Transportation Secretary Suspends Air Service Between U.S. and Venezuela

The order took immediate effect and is in place until a further order from DOT.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao issued an order May 15 suspending air service between the United States and Venezuela, noting that the move has the approval of the secretary of State and was done in coordination with the acting secretary of Homeland Security. The order, which took immediate effect and is in place until a further order from DOT, says 49 U.S.C. § 44907(e) allows for suspending air service between the United States and a foreign airport if it is determined that "a condition exists that threatens the safety or security of passengers, aircraft, or crew traveling to or from" the airport and "the public interest requires an immediate suspension of transportation between the United States and that airport."

The acting secretary of Homeland Security requested the action based on his assessment of current security conditions in Venezuela, DOT reported.

The suspension order is in addition to the FAA's Notice to Airmen issued May 1 that prohibits most U.S.-certified aircraft operators and pilots from flying below 26,000 feet over the territory of Venezuela.

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