Norway, Iceland added to US-EU open skies talks

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Iceland and Norway have joined second stage open skies negotiations between the US and Europe.

Neither Norway nor Iceland are members of the European Union but EU transport ministers have endorsed their inclusion in the negotiations, and both countries participated in the fourth round of second stage last week in Washington, European Commission air transport directorate Daniel Calleja said to reporters on 9 October.

Their accession in the talks will be formalised in coming weeks, he adds.

Iceland and Norway's participation brings to 29 the number of nations negotiating open skies with the US. Negotiators are tasked with sorting through several thorny issues including cabotage, foreign ownership and the environment.

A fifth round of open skies meetings will occur in Brussels on 9 November.

In addition to growing the number of open skies participants, EU transport ministers have also mandated the EU to negotiate an agreement with the US to ensure full interoperability between the US FAA's next generation air traffic control system (NextGen) and Single European Sky (SESAR), Calleja says.