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Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

DOT Broker Rule Increases Consumer Protections, Transparency

Washington, DC, September 19, 2018 – The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is encouraging its members to review and prepare for the implementation of new Department of Transportation (DOT) standards related to the sale of charter flights. 

This week, the DOT released new regulations impacting air charter transactions that are designed to provide a formal structure within which air charter brokers may operate, increase transparency in transactions, enhance protections for consumers and strengthen enforcement capabilities.

“For well over a decade, the air charter industry has called for better oversight of transactions involving brokers, who typically are not commercial aircraft operators but facilitate charter agreements between consumers and operators,” explained NATA’s Regulatory Affairs Senior Advisor Jacqueline Rosser. “These regulations are the culmination of that effort.”

Effective February 14, 2019, the final rule, titled “Increasing Charter Air Transportation Options,” establishes a new class of indirect air carrier known as “air charter brokers,” requires certain disclosures to consumers, creates refund requirements, and prohibits several specific actions the DOT has deemed are unfair and deceptive. The DOT has also adopted similar rules for disclosures, refunds and prohibited actions that apply to air charter operators.

The regulations have been under consideration since at least 2007, when the DOT was prompted to act following safety recommendations issued by the National Transportation Safety Board.

“The DOT acted on many of NATA’s recommendations to the 2013 proposed rule. In conjunction with its Air Charter Committee, the association will conduct a thorough review of the rules and expects to provide members with additional analysis to aid in compliance,” Rosser noted.

“Operators and those providing air charter broker services should immediately review their processes to ensure compliance with the new standards,” Rosser added.

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The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for over 75 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.