4 Aug 2006

US tells American Samoa to stay within law in row with Hawaiian Air

2:18 pm on 4 August 2006

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has advised the American Samoa Department of Port Administration that it will be a violation of federal laws, if the territory implements the Governor's executive order barring Hawaiian Airlines from operating the Honolulu-Pago Pago route.

The FAA says it is concerned that the governor's action, if implemented, would violate the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, and be in noncompliance with federal grant agreement obligations.

It says it expects the territory's government to remain in compliance with federal law and to honour grant agreements.

It warns that failure to comply with those obligations could jeopardise several federal grants for airport infrastructure.

The governor moved against Hawaiian Air after accusing the airline of charging induly high fares and of its staff discriminating against Samoans.