Thursday, May 7, 2009

IALI Welcomes U.K. Transport Minister Geoff Hoon


On May 7, the International Aviation Law Institute was honored by the presence of UK Secretary of State for Transport Geoff Hoon and a group of his associates for a free-ranging discussion of the future of international air transport liberalization.  Accompanying the Secretary of State were HM Consul General James Clark; Tim Figures, Private Secretary, UK Department for Transport; Francis Morgan, Head of International Aviation and Safety, UK Department for Transport; Joanna Millington, Press Officer, UK Department for Transport; David Leam, Special Adviser, UK Department for Transport; and Jonathan Daniel, Press and Public Affairs Officer, British Consulate-General, Chicago. 

Secretary of State Hoon, who spoke earlier this week to the International Aviation Club in Washington, D.C., on U.S./EC aviation relations, shared his thoughts with the Institute on how the United States can work with its European partners to establish a sustainable policy for aviation carbon emissions.  While optimistic that the Obama Administration is open to a cap-and-trade system comparable to the EC's Emissions Trading Scheme, Mr. Hoon recognized that progress on the issue has thus far been slow.  Further discussion took place on certain protectionist elements of the pending 2009 FAA Reauthorization Act that may adversely impact the ongoing negotiations for a second stage U.S./EC Air Transport Agreement.  Institute Director Brian F. Havel, whose recently published book, Beyond Open Skies: A New Regime for International Aviation, proposes an authentic globalization of the air transport industry within the framework of the U.S./EC Agreement, indicated that the worldwide economic crisis must abate before foreign ownership caps and cabotage will be dismantled.  In his view, protectionist impulses will fill a vacuum in U.S. aviation policy at least until we learn how the Obama Administration will approach air transport issues.

At the end of the discussion, Professor Havel presented a copy of his new book to Mr. Hoon. For the full text of the Secretary of State’s Washington speech, blog readers may consult the website of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office here. 

The International Aviation Law Institute expresses it appreciation to the Secretary of State and his associates, as well as to the office of the UK Consul General in Chicago, for arranging and participating in this timely exchange on the leading international issues affecting aviation law and policy.

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