10 JUNE 2013


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Article from BTNews 10 JUNE 2013

Abu Dhabi to US flight clearance

Steps by, in effect, Etihad Airways to establish a US customs pre-clearance facility in Abu Dhabi are being frustrated by Washington lawmakers.  Whilst no American airlines are on the route, by its geographical position (cira 100 miles from Dubai) it offers an alternative route between the United States and the Gulf.

A bipartisan group of Senators and Congressmen have drafted an amendment to block the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from establishing a bill that provides funding for DHS to conduct customs and border protection (CBP) operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport.  "At a time when domestic CBP staffing levels are inadequate, causing excessive wait times, DHS should not expand its mission size and footprint", the amendment says.

Pre-clearance facilities have been established at airports in countries such as Canada, Ireland and parts of the Caribbean.  Gatwick at one time provided the facility but it was withdrawn.

Homeland Security has said previously that it selects its overseas sites to make international travel and commerce easier.  However passengers can still be stopped at the US port of entry. www.cbp.gov

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