In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published today, the Department of Transportation is proposing to eliminate air taxi operator and commuter air carrier registration requirements.
Air carriers operating or proposing to operate small aircraft (60 seats or less or 18,000 pounds payload or less) are exempt from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 41101, which requires U.S. air carriers to hold certificates of public convenience and necessity in order to engage in interstate and/or foreign air transportation operations. However, to qualify for the exemption, the air carrier must meet the registration, insurance and other requirements of 14 CFR part 298. Additionally, the commuter air carrier must submit an application and data in accordance with 14 CFR parts 201 and 204 in order to demonstrate to the DOT that the commuter air carrier meets the fitness requirements of 14 CFR 298.21(d).
The fitness requirements and the process for obtaining authority for commuter air carriers are nearly identical to those applicable to companies seeking certificates of public convenience and necessity under 49 U.S.C. 41101. As a result, the DOT feels the removal of the redundant registration requirements “will simplify the process of applying for and maintaining commuter air carrier authority”.
Comments identified as Docket No. OST-2004-19426 are due on or before December 13, 2004 and may be submitted electronically via http://dms.dot.gov or http://www.regulations.gov, via U.S. Mail to Dockets Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590. Fax: 1-202-493-2251, or via hand delivery to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC.
For more information regarding the proposed rule you should read the rule in its entirety or you may contact Delores A. King, Air Carrier Fitness Division, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-9721.