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Letter to Rep. Don Young on DOT's Air-Carrier-Citizenship Review Process (redacted)

In response to a request from Rep. Don Young, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, we examined how the Department determines an air carrier’s citizenship following a substantial change in ownership, management, or operations. We found the Department’s informal process is not well-suited to complex, contentious, and controversial cases, such as its DHL Airways review, and suggested it allow greater transparency and public participation. We also suggested the Department publicly articulate its criteria for ascertaining air carriers’ citizenship and publicly assess how its criteria apply to DHL Airways. The Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs has requested public comments by March 19 on our response to Chairman Young. The Department also intends to address its rules and process for handling air-carrier citizenship reviews.

On March 5, 2003, the Department requested comments on our response and entered a redacted version of our letter, without information identified as business confidential, in the public docket. (Docket No. 13089).

On March 10, 2003, DHL Airways requested that the Department immediately release the complete, unredacted letter and on March 12, 2003, the Department entered this version into the public docket. We are now posting the full text on our website, as well.

For more information about the Department’s Docket Management System or Docket No. 13089, you may visit

Note: this is the redacted letter to Representative Young. We have also released a complete version of the letter.