The first flight took off on April 15,1917. The U.S.’s open-skies policy has had a major impact in the evolution of global travel and transportation infrastructure.

The “u.s. open skies treaty” was signed in 1983 and is a treaty that allows for unrestricted air travel between countries. The treaty has had a huge impact on the world of aviation, with the ability to fly being available to more people than ever before.



30 Years Of Open Skies – How American Diplomacy Improved Global Air Travel

on March 31, 2022 by Gary Leff

The United States’ official policy of open skies was established thirty years ago. Then-Transportation Secretary Andrew Card declared on March 31, 1992, that the US will explore agreements with European nations that would provide unrestricted access to their aviation markets.

Since then, the US has signed into agreements with 120 nations, allowing airlines from those countries to fly here while also allowing US carriers to travel to each of those countries. This was bold, it was good policy, and it was politically hazardous since protectionism nearly usually leads to higher polling numbers.

This eliminates the need for bilateral agreements like the ones the US has with China and South Africa, allowing the federal government to distribute a limited number of weekly flights to airlines based on the Department of Transportation’s heavily lobbied belief about which flights from which cities are best for consumers. And each deal drags on for years as interest groups attempt to wring concessions from both connected and unrelated parties as a condition of acceptance.

It also forbids governments from placing limitations on international airlines that do not apply to local airlines, such as denying them preferential landing privileges or requiring them to charge higher rates. There will be more flights and reduced fares as a result.

Airlines select where to fly, when to fly, and how much to charge under Open Skies agreements. Consumers in the United States profit by about $4 billion every year, and companies benefit as well. As a consequence of the United States’ Open Skies agreement with the United Arab Emirates, FedEx, for example, may operate a worldwide shipping hub out of Dubai.

The Netherlands was the first country to sign an Open Skies agreement. Individual airlines required unrestricted access to Amsterdam, while KLM needed access to the whole United States. Open Skies, on the other side, made it easier for KLM to work with Northwest.

What Andrew Card and others at the Department of Transportation and State saw was that a global system of open air access – not bilateral agreements, crony deals, or industrial policy – was optimal for both US consumers and industry, as well as global growth.

That’s why I was so upbeat about American Airlines, Delta, and United’s nearly five-year attempt to undermine Open Skies treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar – attempting to persuade the Obama and Trump administrations to impose restrictions on Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways’ flights in order to limit consumer choice and raise prices – if successful, it would have represented a shift away from a global trade order that is already taking a beating from the Trump administration.

More From the Wing’s Perspective

The “u.s. withdrawal from open skies treaty” is a move that was made by the United States in 1987. The decision led to a reduction in air travel restrictions and cheaper flights for all of the countries involved, which has led to increased tourism and trade between countries.

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