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ALTA Commends Central America Presidents on Integrated Advancement Leadership Role

United Regulatory Body and Domestic Central American Market to Facilitate Air Travel

Miami - January 15, 2009 - ALTA, the Latin America and Caribbean Air Transport Association, commends the Central American Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua on their leadership role and integrated advances in the area of facilitating air travel, including the creation of a united regulatory body and domestic Central American market.

"We commend Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua for their leadership role in creating an integrated regulatory body that will lead to a more efficient and safe aviation industry, as well as a domestic Central American market that will remove the barriers to travel for passengers and create the first truly intra-Latin American market," said ALTA's Executive Director Alex de Gunten.

ALTA emphasizes that in the adoption of the Agreement of Facilitation of Aerial Transport in Central America, known as the CA-4, on the part of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, in which were already ratified by the legislative assemblies of those countries and given to the General Secretary of SICA (System of Integration of Central America), that "without a doubt, the CA-4 will facilitate the transport of people between the participating countries, because it reduces procedures and optimizes travel time for passengers. It also allows an important facilitation of tourism within the Central American region," says de Gunten.

According to de Gunten, another important aspect "is that during the Summit of Presidents of Central America on December 5, 2008, the leaders recognized the necessity to put forth a request for deregulation and facilitation of the certification of commercial air flights in order to aid in the process of regional air procedures and authorizations, and to issue a common certificate for these operations."

"We hope that the respective organizations and institutions realize the dynamics necessary to adapt the norms and procedures that are required for this purpose of facilitating air operators. As an organization constituting a forum of airlines representing over 30 airlines, ALTA is at the ready to assist and support initiatives that lead to this end," adds de Gunten.  "We look forward to other countries in the region following the lead of the CA-4."