On June 24, Estonian EU Commissioner Kallas and U.S. Secretary of Transportation LaHood will sign the new U.S.-EU Civil Aviation Agreement. This accord extends indefinitely the terms of the U.S.-EU “Open Skies” agreement of 2007 and deepens our cooperation in aviation security, safety, competition, and ease of travel.
For American and EU travellers this will mean more, better, and less expensive means of crossing the Atlantic. It is impossible to overstate the importance of travel options, its safety, and its affordability in today’s fast moving and cost conscious world. As important as air travel is, however, the Icelandic ash cloud over large parts of Europe this spring was a stark reminder of the importance of a diversified regional and global transportation network.
For Estonia, the lack of a high speed road and rail network, and fewer than desired air links connecting it to the rest of the EU, are a challenge that will look for solutions as our economies increase their pace of recovery. Better transportation options will ease the path for new investments in Estonia and business opportunities for American entrepreneurs. Solutions will unfortunately be expensive, but “if you build them, they will come.”