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Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEW OF FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Updated Survey of Laws and Regulations Applicable to Airport Commercial Ground Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26003.
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Page 6
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Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEW OF FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Updated Survey of Laws and Regulations Applicable to Airport Commercial Ground Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26003.
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Page 7

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6 ACRP LRD 39 operators. Often there are rules mandating that vehicles wait at staging areas in order to reduce congestion at the valuable curb- side areas. Curbside areas are often segmented for the different types of ground transportation. Thus, the loading of passengers for a particular type of operator only occurs in the designated segment of a curb area. At taxicab stands and sometimes stag- ing areas, queuing rules apply, such as first-in-first-out, to en- sure fairness for drivers. Most airports prohibit the refusal of a potential passenger unless the passenger presents a danger. Prohibition against cruising and the requirement to go the most direct route to the curbside or staging area helps to reduce con- gestion and improve traffic safety. Regulations often prescribe and/or prohibit employee con- duct. These regulations could extend beyond drivers to any employee associated with ground transportation. One common prohibition is against discrimination on various grounds such as race, sex, and national origin. Regulations often prescribe driver appearance to be well groomed and clean, and to be profession- ally dressed. Drivers shall be courteous and not threatening or verbally abusive. Employees are often prohibited from soliciting while on airport grounds. This avoids tension between compet- ing operators and also protects travelers from annoyance. A pro- hibition against usage of alcohol and drugs often goes beyond state motor vehicle laws. Regulations over employee conduct are important as travelers associate their ground transportation experience with their overall airport experience. Vehicle rules exist to ensure safety and comfort of passengers and to avoid breakdowns at the airport. Some agencies limit the age of vehicles to only newer model years. Most jurisdictions re- quire vehicle inspections on a regular basis and that vehicles be in good repair. Many rules focus on the appearance and comfort of vehicle. For example, vehicles should not have large dents or rust spots on the exterior, nor fabric tears in the interior. Vehicles shall be clean and not have offensive odors. Functional air condition- ers and heaters are required. Similar to employee conduct rules, vehicle rules ensure safety, reliability, and comfort. A final category of regulations involves enforcement and compliance oversight. One aspect of compliance is the submis- sion of operator records such as the number of airport trips completed in the reporting time period. Some airports require the use of automatic vehicle location technology and vehicle movements are automatically tracked. Penalties are specified for violations of differing severity. Some structures use admin- istrative penalties while others consider rule violations as mis- demeanor criminal infractions. Procedural safeguards are often built-in, including processes for hearings and appeals. A fair and clear enforcement mechanism protects the general public and also well-behaved operators. OVERVIEW OF FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS United States Department of Transportation The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is a cabinet level department of the United States that encom- The number and types of entities with jurisdiction over operating authority varies significantly. Often, the number of agencies correlates with the population or the size of the state. Some entities at the state level include the following: • Legislature • Governor • Department of transportation • Department of revenue • Department of motor vehicles • Public utilities/service commission At the local level, county and municipal agencies could issue ordinances, such as a local taxi commission. At the airport level, the regional or local airport authority could promulgate regulations under its authority. The complexity in regulatory structures ranges from a very simple structure, involving mostly local ordinances and/or state laws and regulations, to a complex structure involving all the aforementioned possible entities with sometimes overlapping jurisdiction. As part of the grant of operating authority, there is the re- quirement for proper and sufficient insurance coverage. The type of insurance and coverage limits differ across states due to differences in the local insurance industry. There are also differ- ences on issues such as allowing self-insurance up to a certain amount and the use of surety bonds. A common element is the existence of an indemnification clause protecting the airport and airport authority from civil liability arising from the con- duct of ground transportation operators. This category of liabil- ity and risk management is universal to all airport regulatory frameworks. A regulatory fee is common to all regulatory structures and serves to improve airport ground transportation efficiency and safety. The fee is used to pay for the administrative burden necessary to authorize and maintain ground transportation operations, e.g., administration, driver background checks, inspections, and enforcement. Common fee structures include the charging of a percentage of car rental or hotel gross revenue stemming from airport related business. Concession fees can also be based on the rental rate per square foot and access fees. For-hire vehicle fee is often in the form of a per trip fee associ- ated with airport access. Such a per trip fee is charged for both prearranged and curbside trips. Trip fees can consider issues such as passenger carrying capacity and vehicle dwell times, both related to loading/unloading times. Some offer discounted access fees for alternative fuel vehicles and some exempt region- al transportation agencies from paying access fees. A taxicab starter fee could apply in order to pay for taxi stand operations. In addition, there are also annual permitting fees for opera- tor, driver, and vehicle. Such fees offset the cost for performing inspections and enforcing rules and regulations. A regulatory board could hold public hearings to adjust fees on a regular basis such as annually. Operating rules are critical to manage terminal traffic, to improve passenger level of service, and to ensure fairness to all

ACRP LRD 39 7 upon whether the ground transportation activity is occurring in areas of the airport that are aeronautical or non-aeronautical in nature. The GAs require the sponsor to comply with applicable federal laws relating to use of project grant funding and to sub- ordinate leases or agreements granting rights to serve the public on the airport to the GAs.9 GA 24 relates to airport fee and rental structure and seeks to encourage airports to be as self-sustaining as possible, taking into account the particular circumstances of an airport. GA 24, therefore, prohibits the federal share of an airport grant to be included in the rate basis for establishing fees, rates, and charges for airport users. Airports must set fees for non-aeronautical use based on fair market value and charge like fees to similarly situated users. For example, if an airport rail project is partially funded by an FAA grant, then the rates and charges related to the rail project need to comply with GA 24. Certain exceptions exist such as cases involving low-activity airports and tempo- rary incentive programs. Detailed guidance is provided in the FAA Policy Regarding Airport Rates and Charges.10 GA 25 involves limitations on the use of airport revenues. Revenues generated by local taxes on aviation fuel shall be ex- pended for capital or operating expenses that are “directly or substantially” related to the actual air transportation of pas- sengers or property, or for noise mitigation. In relation to GA 24, there is a prohibition against direct subsidies or revenue guarantees by an airport to attract new services to the airport. An airport may spend airport-generated revenues for ground transportation projects if a project meets the “directly and sub- stantially” test. Certain exceptions to GA 25 exist. Examples of exceptions include the grandfathered exceptions to governing documents enacted before September 3, 1982 and taxes on avia- tion fuel before December 31, 1987. The policies implementing GA 25 are detailed and complex and could involve determina- tions made by the FAA, USDOT, USDOT Office of Inspector General (OIG), and courts. GA 36, Access by Intercity Buses, requires airports to per- mit intercity buses to have equivalent access to the airport (i.e., pickup and drop-off locations) as other modes of transporta- tion to the maximum extent practicable. However, an airport is not required to fund or construct special facilities for intercity buses. An airport may ask an intercity bus operator to fund con- struction, including shelters and signage. The FAA recognizes that air transportation works hand in hand with surface transportation networks to effect the safe and efficient movement of people. Therefore, airport agencies work public must incorporate language to ensure compliance with the requirements of GA 1 and 30. GA 1 and 30 prohibit discrimination under a project, program or activity based on race, creed, color, national origin, sex, or disability, consistent with 49 U.S.C. §47123, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and 49 CFR Parts 21, 27, and 37. Airport sponsors should also consider GA 5 when entering into conces- sion and lease agreements with ground transportation companies. 9 AIRPORT COMPLIANCE HANDBOOK 5190.6B, par. 12.5, (Federal Avia- tion Administration, 2009). 10 78 FR 55330 (Sept. 10, 2013). passes all modes of transportation. Under USDOT are various administrations pertaining to subareas of transportation. The ones relevant to airports include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Aviation Adminis- tration (FAA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Federal Railroad Adminis- tration (FRA). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Congress directed USDOT to create the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration via the Motor Carrier Safety Im- provement Act of 1999.2 The agency was established to reduce the number and severity of large-truck involved crashes via stronger enforcement, greater operator inspections and review, expedited rulemaking, research, and commercial driver’s li- cense testing, record keeping, and sanctions. See Appendix B for examples of relevant federal motor carrier laws and regulations. Federal Aviation Administration The Federal Aviation Administration was authorized by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958.3 The FAA is tasked with respon- sibilities such as promoting air safety, managing the navigable airspace, managing air navigation, and conducting research. To further such responsibilities, the FAA administers grants and provides oversight of various financing programs to improve NPIAS airports. A major FAA grant program is the Airport Improvement Program, which provides grant-in-aid to airport sponsors for airport planning and development4. The passen- ger facility charge (PFC) program allows the collection of up to $4.50 PFC charge per passenger to fund FAA-approved proj- ects5. FAA’s focus is mainly on the airside (e.g., airfield infra- structure), but certain landside development may be eligible for funding and need to comply with FAA requirements such as AIP grant assurances. Grant assurances (GA) are obligations undertaken by air- ports when they receive FAA-administered airport grants.6,7 There are three GAs that are especially relevant to ground trans- portation.8 The applicability of the GAs sometimes depends 2 106 Pub. L. No. 159, 113 Stat. 1748 (1999). 3 85 Pub. L. No. 726, 72 Stat. 731 (1958). 4 49 U.S.C. § 47101-47175 (2019). 5 49 U.S.C. § 47117 (2019). 6 GAs are submitted by airport sponsors as part of grant applica- tions under Title 49, U.S.C., subtitle VII, as amended. See, AIRPORT IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM ASSURANCES FOR AIRPORT SPONSORS. (Federal Aviation Administration, 2014) and AIRPORT COMPLIANCE HANDBOOK 5190.6B. (Federal Aviation Administration, 2009). 7 UNDERSTANDING FAA GRANT ASSURANCE OBLIGATIONS VOLUME 1: GUIDEBOOK. (Airport Cooperative Research Program Report 44, 2018). 8 Other GAs that also may apply in this context include GA 1C (Sponsor Certification, General Federal Requirements), GA 30 (Civil Rights), and GA 5, Preserving Rights and Powers. Civil rights require- ments under GAs 1 and 30 potentially apply to ground transportation activities in non-aeronautical areas of the airport. Leases and agree- ments granting rights to offer ground transportation services to the

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Updated Survey of Laws and Regulations Applicable to Airport Commercial Ground Transportation Get This Book
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Commercial ground transportation at U.S. airports includes public transit, door-to-door shuttle van service, charter buses, limousines, rental cars, taxicabs, hotel courtesy shuttles, wheel chair services, and courier operators. Technological developments, such as transportation network companies, car-sharing operations, and driverless cars, have added more options and challenges for airport ground transportation operations.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program'sACRP Legal Research Digest 39: Updated Survey of Laws and Regulations Applicable to Airport Commercial Ground Transportation builds on ACRP LRD 3: Survey of Laws and Regulations of Airport Commercial Ground Transportation from 2008 and synthesizes available guidance, including regulations, statutes, policies, and case decisions (administrative or court) pertaining to commercial ground transportation.

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