Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Last Friday, the International Aviation Law Institute and the German Marshall Fund hosted a luncheon seminar entitled "Transatlantic Aviation: Can We Move Beyond Open Skies?" The event drew a capacity crowd of more than 100 aviation lawyers, academics, industry leaders, and government officials and featured the formal launch of Professor Brian Havel's new book, Beyond Open Skies: A New Regime for International Aviation. EU Ambassador to the United States John Bruton launched the book and delivered a spirited address on the future of U.S./EU aviation relations. Ambassador Bruton took time also to comment on the pending 2009 FAA Reauthorization Act and its potential to hinder the ongoing negotiations for a second stage U.S./EC Air Transport Agreement. He exhorted the mainly U.S. audience to recall the free market principles for air transport that the United States has evolved and exported (“Europe imitated the United States and now we need to get the United States to imitate itself,” he declared) and to stay true to these principles even in tough economic times. With Professor Havel serving as moderator, Ambassador Bruton also fielded questions from audience members on legal and policy developments affecting aviation in Europe, including noise restrictions at EU airports, the European Commission's proposal to temporarily suspend the "use or lose" slot rule, and the controversial plan to bring aviation into the EU’s emissions trading scheme.
At the close of the event, Professor Havel presented a crystal vase to Ambassador Bruton on behalf of the Institute. The vase was engraved by Professor Havel's brother, Mirek, who trained with Waterford Crystal. This was one of the Ambassador's last public events in his four-year term in Washington.
The Institute expresses its sincere thanks to Ambassador Bruton and the European Commission Delegation to the United States, and to the German Marshall Fund, for their collaboration with us in promoting and staging this event. The Institute also expresses its appreciation to all of the program attendees and hopes that they found the discussion lively and informative.