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U.S.-St. Christopher and Nevis Signed Memorandum of Conversation & Initialed Air Transport Agreement of November 28, 2011


November 28, 2011

   
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Delegations representing the Government of Saint Christopher and Nevis and the Government of the United States of America met via teleconference on May 5, 2011, and subsequently exchanged correspondence, to discuss further liberalization of their bilateral air services relationship. The discussions proceeded in a friendly and constructive manner, reflective of the close relationship between the two countries. The delegation lists are attached at Attachment A.

The delegations reached agreement ad referendum on the text of an Open-Skies Air Transport Agreement ("the Agreement,") attached at Attachment B.

The delegations stated their mutual understanding that consumer protection plays an important role in international air service. With regard to paragraph 5 of Article 2 of the Agreement, the delegations affirmed their understanding that either Party may require airlines of both Parties to comply with consumer protection rules relating to the protection of passenger funds and passenger cancellation and refund rights. With regard to paragraph 7 of Article 8, the delegation of Saint Christopher and Nevis noted the importance of passengers being advised of the airline or surface transportation provider that would be operating each sector of service of a code-share arrangement. The delegation of Saint Christopher and Nevis explained that although Saint Christopher and Nevis does not have regulations requiring such disclosure, such disclosures are routinely made when tickets for passengers scheduled to engage in international air transportation are issued and flights are boarded. The delegation of the United States explained that all carriers providing code share services to and from the United States must comply with U.S. regulations requiring such disclosure.

The delegation of Saint Christopher and Nevis proposed the inclusion of the Community of Interest principle in the Agreement. The U.S. delegation, noting this proposal, stated that it would be a significant departure from U.S. practice to include such a principle in this type of agreement. The U.S delegation further stated that, with respect to Articles 3 and 4 of the Agreement, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has broad authority to waive the ownership and control standards with respect to foreign airlines. In addition, the U.S. delegation stated that USDOT has an established practice of waiving such standards for airlines when all countries involved are Open-Skies partners.

In discussing Article 6 of the Agreement, the delegations noted that ramp inspections are established practice in both countries, and further noted their mutual understanding that continuation of such inspections by the Parties would be consistent with the terms of this Agreement.

In discussing Article 8 of the Agreement, the U.S. delegation accepted the proposal of the delegation of Saint Christopher and Nevis to include paragraph headings for informational purposes.

With regard to paragraph 3 of Article 8 of the Agreement, the delegation of Saint Christopher and Nevis sought clarification of the phrase, "physical constraints resulting from considerations of airport safety." The U.S. delegation confirmed that the term “safety” as used in this paragraph includes specific constraints on available space or operational capacity arising from congestion that make it impossible, while maintaining safe operation of the airport, to implement self-handling.

With respect to Article 11 of the Agreement, the delegation of Saint Christopher and Nevis proposed language with respect to anti-competitive practices. The U.S. delegation noted that the proposed language could be construed to require the Parties to identify and to remedy specific practices, even without any complaints from airlines or consumers. The delegations reaffirmed their commitment to the fair and equal opportunity to compete for all of the airlines of both Parties.

The delegations confirmed their expectation that, upon the initialing of the text of the Agreement, their aeronautical authorities intend to permit operations consistent with the terms of that agreement on the basis of comity and reciprocity, pending its signature.


FOR THE DELEGATION OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS:

McClean Hobson

DATE: 28/11/11

PLACE: Basseterre

FOR THE DELEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Wendell Albright

DATE: 28 November 2011

PLACE: Washington


ATTACHMENT A

U.S.-Saint Christopher and Nevis Civil Aviation Negotiations May 5, 2011

Delegation List

Government of the United States

Wendell Albright, Head of Delegation
Director
Office of Aviation Negotiations
U.S. Department of State

Adam Packer
International Transportation/Commercial Officer
Office of Aviation Negotiations
U.S. Department of State

Karen Jo McIsaac
Desk Officer
Office of Caribbean Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Kristin Mencer
Economic/Political Officer
U.S. Embassy Bridgetown

Elizabeth Kiingi
Attorney-Adviser
Office of the Legal Adviser
U.S. Department of State

Brian Hedberg
Senior Air Services Negotiator
Office of International Aviation
Department of Transportation

Larry Myers
Office of the General Counsel
Department of Transportation

Eugene Alford
Air Transport Specialist
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Government of Saint Christopher and Nevis

McClean Hobson, Head of Delegation
Ministry of Tourism and International Transport

Jihan Williams
Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs

Kaye Bass
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Stephen Hanley
Ministry of Finance

Elroy Lewis
General Manager
TDC Airlines Services Ltd.


ATTACHMENT B



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