December 11, 2014
Norwegian Air International application receives boost in appropriations bill
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, introduced in Congress last night, includes important language that paves the way for U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approval of Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) foreign air carrier permit application, which has been pending for nearly a year. Congress included significant new language that the Secretary of Transportation is empowered to act on – and approve – Norwegian Air International’s permit application, which is fully consistent with U.S. law and the Open Skies Agreement. The new provision amends a June House amendment from the FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that opponents had hoped would pressure DOT to deny NAI’s application. This provision, once enacted, will eliminate once and for all any perceived barriers constraining DOT from rendering a final, immediate decision on NAI’s application. The language sends a decisive message that DOT should follow the requirements of the Open Skies Agreement and U.S. law to approve NAI’s application without further delay. Congress is expected to consider the bill this week.