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            january 19, 2020

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US President to discuss aging airports, traffic control overhaul with aviation experts


US aviation executives will discuss the industry's aging airports and air traffic control reform at an upcoming meet with President Donald Trump.
The meeting comes at a time of heightened tension within the industry after US carriers raised concerns about ongoing trade agreements with foreign carriers. Mr Trump has vowed to renegotiate or scrap trade deals he sees as unfair between the US and other countries.
A source told Reuters the airlines expect last month's executive order barring travel from seven Muslim-majority countries may come up and if so, the carriers in attendance would stress the need for better coordination and planning ahead of announcing such an order instead of having it sprung on them.
Invitees to the event include executives from the nation's largest airlines and cargo carriers, as well as directors for several US airports, the sources said.
Heads of the three largest US passenger carriers - American Airlines Group, United Continental Holdings and Delta Air Lines ?have sought to pressure the new administration into denouncing US Open Skies agreements with the three major Middle Eastern carriers, which they accuse of having been unfairly subsidised by their governments.
The three airlines, Qatar, Etihad and Emirates, have denied these claims.
The Trump administration has not yet addressed the US carriers' competition concerns.
"The president wants to talk about economic growth, job creation," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said at a White House press briefing.
Smaller US carriers JetBlue Airways Corp, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc and Hawaiian Holdings Inc, as well as the air cargo unit of FedEx Corp, have formally banded together behind the Gulf carriers, against their larger competitors.

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