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News Digest DOT 77-14

DOT finalizes approval of IATA Resolution 787.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved a proposal for the development of a new data transmission standard for the airline industry.  The proposal would help modernize the marketing and sale of airline products by enabling all the market players – airlines, travel agents, global distribution systems (GDSs), and consumers – to “speak the same language” in their communications with each other through a common data transmission standard.  The approval is subject to a number of safeguards designed to protect privacy, ensure competition and consumer choice, and make clear the voluntary nature of the standard and its availability to all airline industry participants.  The proposal was submitted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association for many of the world’s airlines, and is generally referred to as IATA Resolution 787.  The Department’s action finalizes a tentative decision announced on May 21, 2014.  In addition to the consumer safeguards, the Department’s decision makes clear that the approval is limited to permitting development of the new data transmission standard.  Future IATA agreements involving the application of any such standard would be subject to separate Department consideration.  The final decision and other documents in the case are available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0048.  Office of Public Affairs:  202-366-4570.

New Final Rule Permits DOT Agencies to Stop Companies that Fail to Pay Civil Penalties from Operating.  A new final rule gives the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) the authority to halt the hazardous materials operations of companies that have failed to pay a civil penalty or failed to arrange payments in violation of the Hazardous Materials Regulations.  This will greatly enhance enforcement and debt collection capabilities without affecting companies that comply with the regulations. The final rule ensures that a person subject to prohibition is notified in writing and given an opportunity to respond before being required to cease operation.  For more information go to: [http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-08-07/pdf/2014-18617.pdf] Contact for media: Joe Delcambre (202) 493-0730.

FMCSA Suspends Operating Authority for Indiana-Based Espinal Trucking.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has suspended the operating authority registration of Michigan City, Indiana-based Francisco Espinal Quiroz, which does business as Espinal Trucking, USDOT No. 2170514, for failing to cooperate in an investigation of the carrier’s compliance with federal safety regulations.  On July 21, 2014, a tractor-trailer operated by Espinal Trucking collided into a line of passenger vehicles that had slowed in a construction zone along Interstate 55 in Will County, Illinois.  FMCSA investigators subsequently were denied access to company records by an Espinal Trucking representative.  Under provisions contained in MAP-21, signed into law by President Obama in July 2012, FMCSA may revoke the operating authority registration of a motor carrier that fails to comply with an administrative subpoena or a letter demanding release of company safety records.  A copy of the August 4, 2014, Order to Suspend Operating Authority Registration is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/espinal-trucking-oa-suspension.  Contact:  Duane Debruyne  (202) 366-9999.

Thursday, August 7, 2014