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29 specific technologies, the rule assumes that the affected aircraft process. FAA completed a detailed RIA with impacts broken will have to be equipped with some additional technology to out for the air cargo industry. render flammable vapors inert ("inerting technology") and that the cost will be borne by the aircraft owner or purchaser. Restrictions on Locomotive Horns In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FAA chose to exempt from the rule aircraft used in all-cargo operations because the Policy Description potential benefits (in terms of lives saved) are far less than with Collisions at highway rail crossings are the second biggest passenger aircraft. However, the agency invited comments on cause of injuries and fatalities in railroad operations.15 As a whether it should apply the new requirements to all-cargo air- supplement to grade crossing equipment, the sounding of planes. Comments on the proposed rule from air cargo com- a locomotive's horn before a highway grade crossing pro- panies and associations supported FAA's stance in the pro- vides an additional way to alert motorists of the direction posed rule that all-cargo airplanes should be exempted. The and imminent approach of a train. Nonetheless, to reduce commenters noted that FAA's cost-benefit analysis showed noise levels, many communities have enacted restrictions that the benefits of applying the rule to all-cargo airplanes were and bans on the use of locomotive horns, especially com- far outweighed by the costs. FedEx Express added that its own munities with a large number of grade crossings and high cost figures for installing and maintaining an inerting system train volumes. were significantly greater than the numbers FAA used. The issue was placed on the public agenda in Florida in In the final rule, FAA kept the provision exempting existing 1984 by a state law that allowed communities to ban the night- all-cargo airplane operators from the requirement to retrofit time use of train horns at gated grade crossings associated their jets with fuel-inerting technology. But FAA did require with intrastate rail carriers. As a result of this, night-time horn that new all-cargo airplanes meet the rule's performance re- bans were implemented at approximately 500 grade cross- quirements for fuel-tank flammability. FAA concluded that ings. A 1992 FRA study found that night-time collisions in this requirement for new cargo aircraft would be cost-effective, Florida had increased 195 percent at the grade crossings with because the installation of the technology could be efficiently horn bans, while daytime collision rates had remained un- integrated into the production process for new airplanes. Also, changed.16 This information was distributed to the state of the agency asserted that, in most cases, this integration would Florida and the localities maintaining the horn bans. None of be done for the passenger version of the same airplane, so ad- the bans was repealed as a result of this study. Because of con- ditional engineering work would be minimal. In the final rule, cern over the safety effects of horn bans, Congress passed the FAA also required that when any airplane is converted from Swift Rail Development Act in 1994. Among other things, this passenger use to all-cargo use, the cargo operator must keep in law instructed FRA to issue a rule requiring the use of loco- operation any fuel-inerting technology already on the airplane. motive horns at all public highway rail crossings. Policy Impacts Policy Impacts As part of its rulemaking process, FAA estimated undis- In 1995, FRA conducted a nationwide study on train horn counted compliance costs of $100 million ($37 million dis- bans. This study was updated in 2000. This research found that counted) for air cargo operators. By comparison, FAA esti- enacting horn bans in the absence of substitute safety mea- mated undiscounted compliance costs of $2.1 billion ($1 billion sures significantly increased the risk of grade-crossing colli- discounted) for air passenger carriers. The rule is too new to sions.17 Using data over the period 19921996, horn bans were allow a look-back analysis of actual compliance costs. In the re- found to increase the accident rate 30 percent for all types of search team's interviews with air cargo carriers, it was noted that crossings and 62 percent at crossings with gates (Figure 4-2). if the rule were to add time to preparing an airplane for flight, Horn bans had no significant effect on accident rates with only the rule could prove costly to air cargo carriers offering expe- passive safety devices (i.e., nothing but crossbucks).18 dited, time-definite deliveries. However, the written comments In April 2005, FRA issued a rule requiring that locomotives of FedEx Express, UPS, and the Air Cargo Association did not sound their horns at public highway crossings but provided express any concerns about flight delays, so it appears unlikely that delays will result from the rule. 15FRA, Final Environmental Impact Statement: Interim Final Rule for the Use of Unexpected Impacts Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, December 2003. 16FRA, Florida's Train Whistle Ban, 2nd ed., September 1992. It appears that any impacts of this policy on the freight in- 17FRA, Nationwide Study of Train Whistle Bans, April 1995. dustry have been fully explored during FAA's rulemaking 18FRA, Updated Analysis of Train Whistle Bans, January 2000.