[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 2 (Tuesday, January 5, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 193-194]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-33150]



Office of the Secretary

14 CFR Part 382

[Docket No. DOT-OST-2015-0246]
RIN 2105-AE12

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel; 
Consideration of Negotiated Rulemaking Process

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation.

ACTION: Notice of intent; extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: This document extends the comment period for the notice of 
intent that was published in the Federal Register on Monday, December 
7, 2015. The notice announced that the Department of Transportation 
(``Department'' or ``DOT'') is exploring the feasibility of conducting 
a negotiated rulemaking (reg neg) concerning accommodations for air 
travelers with disabilities addressing inflight entertainment, 
supplemental medical oxygen, service animals, accessible lavatories on 
single-aisle aircraft, seating accommodations, and carrier reporting of 
disability service requests.

DATES: The deadline for submitting comments on the notice of intent 
published on December 7, 2015, (80 FR 75953), is extended from January 
6, 2016 to January 21, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number DOT-OST-
2015-0246 using any one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department 
of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Blank Riether, Senior 
Attorney, Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, by email at [email protected] 
or by telephone at 202-366-9342. To obtain a copy of this notice in an 
accessible format, you may also contact Kathleen Blank Riether.

    On December 7, 2015, the Department announced its intention to 
explore the feasibility of conducting a reg neg to:
     Ensure that the same in-flight entertainment (IFE) 
available to all passengers is accessible to passengers with 
     Provide individuals dependent on in-flight medical oxygen 
greater access to air travel consistent with Federal safety and 
security requirements;
     Determine the appropriate definition of a service animal;
     Establish safeguards to reduce the likelihood that 
passengers wishing to travel with their pets will be able to falsely 
claim that their pets are service animals;
     Address the feasibility of accessible lavatories on new 
single aisle aircraft;
     Address whether premium economy is a different class of 
service from standard economy as airlines are required to provide 
seating accommodations to passengers with disabilities within the same 
class of service; and
     Require airlines to report annually to the Department the 
number of requests for disability assistance they receive and the time 
period within which wheelchair assistance is provided to passengers 
with disabilities.
    The Department requested that all comments be submitted no later 
than January 6, 2016.
    On December 21, 2015, the Department received a letter from 11 
disability advocacy organizations representing diverse interests 
expressing their concern that the designated comment period does not 
allow enough time for stakeholders to fully consider the impact of 
engaging in a negotiated rulemaking on these issues of critical concern 
to people with disabilities. The disability advocacy organizations 
noted that as a result of the holidays, the 30-day comment period is 
effectively reduced by nearly two weeks. They noted that the notice and 
comment process would be more effective if all stakeholders had 
sufficient time to consider and comment on the efficacy of conducting a 
negotiated rulemaking on each of the proposed issues.
    We agree that an extension of the comment period is appropriate 
given the effective shortening of the comment period by observance of 
the holidays. We believe that a 15-day extension to

[[Page 194]]

the comment filing period is reasonable to provide stakeholders with 
ample opportunity to more fully analyze and respond to the issues to be 
considered during the reg neg. Accordingly, the deadline for filing 
comments is extended to January 21, 2016.

    Issued on December 29, 2015, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 
Kathryn B. Thomson,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-33150 Filed 1-4-16; 8:45 am]