A U.S. congressman is hoping to increase air travel options by changing the caps on foreign ownership in U.S. air carriers. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Virginia), who is a member of the House Travel and Tourism Caucus, introduced a bill, the Free to Fly Act (H.R.5000), which would reduce mandatory U.S. ownership requirement for U.S. air carriers from 75 percent to 51 percent. The bill further would alter the requirements of the makeup of an air carrier board from two-thirds U.S. citizens to 51 percent.
Brat called the foreign ownership requirements an outdated relic from the Great Depression and said, “The elimination of this outdated restriction is long overdue. As an economist, I understand that hindering investment hurts American businesses, workers, and consumers."
The bill was introduced with the backing of a number of airline passenger advocacy groups such as Flyers Rights, as well as travel groups such as the U.S. Travel Association. In 2007, the FAA revoked the Part 135 certificate of AMI Jet Charter dba TAG Aviation USA because Swiss-based TAG owned 49 percent of AMI.