[USC02] 49 USC SUBTITLE VII, PART A, subpart ii, CHAPTER 417, SUBCHAPTER II: SMALL COMMUNITY AIR SERVICE
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49 USC SUBTITLE VII, PART A, subpart ii, CHAPTER 417, SUBCHAPTER II: SMALL COMMUNITY AIR SERVICE
From Title 49—TRANSPORTATIONSUBTITLE VII—AVIATION PROGRAMSPART A—AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETYsubpart ii—economic regulationCHAPTER 417—OPERATIONS OF CARRIERS

SUBCHAPTER II—SMALL COMMUNITY AIR SERVICE

§41731. Definitions

(a) General.—In this subchapter—

(1) "eligible place" means a place in the United States that—

(A)(i)(I) was an eligible point under section 419 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 before October 1, 1988;

(II) received scheduled air transportation at any time after January 1, 1990; and

(III) is not listed in Department of Transportation Orders 89–9–37 and 89–12–52 as a place ineligible for compensation under this subchapter; or

(ii) was determined, on or after October 1, 1988, and before the date of the enactment of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 (Public Law 114–190), under this subchapter by the Secretary of Transportation to be eligible to receive subsidized small community air service under section 41736(a);

(B) had an average of 10 enplanements per service day or more, as determined by the Secretary, during the most recent fiscal year beginning after September 30, 2012;

(C) had an average subsidy per passenger of less than $1,000 during the most recent fiscal year, as determined by the Secretary; and

(D) is a community that, at any time during the period between September 30, 2010, and September 30, 2011, inclusive—

(i) received essential air service for which compensation was provided to an air carrier under this subchapter; or

(ii) received a 90-day notice of intent to terminate essential air service and the Secretary required the air carrier to continue to provide such service to the community.


(2) "enhanced essential air service" means scheduled air transportation to an eligible place of a higher level or quality than basic essential air service described in section 41732 of this title.


(b) Limitation on Authority To Decide a Place Not an Eligible Place.—The Secretary may not decide that a place described in subsection (a)(1) of this section is not an eligible place on any basis that is not specifically stated in this subchapter.

(c) Exception for Locations in Alaska and Hawaii.—Subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) of subsection (a)(1) shall not apply with respect to locations in the State of Alaska or the State of Hawaii.

(d) Exceptions for Locations More Than 175 Driving Miles From the Nearest Large or Medium Hub Airport.—Subsection (a)(1)(B) shall not apply with respect to locations that are more than 175 driving miles from the nearest large or medium hub airport.

(e) Waivers.—For fiscal year 2013 and each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary may waive, on an annual basis, subsection (a)(1)(B) with respect to a location if the location demonstrates to the Secretary's satisfaction that the reason the location averages fewer than 10 enplanements per day is due to a temporary decline in enplanements.

(f) Definition.—For purposes of subsection (a)(1)(B), the term "enplanements" means the number of passengers enplaning, at an eligible place, on flights operated by the subsidized essential air service carrier.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1143; Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §208, Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 95; Pub. L. 108–176, title II, §225(b)(2), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2529; Pub. L. 112–27, §6, Aug. 5, 2011, 125 Stat. 271; Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §§421, 422, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 96, 97; Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title IV, §453(a), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3348.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41731(a)(1) 49 App.:1389(a)(1). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(a); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1508; restated Nov. 5, 1990, Pub. L. 101–508, §9113(a), 104 Stat. 1388–363.
41731(a)(2) 49 App.:1389(k)(2). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(k)(2)–(5); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1517.
41731(a)(3) 49 App.:1389(k)(3).
41731(a)(4) 49 App.:1389(k)(4).
41731(a)(5) 49 App.:1389(k)(5).
41731(b) 49 App.:1389(a)(2).

In this subchapter (except subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section), the word "place" is substituted for "point" for clarity and consistency in the revised title.

In subsection (a)(1)(A), the words "was an eligible point . . . before October 1, 1988" are substituted for "is defined as an eligible point . . . as in effect before October 1, 1988" for clarity and to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (a)(2), the words "described in section 41732 of this title" are added for clarity.

In subsection (a)(3)–(5), the word "boardings" is substituted for "enplanements" for clarity and consistency in the revised title.

References in Text

Section 419 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(A)(i), is section 419 of Pub. L. 85–726, which was classified to section 1389 of former Title 49, Transportation, and was repealed and reenacted as this subchapter by Pub. L. 103–272, §§1(e), 7(b), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1143, 1379.

The date of the enactment of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(A)(ii), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 114–190, which was approved July 15, 2016.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(1)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 115–254 substituted "FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 (Public Law 114–190)," for "Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century,".

2012—Subsec. (a)(1)(B). Pub. L. 112–95, §421(1), amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (B) read as follows: "is located not less than 90 miles from the nearest medium or large hub airport; and".

Subsec. (a)(1)(D). Pub. L. 112–95, §422, added subpar. (D).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–95, §421(2), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Subsections (a)(1)(B) and (a)(1)(C) shall not apply with respect to a location in the State of Alaska."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–95, §421(3), amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary may waive subsection (a)(1)(B) with respect to a location if the Secretary determines that the geographic characteristics of the location result in undue difficulty in accessing the nearest medium or large hub airport."

Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 112–95, §421(4), added subsecs. (e) and (f).

2011—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 112–27, §6(a), redesignated cls. (i) to (iii) of subpar. (A) as subcls. (I) to (III), respectively, redesignated subpars. (A) and (B) as cls. (i) and (ii), respectively, inserted "(A)" before "(i)(I)" in subcl. (I) of cl. (i), substituted "was determined" for "determined", "Secretary of Transportation" for "Secretary", and semicolon for period at end in cl. (ii) of subpar. (A), and added subpars. (B) and (C).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–27, §6(b), substituted "Secretary" for "Secretary of Transportation" and "on any basis" for "on the basis of a passenger subsidy at that place or on another basis".

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 112–27, §6(c), added subsecs. (c) and (d).

2003—Subsec. (a)(3) to (5). Pub. L. 108–176 struck out pars. (3) to (5) which defined "hub airport", "nonhub airport", and "small hub airport", respectively.

2000—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 106–181 redesignated subpars. (A), (B), and (C) as cls. (i), (ii), and (iii), respectively, of subpar (A) and added subpar. (B).

Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–176 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–181 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1999, see section 3 of Pub. L. 106–181, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Code-Sharing Pilot Program

Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §406, Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2545, provided that:

"(a) In General.—The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a pilot program under which the Secretary may require air carriers providing service with compensation under subchapter II of chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code, and major air carriers (as defined in section 41716(a)(2) of such title) serving large hub airports (as defined in section 40102 of such title) to participate in multiple code-share arrangements consistent with normal industry practice whenever and wherever the Secretary determines that such multiple code-sharing arrangements would improve air transportation services.

"(b) Limitation.—The Secretary may not require air carriers to participate in the pilot program under this section for more than 10 communities receiving service under subchapter II of chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code."

Measurement of Highway Miles for Purposes of Determining Eligibility of Essential Air Service Subsidies

Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §409, Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2547, as amended by Pub. L. 110–190, §4(d)(1), Feb. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 644; Pub. L. 110–330, §5(k), Sept. 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 3719; Pub. L. 111–69, §5(k), Oct. 1, 2009, 123 Stat. 2055; Pub. L. 111–249, §5(k), Sept. 30, 2010, 124 Stat. 2628; Pub. L. 112–30, title II, §205(k), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 358; Pub. L. 112–91, §5(k), Jan. 31, 2012, 126 Stat. 4; Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §431, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 100; Pub. L. 114–55, title I, §102(g), Sept. 30, 2015, 129 Stat. 523; Pub. L. 114–141, title I, §102(f), Mar. 30, 2016, 130 Stat. 323; Pub. L. 114–190, title I, §1102(g), July 15, 2016, 130 Stat. 617; Pub. L. 115–63, title I, §102(g), Sept. 29, 2017, 131 Stat. 1169; Pub. L. 115–141, div. M, title I, §102(f), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1046; Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title IV, §457, Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3350, provided that:

"(a) Request for Secretarial Review.—An eligible place (as defined in section 41731 of title 49, United States Code) with respect to which the Secretary has, in the 2-year period ending on the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 2003], eliminated (or tentatively eliminated) compensation for essential air service to such place, or terminated (or tentatively terminated) the compensation eligibility of such place for essential air service, under section 332 of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000 [Pub. L. 106–69] (49 U.S.C. 41731 note), section 205 of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century [Pub. L. 106–181] (49 U.S.C. 41731 note), or any prior law of similar effect based on the highway mileage of such place from the nearest hub airport (as defined in section 40102 of such title), may request the Secretary to review such action.

"(b) Determination of Mileage.—In reviewing an action under subsection (a), the highway mileage between an eligible place and the nearest medium hub airport or large hub airport is the highway mileage of the most commonly used route between the place and the medium hub airport or large hub airport. In identifying such route, the Secretary shall identify the most commonly used route for a community by—

"(1) consulting with the Governor of a State or the Governor's designee; and

"(2) considering the certification of the Governor of a State or the Governor's designee as to the most commonly used route.

"(c) Eligibility Determination.—Not later than 60 days after receiving a request under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—

"(1) determine whether the eligible place would have been subject to an elimination of compensation eligibility for essential air service, or termination of the eligibility of such place for essential air service, under the provisions of law referred to in subsection (a) based on the determination of the highway mileage of such place from the nearest medium hub airport or large hub airport under subsection (b); and

"(2) issue a final order with respect to the eligibility of such place for essential air service compensation under subchapter II of chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code.

"(d) Limitation on Period of Final Order.—A final order issued under subsection (c) shall terminate on September 30, 2023."

[Pub. L. 110–190, §4(d)(2), Feb. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 644, provided that: "The amendment made by paragraph (1) [amending section 409(d) of Pub. L. 108–176, set out above] shall take effect on September 29, 2007, and shall apply with respect to any final order issued under section 409(c) of such Act [section 409(c) of Pub. L. 108–176, set out above] that was in effect on such date."]

Marketing Practices

Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §207, Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 94, provided that:

"(a) Review of Marketing Practices That Adversely Affect Service to Small or Medium Communities.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Apr. 5, 2000], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall review the marketing practices of air carriers that may inhibit the availability of quality, affordable air transportation services to small- and medium-sized communities, including—

"(1) marketing arrangements between airlines and travel agents;

"(2) code-sharing partnerships;

"(3) computer reservation system displays;

"(4) gate arrangements at airports;

"(5) exclusive dealing arrangements; and

"(6) any other marketing practice that may have the same effect.

"(b) Regulations.—If the Secretary finds, after conducting the review, that marketing practices inhibit the availability of affordable air transportation services to small- and medium-sized communities, then, after public notice and an opportunity for comment, the Secretary may issue regulations that address the problem or take other appropriate action.

"(c) Statutory Construction.—Nothing in this section expands the authority or jurisdiction of the Secretary to issue regulations under chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code, or under any other law."

Restrictions on Essential Air Service Subsidies

Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §205, Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 94, provided that: "The Secretary [of Transportation] may provide assistance under subchapter II of chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code, with respect to a place that is located within 70 highway miles of a hub airport (as defined by section 41731 of such title) if the most commonly used highway route between the place and the hub airport exceeds 70 miles."

Pub. L. 106–69, title III, §332, Oct. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1022, provided that: "Hereafter, notwithstanding 49 U.S.C. 41742, no essential air service subsidies shall be provided to communities in the 48 contiguous States that are located fewer than 70 highway miles from the nearest large or medium hub airport, or that require a rate of subsidy per passenger in excess of $200 unless such point is greater than 210 miles from the nearest large or medium hub airport."

[Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §426(c), (d), Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 99, as amended by Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title IV, §458, title V, §539(s)(2), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3350, 3372, provided that:

["(c) Subsidy Cap.—Subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary of Transportation may waive, on a case-by-case basis, the subsidy-per-passenger cap established by section 332 of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000 (Public Law 106–69; 113 Stat. 1022) [set out above]. A waiver issued under this subsection shall remain in effect for a limited period of time, as determined by the Secretary.

["(d) Reduction in Subsidy-per-passenger.—

["(1) In general.—The Secretary shall waive application of the subsidy-per-passenger cap described under subsection (c) if the Secretary finds that the community's subsidy-per-passenger for a fiscal year is lower than the subsidy-per-passenger for any of the 3 previous fiscal years.

["(2) Exception.—The Secretary shall waive application of the subsidy-per-passenger cap if the subsidy-per-passenger for a fiscal year is less than 10 percent higher than the highest subsidy-per-passenger from any of the 3 previous fiscal years. The Secretary may only waive application of the subsidy-per-passenger cap under this paragraph once per community.

["(3) Rule of construction.—Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the Secretary's ability under subsection (c) to waive application of the subsidy-per-passenger cap."]

Provisions similar to those in section 332 of Pub. L. 106–69, set out above, were contained in the following prior appropriation acts:

Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(g) [title III, §334], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–439, 2681-471.

Pub. L. 105–66, title III, §336, Oct. 27, 1997, 111 Stat. 1447.

§41732. Basic essential air service

(a) General.—Basic essential air service provided under section 41733 of this title is scheduled air transportation of passengers and cargo—

(1) to a hub airport that has convenient connecting or single-plane air service to a substantial number of destinations beyond that airport; or

(2) to a small hub or nonhub airport, when in Alaska or when the nearest hub airport is more than 400 miles from an eligible place.


(b) Minimum Requirements.—Basic essential air service shall include at least the following:

(1)(A) for a place not in Alaska, 2 daily round trips 6 days a week, with not more than one intermediate stop on each flight; or

(B) for a place in Alaska, a level of service at least equal to that provided in 1976 or 2 round trips a week, whichever is greater, except that the Secretary of Transportation and the appropriate State authority of Alaska may agree to a different level of service after consulting with the affected community.

(2) flights at reasonable times considering the needs of passengers with connecting flights at the airport and at prices that are not excessive compared to the generally prevailing prices of other air carriers for like service between similar places.

(3) for a place not in Alaska, service provided in an aircraft with an effective capacity of at least 15 passengers if the average daily boardings at the place in any calendar year from 1976-1986 were more than 11 passengers unless—

(A) that level-of-service requirement would require paying compensation in a fiscal year under section 41733(d) or 41734(d) or (e) of this title for the place when compensation otherwise would not have been paid for that place in that year; or

(B) the affected community agrees with the Secretary in writing to the use of smaller aircraft to provide service to the place.


(4) service accommodating the estimated passenger and property traffic at an average load factor, for each class of traffic considering seasonal demands for the service, of not more than—

(A) 50 percent; or

(B) 60 percent when service is provided by aircraft with more than 14 passenger seats.


(5) service provided in aircraft with at least 2 engines and using 2 pilots, unless scheduled air transportation has not been provided to the place in aircraft with at least 2 engines and using 2 pilots for at least 60 consecutive operating days at any time since October 31, 1978.

(6) service provided by pressurized aircraft when the service is provided by aircraft that regularly fly above 8,000 feet in altitude.


(c) Waivers.—Notwithstanding section 41733(e), upon request by an eligible place, the Secretary may waive, in whole or in part, subsections (a) and (b) of this section or subsections (a) through (c) of section 41734. A waiver issued under this subsection shall remain in effect for a limited period of time, as determined by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1144; Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title IV, §456, Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3350.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41732(a) 49 App.:1389(k)(1) (1st sentence). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(k)(1); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1516.
41732(b) 49 App.:1389(k)(1) (last sentence).

In subsection (a), before clause (1), the words "provided under section 41733 of this title" are added for clarity. In clause (2), the words "from an eligible place" are added for clarity.

In subsection (b), before clause (1), the words "Basic essential air service" are substituted for "Such transportation" for clarity and consistency in the revised title. In clause (1)(B), the word "1976" is substituted for "calendar year 1976" to eliminate unnecessary words. The words "appropriate State authority of Alaska" are substituted for "State agency of the State of Alaska" for clarity and consistency with the source provisions restated in section 41734(a) of the revised title. The words "agree to a different level of service" are substituted for "otherwise specified under an agreement" for clarity. In clause (2), the word "prices" is substituted for "rates, fares, and charges" and "fares" because of the definition of "price" in section 40102(a) of the revised title. In clause (3), before subclause (A), the word "boardings" is substituted for "enplanements" for clarity and consistency in the revised title. The words "from 1976-1986" are substituted for "beginning after December 31, 1975, and ending on or before December 31, 1986" to eliminate unnecessary words. In subclause (B), the words "affected community" are substituted for "community concerned" for consistency with the source provisions restated in clause (1)(B) of this section. In clause (5), the words "for at least 60 consecutive operating days" are substituted for "on each of 60 consecutive operating days" for clarity.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–254 added subsec. (c).

§41733. Level of basic essential air service

(a) Decisions Made Before October 1, 1988.—For each eligible place for which a decision was made before October 1, 1988, under section 419 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, establishing the level of essential air transportation, the level of basic essential air service for that place shall be the level established by the Secretary of Transportation for that place by not later than December 29, 1988.

(b) Decisions Not Made Before October 1, 1988.—(1) The Secretary shall decide on the level of basic essential air service for each eligible place for which a decision was not made before October 1, 1988, establishing the level of essential air transportation, when the Secretary receives notice that service to that place will be provided by only one air carrier. The Secretary shall make the decision by the last day of the 6-month period beginning on the date the Secretary receives the notice. The Secretary may impose notice requirements necessary to carry out this subsection. Before making a decision, the Secretary shall consider the views of any interested community and the appropriate State authority of the State in which the community is located.

(2) Until the Secretary has made a decision on a level of basic essential air service for an eligible place under this subsection, the Secretary, on petition by an appropriate representative of the place, shall prohibit an air carrier from ending, suspending, or reducing air transportation to that place that appears to deprive the place of basic essential air service.

(c) Availability of Compensation.—(1) If the Secretary decides that basic essential air service will not be provided to an eligible place without compensation, the Secretary shall provide notice that an air carrier may apply to provide basic essential air service to the place for compensation under this section. In selecting an applicant, the Secretary shall consider, among other factors—

(A) the demonstrated reliability of the applicant in providing scheduled air service;

(B) the contractual and marketing arrangements the applicant has made with a larger carrier to ensure service beyond the hub airport;

(C) the interline arrangements that the applicant has made with a larger carrier to allow passengers and cargo of the applicant at the hub airport to be transported by the larger carrier through one reservation, ticket, and baggage check-in;

(D) the preferences of the actual and potential users of air transportation at the eligible place, giving substantial weight to the views of the elected officials representing the users;

(E) whether the air carrier has included a plan in its proposal to market its services to the community; and

(F) for an eligible place in Alaska, the experience of the applicant in providing, in Alaska, scheduled air service, or significant patterns of non-scheduled air service under an exemption granted under section 40109(a) and (c)–(h) of this title.


(2) Under guidelines prescribed under section 41737(a) of this title, the Secretary shall pay the rate of compensation for providing basic essential air service under this section and section 41734 of this title.

(d) Compensation Payments.—The Secretary shall pay compensation under this section at times and in the way the Secretary decides is appropriate. The Secretary shall end payment of compensation to an air carrier for providing basic essential air service to an eligible place when the Secretary decides the compensation is no longer necessary to maintain basic essential air service to the place.

(e) Review.—The Secretary shall review periodically the level of basic essential air service for each eligible place. Based on the review and consultations with an interested community and the appropriate State authority of the State in which the community is located, the Secretary may make appropriate adjustments in the level of service, to the extent such adjustments are to a level not less than the basic essential air service level established under subsection (a) for the airport that serves the community.

(f) Notice to Communities Prior to Termination of Eligibility.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary shall notify each community receiving basic essential air service for which compensation is being paid under this subchapter on or before the 45th day before issuing any final decision to end the payment of such compensation due to a determination by the Secretary that providing such service requires a rate of subsidy per passenger in excess of the subsidy cap.

(2) Procedures to avoid termination.—The Secretary shall establish, by order, procedures by which each community notified of an impending loss of subsidy under paragraph (1) may work directly with an air carrier to ensure that the air carrier is able to submit a proposal to the Secretary to provide essential air service to such community for an amount of compensation that would not exceed the subsidy cap.

(3) Assistance provided.—The Secretary shall provide, by order, information to each community notified under paragraph (1) regarding—

(A) the procedures established pursuant to paragraph (2); and

(B) the maximum amount of compensation that could be provided under this subchapter to an air carrier serving such community that would comply with basic essential air service and the subsidy cap.


(g) Proposals of State and Local Governments to Restore Eligibility.—

(1) In general.—If the Secretary, after the date of enactment of this subsection, ends payment of compensation to an air carrier for providing basic essential air service to an eligible place because the Secretary has determined that providing such service requires a rate of subsidy per passenger in excess of the subsidy cap or that the place is no longer an eligible place pursuant to section 41731(a)(1)(B), a State or local government may submit to the Secretary a proposal for restoring compensation for such service. Such proposal shall be a joint proposal of the State or local government and an air carrier.

(2) Determination by secretary.—The Secretary shall issue an order restoring the eligibility of the otherwise eligible place to receive basic essential air service by an air carrier for compensation under subsection (c) if—

(A) a State or local government submits to the Secretary a proposal under paragraph (1); and

(B) the Secretary determines that—

(i) the rate of subsidy per passenger under the proposal does not exceed the subsidy cap;

(ii) the proposal is likely to result in an average number of enplanements per day that will satisfy the requirement in section 41731(a)(1)(B); and

(iii) the proposal is consistent with the legal and regulatory requirements of the essential air service program.


(h) Subsidy Cap Defined.—In this section, the term "subsidy cap" means the subsidy-per-passenger cap established by section 332 of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000 (Public Law 106–69; 113 Stat. 1022).

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1145; Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §209(b), Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 95; Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §§423–425, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 97, 98.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41733(a) 49 App.:1389(b)(1)(A) (less last sentence last 24 words), (C). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(b)(1), (3), (4), (9); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1508, 1509, 1511.
41733(b)(1) 49 App.:1389(b)(1)(A) (last sentence last 24 words), (B).
41733(b)(2) 49 App.:1389(b)(9).
41733(c) 49 App.:1389(b)(3).
41733(d) 49 App.:1389(b)(4).
41733(e) 49 App.:1389(b)(1)(D).

In subsection (a), the words "the level of basic essential air service for that place shall be the level established by the Secretary of Transportation for that place" are substituted for "Such determination shall be made" because the determinations for those places have been made. The words "by not later than December 29, 1988" are substituted for "no later than the last day of the 1-year period beginning on December 30, 1987" for clarity. The words "and only after consideration of the views of any interested community and the State agency of the State in which such community is located" and 49 App.:1389(b)(1)(C) are omitted as executed.

In subsections (b)(1) and (e), the words "appropriate State authority" are substituted for "State agency" for clarity and consistency with the source provisions restated in section 41734(a) of the revised title.

In section (b)(2), the words "that appears to deprive" are substituted for "which reasonably appears to deprive" to eliminate an unnecessary word.

In subsection (c)(1), before clause (A), the words "an air carrier may apply to provide basic essential air service to the place for compensation" are substituted for "applications may be submitted by any air carrier that is willing to provide such service to such point for compensation" for clarity and to eliminate unnecessary words.

References in Text

Section 419 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, referred to in subsec. (a), is section 419 of Pub. L. 85–726, which was classified to section 1389 of former Title 49, Transportation, and was repealed and reenacted as this subchapter by Pub. L. 103–272, §§1(e), 7(b), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1143, 1379.

The date of enactment of this subsection, referred to in subsec. (g)(1), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 112–95, which was approved Feb. 14, 2012.

Section 332 of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000, referred to in subsec. (h), is section 332 of Pub. L. 106–69, which is set out as a note under section 41731 of this title.

Amendments

2012—Subsec. (c)(1)(E), (F). Pub. L. 112–95, §423, added subpar. (E) and redesignated former subpar. (E) as (F).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 112–95, §424, added subsec. (f).

Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 112–95, §425, added subsecs. (g) and (h).

2000—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 106–181 inserted before period at end ", to the extent such adjustments are to a level not less than the basic essential air service level established under subsection (a) for the airport that serves the community".

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–181 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1999, see section 3 of Pub. L. 106–181, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Seasonal Service

Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title IV, §451(b), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3347, provided that: "The Secretary of Transportation may consider the flexibility of current operational dates and airport accessibility to meet local community needs when issuing requests for proposal of essential air service at seasonal airports."

Effect on Certain Orders

Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §209(c), Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 95, provided that: "All orders issued by the Secretary [of Transportation] after September 30, 1999, and before the date of the enactment of this Act [Apr. 5, 2000] establishing, modifying, or revoking essential air service levels shall be null and void beginning on the 90th day following such date of enactment. During the 90-day period, the Secretary shall reconsider such orders and shall issue new orders consistent with the amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 41742 of this title]."

§41734. Ending, suspending, and reducing basic essential air service

(a) Notice Required.—An air carrier may end, suspend, or reduce air transportation to an eligible place below the level of basic essential air service established for that place under section 41733 of this title only after giving the Secretary of Transportation, the appropriate State authority, and the affected communities at least 90 days' notice before ending, suspending, or reducing that transportation.

(b) Continuation of Service for 30 Days After Notice Period.—If at the end of the notice period under subsection (a) of this section the Secretary has not found another air carrier to provide basic essential air service to the eligible place, the Secretary shall require the carrier providing notice to continue to provide basic essential air service to the place for an additional 30-day period or until another carrier begins to provide basic essential air service to the place, whichever occurs first.

(c) Continuation of Service for Additional 30-Day Periods.—If at the end of the 30-day period under subsection (b) of this section the Secretary decides another air carrier will not provide basic essential air service to the place on a continuing basis, the Secretary shall require the carrier providing service to continue to provide service for additional 30-day periods until another carrier begins providing service on a continuing basis. At the end of each 30-day period, the Secretary shall decide if another carrier will provide service on a continuing basis.

(d) Continuation of Compensation After Notice Period.—If an air carrier receiving compensation under section 41733 of this title for providing basic essential air service to an eligible place is required to continue to provide service to the place under this section after the 90-day notice period under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall provide the carrier with compensation sufficient—

(1) to pay for the fully allocated actual cost to the carrier of performing the basic essential air service that was being provided when the 90-day notice was given under subsection (a) of this section plus a reasonable return on investment that is at least 5 percent of operating costs; and

(2) to provide the carrier an additional return that recognizes the demonstrated additional lost profits from opportunities foregone and the likelihood that those lost profits increase as the period during which the carrier is required to provide the service continues.


(e) Compensation to Air Carriers Originally Providing Service Without Compensation.—If the Secretary requires an air carrier providing basic essential air service to an eligible place without compensation under section 41733 of this title to continue providing that service after the 90-day notice period required by subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall provide the carrier with compensation after the end of the 90-day notice period that is sufficient—

(1) to pay for the fully allocated actual cost to the carrier of performing the basic essential air service that was being provided when the 90-day notice was given under subsection (a) of this section plus a reasonable return on investment that is at least 5 percent of operating costs; and

(2) to provide the carrier an additional return that recognizes the demonstrated additional lost profits from opportunities foregone and the likelihood that those lost profits increase as the period during which the carrier is required to provide the service continues.


(f) Finding Replacement Carriers.—When the Secretary requires an air carrier to continue to provide basic essential air service to an eligible place, the Secretary shall continue to make every effort to find another carrier to provide at least that basic essential air service to the place on a continuing basis.

(g) Transfer of Authority.—If an air carrier, providing basic essential air service under section 41733 of this title between an eligible place and an airport at which the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration limits the number of instrument flight rule takeoffs and landings of aircraft, provides notice under subsection (a) of this section of an intention to end, suspend, or reduce that service and another carrier is found to provide the service, the Secretary shall require the carrier providing notice to transfer any operational authority the carrier has to land or take off at that airport related to the service to the eligible place to the carrier that will provide the service, if—

(1) the carrier that will provide the service needs the authority; and

(2) the authority to be transferred is being used to provide air service to another eligible place.


(h) Nonconsideration of Slot Availability.—In determining what is basic essential air service and in selecting an air carrier to provide such service, the Secretary shall not consider as a factor whether slots at a high density airport are available for providing such service.

(i) Exemption From Hold-In Requirements.—If, after the date of enactment of this subsection, an air carrier commences air transportation to an eligible place that is not receiving scheduled passenger air service as a result of the failure of the eligible place to meet requirements contained in an appropriations Act, the air carrier shall not be subject to the requirements of subsections (b) and (c) with respect to such air transportation.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1146; Pub. L. 103–305, title II, §206(c), Aug. 23, 1994, 108 Stat. 1587; Pub. L. 103–429, §6(81), Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4388; Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §401, Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2542; Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §426(b)(1), Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 98.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41734(a) 49 App.:1389(b)(2). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(b)(2), (5)–(8); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1509, 1510.
41734(b) 49 App.:1389(b)(5) (1st sentence).
41734(c) 49 App.:1389(b)(5) (last sentence).
41734(d) 49 App.:1389(b)(6)(A).
41734(e) 49 App.:1389(b)(6)(B).
41734(f) 49 App.:1389(b)(8).
41734(g) 49 App.:1389(b)(7).

In subsection (b), the words "If at the end of the notice period under subsection (a) of this section" are substituted for "If an air carrier has provided notice to the Secretary under paragraph (2) of such air carrier's intention to suspend, terminate, or reduce service to any eligible point below the level of basic essential air service to such point, and if at the conclusion of the applicable period of notice" for clarity and to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (c), the words "either with or without compensation" are omitted as unnecessary. The words "shall require the carrier providing service to continue to provide service for additional 30-day periods" are substituted for "shall extend such requirement for such additional 30-day periods . . . as may be necessary to continue basic essential air service to such eligible point", and the words "the Secretary shall decide if another carrier will provide service on a continuing basis" are substituted for "making the same determination", for clarity.

In subsections (d)(1) and (e)(1), the word "fair" is omitted as being included in "reasonable".

In subsection (d), before clause (1), the words "basic essential air service" are substituted for "air transportation" and "such transportation" for consistency with the source provisions restated in this section. The words "to continue to provide service to the place under this section after the 90-day notice period under subsection (a) of this section" are substituted for "to continue service to such point beyond the date on which such carrier would, but for paragraph (5), be able to suspend, terminate, or reduce such service below the level of basic essential air service to such point" to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (e), before clause (1), the words "basic essential air service" are substituted for "air transportation" for consistency with the source provisions restated in this section. The words "after the end of the 90-day notice period that is" are substituted for "then" for clarity.

In subsection (f), the words "basic essential air service" are substituted for "air transportation which such air carrier has proposed to terminate, reduce, or suspend" for consistency with the source provisions restated in this section.

In subsection (g)(2), the words "the authority to be transferred is being used only to provide air service to the eligible place" are substituted for "unless . . . such authority is being used to provide air service with respect to more than 1 eligible point" for clarity and because of the restatement.

References in Text

The date of enactment of this subsection, referred to in subsec. (i), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 108–176, which was approved Dec. 12, 2003.

Amendments

2012—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–95, in introductory provisions, substituted "provide the carrier with compensation sufficient—" for "continue to pay that compensation after the last day of that period. The Secretary shall pay the compensation until the Secretary finds another carrier to provide the service to the place or the 90th day after the end of that notice period, whichever is earlier. If, after the 90th day after the end of the 90-day notice period, the Secretary has not found another carrier to provide the service, the carrier required to continue to provide that service shall receive compensation sufficient—".

2003—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 108–176 added subsec. (i).

1994—Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 103–429 amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "the authority to be transferred is being used only to provide air service to the eligible place."

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 103–305 added subsec. (h).

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §426(b)(2), Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 98, provided that: "The amendment made by paragraph (1) [amending this section] shall apply to compensation to air carriers for air service provided after the 30th day following the date of enactment of this Act [Feb. 14, 2012]."

Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–176 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–429 effective July 5, 1994, see section 9 of Pub. L. 103–429, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.

Definitions

For definitions of the terms "slot" and "high density airport" used in subsec. (h) of this section, see section 41714(h) of this title.

§41735. Enhanced essential air service

(a) Proposals.—(1) A State or local government may submit a proposal to the Secretary of Transportation for enhanced essential air service to an eligible place for which basic essential air service is being provided under section 41733 of this title. The proposal shall—

(A) specify the level and type of enhanced essential air service the State or local government considers appropriate; and

(B) include an agreement related to compensation required for the proposed service.


(2) The agreement submitted under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection shall provide that—

(A) the State or local government or a person pay 50 percent of the compensation required for the proposed service and the United States Government pay the remaining 50 percent; or

(B)(i) the Government pay 100 percent of the compensation; and

(ii) if the proposed service is not successful for at least a 2-year period under the criteria prescribed by the Secretary under paragraph (3) of this subsection, the eligible place is not eligible for air service or air transportation for which compensation is paid by the Secretary under this subchapter.


(3) The Secretary shall prescribe by regulation objective criteria for deciding whether enhanced essential air service to an eligible place under this section is successful in terms of—

(A) increasing passenger usage of the airport facilities at the place; and

(B) reducing the amount of compensation provided by the Secretary under this subchapter for that service.


(b) Decisions.—Not later than 90 days after receiving a proposal under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall—

(1) approve the proposal if the Secretary decides the proposal is reasonable; or

(2) if the Secretary decides the proposal is not reasonable, disapprove the proposal and notify the State or local government of the disapproval and the reasons for the disapproval.


(c) Compensation Payments.—(1) The Secretary shall pay compensation under this section when and in the way the Secretary decides is appropriate. Compensation for enhanced essential air service under this section may be paid only for the costs incurred in providing air service to an eligible place that are in addition to the costs incurred in providing basic essential air service to the place under section 41733 of this title. The Secretary shall continue to pay compensation under this section only as long as—

(A) the air carrier maintains the level of enhanced essential air service;

(B) the State or local government or person agreeing to pay compensation under this section continues to pay the compensation; and

(C) the Secretary decides the compensation is necessary to maintain the service to the place.


(2) The Secretary may require the State or local government or person agreeing to pay compensation under this section to make advance payments or provide other security to ensure that timely payments are made.

(d) Review.—(1) The Secretary shall review periodically the enhanced essential air service provided to each eligible place under this section.

(2) For service for which the Government pays 50 percent of the compensation, based on the review and consultation with the affected community and the State or local government or person paying the remaining 50 percent of the compensation, the Secretary shall make appropriate adjustments in the type and level of service to the place.

(3) For service for which the Government pays 100 percent of the compensation, based on the review and consultation with the State or local government submitting the proposal, the Secretary shall decide whether the service has succeeded for at least a 2-year period under the criteria prescribed under subsection (a)(3) of this section. If unsuccessful, the place is not eligible for air service or air transportation for which compensation is paid by the Secretary under this subchapter.

(e) Ending, Suspending, and Reducing Air Transportation.—An air carrier may end, suspend, or reduce air transportation to an eligible place below the level of enhanced essential air service established for that place by the Secretary under this section only after giving the Secretary, the affected community, and the State or local government or person paying compensation for that service at least 30 days' notice before ending, suspending, or reducing the service. This subsection does not relieve the carrier of an obligation under section 41734 of this title.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1148.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41735(a) 49 App.:1389(c)(1), (3)(C). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(c); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1512.
41735(b) 49 App.:1389(c)(2).
41735(c) 49 App.:1389(c)(5)–(7).
41735(d) 49 App.:1389(c)(3)(A), (B).
41735(e) 49 App.:1389(c)(4).

In subsections (a)(2)(B)(ii) and (d)(3), the words "air service or air transportation for which compensation is paid" are substituted for "air service for which compensation is payable" for consistency with the source provisions restated in sections 41733 and 41736 of the revised title.

In subsection (a)(3), the word "prescribe" is substituted for "establish" for consistency in the revised title.

In subsection (b), before clause (1), the words "issue a decision" are omitted as unnecessary because of the restatement.

In subsection (c)(1)(B), the words "State or local government or person agreeing to pay compensation under this section" are substituted for "government or person agreeing to pay any non-Federal share" for clarity.

In subsection (c)(2), the words "State or local government or person agreeing to pay compensation under this section" are substituted for "non-Federal payments for enhanced essential air service under this subsection" for clarity.

In subsection (d)(2), the words "For service for which the Government pays 50 percent of the compensation" are substituted for "If the enhanced essential air service approved under this subsection is to be at a 50 percent Federal share" because of the restatement. The words "the remaining 50 percent" are substituted for "the non-Federal" for clarity and consistency in this section.

In subsection (d)(3), the words "For service for which the Government pays 100 percent of the compensation" are substituted for "If the enhanced essential air service approved under this subsection is to be at a 100 percent Federal share" because of the restatement.

§41736. Air transportation to noneligible places

(a) Proposals and Decisions.—(1) A State or local government may propose to the Secretary of Transportation that the Secretary provide compensation to an air carrier to provide air transportation to a place that is not an eligible place under this subchapter. Not later than 90 days after receiving a proposal under this section, the Secretary shall—

(A) decide whether to designate the place as eligible to receive compensation under this section; and

(B)(i) approve the proposal if the State or local government or a person is willing and able to pay 50 percent of the compensation for providing the transportation, and notify the State or local government of the approval; or

(ii) disapprove the proposal if the Secretary decides the proposal is not reasonable under paragraph (2) of this subsection, and notify the State or local government of the disapproval and the reasons for the disapproval.


(2) In deciding whether a proposal is reasonable, the Secretary shall consider, among other factors—

(A) the traffic-generating potential of the place;

(B) the cost to the United States Government of providing the proposed transportation; and

(C) the distance of the place from the closest hub airport.


(b) Approval for Certain Air Transportation.—Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1)(B) of this section, the Secretary shall approve a proposal under this section to compensate an air carrier for providing air transportation to a place in the 48 contiguous States or the District of Columbia and designate the place as eligible for compensation under this section if—

(1) at any time before October 23, 1978, the place was served by a carrier holding a certificate under section 401 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958;

(2) the place is more than 50 miles from the nearest small hub airport or an eligible place;

(3) the place is more than 150 miles from the nearest hub airport; and

(4) the State or local government submitting the proposal or a person is willing and able to pay 25 percent of the cost of providing the compensated transportation.


Paragraph (4) does not apply to any community approved for service under this section during the period beginning October 1, 1991, and ending December 31, 1997.

(c) Level of Air Transportation.—(1) If the Secretary designates a place under subsection (a)(1) of this section as eligible for compensation under this section, the Secretary shall decide, not later than 6 months after the date of the designation, on the level of air transportation to be provided under this section. Before making a decision, the Secretary shall consider the views of any interested community, the appropriate State authority of the State in which the place is located, and the State or local government or person agreeing to pay compensation for the transportation under subsection (b)(4) of this section.

(2) After making the decision under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Secretary shall provide notice that any air carrier that is willing to provide the level of air transportation established under paragraph (1) for a place may submit an application to provide the transportation. In selecting an applicant, the Secretary shall consider, among other factors—

(A) the factors listed in section 41733(c)(1) of this title; and

(B) the views of the State or local government or person agreeing to pay compensation for the transportation.


(d) Compensation Payments.—(1) The Secretary shall pay compensation under this section when and in the way the Secretary decides is appropriate. The Secretary shall continue to pay compensation under this section only as long as—

(A) the air carrier maintains the level of air transportation established by the Secretary under subsection (c)(1) of this section;

(B) the State or local government or person agreeing to pay compensation for transportation under this section continues to pay that compensation; and

(C) the Secretary decides the compensation is necessary to maintain the transportation to the place.


(2) The Secretary may require the State or local government or person agreeing to pay compensation under this section to make advance payments or provide other security to ensure that timely payments are made.

(e) Review.—The Secretary shall review periodically the level of air transportation provided under this section. Based on the review and consultation with any interested community, the appropriate State authority of the State in which the community is located, and the State or local government or person paying compensation under this section, the Secretary may make appropriate adjustments in the level of transportation.

(f) Withdrawal of Eligibility Designations.—After providing notice and an opportunity for interested persons to comment, the Secretary may withdraw the designation of a place under subsection (a)(1) of this section as eligible to receive compensation under this section if the place has received air transportation under this section for at least 2 years and the Secretary decides the withdrawal would be in the public interest. The Secretary by regulation shall prescribe standards for deciding whether the withdrawal of a designation under this subsection is in the public interest. The standards shall include the factors listed in subsection (a)(2) of this section.

(g) Ending, Suspending, and Reducing Air Transportation.—An air carrier providing air transportation for compensation under this section may end, suspend, or reduce that transportation below the level of transportation established by the Secretary under this section only after giving the Secretary, the affected community, and the State or local government or person paying compensation under this section at least 30 days' notice before ending, suspending, or reducing the transportation.

(h) Sunset.—

(1) Proposals.—No proposal under subsection (a) may be accepted by the Secretary after the date of enactment of this subsection.

(2) Program.—The Secretary may not provide any compensation under this section after the date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this subsection.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1149; Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §202, Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 91; Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title IV, §453(b), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3348.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41736(a) 49 App.:1389(d)(1), (2)(A), (C). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(d); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1513.
41736(b) 49 App.:1389(d)(2)(B).
41736(c)(1) 49 App.:1389(d)(3)(A).
41736(c)(2) 49 App.:1389(d)(4).
41736(d) 49 App.:1389(d)(5), (7), (8).
41736(e) 49 App.:1389(d)(3)(B).
41736(f) 49 App.:1389(d)(2)(D).
41736(g) 49 App.:1389(d)(6).

In subsection (a)(1), before clause (A), the words "that the Secretary provide compensation to an air carrier to provide air transportation" are substituted for "for compensated air transportation in accordance with this subsection" for clarity. In clause (B)(i), the word "transportation" is substituted for "proposed compensated air transportation" to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsections (c)–(g), the word "transportation" is substituted for "service" for consistency with the source provisions restated in subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

In subsections (c)(1) and (e), the words "appropriate State authority" are substituted for "State agency" for clarity and consistency with the source provisions restated in section 41734(a) of the revised title.

In subsection (d), the text of 49 App.:1389(d)(5) is omitted as unnecessary because of the restatement.

In subsection (f), the word "prescribe" is substituted for "establish" for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the United States Code.

References in Text

Section 401 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is section 401 of Pub. L. 85–726, which was classified to section 1371 of former Title 49, Transportation, and was repealed by Pub. L. 103–272, §7(b), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1379, the first section of which enacted subtitles II, III, and V to X of Title 49, Transportation. For disposition of section 1371 of former Title 49, see Table at the beginning of Title 49.

The date of enactment of this subsection, referred to in subsec. (h), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 115–254, which was approved Oct. 5, 2018.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 115–254 added subsec. (h).

2000—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106–181 inserted concluding provisions.

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–181 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1999, see section 3 of Pub. L. 106–181, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

§41737. Compensation guidelines, limitations, and claims

(a) Compensation Guidelines.—(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe guidelines governing the rate of compensation payable under this subchapter. The guidelines shall be used to determine the reasonable amount of compensation required to ensure the continuation of air service or air transportation under this subchapter. The guidelines shall—

(A) provide for a reduction in compensation when an air carrier does not provide service or transportation agreed to be provided;

(B) consider amounts needed by an air carrier to promote public use of the service or transportation for which compensation is being paid;

(C) include expense elements based on representative costs of air carriers providing scheduled air transportation of passengers, property, and mail on aircraft of the type the Secretary decides is appropriate for providing the service or transportation for which compensation is being provided;

(D) include provisions under which the Secretary may encourage an air carrier to improve air service for which compensation is being paid under this subchapter by incorporating financial incentives in an essential air service contract based on specified performance goals, including goals related to improving on-time performance, reducing the number of flight cancellations, establishing reasonable fares (including joint fares beyond the hub airport), establishing convenient connections to flights providing service beyond hub airports, and increasing marketing efforts; and

(E) include provisions under which the Secretary may execute a long-term essential air service contract to encourage an air carrier to provide air service to an eligible place if it would be in the public interest to do so.


(2) Promotional amounts described in paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection shall be a special, segregated element of the compensation provided to a carrier under this subchapter.

(b) Required Finding.—The Secretary may pay compensation to an air carrier for providing air service or air transportation under this subchapter only if the Secretary finds the carrier is able to provide the service or transportation in a reliable way.

(c) Claims.—Not later than 15 days after receiving a written claim from an air carrier for compensation under this subchapter, the Secretary shall—

(1) pay or deny the United States Government's share of a claim; and

(2) if denying the claim, notify the carrier of the denial and the reasons for the denial.


(d) Authority To Make Agreements and Incur Obligations.—(1) The Secretary may make agreements and incur obligations from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund established under section 9502 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 9502) to pay compensation under this subchapter. An agreement by the Secretary under this subsection is a contractual obligation of the Government to pay the Government's share of the compensation.

(2) Not more than $38,600,000 is available to the Secretary out of the Fund for each of the fiscal years ending September 30, 1993–1998, to incur obligations under this section. Amounts made available under this section remain available until expended.

(e) Adjustments to Account for Significantly Increased Costs.—

(1) In general.—If the Secretary determines that air carriers are experiencing significantly increased costs in providing air service or air transportation for which compensation is being paid under this subchapter, the Secretary may increase the rates of compensation payable under this subchapter without regard to any agreement or requirement relating to the renegotiation of contracts or any notice requirement under section 41734.

(2) Readjustment if costs subsequently decline.—If an adjustment is made under paragraph (1), and total unit costs subsequently decrease to at least the total unit cost reflected in the compensation rate, then the Secretary may reverse the adjustment previously made under paragraph (1) without regard to any agreement or requirement relating to the renegotiation of contracts or any notice requirement under section 41734.

(3) Significantly increased costs defined.—In this subsection, the term "significantly increased costs" means a total unit cost increase (but not increases in individual unit costs) of 10 percent or more in relation to the total unit cost reflected in the compensation rate, based on the carrier's internal audit of its financial statements if such cost increase is incurred for a period of at least 2 consecutive months.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1151; Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §402(a), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2543; Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §427(a), Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 99.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41737(a) 49 App.:1389(f). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(e)(2)–(g); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1515.
41737(b) 49 App.:1389(e)(2).
41737(c) 49 App.:1389(g).
41737(d) 49 App.:1389(l). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(l); added Nov. 5, 1990, Pub. L. 101–508, §9113(b)(1), 104 Stat. 1388–363.

In subsection (a)(1), before clause (A), the word "prescribe" is substituted for "establish" to eliminate an executed word. The words "air service or air transportation under this subchapter" are substituted for "air service under this section" for consistency with the source provisions restated in sections 41733, 41735, and 41736 of the revised title. In clause (C), the words "the service or transportation for which compensation is being provided" are substituted for "such service" for clarity.

In subsection (a)(2), the words "compensation provided to a carrier under this subchapter" are substituted for "required compensation" for clarity.

In subsection (b), the words "air service or air transportation" are substituted for "air service" for consistency with the source provisions restated in sections 41733, 41735, and 41736 of the revised title.

In subsection (d)(2), the reference to fiscal year 1992 is omitted as obsolete.

Amendments

2012—Subsec. (a)(1)(D), (E). Pub. L. 112–95 added subpars. (D) and (E).

2003—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108–176 added subsec. (e).

Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §402(b), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2543, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 2003]."

Emergency Across-the-Board Adjustment to Compensation for Significantly Increased Costs

Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §426(a), Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 98; Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title V, §539(s)(1), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3371, provided that: "Subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary of Transportation may increase the rates of compensation payable to air carriers under subchapter II of chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code, to compensate such carriers for increased aviation fuel costs without regard to any agreement or requirement relating to the renegotiation of contracts or any notice requirement under section 41734 of such title."

Deadline for Issuance of Revised Guidance

Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §427(b), Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 99, provided that: "Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Feb. 14, 2012], the Secretary of Transportation shall issue revised guidelines governing the rate of compensation payable under subchapter II of chapter 417 that incorporate the amendments made by this section [amending this section]."

§41738. Fitness of air carriers

Notwithstanding section 40109(a) and (c)–(h) of this title, an air carrier may provide air service to an eligible place or air transportation to a place designated under section 41736 of this title only when the Secretary of Transportation decides that—

(1) the carrier is fit, willing, and able to perform the service or transportation; and

(2) aircraft used to provide the service or transportation, and operations related to the service or transportation, conform to the safety standards prescribed by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1152.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41738 49 App.:1389(e)(1). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(e)(1); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1515.

In this section, before clause (1), the words "air transportation to a place" are substituted for "service to a point" for consistency with the source provisions restated in sections 41733, 41735, and 41736 of the revised title. In clauses (1) and (2), the words "service or transportation" are substituted for "such service" for consistency with the source provisions restated in sections 41733, 41735, and 41736 of the revised title.

§41739. Air carrier obligations

If at least 2 air carriers make an agreement to operate under or use a single carrier designator code to provide air transportation, the carrier whose code is being used shares responsibility with the other carriers for the quality of transportation provided the public under the code by the other carriers.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1152.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41739 49 App.:1389(i). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(i); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1516.

The words "quality of transportation" are substituted for "quality of service" for clarity and consistency in this section.

§41740. Joint proposals

The Secretary of Transportation shall encourage the submission of joint proposals, including joint fares, by 2 or more air carriers for providing air service or air transportation under this subchapter through arrangements that maximize the service or transportation to and from major destinations beyond the hub.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1152; Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §403, Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2543.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41740 49 App.:1389(j). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(j); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1516.

The words "air service or air transportation" are substituted for "air service", and the words "the service or transportation" are substituted for "service", for consistency with the source provisions restated in sections 41733, 41735, and 41736 of the revised title.

Amendments

2003Pub. L. 108–176 inserted ", including joint fares," after "joint proposals".

Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–176 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

§41741. Insurance

The Secretary of Transportation may pay an air carrier compensation under this subchapter only when the carrier files with the Secretary an insurance policy or self-insurance plan approved by the Secretary. The policy or plan must be sufficient to pay for bodily injury to, or death of, an individual, or for loss of or damage to property of others, resulting from the operation of aircraft, but not more than the amount of the policy or plan limits.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1152.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41741 49 App.:1389(h). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(h); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1516.

The words "The Secretary of Transportation may pay . . . only when" are substituted for "An air carrier shall not receive . . . unless" for clarity. The words "approved by the Secretary" are substituted for "complies with regulations or orders issued by the Secretary governing the filing and approval" to eliminate unnecessary words. The words "The policy or plan must be sufficient to pay . . . but not more than the amount of the policy or plan limits" are substituted for "in the amount prescribed by the Secretary which are conditioned to pay, within the amount of such insurance, amounts" because of the restatement. The words "for which such air carrier may become liable" are omitted as unnecessary. The word "individual" is substituted for "person" because it is more precise. The word "operation" is substituted for "operation or maintenance" because it is inclusive.

§41742. Essential air service authorization

(a) In General.—

(1) Authorization.—Out of the amounts received by the Federal Aviation Administration credited to the account established under section 45303 of this title or otherwise provided to the Administration, the sum of $50,000,000 for each fiscal year is authorized and shall be made available immediately for obligation and expenditure to carry out the essential air service program under this subchapter.

(2) Additional funds.—In addition to amounts authorized under paragraph (1), there is authorized to be appropriated out of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (established under section 9502 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) $155,000,000 for fiscal year 2018, $158,000,000 for fiscal year 2019, $161,000,000 for fiscal year 2020, $165,000,000 for fiscal year 2021, $168,000,000 for fiscal year 2022, and $172,000,000 for fiscal year 2023 to carry out the essential air service program under this subchapter of which not more than $12,000,000 per fiscal year may be used for the marketing incentive program for communities and for State marketing assistance.

(3) Authorization for additional employees.—In addition to amounts authorized under paragraphs (1) and (2), there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the Secretary of Transportation to hire and employ 4 additional employees for the office responsible for carrying out the essential air service program.


(b) Distribution of Additional Funds.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any fiscal year in which funds credited to the account established under section 45303, including the funds derived from fees imposed under the authority contained in section 45301(a), exceed the $50,000,000 made available under subsection (a)(1), such funds shall be made available immediately for obligation and expenditure to carry out the essential air service program under this subchapter.

(c) Availability of Funds.—The funds made available under this section shall remain available until expended.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1152; Pub. L. 104–264, title II, §278(c), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3249; Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §209(a), Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 95; Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §404, Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2543; Pub. L. 112–30, title II, §209, Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 359; Pub. L. 112–91, §9, Jan. 31, 2012, 126 Stat. 5; Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §428, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 99; Pub. L. 114–55, title I, §107, Sept. 30, 2015, 129 Stat. 524; Pub. L. 114–141, title I, §107, Mar. 30, 2016, 130 Stat. 324; Pub. L. 114–190, title I, §1107, July 15, 2016, 130 Stat. 618; Pub. L. 115–63, title I, §104(a), Sept. 29, 2017, 131 Stat. 1170; Pub. L. 115–141, div. M, title I, §104(a), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1047; Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title IV, §451(a), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3347.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
41742 49 App.:1389(m). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(m); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1517; Nov. 5, 1990, Pub. L. 101–508, §9113(b)(1), 104 Stat. 1388–363.

References in Text

Section 9502 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is classified to section 9502 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 115–254 substituted "$155,000,000 for fiscal year 2018, $158,000,000 for fiscal year 2019, $161,000,000 for fiscal year 2020, $165,000,000 for fiscal year 2021, $168,000,000 for fiscal year 2022, and $172,000,000 for fiscal year 2023" for "$150,000,000 for fiscal year 2011, $143,000,000 for fiscal year 2012, $118,000,000 for fiscal year 2013, $107,000,000 for fiscal year 2014, $93,000,000 for fiscal year 2015, $175,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 and 2017, and $150,000,000 for fiscal year 2018".

Pub. L. 115–141 substituted "2016 and 2017, and $150,000,000 for fiscal year 2018" for "2016 and 2017, and $74,794,521 for the period beginning on October 1, 2017, and ending on March 31, 2018,".

2017—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 115–63 substituted "$175,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 and 2017, and $74,794,521 for the period beginning on October 1, 2017, and ending on March 31, 2018," for "and $175,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 and 2017".

2016—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 114–190 substituted "fiscal year 2014, $93,000,000 for fiscal year 2015, and $175,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 and 2017" for "fiscal year 2014, $93,000,000 for fiscal year 2015, and $122,708,333 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on July 15, 2016,".

Pub. L. 114–141 substituted "$122,708,333 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on July 15, 2016," for "$77,500,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on March 31, 2016,".

2015—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 114–55 substituted "$93,000,000 for fiscal year 2015, and $77,500,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on March 31, 2016," for "and $93,000,000 for fiscal year 2015".

2012—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 112–95, §428(a)(1), inserted "for each fiscal year" before "is authorized" and substituted "under this subchapter" for "under this subchapter for each fiscal year".

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 112–95, §428(a)(2), substituted ", $143,000,000 for fiscal year 2012, $118,000,000 for fiscal year 2013, $107,000,000 for fiscal year 2014, and $93,000,000 for fiscal year 2015" for "and $54,699,454 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on February 17, 2012,".

Pub. L. 112–91 substituted "and $54,699,454 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on February 17, 2012," for "and $50,309,016 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on January 31, 2012,".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–95, §428(b), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, moneys credited to the account established under section 45303(a) of this title, including the funds derived from fees imposed under the authority contained in section 45301(a) of this title, shall be used to carry out the essential air service program under this subchapter. Notwithstanding section 47114(g) of this title, any amounts from those fees that are not obligated or expended at the end of the fiscal year for the purpose of funding the essential air service program under this subchapter shall be made available to the Administration for use in improving rural air safety under subchapter I of chapter 471 of this title and shall be used exclusively for projects at rural airports under this subchapter."

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–95, §428(c), added subsec. (c).

2011—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 112–30 substituted "there is authorized to be appropriated out of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (established under section 9502 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) $150,000,000 for fiscal year 2011 and $50,309,016 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on January 31, 2012," for "there is authorized to be appropriated $77,000,000 for each fiscal year".

2003—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 108–176, §404(1), substituted "$77,000,000" for "$15,000,000" and inserted "of which not more than $12,000,000 per fiscal year may be used for the marketing incentive program for communities and for State marketing assistance" before period at end.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 108–176, §404(2), added par. (3).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–176, §404(3), struck out heading and text of subsec. (c). Text read as follows: "Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), in fiscal year 1997, amounts in excess of $75,000,000 that are collected in fees pursuant to section 45301(a)(1) of this title shall be available for the essential air service program under this subchapter, in addition to amounts specifically provided for in appropriations Acts."

2000—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–181 designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, realigned margins, and added par. (2).

1996Pub. L. 104–264 amended section generally, substituting provisions relating to essential air service authorization for provisions stating that this subchapter was not effective after Sept. 30, 1998.

Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–176 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–181 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1999, see section 3 of Pub. L. 106–181, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–264 effective on date that is 30 days after Oct. 9, 1996, see section 203 of Pub. L. 104–264, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Except as otherwise specifically provided, amendment by Pub. L. 104–264 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1996, and not to be construed as affecting funds made available for a fiscal year ending before Oct. 1, 1996, see section 3 of Pub. L. 104–264, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Funding for Essential Air Service Program

Pub. L. 112–55, div. C, title I, Nov. 18, 2011, 125 Stat. 644, provided in part: "That no funds made available under section 41742 of title 49, United States Code, and no funds made available in this Act [div. C of Pub. L. 112–55, see Tables for classification] or any other Act in any fiscal year, shall be available to carry out the essential air service program under sections 41731 through 41742 of such title 49 in communities in the 48 contiguous States unless the community received subsidized essential air service or received a 90-day notice of intent to terminate service and the Secretary required the air carrier to continue to provide service to the community at any time between September 30, 2010, and September 30, 2011, inclusive".

Findings

Pub. L. 104–264, title II, §278(b), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3249, provided that: "Congress finds that—

"(1) air service in rural areas is essential to a national and international transportation network;

"(2) the rural air service infrastructure supports the safe operation of all air travel;

"(3) rural air service creates economic benefits for all air carriers by making the national aviation system available to passengers from rural areas;

"(4) rural air service has suffered since deregulation;

"(5) the essential air service program under the Department of Transportation—

"(A) provides essential airline access to rural and isolated rural communities throughout the Nation;

"(B) is necessary for the economic growth and development of rural communities;

"(C) is a critical component of the national and international transportation system of the United States; and

"(D) has endured serious funding cuts in recent years; and

"(6) a reliable source of funding must be established to maintain air service in rural areas and the essential air service program."

§41743. Airports not receiving sufficient service

(a) Small Community Air Service Development Program.—The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a program that meets the requirements of this section for improving air carrier service to airports not receiving sufficient air carrier service.

(b) Application Required.—In order to participate in the program established under subsection (a), a community or consortium of communities shall submit an application to the Secretary in such form, at such time, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including—

(1) an assessment of the need of the community or consortium for access, or improved access, to the national air transportation system; and

(2) an analysis of the application of the criteria in subsection (c) to that community or consortium.


(c) Criteria for Participation.—In selecting communities, or consortia of communities, for participation in the program established under subsection (a), the Secretary shall apply the following criteria:

(1) Size.—On the date of submission of the relevant application under subsection (b), the airport serving the community or consortium—

(A) is not larger than a small hub airport, as determined using the Department of Transportation's most recently published classification; and

(B) has—

(i) insufficient air carrier service; or

(ii) unreasonably high air fares.


(2) Characteristics.—The airport presents characteristics, such as geographic diversity or unique circumstances, that will demonstrate the need for, and feasibility of, the program established under subsection (a).

(3) State limit.—Not more than 4 communities or consortia of communities, or a combination thereof, from the same State may be selected to participate in the program in any fiscal year.

(4) Overall limit.—

(A) In general.—No more than 40 communities or consortia of communities, or a combination thereof, may be selected to participate in the program in each year for which funds are appropriated for the program.

(B) Same projects.—Except as provided in subparagraph (C), no community, consortia of communities, or combination thereof may participate in the program in support of the same project more than once in a 10-year period, but any community, consortia of communities, or combination thereof may apply, subsequent to such participation, to participate in the program in support of a different project at any time.

(C) Exception.—The Secretary may waive the limitation under subparagraph (B) related to projects that are the same if the Secretary determines that the community or consortium spent little or no money on its previous project or encountered industry or environmental challenges, due to circumstances that were reasonably beyond the control of the community or consortium.


(5) Priorities.—The Secretary shall give priority to communities or consortia of communities where—

(A) air fares are higher than the average air fares for all communities;

(B) the community or consortium will provide a portion of the cost of the activity to be assisted under the program from local sources other than airport revenues;

(C) the community or consortium has established, or will establish, a public-private partnership to facilitate air carrier service to the public;

(D) the assistance will provide material benefits to a broad segment of the travelling public, including business, educational institutions, and other enterprises, whose access to the national air transportation system is limited;

(E) the assistance will be used to help restore scheduled passenger air service that has been terminated;

(F) the assistance will be used in a timely fashion; and

(G) multiple communities cooperate to submit a regional or multistate application to consolidate air service into one regional airport.


(d) Types of Assistance.—The Secretary may use amounts made available under this section—

(1) to provide assistance to an air carrier to subsidize service to and from an underserved airport for a period not to exceed 3 years;

(2) to provide assistance to an underserved airport to obtain service to and from the underserved airport; and

(3) to provide assistance to an underserved airport to implement such other measures as the Secretary, in consultation with such airport, considers appropriate to improve air service both in terms of the cost of such service to consumers and the availability of such service, including improving air service through marketing and promotion of air service and enhanced utilization of airport facilities.


(e) Authority To Make Agreements.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary may make agreements to provide assistance under this section. The Secretary may amend the scope of a grant agreement at the request of the community or consortium and any participating air carrier, and may limit the scope of a grant agreement to only the elements using grant assistance or to only the elements achieved, if the Secretary determines that the amendment is reasonably consistent with the original purpose of the project.

(2) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2023 to carry out this section. Such sums shall remain available until expended.


(f) Additional Action.—Under the program established under subsection (a), the Secretary shall work with air carriers providing service to participating communities and major air carriers (as defined in section 41716(a)(2)) serving large hub airports to facilitate joint-fare arrangements consistent with normal industry practice.

(g) Designation of Responsible Official.—The Secretary shall designate an employee of the Department of Transportation—

(1) to function as a facilitator between small communities and air carriers;

(2) to carry out this section;

(3) to ensure that the Bureau of Transportation Statistics collects data on passenger information to assess the service needs of small communities;

(4) to work with and coordinate efforts with other Federal, State, and local agencies to increase the viability of service to small communities and the creation of aviation development zones; and

(5) to provide policy recommendations to the Secretary and Congress that will ensure that small communities have access to quality, affordable air transportation services.


(h) Air Service Development Zone.—The Secretary shall designate an airport in the program as an Air Service Development Zone and work with the community or consortium on means to attract business to the area surrounding the airport, to develop land use options for the area, and provide data, working with the Department of Commerce and other agencies.

(Added Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §203(a), Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 92; amended Pub. L. 108–11, title II, §2708, Apr. 16, 2003, 117 Stat. 601; Pub. L. 108–176, title II, §225(b)(3), title IV, §412, Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2529, 2551; Pub. L. 110–330, §5(b), Sept. 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 3718; Pub. L. 111–69, §5(b), Oct. 1, 2009, 123 Stat. 2055; Pub. L. 111–249, §5(b), Sept. 30, 2010, 124 Stat. 2628; Pub. L. 112–30, title II, §205(b), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 358; Pub. L. 112–91, §5(b), Jan. 31, 2012, 126 Stat. 4; Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §429, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 100; Pub. L. 114–190, title I, §1102(e), July 15, 2016, 130 Stat. 617; Pub. L. 115–63, title I, §104(b), Sept. 29, 2017, 131 Stat. 1170; Pub. L. 115–141, div. M, title I, §104(b), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1047; Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title IV, §455, Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3349.)

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 115–254, §455(a)(1), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "For calendar year 1997, the airport serving the community or consortium was not larger than a small hub airport, and—

"(A) had insufficient air carrier service; or

"(B) had unreasonably high air fares."

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 115–254, §455(a)(2), added par. (4) and struck out former par. (4). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "No more than 40 communities or consortia of communities, or a combination thereof, may be selected to participate in the program in each year for which funds are appropriated for the program. No community, consortia of communities, nor combination thereof may participate in the program in support of the same project more than once, but any community, consortia of communities, or combination thereof may apply, subsequent to such participation, to participate in the program in support of a different project."

Subsec. (c)(5)(E) to (G). Pub. L. 115–254, §455(a)(3), added subpar. (E) and redesignated former subpars. (E) and (F) as (F) and (G), respectively.

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 115–254, §455(b), inserted at end "The Secretary may amend the scope of a grant agreement at the request of the community or consortium and any participating air carrier, and may limit the scope of a grant agreement to only the elements using grant assistance or to only the elements achieved, if the Secretary determines that the amendment is reasonably consistent with the original purpose of the project."

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 115–254, §455(c), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $6,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2017 and $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2018 to carry out this section. Such sums shall remain available until expended."

Pub. L. 115–141 substituted "2012 through 2017 and $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2018" for "2012 through 2017 and $4,986,301 for the period beginning on October 1, 2017, and ending on March 31, 2018,".

2017—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 115–63 inserted "and $4,986,301 for the period beginning on October 1, 2017, and ending on March 31, 2018," after "fiscal years 2012 through 2017".

2016—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 114–190 substituted "2017" for "2015".

2012—Subsec. (c)(5)(F). Pub. L. 112–95, §429(a), added subpar. (F).

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 112–95, §429(b), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) provided for authorization of appropriations for fiscal years 2001 through 2011 and for the portion of fiscal year 2012 ending before Feb. 18, 2012.

Pub. L. 112–91 substituted "and $2,295,082 for the portion of fiscal year 2012 ending before February 18, 2012," for "and $2,016,393 for the portion of fiscal year 2012 ending before February 1, 2012,".

2011—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 112–30 substituted "$35,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2011, and $2,016,393 for the portion of fiscal year 2012 ending before February 1, 2012," for "and $35,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2011".

2010—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 111–249 substituted "2011" for "2010".

2009—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 111–69 substituted "2010" for "2009".

2008—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 110–330 substituted "2009" for "2008".

2003—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–176, §412(1), (2), struck out "Pilot" before "Program" in heading and "pilot" before "program" in text.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 108–176, §225(b)(3)(A), struck out "(as that term is defined in section 41731(a)(5))" after "small hub airport" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 108–176, §412(3)(A), added par. (3) and struck out heading and text of former par. (3). Text read as follows: "No more than four communities or consortia of communities, or a combination thereof, may be located in the same State."

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 108–176, §412(3)(B), inserted at end "No community, consortia of communities, nor combination thereof may participate in the program in support of the same project more than once, but any community, consortia of communities, or combination thereof may apply, subsequent to such participation, to participate in the program in support of a different project."

Pub. L. 108–11 inserted before period at end "in each year for which funds are appropriated for the program".

Subsec. (c)(5)(E). Pub. L. 108–176, §412(3)(C), added subpar. (E).

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 108–176, §412(4), substituted "fiscal year 2001," for "fiscal year 2001 and" and inserted ", and $35,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008" after "2003".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 108–176, §§225(b)(3)(B), 412(5), struck out "pilot" after "Under the" and "(as defined in section 41731(a)(3))" after "large hub airports".

Effective Date of 2010 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–249 effective Oct. 1, 2010, see section 5(l) of Pub. L. 111–249, set out as a note under section 40117 of this title.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 110–330 effective Oct. 1, 2008, see section 5(l) of Pub. L. 110–330, set out as a note under section 40117 of this title.

Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–176 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Effective Date

Section applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1999, see section 3 of Pub. L. 106–181, set out as an Effective Date of 2000 Amendments note under section 106 of this title.

§41744. Preservation of basic essential air service at single carrier dominated hub airports

(a) In General.—If the Secretary of Transportation determines that extraordinary circumstances jeopardize the reliable performance of essential air service under this subchapter from a subsidized essential air service community to and from an essential airport facility, the Secretary may require an air carrier that has more than 60 percent of the total annual enplanements at the essential airport facility to take action to enable another air carrier to provide reliable essential air service to that community. Actions required by the Secretary under this subsection may include interline agreements, ground services, subleasing of gates, and the provision of any other service or facility necessary for the performance of satisfactory essential air service to that community.

(b) Essential Airport Facility Defined.—In this section, the term "essential airport facility" means a large hub airport in the contiguous 48 States at which one air carrier has more than 60 percent of the total annual enplanements at that airport.

(Added Pub. L. 106–181, title II, §204(a), Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 93; amended Pub. L. 108–176, title II, §225(b)(4), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2529.)

Amendments

2003—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 108–176 struck out "(as defined in section 41731)" after "large hub airport".

Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–176 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.

Effective Date

Section applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1999, see section 3 of Pub. L. 106–181, set out as an Effective Date of 2000 Amendments note under section 106 of this title.

§41745. Community and regional choice programs

(a) Alternate Essential Air Service Pilot Program.—

(1) Establishment.—The Secretary of Transportation shall establish an alternate essential air service pilot program in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(2) Assistance to eligible places.—In carrying out the program, the Secretary, instead of paying compensation to an air carrier to provide essential air service to an eligible place, may provide assistance directly to a unit of local government having jurisdiction over the eligible place or a State within the boundaries of which the eligible place is located.

(3) Use of assistance.—A unit of local government or State receiving assistance for an eligible place under the program may use the assistance for any of the following purposes:

(A) To provide assistance to air carriers that will use smaller equipment to provide the service and to consider increasing the frequency of service using such smaller equipment if the Secretary determines that passenger safety would not be compromised by the use of such smaller equipment and if the State or unit of local government waives the minimum service requirements under section 41732(b).

(B) To provide assistance to an air carrier to provide on-demand air taxi service to and from the eligible place.

(C) To provide assistance to a person to provide scheduled or on-demand surface transportation to and from the eligible place and an airport in another place.

(D) In combination with other units of local government in the same region, to provide transportation services to and from all the eligible places in that region at an airport or other transportation center that can serve all the eligible places in that region.

(E) To purchase aircraft to provide transportation to and from the eligible place or to purchase a fractional share in an aircraft to provide such transportation after the effective date of a rule the Secretary issues relating to fractional ownership.

(F) To pay for other transportation or related services that the Secretary may permit.


(b) Community Flexibility Pilot Program.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary shall establish a pilot program for not more than 10 eligible places or consortia of units of local government.

(2) Election.—Under the program, the sponsor of an airport serving an eligible place may elect to forego any essential air service for which compensation is being provided under this subchapter for a 10-year period in exchange for a grant from the Secretary equal in value to twice the compensation paid to provide such service in the most recent 12-month period.

(3) Grant.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall make a grant to each airport sponsor participating in the program for use on any project that—

(A) is eligible for assistance under chapter 471 and complies with the requirements of that chapter;

(B) is located on the airport property; or

(C) will improve airport facilities in a way that would make such facilities more usable for general aviation.


(c) Fractionally Owned Aircraft.—After the effective date of the rule referred to in subsection (a)(3)(E), only those operating rules that relate to an aircraft that is fractionally owned apply when an aircraft described in subsection (a)(3)(E) is used to provide transportation described in subsection (a)(3)(E).

(d) Applications.—

(1) In general.—An entity seeking to participate in a program under this section shall submit to the Secretary an application in such form and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(2) Required information.—At a minimum, the application shall include—

(A) a statement of the amount of compensation or assistance required; and

(B) a description of how the compensation or assistance will be used.


(e) Participation Requirements.—An eligible place for which compensation or assistance is provided under this section in a fiscal year shall not be eligible in that fiscal year for the essential air service that it would otherwise be entitled to under this subchapter.

(f) Subsequent Participation.—A unit of local government participating in the program under this subsection (a) in a fiscal year shall not be prohibited from participating in the basic essential air service program under this subchapter in a subsequent fiscal year if such unit is otherwise eligible to participate in such program.

(g) Funding.—Amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to carry out the essential air service program under this subchapter shall be available to carry out this section.

(Added Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §405, Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2544.)

Effective Date

Section applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as an Effective Date of 2003 Amendment note under section 106 of this title.

§41746. Tracking service

The Secretary of Transportation shall require a carrier that provides essential air service to an eligible place and that receives compensation for such service under this subchapter to report not less than semiannually—

(1) the percentage of flights to and from the place that arrive on time as defined by the Secretary; and

(2) such other information as the Secretary considers necessary to evaluate service provided to passengers traveling to and from such place.

(Added Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §407, Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2545.)

Effective Date

Section applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as an Effective Date of 2003 Amendment note under section 106 of this title.

[§41747. Repealed. Pub. L. 112–95, title IV, §430, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 100]

Section, added Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §408(a), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2546, related to the EAS local participation program.

§41748. Marketing program

(a) In General.—The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a marketing incentive program for eligible places that receive subsidized service by an air carrier under section 41733. Under the program, the sponsor of the airport serving such an eligible place may receive a grant of not more than $50,000 in a fiscal year to develop and implement a marketing plan to increase passenger boardings and the level of passenger usage of its airport facilities.

(b) Matching Requirement; Success Bonuses—

(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), not less than 25 percent of the publicly financed costs associated with a marketing plan to be developed and implemented under this section shall come from non-Federal sources. For purposes of this section—

(A) the non-Federal portion of the publicly financed costs may be derived from contributions in kind; and

(B) matching contributions from a State or unit of local government may not be derived, directly or indirectly, from Federal funds, but the use by the State or unit of local government of proceeds from the sale of bonds to provide the matching contribution is not considered to be a contribution derived directly or indirectly from Federal funds, without regard to the Federal income tax treatment of interest paid on those bonds or the Federal income tax treatment of those bonds.


(2) Bonus for 25-percent increase in usage.—Except as provided in paragraph (3), if, after any 12-month period during which a marketing plan has been in effect under this section with respect to an eligible place, the Secretary determines that the marketing plan has increased average monthly boardings, or the level of passenger usage, at the airport serving the eligible place, by 25 percent or more, then only 10 percent of the publicly financed costs associated with the marketing plan shall be required to come from non-Federal sources under this subsection for the following 12-month period.

(3) Bonus for 50-percent increase in usage.—If, after any 12-month period during which a marketing plan has been in effect under this section with respect to an eligible place, the Secretary determines that the marketing plan has increased average monthly boardings, or the level of passenger usage, at the airport serving the eligible place, by 50 percent or more, then no portion of the publicly financed costs associated with the marketing plan shall be required to come from non-Federal sources under this subsection for the following 12-month period.

(Added Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §410(b), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2548.)

Codification

Another section 410(b) of Pub. L. 108–176 amended the table of sections at the beginning of this chapter.

Effective Date

Section applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 2003, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 3 of Pub. L. 108–176, set out as an Effective Date of 2003 Amendment note under section 106 of this title.

Incentive Program

Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, §410(a), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2548, provided that: "The purposes of this section [enacting this section] are—

"(1) to enable essential air service communities to increase boardings and the level of passenger usage of airport facilities at an eligible place by providing technical, financial, and other marketing assistance to such communities and to States;

"(2) to reduce subsidy costs under subchapter II of this chapter [probably means chapter 417 of title 49, United States Code] as a consequence of such increased usage; and

"(3) to provide such communities with opportunities to obtain, retain, and improve transportation services."