The Western Hemisphere is made up of 48 nations across North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Aviation plays an important role in many of these countries' economies, and it supports the safe and efficient movement of people and goods throughout the region. For countries with tourism-based economies, aviation is a key driver for economic growth and prosperity. With 17 Flight Information Regions (FIRs) adjacent to the United States, the region is critically important to FAA. Canada and Mexico are the top two global aviation destinations for U.S., the Dominican Republic is ranked fifth, and Jamaica is ranked eight. In 2019, Canada and Mexico accounted for 26% of all U.S. citizen departures. Additionally, 70% of all U.S. international traffic (aircraft, rather than passengers) flies to destinations in the Western Hemisphere each year.
The United States is an accredited member of the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Regional Office for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean (NACC) located in Mexico City, and participates extensively in ICAO activities in both the NACC and South American (SAM) regions.
The FAA Western Hemisphere Office (AWH) Director is located in Panama City, Panama. AWH currently has offices for our FAA Senior Representatives in Panama City, Panama; Miami, Florida; and Brasília, Brazil.
Recent FAA and industry forecasts predict that much of the Western Hemisphere will continue to experience significant aviation growth, especially in Brazil and other Latin American countries.