UK SEES PROGRESS ON AIR ACCORD DESPITE DISAPPOINTMENT IN DC

UK SEES PROGRESS ON AIR ACCORD DESPITE DISAPPOINTMENT IN DC

British transportation officials, unlike their U.S. counterparts, believe last week's discussions over expanding the bilateral aviation accord were productive, and they plan to be here to resume negotiations Oct. 16.

"We consider the talks successful," a British Transport Department spokesman said Tuesday. "Good progress was made."That view of the talks in London on Sept. 11-15 runs directly counter to the Clinton administration's opinion that the session should have resulted in increased aviation rights for U.S. airlines.

Transportation Secretary Federico Pena said Friday that he was "very disappointed" that the London talks failed to produce advances in the bilateral agreement. He added that he was "reviewing the situation," and that he would communicate with British Transport Minister Sir George Young this week "to determine whether further talks are reasonably likely to bear fruit, and are therefore worthwhile."

Both the administration and the U.S. aviation industry expected that the London session would build on progress made in June, when the United States and Britain signed an agreement that reduced restrictions on aviation between the two countries for the first time in almost two decades.