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OST-2019-0085 - Commonwealth of Puerto Rico - Expanded Cargo and Passenger Flexibility for Foreign Carriers at Puerto Rican Airports

 

OST-1996-1600 - Expanded Cargo Transfer Flexibility at Alaskan International Airports
OST-1999-5035 - Expanded Air Services at Alaska International Airports
OST-1999-5723 - Expanded Air Services and Hawaii International Airports
OST-2006-23918 - The Territory of Guam - Expanded Air Services at the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport
OST-2006-25663 - Expanded Air Services at Northern Mariana Islands International Airports
OST-2010-0200 - Expanded Cargo Transfer Flexibility and Expanded Air Services at International Airports in Alaska

 


Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

OST-2019-0085 - Exemption - Expanded Cargo and Passenger Flexibility for Foreign Air Carriers at Puerto Rican Airports

June 7, 2019

Application for Expanded Cargo and Passenger Flexibility for Foreign Air Carriers at Puerto Rican Airports

Puerto Rico asks that all foreign carriers with currently effective authority to serve the United States be expressly permitted by exemption to engage in the following cargo and passenger transfer activities at Puerto Rico international airports:

  1. transfer cargo and passengers from one of the carrier’s own aircraft to another provided both aircraft are operating to or from a point in the homeland;
  2. make changes of gauge, at Puerto Rico airports for cargo and passenger operations in the type or number of aircraft used to transport such traffic, provided that in the outbound direction the transportation beyond Puerto Rico is a continuation of the transportation from the carrier’s homeland to Puerto Rico, and in the inbound direction, the transportation is a continuation of the transportation from behind Puerto Rico;
  3. commingle traffic destined to, or originating in the United States (i.e., traffic moving in foreign air transportation with traffic not in foreign air transportation);
  4. discharge traffic at Puerto Rico airports for transfer to a US carrier for onward carriage to a final destination in the US or in a third country, and to uplift from Puerto Rico airports traffic transferred from a US carrier which was transported by that carrier to Puerto Rico from a point of origin elsewhere in the United States or in a third country;
  5. discharge traffic at Puerto Rico’s airports for transfer to another foreign carrier for onward carriage to a final destination in a third country, and to uplift from Puerto Rico airports traffic transferred from another foreign carrier which was transported by that carrier to Puerto Rico from a point of origin in a third country;
  6. store cargo in bonded warehouses in connection with any of the foregoing types of cargo transfer, consistent with all applicable regulations and requirements of the US Customs and Border Protection; and
  7. grant all foreign air carriers which currently hold, or which may subsequently receive effective Department authority, to serve any point or points in Puerto Rico, and to co-terminalize points in Puerto Rico with other US points for which they hold Department authority.

The Commonwealth appreciates that the Department’s grant of foreign air carrier transfer flexibility significantly enabled growth at Alaska’s international airports and believes the same would be true for its airports and economy. Puerto Rico seeks a similar ‘hand-up’ from the Federal Government – not a hand-out – for increased passenger and cargo flexibility.

Currently Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan can handle over twice its present passenger and cargo traffic. Puerto Rico’s two smaller international airports also have substantial underused capacity and great potential. Rafael Hernández International Airport in Aguadilla, a former US Air Force Strategic Air Command bomber base, has an 11,000-foot runway and full passenger, cargo, and maintenance facilities which are significantly underutilized. Aguadilla hosts substantial industrial and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities including e.g., LifeScan, HP, Honeywell, and Johnson & Johnson. Mercedita International Airport in Ponce has an 8000-foot runway and substantial facilities which are only utilized for a few commercial flights a day.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


 

June 10, 2019

Opposition of Luis Irizarry

The application filed by the Government should and must be filed by each individual Carrier which is interesting to provide this service showing cause and based on reciprocity, not by the government on behalf of the international airports. First, the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport is administered by a Private entity, not by the Government. The other airports are being privatized; therefore why the Government of Puerto Rico is involved at all? What guarantee the people of Puerto Rico will have that Puerto Rico will benefit? The privatization has hurt the economy of Puerto Rico and The Commonwealth admits as such in its petition dated June 7, 2019.

The government is providing a silver plate to the prospective buyer that maybe a foreign entity at the cost of the people of Puerto Rico. Request for Qualifications published by the Government state that the PRPA will be the organization that will established the fees to be charged at the privatized airports, in practice, this simply has not been the case at LMM, the private foreign Company controlling LMM has increased rates discriminately and result has been reduction of traffic and loss of market share to neighboring islands mainly USVI and Dominican Republic.

The action of the Government is a clear discrimination against the other airports that could provide the same service if the Government actually repaired and maintained them rather than abandoning these other airports for years but now blaming Hurricane Maria!

The government is trying to obtain a blanket ruling; “Order amending the Foreign Air Carrier Permit and Exemption authority of all foreign carriers permitted to serve the United States, to enable them to engage in the following passenger and cargo transfer activities at Puerto Rico’s international airports”.
How come a Government can request a change in an Air Carrier permits and exemption when those Air Carriers are not the ones requesting such amendments by showing cause and reciprocity?

The Government is trying to circumnavigate the already established agreements between signatory countries under the Chicago Convention for the freedoms of the air.

The Government does not have the authority nor the power to intervene in any service contract agreement between the foreign air carriers and privatized airports therefore LMM should be excluded and PSE and BQN, if approved should become null and void upon transfer of ownership to any future owner.

It is very clear that this application is and has been a copy paste of the same application filed many years ago by Alaska and the Government of Puerto Rico, which is in bankruptcy, paying a lot of money for a copy pasted document when they know that the geographical, economic and political conditions of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is totally different as Alaska.

By: Luis Irizarry





June 24, 2019

Support Letters

  • Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Ass'n
  • Pharmaceutical Industry Ass'n of Puerto Rico
  • Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce
  • Discover Puerto Rico

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


 

June 27, 2019

Answer of Air Line Pilots Association, International

Motion for Leave to File

ALPA opposes the grant of extraordinary relief, either in this application, or through any follow-on efforts to secure legislation that would permit cabotage. Puerto Rico itself acknowledges, substantially all of the “flexibility” proposed in the instant application is already provided and available to carriers from open skies countries. Open skies predominate the bilateral landscape in the Latin American, European, and North American regions targeted by Puerto Rico for transfer traffic. These agreements provide a fair and equal opportunity for all US airports to attract traffic, and there is no basis for singling out one territory state over another for preferential regulatory treatment. Whatever may be said of the prior exemptions granted to Alaska, Hawaii and other territories, those same circumstances do not apply here.

ALPA does not find it credible that “many carriers” do not understand the rights and flexibilities provided by open skies, or that an Order targeting Puerto Rico is necessary for its airports to effectively promote the stopover and interchange possibilities that exist. Open Skies agreements have been in existence for 27 years since the first agreement was signed with the Netherlands, and there no shortage of published Orders and studies on the topic. SJU is a major commercial service airport, and Puerto Rico has ability to conduct its own marketing campaign without a promotional Order from the Department.

ALPA believes that the true intent of the Application is to provide a stepping stone to cabotage. Several years after receiving its “flexibility” exemption, Alaska obtained legislation to allow cabotage operations by foreign air carriers exchanging traffic in Alaska to/from other points in the United States. Any relaxation of cabotage rules at Puerto Rico would be seriously detrimental to US carriers, airline workers, and US international aviation policy objectives.

Unlike other territories such as Guam and the Northern Mariana’s airports – which lie on the other side of the world, or Alaska and Hawaii, which are more distant form the mainland, Puerto Rico is only two hours flying time from Miami. ALPA does not believe that it would be appropriate to advantage one US gateway over another with extraordinary exemption flexibility or cabotage privileges.

ALPA understands Puerto Rico’s desire for additional service to help promote its economy and agrees that Puerto Rico is an attractive gateway for service to and from Latin America. Rather than seeking special relief for foreign air carriers, ALPA believes that Puerto Rico’s best prospect for rebuilding traffic and regaining its former hub status lies with US airlines that can provide international and domestic service without restriction.

Counsel: ALPA, Alexander Van der Bellen, 202-797-4075



July 3, 2019

Support Letters

  • Foundation for Puerto Rico
  • Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348




July 3, 2019

Motion of Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for an Extension of Time to File a Reply

Good cause exists as Puerto Rico requires additional time to collect information necessary to provide complete responses to the filed answers. First, ALPA’s answer was filed late on June 27, 2019 after close of the answer period. Second, the process of collecting information from government officials in Puerto Rico as well as from organizations that have submitted support letters needed to complete the reply is complicated, both by the different purported issues raised in the answers, the July Fourth holiday week and related summer vacations taken during the month of July. In addition, this brief extension will not prejudice any party. For these reasons, the Department should exercise its discretion to grant Puerto Rico’s motion for an extension of time to July 30, 2019 for filing its reply.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348

 

July 3, 2019

Answer of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO writes in opposition to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s request for an exemption from the prohibition against cabotage—a prohibition that is “narrowly interpreted” and “strictly enforced.” DOT should deny Puerto Rico’s Application for a number of reasons, but mainly because cabotage risks state-sponsored foreign carriers exploiting Puerto Rican workers by choking off competition from US-based carriers, and undermining good wages, benefits, and working conditions. In submitting these comments, AFA also associates ourselves with comments submitted by the Air Line Pilots Association, International.

The stringent prohibition against cabotage is sacrosanct in the U.S. aviation industry. It exists to ensure that the government protects U.S.-based aviation workers from unfair competition and to maintain the sanctity of U.S. aviation—which also supports our military. It enables good jobs to grow domestically while preventing the exploitation of U.S.-based workers from predatory state-sponsored airlines. These foreign carriers using a Flags of Convenience model think only of perceived profits at the expense of the working conditions, pay, and benefits of American workers—workers like members of our Union in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican workers must not suffer this same fate.

Counsel: AFA, John Morse, 202-434-1167



July 11, 2019

Answer of Air Line Pilots Association to Motion of Puerto Rico for an Extension of Time

The Air Line Pilots Association, International has no objection to Puerto Rico’s request for an extension of the reply period – provided that the new due date applies to all potentially interested parties who may have been similarly affected by the 4th of July holiday and summer vacation schedules. Accordingly, ALPA urges the Department to issue a procedural Notice setting July 30, 2019 as the Reply date for all interested parties in this proceeding.

Counsel: ALPA, Alexander Van der Bellen, 202-797-4075




July 12, 2019

Answer of L.A. Irizarry & Associates to Motion of Puerto Rico for an Extension of Time

L.A. Irizarry & Associates, Inc. on behalf of its representatives has no objection to Puerto Rico's request for an extension of the reply period - provided that the new due date applies to all potentially interested parties who may have been similarly affected by the 4th of July holiday and summer vacation schedules. Accordingly, L.A. Irizarry & Associates, Inc. urges the Department to issue a procedural Notice setting July 30, 2019 as the Reply date for all interested parties in this proceeding. In addition we would like to bring to the attention to the Department and all Parties involved that during the past few days and maybe weeks, legal actions, criminal charges, arrested, and other allegations, has been taken place by the United States Department of Justice against high ranking members of the Government of Puerto Rico. In addition, the investigations continue by the US District Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico against other high-ranking member and close people to the Governor of Puerto Rico and additional arrest and charges may be filed.

Our concern in this respect, is if the application of the Government of Puerto Rico is approved by the Department, what benefits will get the People of Puerto Rico if the moneys sent by the Government of the United States for the benefits of the Students, Medical Services, Housing and other public Services/benefits has been stolen by these high ranking members of the government. The President of the United States made many statements about the corrupted government of Puerto Rico, which with all these arrest and charges confirmed his statements.

Also, in the national press had come public a conversation between the close friends and high rank members of the government where the governor itself, make statements against women, homophobic, racism, and lack of respect to the people of Puerto Rico. All these actions are a clear indication of the lack of maturity, professionalism, respect and honesty not only of the government of Puerto Rico, but also the governor himself.

As the Consultant for several Air Carriers, respectfully requests the Department DENY the issuance of an Order amending the Foreign Air Carrier Permit and Exemption authority of all foreign carriers permitted to serve the United States, to enable them to engage in the following passenger and cargo transfer activities at the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico's international airports.

Counsel: Luis Irizarry


 

July 17, 2019

Comments of Luis Irizarry

These letter were submitted before the Federal Government (U.S.) filed criminal charges to the high anking members of this corrupted government. In addition, the Chat that came public few weeks ago, where the Governor itself make racist, homophobic, sexually, not to mentioned all other adjectives.

It is very concerns that the individuals, companies, government agencies that submits their letter of support did not removed their letters. Are these letters indicates the support to corruption? Are these letter indicates the support to homophobic? Are these letters indicates their support to criminality? Are these letters are in support to racism?

Or are these letters indicates that the submitted parties are totally out of the reality of the facts that happens in Puerto Rico? Normally, and I am not stating that these parties are part of it, but a normal person will think that they are part of the facts that is happening in Puerto Rico where the governor himself is part of this corruption.

What all of us need to think is: are these letter of support summited by the initiative of the submitters? Are these letter submitted were done base on the submitters reading the DOT Docket, which I don't think so? Are these support letters submitted per the request of the corrupted government, and it is fair to think that if they do not provide the support letters, they maybe fire from employment with the government, or contracts cancelled with the government as has been published in the local and international news.

The President of the United States himself clearly stated the "Government of Puerto Rico is a corrupted government." No doubt about that.


 

July 19, 2019

Answer of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO writes in opposition to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s request for an exemption from the prohibition against cabotage—a prohibition that is “narrowly interpreted” and “strictly enforced.” DOT should deny Puerto Rico’s Application for a number of reasons, but mainly because cabotage risks state-sponsored foreign carriers exploiting Puerto Rican workers by choking off competition from US-based carriers, and undermining good wages, benefits, and working conditions. In submitting these comments, AFA also associates ourselves with comments submitted by the Air Line Pilots Association, International.

The stringent prohibition against cabotage is sacrosanct in the US aviation industry. It exists to ensure that the government protects US-based aviation workers from unfair competition and to maintain the sanctity of US aviation—which also supports our military. It enables good jobs to grow domestically while preventing the exploitation of US-based workers from predatory state-sponsored airlines. These foreign carriers using a Flags of Convenience model think only of perceived profits at the expense of the working conditions, pay, and benefits of American workers—workers like members of our Union in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican workers must not suffer this same fate.

Counsel: John Morse, 202-434-1167


 

Served July 23, 2019

Notice Extending Reply Period

On July 3, the Commonwealth filed a motion under 14 CFR §302.9(a)(2) requesting an extension of time until July 30 to file a reply to ALPA. The Commonwealth contends that ALPA’s answer was filed after close of the answer period; that the process of collecting information from government officials and other interested parties in Puerto Rico complicates preparation of a reply for various reasons; and that this brief extension will not prejudice any party.

Answers to the motion of the Commonwealth were due by the close of business on July 15. ALPA and Mr. Irizarry filed in response, both indicating they had no objection to Puerto Rico’s request for an extension of the reply period provided that the new due date applies to all
potentially interested parties.

In the circumstances presented, we have decided to grant the extension requested by the Commonwealth. We find that the requested extension would not prejudice the interest of any party and would provide an opportunity for a more complete record in this proceeding.

Persons entitled to petition the Department for review of this action under the Department's regulations, 14 CFR §385.30, may file their petitions within seven days after the date of issuance of this document.

By: Brian Hedberg


 

July 24, 2019

Re: Apology of Luis Irizarry

I would like to apologized if any that I stated in my clients and my responses in this docket may offend any of you. I hope not. The feelings of the statements in the docket is what everyone in Puerto Rico believed. I hope that all of you know the issues that are happening here in the Island with the Governor and the Government.

Brian, Ben, Bob, and all, I do not want to lose the respect and maybe the friendship that we have because of what I included in the docket, but what we are going thru is not ease and the lack of respect from the Government to the People of Puerto Rico, the airlines, and all employees in the industry. Now they are leasing all the rest of the airports, 11 airports, to one private company. Again, please accept my apologizes and please understand that this no personal at all against
anyone.

Is the livelihood of all of us here in Puerto Rico to benefits the amigos del alma (friends of the soul) of the Government.

By: Luis Irizarry


 

July 30, 2019

Consolidated Reply of Delta Air Lines

As Puerto Rico’s own filing makes clear, the requested flexibility is already allowed for carriers from countries with which the US has open skies agreements. ALPA’s Answer correctly explains that the proliferation of open skies and other more liberalized agreements, from 12 open skies partners when Alaska received its authority to 126 today, undercuts the claimed need for exemption authority. Indeed, all of the examples that Puerto Rico lists in its “air miles table” are open skies jurisdictions or have liberalized air service agreements with the US that obviate the need for additional authority. Further, each of the listed points, save Buenos Aires, serves as a hub for airlines that rely on underlying open skies agreements for much of their respective economic authority granted by the Department.

Delta also urges the Department to maintain its precedent and deny the proposal to expand transfer flexibility to passenger operations. For example, in 2006, Guam applied for similar cargo transfer authority to what Alaska and Hawaii had previously been granted by the Department. However, the Department declined to extend similar authority to passenger transfers, nor did it agree with the Guam Legislature’s push to have the Department approve cabotage operations. If the facts presented by Guam, thousands of miles more remote from the US mainland than Puerto Rico, did not warrant “broad passenger transfer authority” then it would be inappropriate to award that same authority to Puerto Rico at this time. Puerto Rico is located much closer to the US and has the added benefit of numerous potential additional open skies points to fuel increased air traffic.

If the problem facing Puerto Rican air service development is a lack of awareness regarding open skies policy, there is nothing preventing the Puerto Rican Government from promoting these benefits with prospective air carriers directly. Puerto Rico acknowledges that these transfer authorities are already available under applicable air service agreements, but the problem is rather that “many carriers don’t know the transfer flexibility exists”. However, as numerous carriers already make use of open skies authority in both Latin America and Europe, the markets specifically cited by Puerto Rico, it seems the longer play is to seek cabotage authority. Delta urges the Department to exercise vigilance on this subject and to continue to require that all cabotage continue to be approved only in the context of emergency operations. Puerto Rico’s attempt to encourage additional air service is admirable, however, this application should not be an end-run on long-standing Departmental policy. For these reasons, Delta opposes Puerto Rico’s Application.

Counsel: Delta, Christopher Walker, 202-2160-0700




July 30, 2019

Answer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO respectfully opposes the application of the Government of Puerto Rico for expanded cargo and passenger flexibility at Puerto Rican international airports. We appreciate Puerto Rico’s goal of expanding cargo and passenger air traffic to the island, and further agree that significant investments are needed in Puerto Rico’s aviation and other transportation infrastructure. However, the relief sought by Puerto Rico with this application is both unnecessary and potentially harmful to US aviation and its workers, including those in Puerto Rico.

As ALPA also stated, TTD is concerned that this application is the first step toward weakening US cabotage laws. TTD has long fought against efforts to relax U.S. cabotage laws in aviation as well as the maritime and rail sectors. Any efforts to do so in Puerto Rico or elsewhere would have severe effects on the competitiveness of US air carriers and harm their workforces.

While TTD understands the difficult economic circumstances facing Puerto Rico, we do not believe that providing this exemption is the appropriate solution. We further warn against any efforts to relax US cabotage laws or undermine US airline competitiveness. We therefore urge the Department to reject this application.

By: Larry Willis




July 30, 2019

Answer of Jeronimo Lectora to ALPA, AFA and Luis Irizarry

we respectfully ask DOT to grant requested exemptions to Puerto Rico. Also, we respectfully request that ALPA and AFA, because of the information presented here, recognize that their concerns will not happen at all, that they withdraw their opposition to Puerto Rico request and support the island in its efforts to develop an air hub. By developing this hub transfer platform on the island, they will expand ALPA and AFA goals, influence, and membership.

Puerto Rico is a sleeping American logistics giant in the Caribbean region. Waiting to recover its historical role in international logistics, dating back to the times of Spain, in its efforts to conquer the Caribbean and the Americas region. Puerto Rico, due to its strategic geographic position, was the last resupplying point between Latin America and Europe and the first contact point coming back. That explains the large Spanish military infrastructure construction in old San Juan. Although Puerto Rico was the smallest of the colonies but was the logistical key for the area and needed protection. So, we have to unleash Puerto Rico hands and give the island the opportunity to fight for its economic survival and release its logistical possibilities, by granting DOT expanded air cargo and passenger transfer authorities to level the playing field with nearby foreign competitors.

For the record, I do not work or represent the government of Puerto Rico. I represent a group of export executives and trade associations, that as myself are concern with what is happening in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico economic stagnation. We wanted to provide a view that takes into consideration the big picture scenario. A review on how all the elements of the Caribbean logistic connectivity argument are interpreted and interreact to US & Puerto Rico economic and geopolitical best interests.

By: Jeronimo Lectora, 787-307-1892

 

July 30, 2019

Reply of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on Behalf of its International Airports

The public interest strongly supports grant of Puerto Rico’s Application. What is requested is a ‘hand-up’ as opposed to a ‘hand-out’ by the federal government. The Application is consistent with longstanding precedent in which the Department has granted industry-wide operating authority to encourage international service and promote economic development to isolated states and territories. This investment in Puerto Rico will also help counter the efforts of malign actors in the Caribbean such as Cuba and Venezuela which are supported by Russia, China, and others.

Notably, no US airline objected to the Application. These airlines likely recognize, as explained in the Application, that expanded air service between Europe and South/Central America with stops in Puerto Rico, actually will benefit them by creating interline opportunities. It bears emphasis that current foreign carrier flights which overfly the island do nothing for US airlines.

The support for this application is substantial, while the objections are few. The arguments raised are fundamentally wrong, not related to the Application and/or not supported by any evidence. Importantly, not one US airline objected to Puerto Rico’s Application. For these reasons Puerto Rico respectfully requests that the Department grant the Application for expanded passenger and cargo flexibility at its international airports.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348




July 31, 2019

Response of Luis Irizarry to Answer of Jeronimo Lectora

Looks like you had been out of Puerto Rico for the last few months, and don’t know what is happening here. Today another group has been arrested and more are coming. Today for fraud to the Medicare and Social Security.

Mr. Lectora, I am not politically related to any party. I am not politically motivated, looks like you do not know me at all. As a matter of fact, after you contacted me by phone requesting that I reconsider my clients and my position with respect to our opposition, and to withdraw it, I understood who you are and what are you looking for. Sir, The Government of Puerto Rico was the one who requested an extension of time to answer our, ALPA, AFA and my oppositions, the one that submits an answer is you, and you said that; “For the record, I do not work or represent the government of Puerto Rico.” This is very confusing to all of us, as is the same way the Government of Puerto Rico is dealing with the “PEOPLE” here, lying, misrepresenting the truth, and getting advantage of the poor and the people in needs. Puerto Rico has been the “hazme reir” of the hole world, thanks to the government.

About the privatizing all regional airports, this government since they took power, they had been selling all the People properties, yes, people properties, because all these airports belong to the People of Puerto Rico, as well as the schools, which has been sold. It is clear that your backup every action that the government has been taken, it is obvious that you are part of this corrupted government. You do not represent the real interest of the People of Puerto Rico, at least not mine.

By: Luis Irizarry


 

August 1, 2019

Reply of Jeronimo Lectora to Response of Luis Irizarry

I have been studying these topics for years, I am not improvising here. In today's interconnected world, one piece of the international geopolitics puzzle is no longer an isolated element. All of them resonate and affect each other. You do not have to work for the government of Puerto Rico to try to do the best for the island and the nation as a private American citizen. In these difficult times for Puerto Rico, we need as responsible adults to forward workable thoughtful solutions, not insults.

By: Jeronimo Lectora


 

August 8, 2019

Comments of Luis Irizarry

Mr. Lectora:

Your comment below:

"You do not have to work for the government of Puerto Rico to try to do the best for the island and  the nation as a private American citizen. In these difficult times for Puerto Rico, we need as responsible adults  to forward workable thoughtful solutions, not insults." I do not work nor ever want to work for this corrupt government, do you?

Violating our Constitution. This is the only place in the world that had 3 or maybe 4 governors in less than a month. What kind of stability, security, the government can provide to investors or companies that may want to come here? None.

I am not insulting you nor anyone but it is clear the ones that insult us, our intelligence, is the government of Puerto Rico,  and yourself who are insulting me and the ones that want to support this application. 

Mr. Lectora, it will be good to see what is going to happen if the Department approved the application, how many foreign carriers are you going to bring to Puerto Rico? You said that had studied for many years this issue, how many carriers did you brought to Puerto Rico to do business during those years? 

What solutions did you provided to the Government to solved the Puerto Rico economic conditions? 

Mr. Lectora, who in fact insulted me was you, when in your phone call to my office, you asked me to talked to my clients to  withdraw our opposition, that was an insult and lack of respect to me and my clients. I am a very ethic person, very responsible to my clients, very respectfully to the laws and more I do not sell myself for peanuts, high moral character.

Mr. Lactora, I provide services to over 35 companies, Local Air Carriers, Foreign Air Carriers, Repair Stations, Flight Schools, Municipalities, teaches in one of the highest higher education university. I do bring business to Puerto Rico, I do create jobs,  I do resolved problems to my Island.

By: Luis Irizarry




August 8, 2019

Motion of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for Leave to File and Supplemental Reply

Delta and the AFL-CIO filed their responses exceptionally late, without explanation or leave to file, and without Puerto Rico’s knowledge that such documents would be filed. Accordingly, should the Department accept these two filings for inclusion in the record, Puerto Rico submits good cause exists for Puerto Rico to file this Supplemental Reply to address these unauthorized responses to its Application.

Nothing in the two unauthorized filings offer any basis for approval of Puerto Rico’s request for granting foreign carriers passenger and cargo transfer flexibility at its international airports – action which is strongly in the public interest. The requested order will provide Puerto Rico significant opportunities as well as benefit the entire United States and provide US air carriers with additional interline traffic opportunities. Importantly, grant of this application will bolster US presence and influence in the Caribbean and Latin America and counteract the intrusion of nations, such as Venezuela, Cuba, and China, with interests adverse to the United States in the region.

Puerto Rico’s Application clearly is not seeking an exemption to cabotage restrictions: “We emphasize that grant of the Application will not enable any foreign carrier to engage in cabotage operations of any kind.” Both Delta and the AFL-CIO wrongly project the Application is a step towards a cabotage exemption. Yet neither Delta nor the AFL-CIO provide any evidence in support of their incorrect argument. The Department has no statutory authority to grant cabotage. Since Puerto Rico does not seek an exemption authorizing cabotage, the Department should disregard the Delta and AFL-CIO objections.

The requested order will help Puerto Rico promote, market and take advantage of its unique geographic location and available capacity to serve as a US cargo and passenger hub in the Caribbean for traffic moving between Europe and Latin American - traffic now being diverted to other countries. Moreover, the requested exemption will help Puerto Rico strengthen its position in the Caribbean to counter extensive foreign efforts to capture passenger and cargo market share including between Europe and Central and South America. Importantly through this success, Puerto Rico will generate new interline traffic for US carriers, moving between Puerto Rico and the continental United States as well as to Latin America and Europe.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


 

August 13, 2019

Informative Motion of Luis Irizarry Including the List of the Carriers That Our Company Represent and Other Important Information

L.A. Irizarry & Associates, Inc. notify the Department a list of the Air Carriers represented by our office that will be affected with the application of the Government of Puerto Rico for the Expanded Cargo and Passengers Flexibility at Puerto Rican International Airports. This is to clarify that L.A. Irizarry & Associates, Inc. is not appearance on our own behalf, but in fact on behalf of our clients.

Also, we are including several news reports which indicates the actions taken by several countries related to the aviation, tourism and economic impact to those countries. The same actions should be taken by the Government of Puerto Rico to increase its traffic of cargo and passengers. Also, will be good to know if the proper agencies. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, participated in these meetings and conferences. Instead of requesting from the Department to grant exemption authority to all foreign air carriers authorized to serve the United States to enable expanded cargo and passenger transfer activities at Puerto Rican International airports. What the Government of Puerto Rico should do is be part of the development and eliminate the impediments to all these foreign carriers that want to operate into Puerto Rico Airports. It takes more than year to obtain a facility contract with the PRPA, the fees in the privatized airport increase over 200%. In the below press reports it is clear that most, if not all the Caribbean Countries are desired and want to increase their traffic. We, as representing one of our clients obtained the attached agreement (exhibit 1) and permits with the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority. The same can be done for Puerto Rico, if the proper local authorities, PRPA and PRTC, do what they have to do. The common responses to those carriers that want to operate into Puerto Rico is "no", "we do not have facilities", "it is very expensive", or other requests, as we all know, to benefits a little group of people related to this government.

By: Luis Irizarry


 

August 16, 2019

Motion for Leave to File and Consolidated Surreply of the Air Line Pilots Association, International

Puerto Rico’s request for extraordinary exemption relief is highly controversial and is uniformly opposed by every US labor organization and every US air carrier commenting in this proceeding.

Puerto Rico wrongly asserts that “no US airline objected to the Application.” Those claims were false at the time they were made, and are even more untrue today now that Delta Air Lines has registered its objection on the record. Mr. Luis Irizarry has submitted multiple pleadings in this docket on behalf of his clients opposing the application and has recently submitted an “Informative Motion” identifying them. They include more than a dozen small US carriers that operate from Puerto Rico to the US mainland and to points throughout the Caribbean. The views of local constituents are important, especially as such smaller US carriers would be particularly vulnerable to larger foreign carriers usurping cabotage privileges that are reserved by statue to US airlines.

Achieving near-global deregulation of the United States’ international aviation bilateral agreements was an enormous undertaking by the Departments of Transportation and State. The Department should not devalue those accomplishments by granting this superfluous and unnecessary exemption request. Millions of dollars of taxpayer money were spent to negotiate these agreements, and skeptical governments (in close consultation with their national carriers) needed to be painstaking convinced. It strains credulity to presume that the sophisticated longhaul international operators, targeted by Puerto Rico’s application, lack an understanding of the rights and benefits available to them under open skies. To the extent that any such carriers exist - which is doubtful - the Department’s dismissal Order in this proceeding can provide confirmation of the open skies privileges that currently exist.

It would not be good government or a wise expenditure of taxpayer funds to issue unnecessary and superfluous exemption Orders to assist the promotional activities of individual communities. If it does, there will be no end to it. Suppose Peoria is desirous of nonstop service to Los Angeles. The Department would be ill-advised to issue exemption relief to all US air carriers to serve the Peoria-LAX route on the off chance that any airline did not understand that the market has been deregulated since 1978.

Puerto Rico’s exemption request is an unnecessary solution in search of a nonexistent problem. Grant of this request is superfluous to the flexibility that already exists under open skies, and can only lead to undesirable and unintended consequences as part of a campaign to obtain cabotage relief.

Counsel: ALPA, Sascha Van der Bellen, 202-797-4075


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