Poliquin, Pingree want to let Cuba-bound planes refuel in Maine
By Darren Fishell, BDN Staff
Posted April 27, 2016, at 4:19 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s U.S. Reps. Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree
have introduced a bill in Congress to allow planes bound for Cuba to
stop and refuel at U.S. airports, such as Bangor International Airport.
In a joint statement, Maine’s two U.S. representatives said Bangor’s
airport loses out on refueling and restocking an estimated 200 flights
originating from other countries and bound for Cuba each year.
“Thousands of tourists are passing over the United States on their way
to Cuba every day, and if they have to stop somewhere, why not let it be
Bangor?” Pingree said in a news release.
Both lawmakers called the policy preventing such “technical stops” at
U.S. airports “outdated.” Poliquin said that flights that might
otherwise choose to stop in Bangor or other East Coast airports are
landing instead at Canadian airports.
“In many cases, airlines would prefer to use American airports for these
stops, but are restricted because of current rules,” Poliquin said.
In their statement, they added that airlines tend to prefer using the
same airport for their technical stops and many have moved those stops
to airports in Canada.
The representatives said the bill would not make any change to the
status of the trade embargo with Cuba and would not allow passengers
destined for Cuba to clear immigration or legally depart from the U.S.
The bill on Wednesday was given the number H.R. 5071.
Source: Poliquin, Pingree want to let Cuba-bound planes refuel in Maine
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