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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Organization of Transportation Affairs


Aviation Negotiations (TRA/AN)
The Office of Aviation Negotiations manages U.S. bilateral aviation relationships and, in close coordination with the Department of Transportation and the private sector, conducts bilateral negotiations to liberalize commercial aviation. Since 1992, the office has negotiated 113 bilateral "Open Skies" air transport agreements. In November 2000, the U.S. negotiated its first multilateral "Open Skies" air transport agreement. Both bilateral and multilateral agreements have dramatically liberalized the commercial environment for U.S. air carriers by removing most restrictions on competition. Where Open Skies agreements have not been possible to achieve, the Office of Aviation Negotiations has sought to renegotiate existing air transport agreements to expand the role of competitive forces and to maximize market access for U.S. air carriers.

Transportation Policy (TRA/OTP)
The Office of Transportation Policy develops and coordinates policy on international civil aviation, maritime, and land transport issues, including policy research, safety and security, discriminatory and unfair practices, commercial and operational problems encountered abroad, overflight/landing authorizations, port access, environmental protection and accident investigations.

On the aviation side, OTP participates in the development of policy on international civil aviation issues with broad substantive and/or multinational application, such as those involving the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Union (EU). OTP also handles issues involving aviation safety and security, international air transportation liability, discriminatory and unfair practices, tariffs, fuel, charter flights, user charges, airline taxation and remittances, currency exchange, preclearance, airport utilization, overflight/landing authorizations, airspace control (including GPS), aircraft noise and exhaust emissions regulations, military-civil relations, technical assistance, accident investigations, and airworthiness.

On the maritime front, OTP focuses on security issues, as well as on economic, political and technical developments affecting international shipping, land transportation and intermodal services, such as foreign legislation and policy, competition regulation, industry trends and commercial practices. OTP works closely with representatives of major U.S. and foreign shipping lines and their customers to resolve problems created by foreign restrictions. OTP officers also participate in meetings with maritime officials of other countries and in multilateral shipping meetings at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).


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