The Open Skies Agreement is an accord between USA and the European Union. It allows airlines from the involved states to fly in areas within USA and the European Union. Over the years, the agreement expanded both international cargo and passenger flights between the two regions. The agreement touches on a variety of issues affecting the international aviation community. It facilitates increased productivity, travel and trade, economic growth, and high-quality employment opportunities. It occurs through the elimination of government interference in the commercial decisions made by air carriers about pricing, routes, and capacity. It states that airlines within the agreement can operate on the number of flights, routes, and aircrafts without restrictions. Thus, it allows the carriers to provide more convenient, affordable, and efficient services to their customers (U.S. Department of State).
Although the liberalization of air transportation through Open Skies has several benefits, it faces a myriad of challenges. In the past years, establishing the success of Open Skies has been challenging due to the limited literature on its effects on international levels of tension and politics (Lindley 24). Subsequently, the requirement for all airlines to pre-announce flights raises concerns. The pre-announcing of flight plans and flights may result in the withholding of important secrets (25). It is because of the view that transparency may not be a good thing in some situations; this is because it may increase security dilemmas and relative gains concerns. Information may be withheld because states worry about letting other states aware of their military dispositions and secrets.
Currently, the implementation and extension of an Open Skies environmental monitoring program faces both institutional and financial challenges. Institutionally, implementing it would challenge each state’s existing monitoring institutions; many states are likely to oppose such an occurrence. Financially, acquiring the specialized training, equipment, and expertise would be costly (Lindley 25). Open Skies’ implementation of changes is likely to face a myriad of organizational and bureaucratic challenges in the future. Despite the past and current problems, the agreement remains beneficial to the states and airlines involved in its provisions.
Lindley, Dan. “Cooperative Airborne Monitoring: Opening the skies to promote peace, protect the environment, and cope with natural disasters.” Web. Available from http://www3.nd.edu/~dlindley/handouts/OpenSkies.pdf
U.S. Department of Justice. “Open Skies Agreements.” Transportation. (2015): Web. Available from http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tra/ata/