Bangor International Airport (BGR) in Maine has received a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury to provide services for non-United States aircraft seeking to make non-traffic transit stops (re-fueling, catering, deicing, crew services). BGR used the services of Washington, DC-based Kirstein & Young PLLC to prepare the OFAC license application.
From the OFAC license (click here for the complete text):
SECTION 1 – AUTHORIZATION: Subject to the conditions and limitations stated herein, Bangor International Airport (the “Licensee”) is hereby authorized to engage in all transactions necessary to provide services in connection with non-traffic transit stops to non-Cuban foreign airlines operating flights to and from Cuba, as described in the Application.
Authority: 31 C.F.R. § 515.801.
SECTION 2 – WARNINGS: (a) This License authorizes the provision of services only to aircraft engaged in non-traffic transit stops. This License does not authorize the provision of services to any aircraft that takes on new passengers or whose passengers enter the United States for immigration purposes.
According to The Honorable Susan Collins (R- Maine) and The Honorable Angus King (I- Maine), "...not permitting transit stops, the U.S. is out of compliance with several international transportation agreements, including the Chicago Convention and the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement."
On 25 May 2016, Senators Collins and King introduced legislation (S.2990) to remedy the issue; on 26 April 2016, The Honorable Bruce Poliquin (R- Maine) and The Honorable Chellie Pingree (D- Maine) introduced legislation (H.R. 5071) to remedy the issue.
From Senator Collins:
25 May 2016
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced legislation today (S.2990) that would permit foreign air carriers traveling to or from Cuba to make non-traffic, transit stops in the United States.
“Under the current travel ban, foreign air carriers are forced to make transit stops in Canada rather than the United States, and any potential profit for U.S. airports flies right across the border along with the planes,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “Our bill would provide American airports and workers the opportunity to compete with Canadian airports and would align U.S. policy with existing international air travel agreements.”
“This amendment will ensure the U.S. abides by its bilateral and international transport agreements and help to bring business back to Central Maine,” said Anthony Caruso Jr., Airport Director of Bangor International Airport. “This will allow us to compete on a fair and level playing field with Canadian airports.”
During these transit stops, passengers do not disembark the plane and no new passengers board the aircraft. Yet, these stops are valuable for airports and their employees who can offer fuel, de-icing, catering, and crew services. By not permitting transit stops, the U.S. is out of compliance with several international transportation agreements, including the Chicago Convention and the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement.
In addition, the current restriction on transit stops means that U.S. airports, such as Bangor International Airport, not only lose revenue related to flights to or from Cuba, they are also passed over by foreign carriers traveling to or from other destinations in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Permitting these stops would not result in any incremental benefits to Cuba because these flights currently make transit stops in Canada. The Collins-King legislation would simply allow U.S. airports to compete on a fair and level playing field with Canadian airports that currently provide this service without restriction by the Canadian government.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 25, 2016
Ms. Collins (for herself and Mr. King) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
To prohibit the President from preventing foreign air carriers traveling to or from Cuba from making transit stops in the United States for refueling and other technical services based on the Cuban Assets Control Regulations.
Air travel between the United States and Cuba permitted
Notwithstanding section 102(h) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6032(h)) and section 910(b) of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7209(b)), and except as provided in subsection (b), the President may not directly or indirectly prohibit the provision of technical services otherwise permitted under an international air transportation agreement in the United States for an aircraft of a foreign air carrier that is en route to or from Cuba based on the restrictions set forth in part 515 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations (commonly known as the "Cuban Assets Control Regulations").
This section shall not apply— (1) if— (A) the United States is at war with Cuba; (B) armed hostilities between the United States and Cuba are in progress; or (C) there is imminent danger to the public health or physical safety of United States citizens; or (2) to foreign air carriers that— (A) are owned by the Government of Cuba; or (B) are based in Cuba.
H. R. 5071
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 26, 2016
Mr. Poliquin (for himself and Ms. Pingree) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
To prohibit the President from regulating the provision of certain technical services in the United States for an aircraft of a foreign air carrier that is en route to or from another country, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the "Insourcing American Airport Jobs Act of 2016".
Prohibition on regulation of provision of technical services for aircraft
In general On and after the date of enactment of this Act, and subject to subsection (b)— (1) the President may not regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly, the provision of technical services, otherwise permitted under an international air transportation agreement, in the United States for an aircraft of a foreign air carrier that is en route to or from another country; and (2) any regulation in effect on such date of enactment that regulates or prohibits the provision of technical services described in paragraph (1) shall cease to have any force or effect with respect to such services.
Subsection (a) shall not apply— (1) if the country concerned is a state sponsor of terrorism; or (2) in a case in which— (A) the United States is at war with the country concerned; (B) armed hostilities between the United States and the country concerned are in progress; or (C) there is imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of travelers to the country concerned.
State sponsor of terrorism defined
In this section, the term "state sponsor of terrorism" has the meaning given that term in section 1605A(h)(6) of title 28, United States Code.
This section applies to actions taken by the President before the date of enactment of this Act that are in effect on such date of enactment, and to actions taken on or after such date.