The Bahamas and the United States yesterday signed-off on a ‘historic’ air services agreement that is expected to pave the way for future economic growth and increased airlift between the respective countries.
The Air Transport Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is the first bilateral air transport agreement negotiated by the two countries.
It establishes a modern civil aviation relationship with The Bahamas which is consistent with United State’s ‘Open Skies’ international aviation policy.
The agreement allows for unrestricted capacity and frequency of services, open route rights, a liberal charter regime, and open code-sharing opportunities.
The Bahamas government yesterday entered into an official agreement with the United States for search and rescue missions. While the United States of America Coast Guard frequently assists The Bahamas with search and rescue missions for downed or missing aircraft, there has been no formal arrangement that governs such assistance. In this regard, the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation assisted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority held a series of meetings with USA officials to negotiate the framework for cooperation between the two states for carrying out activities related to search and rescue within the aeronautical and maritime environment of The Bahamas.
The agreement constitutes permission by the government of The Bahamas to the Rescue Coordination Centre, Rescue Sub Centre and Search & Rescue facilities of the USA to coordinate and conduct search and rescue operations in the territorial sea and archipelagic waters of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; and permission for the USA to enter, overfly and land as appropriate, in Bahamian territory, in the conduct of search and rescue operations.