14 Aug 2006

US Dept of Transportation to review Governor's order expelling Hawaiian Airlines

10:16 am on 14 August 2006

The US Department of Transportation has yet to schedule a hearing date to review Hawaiian Air's petition for a ruling on the governor's executive order giving the airline 90 days to end its services to the territory

The Public Affairs officer for the department, Bill Moseley, says DOT will review the Hawaiian Air petition, but a timetable has not yet been set.

Hawaiian Air is asking DOT to declare that federal law, supercedes local law in aviation matters and wants the federal agency to issue a declaratory order telling the Governor that his order cannot be enforced because it violates federal law.

Governor Togiola has welcomed the Hawaiian Air petition and says he's ready to respond to any claims Hawaiian Air makes.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago says those familiar with how the federal agency operates expect this to be a long drawn out legal battle.

They say while the matter is in litigation, the governor's executive order giving Hawaiian Air 90 days to remove itself , would essentially be held in limbo.