The Air Charter Association of North America (Acana) convened its fourth annual charter broker forum here at NBAA 2013 on Tuesday, focusing on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) recent Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) aimed at regulating the charter broker industry.
Panelists David McCown, v-p Air Partner and Acana chairman; Brent Muldowan of Jeppesen Business Aviation, president of Acana; Dayton Lehman, formerly with the DOT’s enforcement office; and attorney Kent Jackson of Jackson & Wade explained the proposal to the standing-room-only crowd and sought input to help inform Acana’s official response to the proposal.
The NPRM is aimed at enhancing consumer protection by, among other things, ensuring charter customers know the identity of the charter operator. The proposal calls for parties to disclose when they are acting as brokers, and for the creation of a new class of indirect air carriers to be called “air charter brokers.” However, the NPRM leaves many issues unresolved or inadequately addressed, in Acana’s view. Currently, charter brokers are not regulated by the DOT or other agencies.
“To me, the primary purpose of the NPRM is to get some kind of rules around this industry,” said Jackson. “Does it achieve its purpose? As written, not quite.”
Acana welcomes DOT regulation of the industry in order to purge unprofessional and unscrupulous brokers from their ranks. Comments on the NPRM are due at the DOT by this November 29. “I urge everyone and anyone who has a stake in this to make their comments known,” said Lehman.