The Critical Role of Government in International Air Transport

ID-77-50: Published: Mar 17, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 1978.

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The involvement of U.S. and foreign governments in international airline operations affects route rights, tariffs, charter arrangements, and airport services. The U.S. Government tries to help its international carriers to earn profits and eliminate unfair competitive practices and/or discrimination.

There should be a specific U.S. Government official to see that international aviation problems are considered promptly and that differences among federal agencies are resolved as prescribed by the President. The Secretary of Transportation should be the focal point for coordination with recognition of the roles of the Department of State and the Civil Aeronautics Board. The agencies involved in international aviation differed in their views about coordination and the location of a focal point. More equitable arrangements for U.S. carriers could be obtained by modifying and more effectively implementing the International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act of 1974 and by securing common methods of assessing user charges in bilateral and multilateral agreements. More equitable arrangements are needed for charter carriers to reduce foreign restrictions.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Secretary of Transportation should be given responsibility for coordinating U.S. international aviation matters, and he should try to resolve differences among agencies. He should consider as unreasonable any user charges which substantially exceed those of the U.S. unless they can be shown to reflect costs. The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Transportation, should: (1) strive to have provisions for common methods of assessing user charges incorporated into bilateral agreements; (2) seek an amendment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation that would permit only reasonable charges based on costs or negotiate a separate agreement; and (3) seek adequate arrangements for U.S. charter carriers in bilateral agreements. Congress should amend the act to provide for more timely and effective government response to unfair competitive practices, and reporting responsibility should be transferred to the Department of Transportation.


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