Today in Luxembourg representatives of the United States and the European Union (EU) and its twenty-seven Member States signed a “Second Stage” civil aviation agreement, providing for greater U.S.-EU cooperation on a wide range of aviation issues. The agreement fulfills a mandate from President Obama and his EU counterparts at the last U.S./EU Summit to reach a “Second Stage” civil aviation agreement this year. The agreement took effect upon signature.
Today’s accord builds on the historic U.S.-EU “Open Skies” agreement that was signed in April 2007. That pro-consumer, pro-competitive agreement eliminated restrictions on air services between the United States and EU member states, allowing airlines from both sides to select routes and destinations based on consumer demand for both passenger and cargo services, without limitations on the number of U.S. or EU carriers that can fly or the number of flights they can operate.
The agreement signed today affirms that the terms of the 2007 agreement will remain in place indefinitely. It also deepens U.S.-EU cooperation in aviation security, safety, competition, and ease of travel. In addition, it provides greater protections for U.S. carriers from arbitrary restrictions on night flights at European airports and provides for further discussion of whether legislation in the fields of noise regulation and foreign investment in airlines is appropriate. It also adds a new article on the importance of high labor standards in the airline industry and underscores the importance of close transatlantic cooperation on aviation environmental matters in order to advance a global approach to global challenges.