The Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l calls on Congress to take a strong stand for the U.S. airline industry and tens of thousands of airline industry employees by overturning a harmful U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the United Arab Emirates.

If Congress doesn’t act, U.S. taxpayer and CBP resources will hand Etihad Airways, a state-backed foreign airline, a competitive advantage over U.S. airlines, while at the same time making it more difficult for U.S. airlines’ own passengers to clear customs.

ALPA strongly opposes the Abu Dhabi CBP site because:

  • No U.S. carrier currently flies between Abu Dhabi and the United States, so only Etihad Airways would benefit.
  • Long customs lines at airports are already hurting U.S. airlines.
  • Passengers from Asia or Europe could opt to fly Etihad Airways to avoid long customs lines at U.S. airports, instead of booking on U.S. airlines.

ALPA supports CBP preclearance sites, but only when they benefit the U.S. economy and U.S. workers. A CBP facility at Abu Dhabi does not pass this test. ALPA calls on:

  • DHS to abandon plans to open a preclearance facility in the UAE, or in any country where U.S. carriers do not do a majority of the flying.
  • Congress to prevent DHS from using U.S. taxpayer money to provide an advantage to non-U.S. airlines or accepting independent third-party funding or reimbursement of facilities.
  • U.S. government leaders to appropriately staff domestic customs and immigration operations to reduce passenger wait times.
  • U.S. government leaders to adopt a transportation policy that advances the U.S. airline industry as many foreign governments back their own.

Tell Congress you oppose the Abu Dhabi site

Latest News

ALPA testifies before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade in Adamant Opposition to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport. (July 10, 2013) Read more...

News Stories

A4A Supports Meehan Amendment Requiring Competitive Impact Review of CBP Preclearance Facility Agreements (iStockAnalyst)

Senators Raise Concerns About Abu Dhabi Preclearance Center (Aero News Network)

U.S. airlines trade group blasts customs agency on Abu Dhabi Airport program (Skift)

Congress questions Abu Dhabi CBP post (Government Security News)

A4A Launches "Draw the Line Here" Campaign Calling on DHS to Drop Plan for Customs Preclearance Facility in Abu Dhabi (iStockAnalyst)

Airlines Urge Feds to Drop Abu Dhabi Preclearance (Travel Agent Central)

Airlines for America Calls on U.S. to Drop Plan for Abu Dhabi Customs Pre-Clearance (Travel Pulse)

ALPA Blasts Abu Dhabi Customs Preclearance Proposal (Aero News Network)

Airlines, Business Groups Aim to Block U.S. Customs Facilities in Foreign Airports (Roll Call)

White Paper
Pilot Partisan blog
Call to Action

Congressional Testimony

ALPA to Congress: Support U.S. Aviation Industry; Prohibit Funding for Abu Dhabi Preclearance Facility, July 10, 2013


Joint Op-Ed: DHS shouldn’t aid foreign over US airlines, April 13, 2013

Congressional Support

Senators speak out on Abu Dhabi pre-clearance facility, May 9, 2013

Over 150 Members write Administration on CBP Pre-Clearance Site in Abu Dhabi, April 23, 2013

Press Releases

ALPA Applauds Passage of Meehan Amendment to Halt Taxpayer Funding of Preclearance Facility in Abu Dhabi, June 6, 2013

Delta MEC Opposes Plan for Abu Dhabi Preclearance Facility, May 6, 2013

ALPA Hails House Proposal to Prevent Abu Dhabi Customs Preclearance Facility, May 15, 2013

ALPA Calls for Grounding of Abu Dhabi Preclearance Facility, April 16, 2013

ALPA Blasts Abu Dhabi Customs Preclearance Proposal, April 4, 2013

Airlines for America (A4A), Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l Urge Congress to Focus Customs and Immigration Resources on U.S. Gateways , July 16, 2012