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Act of June 29, 1940..
Act of October 31, 1945..
Act of September 7, 1950
Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986
Government guaranty of loans to air carriers
Acts relating to surplus airport property:
Section 13(g) of the Surplus Property Act of 1944.
Act of October 1, 1949...
Section 16 of the Federal Airport Act.
Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
Selected provisions of subtitle I of title 49, United States Code
Laws relating to international aviation:
International Aviation Facilities Act....
International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act of 1974...
Section 802(d) of the Trade Act of 1974...
International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985
Section 306 of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986
Railway Labor Act .....
Selected provisions of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990........
INTRODUCTORY NOTE The Committee on Public Works and Transportation is pleased to publish the latest revision of our compilation of the laws governing civil aviation. The compilation was first published in 1983 and has been revised at the end of every Congress since then. The compilation has enjoyed a wide circulation and has proved to be a very useful information resource for the aviation industry and the government agencies which regulate it.
The laws included in the compilation reflect the variety of issues which have been dealt with by the Committee on Public Works and Transportation since we received jurisdiction over civil aviation in 1975. The Committee's effectiveness in dealing with these issues is largely attributable to the outstanding Members who have served as Chairmen of the Aviation Subcommittee, Glenn Anderson, Norman Mineta, and James Oberstar, as well as the excellent ranking Republicans on the Subcommittee, Gene Snyder, John Paul Hammerschmidt, Newt Gingrich, and William Clinger. Under these fine leaders, the Subcommittee has been energetic and creative in responding to the challenges presented by the dynamic aviation industry. The highlights of the Committee's aviation legislation include:
Economic Regulation.—A major accomplishment of the Committee was deregulation of the airlines, ending 30 years of economic regulation in which the Civil Aeronautics Board determined the routes an airline could serve and the fares it could charge. Although economic regulation may well have been needed for the infant airline industry of 1938, by the mid-1970s regulation was widely perceived as preventing innovations and effective competition. În 1978, the Committee enacted the landmark Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 which established a phased withdrawal of Federal regulation of airline routes and service over a seven year period. This was followed by legislation to enhance competition in international aviation markets, the International Air Transport Competition Act of 1979. In 1984, the Civil Aeronautics Board Sunset Act completed the process of deregulation and terminated the Civil Aeronautics Board, the government agency responsible for economic regulation.
Airline deregulation has achieved major successes in providing more service and lower fares for airline passengers. Since 1978, the average fare paid by a passenger has increased by only half the general rate of inflation. As a result, air transportation has become affordable by persons at all economic levels. The number of passengers carried by scheduled airlines has increased from 275 million in 1978, the year of deregulation, to more than 450 million in 1990. Studies by the Brookings Institution, the General Accounting Office, the Department of Transportation and others have shown that deregulation has saved consumers billions of dollars.
At the time this Compilation goes to press, there are serious concerns that Government anti-competitive policies and structural barriers in the industry are leading to the rapid disappearance of small and medium sized competitors. If these trends continue, there will not be enough competitors left to preserve the consumer benefits of deregulation. The Committee is now considering legislation to enhance competition.
An important adjunct of the Committee's deregulation program has been the Essential Air Service Program which ensures the continuation of at least a minimum level of service to small cities which might lose their air service under deregulation. The EAS Program has preserved air service to more than 100 small cities.
Aviation Safety.-Generally, the Committee prefers to proceed in the safety area by giving general policy guidance to the Federal Aviation Administration and then overseeing FAA's decisions on specific safety requirements. However, there have been occasions where FAA has not moved aggressively enough to promote safety, and in these instances the Committee has developed legislation to direct rulemaking by the Agency. Specific safety measures which have been directed legislatively include stronger aircraft seats, improved floatation equipment (life preservers, life rafts, and escape slides), requirements that commuter aircraft carry voice and flight data recorder equipment, and requirements for collision avoidance equipment on airline aircraft. Aviation safety has also been promoted by the Committee's authorization of funding from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund for the FAA's program to modernize the air traffic control cystem, the National Airspace System (NAS) Plan. This program is now funded at several billion dollars a year.
Airport Development.—Since 1975, the Committee has been responsible for the periodic reauthorization of the programs to fund airport development from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. This program, which now totals close to $2 billion a year, has been reauthorized every three to five years. The 1990 reauthorization embodies an agreement between Congressional committees and Executive Branch agencies on a program for spending more on development of the airport and airway systems and for drawing down the surplus which has accumulated in the Trust Fund. At the same time, the 1990 Act included amendments to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to authorize a major new source of funding for airport development, passenger facility charges (PFCs) collected by local airports. The legislation authorizing PFCs provides for Federal supervision of the imposition and collection of these charges, to ensure that the charges are limited to amounts needed for airport development and that there is coordination between airport development from the Federal Trust Fund and development undertaken with locally imposed passenger facility charges.
Aviation Noise. The Committee has been involved in important legislation to deal with problems of aviation noise. The Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979 addressed noise issues in two ways. First, by a phased-in ban of the noisiest aircraft in the fleet, Stage 1 aircraft, by 1985. Secondly, the Act established a new program of federal grants for noise abatement planning and programs by local airport authorities. These programs are now funded at a level of about $200 million a year.
In 1990, there was a major update and revision of Federal noise legislation in the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990. This Act continues the Federal program of reducing aviation noise by requiring that Stage 2 aircraft be retired by the end of 1999. At the same time, the Act establishes new procedures for prior Federal review of proposals by airports to restrict the operations of the quietest Stage 3 aircraft. The Act strikes a balance between the needs of the national aviation system for increased capacity and the needs of noise-impacted homeowners near airports for reductions in noise.
Under the noise legislation which has been developed by the Committee, the number of persons severely impacted by aircraft noise has been reduced from about 6 million at the time of the 1979 Act to about 3 million in 1990. Under the 1990 Act, the number will be further reduced to an estimated 1 million by the year 2000.
Aviation Security.-During the 1980s, there were serious problems of airport and aircraft security. The Committee responded with two major pieces of legislation. In 1985, the Committee passed security legislation as part of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act. The 1985 Act established procedures to improve security at foreign airports and to protect U.S. travelers against international terrorism. Under the law, the Secretary of Transportation is directed to assess security at foreign airports with service to the United States. If security deficiencies are found and are not promptly remedied, the traveling public is given notice through both signs posted at United States airports and written notice provided with airline tickets for transportation to the problem airport. The 1985 Act also expands the Department's authority to suspend or revoke the rights of United States and foreign airlines to operate between a security-deficient foreign airport and the United States.
In 1989, the world was shocked by the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. At the urging of the Congress and the families of the victims of Pan Am 103, the President established a Presidential Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism. Members of the Commission included Chairman Oberstar of the Aviation Subcommittee and Congressman Hammerschmidt, the ranking Republican on our Committee. The Commission made extensive recommendations for the improvement of aviation security, and these recommendations were the basis for the Aviation Security Improvement Act of 1990.
The Act upgrades the security function in the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that greater attention will be given to aviation security. The organizational changes include establishing a Director of Intelligence and Security reporting directly to the Secretary of Transportation and an Assistant Administrator for Civil Aviation Security directly responsible to the FAA Administrator. The law also requires the stationing of new Federal security managers at major airports in the United States and abroad.
Other important provisions in the bill require the establishment of guidelines for notifying the public of threats to air carrier flights; require new research and development to ensure that any explosive detection equipment used for aviation security will be ef