4. Any airline of each Contracting Party may engage in the sale of air transportation in the territory ofthe other Contracting Party directly and, at the airline's discretion, through its agents, except as may be specifically provided by the charter regulations ofthe country in which the charter originates that relate to the protection ofpassenger funds, and passenger cancellation and refund rights. Each airline shall have the right to sell such transportation, and any person shall be free to purchase such transportation, in the currency of that territory or in freely convertible currencies.
5. Each airline shall have the right to convert and remit to its country, on demand, local revenues in excess of sums locally disbursed. Conversion and remittance shall be permitted promptly without restrictions or taxation in respect thereof at the rate of exchange applicable to current transactions and remittance on the date the carrier makes the initial application for remittance.
6. The airlines of each Contracting Pal1y shall be permitted to pay for local expenses, including purchases of fuel, in the territory of the other Contracting Party in local currency. At their discretion, the airlines of each Contracting Party may pay for such expenses in the territory of the other Contracting Party in freely convertible currencies according to local currency regulation.
7. In operating or holding out the authorized services on the agreed routes, any designated airline of one Contracting Party may enter into cooperative marketing arrangements such as blocked-space, code-sharing or leasing arrangements, with
a) an airline or airlines of either Contracting Party; and
b) an airline or airlines ofa third country, provided that such third country authorizes or allows comparable arrangements between the airlines of the other Contracting Party and other airlines 011 services to, from and via sllch third country;
provided that all airlines in such arrangements (i) hold the appropriate authority and (ii) meet the requirements normally applied to such arrangements.
8. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, airlines and indirect providers of cargo transportation of both Contracting Parties shall be permitted, without restriction, to employ in connection with international air transpOitation any surface transportation for cargo to or from any points in the territories of the Contracting Parties or in third countries, including transport to and tt"om all airports with customs facilities, and including, where applicable, the right to transport cargo in bond under applicable laws and regulations. Such cargo, whether moving by surface or by air, shall have access to airport customs processing and facilities. Airlines may elect to perform their own surface transportation or to provide it through arrangements with other surface carriers, including surface transportation operated by other airlines and indirect providers of cargo air transportation. Such intermodal cargo services may be offered at a single, through price for the air and surface transportation combined, provided that shippers are not misled as to the facts concerning such transportation.
Customs Duties and Charges
1. On arriving in the territory of one Contracting Party, aircraft operated in international air transportation by the designated airlines of the other Contracting Party, their regular equipment, ground equipment, fuel, lubricants, consumable technical supplies, spare parts (including engines), aircraft stores (including but not limited to such items of food, beverages and liquor, tobacco and other products destined for sale to or use by passengers in limited quantities during flight), and other items intended for or used solely in connection with the operation or servicing of aircraft engaged in international air transportation shall be exempt, on the basis of reciprocity, fi'om all import restrictions, property taxes and capital levies, customs duties, excise taxes, and similar fees and charges that are (i) imposed by the national authorities, and Oi) not based on the cost of services provided, provided that such equipment and supplies remain on board the aircraft.
2. There shall also be exempt, on the basis of reciprocity, fi'om the taxes, levies, duties, fees and charges referred to in paragraph I of this Article, with the exception of charges based on the cost of the service provided:
a. aircraft stores introduced into or supplied in the territory of a Contracting Party and taken on board, within reasonable limits, for use on outbound aircraft of an airline of the other Contracting Party engaged in international air transportation, even when these stores are to be used on a part of the journey performed over the territory of the Contracting Party in which they are taken on board;
b. ground equipment and spare parts (including engines) introduced into the territory of a Contracting Party for the servicing, maintenance, or repair of aircraft of an airline of the other Contracting Party used in international air transportation;
c. fuel, lubricants and consumable technical supplies introduced into or supplied in the territory of a Contracting Party for use in an aircraft of an airline of the other Contracting Party engaged in international air transportation, even when these supplies are to be used on a pm1 of the journey performed over the territory of the Contracting Party in which they are taken on board; and
d. promotional and advel1ising materials introduced into or supplied in the territory of one Contracting Party and taken on board, within reasonable limits, for use on outbound aircraft of an airline of the other Contracting Party engaged in international air transportation, even when these stores are to be used on a pm1 of the journey performed over the territory of the Contracting Party in which they are taken on board.
3. Equipment and supplies referred to in paragraphs I and 2 of this Article may be required to be kept under the supervision or control of the appropriate authorities.
4. The exemptions provided by this Article shall also be available where the designated airlines of one Contracting Party have contracted with another airline, which similarly enjoys such exemptions from the other Contracting Paliy, for the loan or transfer in the territory of the other Contracting Party of the items specified in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article.
1. Each Contracting Party shall allow prices for air transp011ation to be established by each designated airline based upon commercial considerations in the marketplace. Intervention by the Contracting Pal1ies shall be limited to:
a. prevention of unreasonably discriminatory prices or practices;
b. protection of consumers from prices that are unreasonably high or restrictive due to the abuse of a dominant position; and
c. protection of airlines from prices that are ar1ificial1y low due to direct or indirect governmental subsidy or suppOl1.
2. Each Contracting Party may require notification to or filing with its aeronautical authorities of prices to be charged to or fi'om its territory by airlines of the other Contracting Party. Notification or filing by the airlines of both Contracting Parties may be required no more than 30 days before the proposed date of effectiveness. In individual cases, notification or filing may be permitted on shorter notice than normally required. Neither Contracting Party shall require the notification or filing by airlines of the other Contracting Party of prices charged by ch3J1erers to the public, except as may be required on a non-discriminatory basis for information purposes.
3. Neither Contracting Party shall take unilateral action to prevent the inauguration or continuation of a price proposed to be charged or charged by (i) an airline of either Contracting Party for international air transp011ation between the territories of the Contracting Parties, or (ii) an airline of one Contracting Party for international air transportation between the territory of the other Contracting Party and any other country, including in both cases transportation on an interline or intraline basis. If either Contracting Party believes that any such price is inconsistent with the considerations set forth in paragraph (1) of this Article, it shall request consultations and notify the other Contracting Party of the reasons for its dissatisfaction as soon as possible. These consultations shall be held not later than 30 days after receipt of the request, and the Contracting Parties shall cooperate in securing information necessary for reasoned resolution of the issue. If the Contracting Pm1ies reach agreement with respect to a price for which a notice of dissatisfaction has been given, each Contracting Party shall use its best efforts to put that agreement into effect. Without such mutual agreement, the price shall go into effect or continue in effect.
Either Contracting Party may, at any time, request consultations relating to this Agreement. Such consultations shall begin at the earliest possible date, but not later than 60 days from the date the other Contracting Pal1y receives the request unless otherwise agreed.
Settlement of Disputes
a. Within 30 days after the receipt of a request for arbitration, each Contracting Party shall name one arbitrator. Within 60 days after these two arbitrators have been named, they shall by agreement appoint a third arbitrator, who shall act as President of the arbitral tribunal;
b. If either Contracting Pal1y fails to name an arbitrator, or if the third arbitrator is not appointed in accordance with subparagraph a of this paragraph, either Contracting Party may request the President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization to appoint the necessary arbitrator or arbitrators within 30 days. If the President of the Council is of the same national ity as one of the Contracting Parties, the most senior Vice President who is not disqualified on that ground shall make the appointment.
3. Except as otherwise agreed, the arbitral tribunal shall determine the limits of its jurisdiction in accordance with this Agreement and shall establish its own procedural rules. The tribunal, once formed, may recommend interim relief measures pending its final determination, At the direction of the tribunal or at the request of either of the Contracting Parties, a conference to determine the precise issues to be arbitrated and the specific procedures to be followed shall be held not later than 15 days after the tribunal is fully constituted.
4. Except as otherwise agreed or as directed by the tribunal, each Contracting Party shall submit a memorandum within 45 days of the time the tribunal is fully constituted. Replies shall be due 60 days later. The tribunal shall hold a hearing at the request of either Contracting Party or on its own initiative within 15 days after replies are due.
5. The tribunal shal I attempt to render a written decision within 30 days after completion ofthe hearing or, if no hearing is held, after the date both replies are submitted. The decision of the majority of the tribunal shall prevail.
6. The Contracting Parties may submit requests for clarification of the decision within IS days after it is rendered and any clarification given shall be issued within IS days ofsuch request.
7. Each Contracting Party shall, to the degree consistent with its national law, give full effect to any decision or award of the arbitral tribunal.
8. The expenses ofthe arbitral tribunal, including the fees and expenses ofthe arbitrators, shall be shared equally by the Contracting Parties. Any expenses incurred by the President ofthe Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization in connection with the procedures of paragraph 2.b. of this Article shall be considered to be part ofthe expenses of the arbitral tribunal.
Either Contracting Party may, at any time, give notice in writing to the other Contracting Party of its decision to terminate this Agreement. Such notice shall be sent simultaneously to the International Civil Aviation Organization. This Agreement shall terminate at midnight (at the place of receipt of the notice to the other Contracting Party) immediately before the first anniversary of the date ofreceipt of the notice by the other Contracting Party, unless the notice is withdrawn by agreement of the Contracting Parties before the end of this period.
Registration with lCAO
This Agreement and all amendments thereto shall be registered with the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Entry into Force
This Agreement shall be provisionally applied upon signature and shall enter into force upon an exchange of diplomatic notes confirming that each Contracting Party has completed all of its necessary legal procedures.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.
DONE at , this day of , 20_, in duplicate, in the English and Arabic languages. In case of differences, or divergence of interpretation, the English language text shall prevail.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SULTANATE OF OMAN:
Scheduled Air Transportation
Airlines of each Contracting Party designated under this Annex shall, in accordance with the terms of their designation, be entitled to perform scheduled international air transportation between points on the following routes:
A. Routes for the airline or airlines designated by the Government ofthe United States:
B. Routes for the airline or airlines designated by the Government of Oman:
Each designated airline may, on any or all flights and at its option:
Change of Gauge
On any segment or segments of the routes above, any designated airline may perform international air transportation without any limitation as to change, at any point on the route, in type or number of aircraft operated; provided that, with the exception of allcargo services, in the outbound direction, the transportation beyond such point is a continuation of the transportation from the territory of the Contracting Party that has designated the airline and, in the inbound direction, the transpol1ation to the territory of the Contracting Party that has designated the airline is a continuation of the transportation from beyond such point.
Charter Air Transportation
Airlines of each Contracting Party designated under this Annex shall, in accordance with the terms of their designation, have the right to carry international charter traffic of passengers (and their accompanying baggage) and/or cargo (including, but not limited to, freight forwarder, split, and combination (passenger/cargo) charters):
Between any point or points in the territory of the Contracti ng Party that has designated the airline and any point or points in the territory of the other Contracting Party; and
Between any point or points in the territory of the other Contracting Party and any point or points in a third country or countries, provided that, except with respect to cargo charters, such service constitutes part of a continuolls operation, with or without a change of aircraft, that includes service to the homeland for the purpose of carrying local traffic between the homeland and the territory of the other Contracting Party.
In the performance of services covered by this Annex, airl ines of each Contracting Party designated under this Annex shall also have the right: (I) to make stopovers at any points whether within or outside of the territory of either Contracting Party; (2) to carry transit traffic through the other Contracting Party's territory; (3) to combine on the same aircraft traffic originating in one Contracting Party's territory, tramc originating in the other Contracting Party's territory, and tramc originating in third countries; and (4) to perform international air transportation without any limitation as to change, at any point on the route, in type or number of aircraft operated; provided that, except with respect to cargo charters, in the outbound direction, the transpOltation beyond such point is a continuation of the transpoltation from the territory of the Contracting Party that has designated the airline and in the inbound direction, the transpoltation to the territory of the Contracting Party that has designated the airline is a continuation orthe transpol1atiol1 from beyond such point.
Each Contracting Party shall extend favorable consideration to applications by airlines of the other Contracting Party to carry tratlic not covered by this Annex on the basis of comity and reciprocity.
Any airline designated by either Contracting Party performing international charter air transportation originating in the territory of either Contracting Party, whether on a one way or round-trip basis, shall have the option of complying with the charter laws, regulations, and rules either of its homeland or of the other Contracting Party. If a Contracting Party applies different rules, regulations, terms, conditions, or limitations to one or more of its airlines, or to airlines of different countries, each designated airline shall be subject to the least restrictive of such criteria,
However, nothing contained in the above paragraph shall limit the rights of either Contracting Party to require airlines designated under this Annex by either Contracting Party to adhere to requirements relating to the protection of passenger funds and passenger cancellation and refund rights.
Except with respect to the consumer protection rules referred to in the preceding paragraph above, neither Contracting Paliy shall require an airline designated under this Annex by the other Contracting Party, in respect of the carriage of traffic from the territory of that other Contracting Party or of a third country on a one-way or round-trip basis, to submit more than a declaration of conformity with the applicable laws, regulations and niles referred to under section 2 of this Annex or of a waiver of these laws, regulations, or rules granted by the applicable aeronautical authorities.
Principles of Non-Discrimination Within and Competition among Computer Reservations Systems
Recognizing that Article II (Fair Competition) of this Agreement guarantees the airlines of both Contracting Parties "a fair and equal opportunity to compete, II
Considering that one of the most important aspects of the ability of an airline to compete is its ability to inform the public of its services in a fair and impartial manner, and that, therefore, the quality of information about airline services available to travel agents who directly distribute such information to the traveling public and the ability of an airline to offer those agents competitive computer reservations systems (CRSs) represent the foundation for an airline's competitive oPPoI1tmities, and
Considering that it is equally necessary to ensure that the interests of the consumers of air transport products are protected from any misllse of such information and its misleading presentation and that airlines and travel agents have access to effectively competitive computer reservations systems:
1. The Contracting Palties agree that CRSs will have integrated primary displays for which:
a. Information regarding international air services, including the construction of connections on those services, shall be edited and displayed based on non-discriminatory and objective criteria that are not influenced, directly or indirectly, by airline or market identity. Such criteria shall apply uniformly to all participating airlines.
b. CRS data bases shall be as comprehensive as possible.
c. CRS vendors shall not delete information submitted by palticipating airlines; such information shall be accurate and transparent; for example, code-shared and changeof-gauge flights and flights with stops should be clearly identified as having those characteristics.
d. All CRSs that are available to travel agents who directly distribute information about airline services to the traveling public in either Contracting Party's territory shall not only be obligated to, but shall also be entitled to, operate in conformance with the CRS rules that apply in the territory where the CRS is being operated.
e. Travel agents shall be allowed to use any of the secondary displays available through the CRS so long as the travel agent makes a specific request for that display.
2. A Contracting Party shall require that each CRS vendor operating in its territory allow all airlines willing to pay any applicable non-discriminatory fee to participate in its CRS. A Contracting Party shall require that all distribution facilities that a system vendor provides shall be offered on a non-discriminatory basis to palticipating airlines. A Contracting Party shall require that CRS vendors display, on a non-discriminatory, objective, carrier-neutral and market-neutral basis, the international air services of participating airlines in all markets in which they wish to sell those services. Upon request, a CRS vendor shall disclose details of its data base update and storage procedures, its criteria for editing and ranking information, the weight given to such criteria, and the criteria used for selection of connect points and inclusion of connecting flights.
3. CRS vendors operating in the territory of one Contracting Palty shall be entitled to bring in, maintain, and make fi'eely available their CRSs to travel agencies or travel companies whose principal business is the distribution of travel-related products in the territory of the other Contracting Party if the CRS complies with these principles.
4. Neither Contracting Party shall, in its territory, impose or permit to be imposed on the CRS vendors ofthe other Contracting Party more stringent requirements with respect to access to and use of communication faci I ities, selection and use of technical CRS hardware and software, and the technical installation of CRS hardware, than those imposed on its own CRS vendors.
5. Neither Contracting Paliy shall, in its territory, impose or permit to be imposed on the CRS vendors of the other Contracting Party more restrictive requirements with respect to CRS displays (including edit and display parameters), operation, or sale than those imposed on its own CRS vendors.
6. CRSs in use in the territory of one Contracting Party that comply with these principles and other relevant non-discriminatory regulatory, technical, and security standards shall be entitled to effective and unimpaired access in the territory of the other Contracting Party. One aspect of this is that a designated airline shall participate in such a system as fully in its homeland territory as it does in any system offered to travel agents in the territory of the other Contracting Party. Owners/operators of CRSs of one Contracting Party shall have the same opPOltunity to own/operate CRSs that conform to these principles within the territory of the other Contracting Party as do owners/operators of that Contracting Party. Each Contracting Party shall ensure that its airlines and its CRS vendors do not discriminate against travel agents in their homeland territory because of their use or possession of a CRS also operated in the territory ofthe other Contracting Party.
Fifth freedom: Notwithstanding Annex I, Section (A)( I), airlines designated by the United States shall not perform scheduled combination international air transportation with local traffic rights between Muscat and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and between Muscat and points in India until three years after signature of this agreement.