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Asst. Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs


The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs carries a broad portfolio of responsibilities covering domestic and international aviation, international trade, and a range of other international cooperation and facilitation issues.

The Office of Aviation and International Affairs includes two principal jurisdictions: domestic and international aviation. The Office contributes directly to accomplishing DOT's strategic goal of economic growth and trade, and advances America's economic growth and competitiveness domestically and internationally through efficient and flexible transportation. The Office develops and coordinates Departmental policies in a wide spectrum of domestic and international aviation issues.


The Office of Aviation and International Affairs has three primary goals:

  • Liberalizing international air services by seeking market liberalization;
  • Ensuring the benefits of a deregulated, competitive domestic airline industry; and
  • Developing policies to improve air service and/or access to the commercial aviation system for small and rural communities.

The Office of Aviation and International Affairs, a branch of the Office of the Secretary, was formally chartered in 1993, when the Department of Transportation separated aviation and international trade from other transportation policy issues.

How We Are Organized

As a policy advisor to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Aviation works in close coordination with the Deputy Secretary, the Undersecretary for Policy, General Counsel, secretarial officers, heads of operating administrations, and the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.

In particular, the Office works collaboratively on aviation matters with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), an operating administration within the Department. In contrast to the Office’s primary role on aviation economic matters, the FAA is broadly responsible for the safety of aircraft and flight operations, including certification of aircraft, pilots, instructors and flight crews; air traffic control; designation of airspace; and Federal assistance to airports. The Office also works closely with the Office of General Counsel, which is broadly responsible for aviation consumer protection matters.

The Assistant Secretary for Aviation is responsible to the Secretary for analysis, development, articulation, and review of policies and plans for economic issues in domestic and international transportation. The Assistant Secretary exercises executive direction over the following offices:

What We Do

Among other functions, we:

  • Provide Departmental leadership for and develops, coordinates, and carries out public policy related to the airline industry.
  • Work with other federal agencies on initiatives related to aviation and international transportation.
  • Formulate, coordinate, and carry out departmental international civil aviation transportation policy, and works with the Department of State in negotiating bilateral and multilateral international aviation matters.
  • Administer the laws and regulations governing U. S. and foreign carrier economic authority to engage in air transportation. Renders decisions in all aviation economic regulatory matters that are instituted by the Department.
  • Conduct special projects and analyses as requested by the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, or Undersecretary for Policy.
  • Administer regulatory programs for small community transportation, including the Essential Air Service Program and the Small Community Air Service Development Pilot Program.
  • Develop, coordinate, and carry out public policy and regulatory actions with respect to the establishment of mail rates within Alaska and in international market.
  • Develop, coordinate, and carry out public policy and certain regulatory actions with respect to access at U.S. airports.