WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today announced its support for the House Committee on Homeland Security’s plan to pass legislation requiring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess the impact any future preclearance facilities will have on security, passengers, the economy and customs staffing at U.S. gateway airports. The full committee is expected to consider H.R. 998 on Thursday, June 25.
The bipartisan bill, introduced by Representatives Candice Miller (R-MI) and Pat Meehan (R-PA) and supported by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS), creates a number of notifications and certifications CBP must make to Congress before establishing preclearance facilities at new international locations. Specifically, any new airport preclearance facility must be served by a U.S. carrier and CBP would be required to consult with stakeholders, including airlines, prior to entering into an agreement with a foreign government. In addition, the bill includes a requirement that CBP must consider and report on the economic, competitive and job impacts that new locations would have.
“We thank Representatives Miller, Meehan, McCaul and Thompson for their bipartisan leadership in restoring congressional oversight to the CBP preclearance process,” said Nicholas E. Calio, A4A President and CEO. “With summer travel season underway, it is critical that Congress address lengthy customs wait times at U.S. gateway airports, which inconvenience U.S. citizens and discourage travel to the United States. A4A supports passage of the Miller-Meehan bill, which will improve the travel experience for U.S. airline customers, while bolstering security and our economy.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.