New Regulations for Air Charter Industry
Department of Transportation (DOT) New Rules Titled: Increasing Air Charter Transportation Options
Air charter brokers have been unregulated since the industry’s dawn, yet many in the field have long called for oversight to rein in abuses like failure to provide an accurate estimate of the trip’s cost beforehand or to disclose the flight operator’s identity, practices that have tarnished the field’s image. Some brokers routinely kept the operator’s name concealed, partly in fear that clients would go directly to the source next time. Meanwhile, you couldn’t perform much due diligence without knowing the operator’s identity. Also, charter operators often subcontract flights, and historically not all of them have informed clients when that has occurred.
Air Charter Brokers Routinely Kept The Operator’s Name Concealed, Partly So That Clients Could Not Book Direct.
In the aftermath of a pair of charter accidents more than a decade ago—which brokers weren’t involved in arranging—the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that charter customers often had little way of knowing the operator’s identity. The NTSB recommended that the FAA tighten its rules governing charter flights, but it left brokers unmentioned. Yet with the nascent Air Charter Association of America (ACANA) and others adding their voices to the call for standards, DOT began drafting proposed rules for brokers and operators, which it unveiled in 2013. Last September, after five years of comment and consideration, the final regulations were published.
Brokers and operators are still figuring out a few fine points (some brokers are exempt from certain requirements), but there are clear benefits for the air charter consumer.