Transportation policy issues played an important role in the
recent United States presidential election. Amongst the often
contentious and vitriolic debate, improving and modernising the
transportation infrastructure of the United States was one area
upon which the candidates, and most Americans, agreed.
Newly sworn-in President Donald Trump has called for a
considerable transportation infrastructure initiative, indicating a
particular interest in improving aviation infrastructure. While
airport and air traffic control modernisation may be the early
aviation focus of the Trump Administration, there are several other
aviation issues which will need to be addressed. President Trump
signalled the importance he places on transportation issues by
naming the experienced Elaine Chao as his nominee for Secretary of
Transportation. Ms Chao served as head of the Federal Maritime
Commission under President Ronald Reagan, as a deputy
transportation secretary under President George H. W. Bush and as
Secretary of Labour under President George W. Bush. Ms Chao is also
married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (a Republican
Senator from Kentucky). Ms Chao's experience and familiarity
with Capitol Hill may serve to smooth the inevitably difficult
congressional transportation budget negotiations.
For the time being, it appears that Michael Huerta will continue
in his role as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
("FAA") and serve out his five-year term which is due to
expire in January 2018. This will provide some consistency at a
time when the FAA is undertaking many important initiatives,
including the implementation and enforcement of new rules applying
to the operation of unmanned aircraft systems.
It is worth recalling that President Trump has personal
experience of the airline business; through his ownership of the
Trump Shuttle some years ago. Looking ahead, there are several
areas in which the Trump Administration may have a significant
impact on aviation issues.
It is common practice for traders, usually when they are the sellers of the goods and the charterers of a vessel, to instruct the carrier to discharge cargoes without production of the original bills of lading and to agree to indemnify the carrier against the consequences of doing so.
The London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) has published a set of new terms, the LMAA Terms 2017, which are due to come into effect for appointments on or after 1 May 2017. They seek to improve the time and cost-efficiency of the LMAA, while maintaining its ‘light touch' approach.
In aviation, commercial relationships regularly have an international aspect: parties to a contract are often based in different countries, with "performance" of the contract possibly taking place in more than one country (e.g. fuelling and maintenance contracts and other contracts for the supply of goods and services).
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