Published on Monday, May 13, 2013

Eleven US Senators protest Abu Dhabi preclearance center

A bipartisan group of US Senators has joined several travel industry groups in formally objecting to the proposed preclearance center at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the Aero News Network reported early this morning.

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a group of 11 senators questions the idea of turning over core security functions to a foreign government, the agency's authority to enter into the agreement, and the "dangerous precedent" the plan sets.

In April, DHS signed an agreement to establish a customs preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi Airport, an airport to which no US airline flies.

The plan has met with strong headwinds from the travel industry; the DrawtheLineHere.com website, endorsed by A4A, the Air Line Pilots Association, Airports Council International, Consumer Travel Alliance, Global Business Travel Association, and Regional Airline Association invites all Americans to sign a petition against it.

 "Reducing wait times at US airports should be a top priority of DHS and CBP-not using US tax dollars to benefit a foreign government, particularly when wait times at US points of entry continue to be excessive," said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.

"We thank Senators Dan Coats (R-IN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for their bipartisan leadership to demand answers over this ill-conceived decision, which harms US citizens, jobs, the economy and the global competitiveness of the US airline industry."


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