The associations representing U.S. and European airports urged European Union Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to make “urgent progress” on the E.U.-U.S. air service negotiations.
Roy Griffins, director general of Airports Council International - Europe, said, “European and U.S. airports have united to urge both E.U. and U.S. administrations to seize a historic opportunity and take a first step towards an E.U.-U.S. Open Aviation Area.” He further stated that the agreement would produce economic benefits for European and U.S. airports and the communities that they serve.
The letter expressed concern that without an agreement, the initiative may be lost and the two sides may, over time, inadvertently slip into a legal quagmire which would create uncertainty or worse, to the detriment of travelers, shippers, airports and their communities, airlines and the economies on both sides of the Atlantic.
On the same day, the Airports Council International - North America presented Secretary Mineta with its Lifetime Achievement Award.