Charter Broker Rule Comments Seek Stiffer Requirements
The comment period for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on charter brokers is now closed. The NPRM stems from NTSB recommendations following the crash of a chartered Bombardier Challenger 601 on Nov. 28, 2004, in Montrose, Colo., which raised the issue of how difficult it can be for charter customers to know the identity of the charter operator when trips are arranged on their behalf.
Key elements of the NPRM would require “adequate information” about the operator and also list “certain prohibited unfair and deceptive practices by air-taxis and commuter air carriers.” Another would create “a new class of indirect air carrier called air charter brokers.”
NATA commented that the new class should also include “acting as the agent of the charterer [and] agent of an air carrier,” not just air charter brokers. NATA also doesn’t agree with the NPRM’s system of self-identification of brokers and would prefer a registration system for brokers covered under the new rules. In its comments, broker Chapman Freeborn said “the NPRM will help bring clarity to the air charter broker industry, and help curtail deceptive activity.” Broker Sentient Jet agrees with the registry requirement and that “the DOT should require that each broker is properly insured with a minimum insurance coverage with this registry.”