DOT Awards San Francisco-Haneda Rights to United. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved United Airlines’ application to serve Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport from San Francisco, Calif., making final its proposed decision issued February 28. Under a U.S.-Japan agreement, U.S. airlines may operate a total of four daily round-trip flights per day at Haneda Airport, where operations are limited. The Department launched a proceeding to award one newly available Haneda opportunity after American Airlines informed DOT that it would be ending its New York-Haneda service. Two airlines applied for the opportunity; United proposed service from San Francisco, Calif., and Hawaiian Airlines proposed service from Kona, Hawaii. DOT found that United’s proposal would introduce a new U.S. carrier at Haneda and would promote competition by giving business and leisure travelers an additional choice for connecting service to Haneda via United’s well-established San Francisco hub. United must begin its San Francisco-Haneda service by September 26, 2014. The final decision and other documents in the case are available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2010-0018. Contact: Caitlin Harvey: (202) 366-4531.
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Revises Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness Regulations. The Federal Railroad Administration today announced a Final Rule (FR) amending its existing Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness regulations. The revisions make explicit that existing requirements for initial and periodic training, operational efficiency tests and inspections of certain railroad personnel apply not only to on-board crewmembers and control center personnel, but also to the railroad’s emergency response communications center personnel, who communicate or coordinate with first responders during an emergency situation involving a passenger train. The final rule also clarifies that railroads must develop procedures that specifically address the safety of passengers with disabilities during actual and simulated emergency situations and also limits the need for FRA to formally approve certain purely administrative changes to approved emergency preparedness plans. The final rule can be viewed here. Contact: Kevin Thompson (202) 493-6024.