Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l) has been dragged into a row between the Association of European Airlines (AEA) and its US counterpart, Airlines for America (A4A), over plans by US authorities to open a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Both the AEA and A4A claim the deal, signed recently between the US and the UAE and which will involve the stationing of US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers in Abu Dhabi thereby allowing passengers to clear US immigration procedures when embarking in the Emirate, will give Etihad a "competitive advantage" while at the same time "being detrimental to a level playing field in the transatlantic aviation market." The AEA went on the claim that the measure in Abu Dhabi has a distortive knock-on effect on the EU-US transport market, as at present, in order to avoid long security queues during rush hours at US ports of entry, European airlines are forced to change their flight schedules, putting "connectivity, commercial opportunities and passenger convenience" at stake. Echoing the AEA, the A4A called on the US Department of Homeland Security to drop the plan, saying it “disadvantages US citizens and other visitors who are not adequately served by the CBP today, often waiting hours to clear customs when returning to the United States.”