The DOT today published a Notice titled “Requirements Regarding Flights to College Bowl Games and Other Special Events”. The Notice is intended to provide “guidance to colleges and other organizations wishing to arrange charter flights to football bowl games, NCAA basketball playoff games, or other special events” in the hope of avoiding situations where organizations contract with entities that do not hold DOT economic authority, or unknowingly charter aircraft from entities that are not subject to the most stringent safety standards and oversight of the FAA, or resell seats on a charter flight without their first having obtained proper authority to do so.
The Notice identifies the two primary avenues whereby a college or other entity may seek to sponsor air transportation to a college bowl game or other special event (contracting directly with a carrier to provide the air transportation to the bowl game or other special event or contracting with a Public Charter Operator or an air charter broker, who would, in turn, locate a direct air carrier to provide the air transportation) and then explains the underlying policies and requirements for each option.
If a college or organization planning a bowl trip or special event has any questions or needs further information regarding public charter options, it should contact Dayton Lehman, Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, or Lisa Swafford-Brooks, Senior Attorney in that office, at (202) 366-9342. In addition, they may contact Bill Bertram, Chief of the Air Carrier Fitness Division at (202) 366-1062 to confirm whether a particular aircraft operator has DOT air carrier economic authority.