As you know, I have had many bilateral and group consultations, and I made five formal reports to this House in 1994. In the middle of the last meeting, a consensus was reached that the CD is the appropriate forum for negotiating a treaty on this subject. At the end of the September session, although no agreement was reached on the mandate of an ad hoc committee, a consensus was reached on the principle of setting up an ad hoc committee on this issue as soon as a mandate had been agreed. At the time, the CD asked me to continue consultations on an appropriate mandate for an ad hoc committee, so that this special committee could be convened as soon as possible. An agreement on a transitional period was reached in 2005. From November 2006 until April 2008, the agreement phased out restrictions on freight services. For passenger transport, it reduced stopover requirements and allowed Irish airlines to serve three other U.S. destinations. In addition, it was agreed that at the end of this period, there will be no restrictions on scheduled services between one airport in one country and an airport in the other. This agreement follows a more comprehensive pre-authorization agreement between the United States and Ireland. “As a result of this agreement, not only will it be easier than ever to travel to the United States, but it will also help increase passenger numbers and support jobs at Irish airports, as well as support important routes between Ireland and the United States. Prior to 2008, Shannon was a mandatory stopover for transatlantic flights. The air services agreement between the United States and Ireland meant that at least 50% of transatlantic flights departed either to Shannon or in transit.
Until 2008, this had been abolished with the entry into force of the new open skies policy. In 2007, the European Union and the United States announced that an agreement had been reached on an open-air aviation policy (the U.S. Open Skies Agreement). The agreement came into force on March 30, 2008 and led to the total abolition of the Shannon Stopover, which would have been done under the 2005 agreement.