Fly America Act – Exceptions you need to know
Ronald Sol, Compliance Analyst, Engineering Research Administration, Stanford University provides a brief overview of exceptions to the GSA procurement policy entitled the “Fly America Act”
What is the “Fly America Act” you say…
Federal travelers are required by 49 U.S.C. 40118, commonly referred to as the “Fly America Act,” to use United States air carrier service for all air travel and cargo transportation services funded by the United States Government. One exception to this requirement is transportation provided under a bilateral or multilateral air transport agreement, to which the United States Government and the government of a foreign country are parties, and which the Department of Transportation has determined meets the requirements of the Fly America Act.
The United States Government has entered into several air transport agreements that allow federal funded transportation services for travel and cargo movements to use foreign air carriers under certain circumstances.
There are currently four bilateral/multilateral “Open Skies Agreements” (U.S. Government Procured Transportation) in effect:
United States (US) Government and the European Union (EU) effective April 30, 2007 US-EU Amendment effective June 24, 2010, and US-EU Amendment effective June 21, 2011
United States (US) and Australia effective October 1, 2008
United States (US) and Switzerland effective October 1, 2008
United States (US) and Japan effective October 1, 2011
Information on the four Open Skies Air Transportation Agreements (U.S. Government Procured Transportation) and other specific country agreements may be accessed via the Department of State’s website.
The rights given to airlines concerning U.S Government procured transportation under the Open Skies Agreement do not apply to transportation obtained or funded by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department.
Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Bulletin 11-02 and Bulletin 12-04 provides additional information and guidance on Open Skies agreements.
U.S. General Services Administration