The EU-US Air Transport Agreement represents important steps towards the normalisation of the international aviation industry. The ultimate objective of the European Union is to create a transatlantic Open Aviation Area: a single air transport market between the EU and the US with free flows of investment and no restrictions on air services, including access to the domestic markets of both parties.
First Stage Agreement
The Air Transport Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America took effect on 30 March 2008.
For the first time, European airlines could fly without restrictions from any point in the EU to any point in the US. The First Stage Agreement triggered a dramatic increase in services, particularly in those parts of the transatlantic market that were previously subject to significant restrictions on operations arising from the pre-existing bilateral agreements. Furthermore, it paved the way for much closer alliance agreements between airlines on both sides of the Atlantic, facilitating competition, particularly between hub carriers. The First Stage Agreement also established closer regulatory cooperation between the EU and the US aimed at a more effective combined response to major ever-evolving challenges such as the threat to aviation security and tackling aviation's impact on the environment. Since its implementation, the First Stage Agreement has helped facilitate airline and airport operations and encourage the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to work together to reduce inconvenience for passengers.
Importantly, the First Stage Agreement also included a clear roadmap for negotiations on a Second Stage Agreement, laying out a non-exhaustive list of 'items of priority interest' for the negotiations.
Second Stage Agreement
The Protocol to Amend the EU-US Air Transport Agreement took effect on 24 June 2010.
Following the launch of second-stage negotiations in May 2008 and seven further rounds of talks, negotiators concluded the discussions with the initialing of the Second Stage Agreement, on 25 March 2010. The Second Stage Agreement builds on the considerable benefits of the ground-breaking First Stage Agreement by providing for considerable further advances including additional investment and market access opportunities, as well as strengthening the framework of cooperation in regulatory areas such as safety, security and, in particular, the environment, where both sides agreed on a dedicated Joint Statement on the Environment.
Norway and Iceland joined the Agreement on 21 June 2011.
Joint Statement on the Environment [406 KB]
15 May 2008 - First round of negotiatons:
Joint Statement [118 KB]
24-25 September 2008 - second round of negotiations:
Joint Statement [8 KB]
25-26 June 2009 - third round of negotiations:
Joint Statement [234 KB]
9-11 November 2009 - fifth round of negotiations:
Joint Statement [8 KB]