Government fines airline for … cabotage violations?

True story: The Transportation Department today fined President Air Charter, a Canadian air taxi operator, $20,000. Why? It had apparently violated cabotage laws.

Here’s the consent order (PDF).

If you said cabo…what you’re not alone. Cabotage is an antiquated rule governing the transport of passengers between two points in the same country by an aircraft registered in another country.

Too bad the rule exists, because if foreign carriers were allowed to operate in the U.S., it would improve service dramatically. Can you imagine flying transcontinental on Singapore Air? I argued for cabotage laws to be eliminated in the past — here’s a 2002 op-ed on the subject — but the subject is a non-starter in Congress, unfortunately.
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