Rep. Napolitano praises ANCA-led dialogue on direct LAX-Yerevan flights

A senior member of the U.S. House Transportation Committee has warmly welcomed discussions between Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) regarding the establishment of direct flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Yerevan (EVN).

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA), a nationally respected legislator with a long track record of leadership on a broad array of ANCA-backed policy priorities, represents California’s 32nd Congressional District, home to the ANCA San Gabriel Valley chapter and a large and active Armenian American community.

“I am encouraged that the ANCA and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) have begun a welcome dialogue on establishing a direct LAX to Yerevan flight,” shared Congresswoman Grace Napolitano. “As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, I look forward to lending my support to this creative initiative to explore how to directly connect Armenia with Los Angeles. I commend the ANCA and LAWA for taking the first steps in this regard,” she added.

“The ANCA San Gabriel Valley chapter is proud that Congresswoman Napolitano is backing the ANCA’s goal of establishing a direct flight between LA and Yerevan,” remarked Levon Kirakosian. We are equally proud to have a long working relationship with Congresswoman Napolitano, which dates back to when she was first elected in 1992 as a member of the California State Assembly and her subsequent election to the U.S. Congress in 1998,” added Kirakosian.

The Congresswoman, who serves on the Transportation Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee, is a leading national voice on aviation issues. This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over all aspects of civil aviation, including safety, infrastructure, labor, commerce, and international issues. All programs of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), except for research activities, are within the purview of the Subcommittee.

Earlier this month, the ANCA met LAWA officials  about launching direct flights between the United States and Armenia, an ANCA policy priority that will – in addition to saving travelers time and inconvenience – substantially boost tourism, increase business travel, expand cargo traffic, and strengthen U.S.-Armenia bilateral economic relations. The discussions with LAWA Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint and Deputy Executive Director and Chief of External Affairs Trevor Daley provided an opportunity for a positive and constructive exchange of views about the practical steps needed to establish direct air service between LAX and Zvartnots Airport (EVN) in Yerevan. The ANCA was represented by Chairman Raffi Hamparian and long-time community leader Zanku Armenian, who has extensive experience in the commercial aviation industry, having worked with each of the major U.S. airlines on bilateral aviation agreements and a range of aviation-related regulatory and policy issues.

The ANCA is calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to support a public-private partnership regarding establishing U.S. to Armenia flights, involving U.S. airlines and relevant government agencies, among them the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Transportation Security Administration. These direct flights would include both passenger and cargo traffic.

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