ALPA pilots take a stand against Abu Dhabi pre-clearance

ALPA launched a new call to action today to block the creation of a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport.  The United States already operates 15 preclearance locations in Canada, Ireland, and the Caribbean, but each of these airports are served by at least one U.S. airline and much of that traffic to the United States is flown by U.S. pilots.

By contrast, there is currently no service via a U.S. carrier to Abu Dhabi, meaning the new preclearance facility will only benefit foreign carriers.  By allowing passengers flying to the United States from Abu Dhabi to clear customs while still in the UAE, foreign airlines are able to provide a hefty convenience for their customers and an advantage over U.S. carriers competing for the rapidly growing numbers of passengers flying from the Middle East and Asia.

This policy jeopardizes pilots’ careers by strengthening a competitor and disadvantaging U.S. carriers.  What’s more, DHS is also seeking permission from Congress to provide more preclearance facilities to foreign governments that will pay. If successful, this could lead to more advantages to foreign competitors courtesy of U.S. policy.

All U.S. pilots are encouraged to click here to write President Obama and ask him to end this proposal for a CBP preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi and in other airports around the world that only benefit foreign airlines.

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