WASHINGTON: U.S. delegates to the thirteenth International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN 2021) expanded the network of U.S. Open Skies partners by finalizing the text of a new Agreement with the Republic of Ecuador. ICAN 2021, which is taking place December 6-10 in Bogota, Colombia, is the year’s largest gathering of civil aviation negotiators. The event, organized by ICAO, gathered attendees from more than 77 nations. Open Skies agreements establish legal frameworks for international air transport to facilitate growth of an efficient, market-based international civil aviation system.
The Agreement with the Republic of Ecuador is the first Open Skies Agreement negotiated with this country. Pending signature and entry into force, the Agreement is now being applied on the basis of comity and reciprocity, immediately creating new opportunities for U.S. and Ecuadorian air carriers and more choice for travelers. The bilateral Open Skies agreement will enable the expansion of passenger and cargo flights between Ecuador and the United States, thereby promoting increased travel and trade, and ultimately spurring high quality job opportunities and economic growth.
The U.S. delegation also met with a number of international counterparts, including host country Colombia, to ensure fair competition for U.S. carriers, explore possibilities for new Open Skies agreements, further modernize existing agreements with civil aviation partners, and to share best practices on global aviation recovery from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Department of State Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs Richard Yoneoka led the U.S. delegation, which included representatives from the Departments of State, Transportation, and Commerce.