WASHINGTON, July 8, 2014 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, applauded House action requiring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess the impact future preclearance facilities will have on security, passengers, the economy and customs staffing at U.S. gateway airports.
The bill requires CBP to meet a number of requirements before establishing preclearance facilities at new locations. Notably, any new location must be served by U.S. carriers and CBP would be required to consult with stakeholders, including airlines, prior to entering into an agreement with a foreign government. Additionally, the legislation includes a “fix it here first” plan requiring CBP to address facilitation issues at U.S. gateways where customs wait times exceed those at facilities in foreign countries. 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.
“Today’s vote is an important win for the traveling public, ensuring that we focus on fixing lengthy customs lines at U.S. gateways first, before building and staffing additional preclearance facilities overseas,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “We thank Chairman McCaul (R-TX), Ranking Member Thompson (D-MS) and Representatives Meehan (R-PA), DeFazio (D-OR) and Miller (R-MI) for their commitment to restoring Congressional oversight, which will help connect people and goods, while further enhancing the overall travel experience for the customers we serve.”
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.