Representatives of the United States and of the European Community as well as industry representatives met in early January 2007 to re-launch the negotiations for an open skies agreement between the EU and the US.

This was the first meeting since the Commission launched its proposal for a Directive including aviation in the existing scheme for emissions trading.

It was also the first meeting since the US Department of Transportation (DOT) withdrew its rulemaking initiative pertaining to the interpretation of the “actual control” requirement in in relation to the US foreign ownership rules (cf. Brussels Air News, Issue 20).

With regard to the US foreign ownership rules, the US Department of Transportation has very recently issued a tentative ruling whereby it rejected the application of Virgin America, Inc. to be able to engage in domestic US air transportation on the basis that inter alia Virgin America was not under the “actual control” of US citizens.

The parties to the negotiating table agreed to continue the open skies negotiations in early February 2007.