The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico welcomed the decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation to tentatively grant Puerto Rico’s request to allow foreign air carriers to engage in expanded cargo and passenger transfer operations at Puerto Rico international airports.
“Removing regulatory burden that inhibits cargo commerce between Puerto Rico, the mainland, and international markets, and allowing foreign civil aircraft to stop in Puerto Rico and exchange cargo with other air carriers will help to establish Puerto Rico as a regional logistics hub for air cargo,” the U.S.-appointed body said.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation issuedthe first notice in favor of granting Puerto Rico a waiver to allow foreign airlines to perform certain cargo and passenger transfer services at international airports on the island.
If approved as final, the waiver allowing foreign air carriers authorized to serve the U.S. to enable expanded cargo and passenger transfer activities would be in effect for two years.
“Air access to Puerto Rico is crucially important for the people and businesses of Puerto Rico. This support by the federal government will help Puerto Rico recover and build a foundation for sustainable economic growth,” the entity said.
Puerto Rico’s location is ideal for an international air cargo hub, but the island has been unable to fully utilize its geographic location because most cargo flights fly over the Commonwealth.
Airlines currently operate hundreds of daily flights between Europe and Central and South America.
Puerto Rico could potentially capture air traffic currently flowing through Central and South America, creating thousands of new jobs and supporting the economy not only in the San Juan metro area, but also the northwestern region through the Aguadilla airport.