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Cliffs Notes, Anyone?

Last month, John Bruton, the European Union's ambassador to the United States, spoke at the German Marshall Fund to mark the availability of a new book on Open Skies. During his speech, Bruton laid out the now-familiar European perspective: the U.S. should allow more foreign ownership of its domestic carriers and give up its restrictions against non-U.S. airlines operating on domestic U.S. routes.
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"The Air Transport Agreement between Europe and the United States to move towards liberalization of the aviation market was a milestone which received enormous visibility," according to Bruton's prepared remarks, posted to the E.U. Delegation to the United States Web site. "However, without wishing to take too much of the shine off the first stage agreement, it is no secret that it still falls far short of European expectations and--much more importantly--the needs of the sector, its users and its employees. We have entered the second stage negotiations with a simple but clear mandate: complete the task of liberalisation."

The new book is called "Beyond Open Skies: A New Regime for International Aviation," written by Brian Havel (Professor of Law, Associate Dean, Director of the International Aviation Law Institute, and Director of the International and Comparative Law Program at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago) and will be available in late April. Bruton said it "analyzes the results of the first stage EU-US agreement with a critical assessment of the regulatory framework that obstructs the sector from serving the public and delivering benefits to employees and investors alike. The book also reviews the bilateral and multilateral path of airline liberalization and proposes a way forward for EU-US talks towards one true transatlantic market."

The publisher, Kluwer Law International, said, "This timely book presents the fresh thinking needed on an appropriate legal and policy architecture to govern the industry in the decades ahead. Recognizing that the current global air transport regulatory system is inadequate to the commercial demands of the modern industry, the author shows clearly that the imperatives for its reform transcend domestic debates about incremental public intervention in the business of providing air transport." The book discusses cabotage, ownership and citizenship requirements, pricing regimes, competition, labor laws and other various aspects of the complex topic.

I have yet to hear back on my request for a press review copy of the potentially fascinating read, but since it weighs in at 748 pages, I must admit I am wondering if there will be an abridged version available to those of us with short attention spans. And at $205 (yes, $205, through Kluwer Law International and Amazon.com, I can't quite justify the purchase on my corporate card. If anyone can, I'll buy us drinks while you fill me in.)

Havel previously published "In Search of Open Skies: Law and Policy for a New Era in International Aviation," and "The Approach of Re-Regulation: The Airline Industry After September 11, 2001."