The Western Hemisphere is made up of 43 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 16 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. passengers, and the Dominican Republic is ranked fifth. Additionally, nearly 72% of all U.S. international traffic (aircraft, rather than passengers) flies to or from 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.
More than 7 million passengers fly from the United States to the Caribbean each year, accounting for nearly 17% of all U.S. outbound passengers. Through our ongoing Caribbean Initiative, FAA is:
- Establishing a Caribbean Aviation Resilience and Recovery Group to better respond to and recover from emergency events, such as hurricanes in the region;
- Leveraging its technical expertise to work with our Caribbean partners to improve air traffic flow management through collaborative decision-making; and
- Collaborating with international partners to increase airport safety and certification throughout a region that serves as a destination for so many travelers.
U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership
Established in April 2012, the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partners (AP) represents a unique public-private partnership that enhances bilateral cooperation in areas such as airport expansion, airspace management, safety, and security. Workshops under the AP have been funded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, with the third phase concluding August 2018. U.S.-Brazil AP workshops have focused on: implementing NextGen technologies; modernizing aviation data communications; streamlining air traffic flows; Olympic Games preparations (general planning for the aviation sector); integrative management of airport infrastructure; and airport security. The AP's fourth phase is scheduled to kick off in early 2020 focusing on airport infrastructure and air traffic management.