Today, ALPA joined Airlines for America, Airports Council International, Consumer Travel Alliance, the Global Business Travel Association, and the Regional Airline Association to once again emphasize our strong opposition to the creation of a pre-clearance facility in Abu Dhabi International Airport. The letter, addressed to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, asks for assurance that this proposal will not be pursued. The coalition points out the detrimental impact on our industry this preclearance facility will have, stating:
“At a time when U.S. carriers and airports are fighting to maintain our global competitiveness the U.S. government should not be signing a deal that benefits a foreign emirate and its wholly-owned national carrier, particularly since no U.S. carrier serves that emirate. This deal clearly puts U.S. airlines and their employees at a competitive disadvantage…. Abu Dhabi’s position is not surprising; having the U.S. government support that strategic aim at the expense of U.S. airlines, workers, airports and U.S. travel and tourism strains comprehension.”
Congress recently spoke to this issue when it chose not to provide broad authority to DHS to enter into reimbursement agreements for preclearance facilities in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013. Business and labor are united in opposition to a preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi and ALPA urges the Administration to once and for all drop this ill-conceived plan.