DOT Solicits Feedback On Air Charter Recommendations
The National Air Transportation
Association recently submitted its comments, solicited by the
Department of Transportation, on what constitutes a suitable
disclosure to air charter customers. NATA was reacting to an
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published by the DOT that
sought such comments on the issue.
The DOT, in turn, was reacting to the NTSB's list of
recommendations on the nature and timing of disclosures to air
charter customers, according to the NATA. The NTSB's recommendation
list includes requiring charter operators to disclose information
to customers including the names of any brokers involved in the
transaction, the aircraft owner, and the ultimate air carrier if
that differed from whom the customer initially contracted.
Overall, NATA says it supports the DOT's efforts to provide
additional guidance on permissible and prohibited actions when
conducting brokering activities.
The association endorsed a clear standard whereby the name of
the air carrier with operational control over a flight is disclosed
to the consumer, but opposed a requirement to disclose the name of
an aircraft owner, calling it "unnecessary because it would only
hamper clear understanding by the charter customer."
"Adoption of this recommendation would impede clarity for the
consumer by falsely leading to a belief that the aircraft owner is
'in charge' or otherwise responsible for operations when, in fact,
the opposite is true," the comments explained.
NATA also warned the DOT to allow flexibility in determining how
and when the disclosure occurs due to the unique nature of the
"For some time the industry has been seeking guidance from the
DOT on acceptable business practices so as to ensure uniformity in
transactions and avoid potential enforcement action," NATA
President James K. Coyne (below) stated.
"NATA's members believe that now is the appropriate time for the
DOT to communicate effectively how its existing regulations and
policies apply to the brokering of on-demand air charter," Coyne