[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 32 (Thursday, February 15, 1996)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5963-5968]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-3374]



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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
14 CFR Parts 217 and 241

[Docket No. OST-96-1049; Notice No. 96-2]
RIN 2105-AC34


Changes to International Data Submissions by Large Air Carriers 
(Form 41 Schedules T-100, T-100(f), and P-1.2)

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Transportation.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT or the Department) 
proposes to reduce the period of confidential treatment of 
international nonstop segment and on-flight market data from three 
years to immediately following the Department's determination that the 
database is complete, but no sooner than six months after the date of 
the data. The Department also proposes to collect aircraft capacity 
data from foreign air carriers and to rescind the requirement that 
Group III (large, U.S.) air carriers specify passenger revenues, 
passenger enplanements, passengers transported, and seating capacity by 
cabin configuration. This action is taken on the Department's 
initiative in order to make data available for planning and efficient 
resource allocation purposes, to ensure the accuracy of the data that 
are used by the Department in administering its program 
responsibilities, and to eliminate data that are no longer needed for 
regulatory purposes.

DATES: Comments are due April 15, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be directed to the Docket Clerk, Docket OST-
96-1049, Room PL 401, Office of Secretary, Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590. Comments 
should identify the regulatory docket number and seven copies should be 
submitted. The Department encourages commenters who wish to do so also 
to submit comments to the Department through the Internet; our Internet 
address is [email protected].1 Note, however, that 
at this time the Department considers only the paper copies filed with 
the Docket Clerk to be the official comments. Comments will be 
available for inspection at this address from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 
Monday through Friday both before and after the closing date for 
comments. Commenters wishing the Department to acknowledge receipt of 
their comments must submit with those comments a stamped, self-
addressed postcard on which the following statement is made: Comments 
on Docket OST-96-1049. The postcard will be date/time stamped and 
returned to the commenter.

    \1\ Our X.400 e-mail address is G=DOT/S=dockets/OU1=qmail/O=hq/
p=gov+dot/a=attmail/c=us.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Harman, Office of Aviation 
Analysis, or John Schmidt, Office of Aviation and International 
Economics, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and 
International Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh St. SW, Washington, DC 20590 at (202) 366-
1059 or 366-5420, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Program Requirements for and Importance of T-100 Data

    The Department uses the traffic and capacity data reported on 
Schedules T-100 and T-100(f) to administer its aviation program 
responsibilities. In the original NPRM proposing the adoption of the T-
100 data system (52 FR 26500-26502, July 15, 1987), the Department 
provided details of the 21 specific program areas that the T-100 data 
would support. The Department's responsibility in these program areas 
continues today and will continue into the future. Since the emphasis 
in this current rulemaking is on international T-100 data, the 
Department specifically recognizes the critical importance of accurate 
and reliable T-100 data that support evaluations of bilateral 
negotiations and international aviation developments. These data are 
also necessary in analyzing proposed operating plans in international 
air carrier selection cases, in developing international mail rates, 
and in establishing regulatory benchmarks for evaluating international 
fares and rates and International Air Transport Association agreements.
    The availability and reliability of aviation data have recently 
taken on increased importance. The Department's U.S. International Air 
Transportation Policy Statement issued in April 1995 (60 FR 21841-
21845, May 3, 1995) emphasized ``the importance of sound economic 
analysis based on sufficient data in developing policies and strategies 
for achieving our overall aviation goals.'' The General Accounting 
Office (GAO) also reflected this recent emphasis on aviation data in 
its April 1995 Report to Congressional Requesters, entitled 
International Aviation, Airline Alliances Produce Benefits, but Effect 
on Competition is Uncertain. In its assessment, GAO 

[[Page 5964]]
recommended, among other things, that the Secretary of Transportation 
``direct the agency's new economic unit to analyze DOT's existing data 
* * * to determine if the U.S. airline industry or consumers have been 
negatively affected before reapproving all strategic alliances and any 
other alliance that the Secretary deems significant.'' Furthermore, in 
his July 11, 1995, testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation, the Secretary of Transportation reiterated 
the importance of quality data when he stated, ``we would emphasize the 
importance of sound economic analyses based on the best available data 
in developing policies and strategies for achieving our aviation 
goals.'' This present rulemaking is one means of achieving the 
Department's overall goal of requiring and using accurate, reliable, 
and consistent aviation data.

Background

    When the Department instituted its Schedule T-100 reporting 
requirements for onboard traffic data, it granted a three-year 
confidentiality period to foreign carriers' data in order to address 
concerns by those carriers about disclosure of sensitive data. In order 
not to put U.S. carriers at a competitive disadvantage, the Department 
provided a three-year confidentiality period for U.S. carriers' 
international traffic data as well. The rule required U.S. air carriers 
to report capacity data, however, because of the concerns of foreign 
carriers and governments over the possible burden of reporting 
requirements, the Department elected not to require capacity data from 
foreign carriers, but to rely instead on commercial data sources.
    After working with the data for five years, the Department and 
other users have found that three-year-old data are not relevant to the 
current conditions existing in the rapidly changing world of 
international commercial aviation. In addition, the Department has 
found the commercially available data on aircraft capacity to be 
unreliable for administering its program responsibilities.
    Therefore, the Department proposes to narrow the confidentiality 
period on international data from three years to immediately following 
the Department's determination that the database is complete, but no 
earlier than six months. The Department also proposes to require 
foreign carriers to report two capacity data items already reported by 
U.S. air carriers: total available seats and available payload weight. 
The current international data reporting requirements for the largest 
(Group III) U.S. air carriers would be reduced by consolidating the 
data required into a smaller number of reporting elements. 
(Specifically, the reporting of cabin configuration (first, middle, and 
coach) data for the data elements of passengers enplaned, passengers 
transported, and available seats would be eliminated and a total by 
aircraft would be reported for each element. The reporting of 
corresponding transport revenue data by First Class and Coach on 
Schedule P-1.2, Statement of Operations, would also be eliminated. 
These data are not collected from foreign air carriers.)

Confidentiality of International T-100 Data

    The Department published its final rule on November 16, 1988 (53 FR 
46284), implementing the T-100 reporting system. The rule was effective 
January 1, 1990, and adopted a three-year confidentiality period for 
detailed nonstop segment and on-flight market data. By a separate final 
rule published January 25, 1991 (56 FR 2842), the Department eliminated 
the restrictions on disclosure of U.S. carriers' domestic Schedule T-
100 data, making the data immediately available to the public after DOT 
validating, editing, and processing. Detailed international T-100 data 
submitted by U.S. and foreign air carriers continues to be withheld 
from public disclosure for a three-year period.
    The Department has, as a matter of policy, consistently favored 
public release of information. This accords with the Administration's 
policy on dissemination of information. The President in his Freedom of 
Information memorandum of October 4, 1993, stated that, ``Each agency 
has a responsibility to distribute information on its own initiative 
and to enhance public access through the use of electronic information 
systems.'' T-100 international data are valuable resources to airline 
and airport planners, consumers, academics, and others interested in 
the functioning of air transport markets. Exchanges of these types of 
data are usually regarded as procompetitive.
    With the increasing globalization of the airline industry in the 
late 1980's and the 1990's, the public need for these data has grown. 
Air travel markets have become more open: large markets now usually 
enjoy economic competition among several carriers of various 
nationalities. International cross-ownership and cooperative marketing 
agreements, including the use of capacity on a given flight by more 
than one airline and other code-sharing arrangements, have become 
commonplace. Air travel consumer choice in any given market is more and 
more determined by service and price competition without regard to the 
carriers' nationalities, and less and less by division of markets 
through international agreements.
    Carriers have stated that they use traffic data extensively for 
route studies, passenger traffic forecasts, market share analyses, and 
other planning activities. The failure of the Department to release 
international traffic data may impede the ability of carriers to enter 
new markets and to continue efficient and responsive operations in 
existing markets. At least one carrier (Alaska Airlines, Docket 46101) 
has stated its belief that the unavailability of traffic data may very 
likely result in the misapplication of carrier resources, may decrease 
the number of carriers entering new markets, and may decrease the level 
of competition among carriers as market decisions are made on imperfect 
and incomplete information. The T-100 data are particularly useful 
since, with extremely limited exceptions, they cover all passengers and 
all carriers in the markets where they are collected, and because their 
collection is comparatively economical, efficient, and accurate. There 
are relatively few other traffic data available. The Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (INS) currently collects information concerning 
passengers on international flights into the United States, including 
whether they are U.S. citizens or aliens (I-92 report), which has been 
made publicly available to planners and analysts. These data are not 
comparable with T-100 data either in terms of market coverage, 
collection methodology, or reliability. Moreover, there is some concern 
on the part of the public that the INS data may no longer be made 
available because of budget restrictions.
    With globalization of the airline industry, more carriers appear to 
be supporting the advantages of greater data availability and fewer 
appear to be concerned with the disadvantages of loss of 
confidentiality. Some shifts of position came to light in the comments 
on the 1991 rulemaking (Docket 46101). More recently, DOT staff 
involved in international air negotiations and aviation data collection 
have received similar informal comments from carriers that they would 
no longer have objections to their international data being released 
and would have an interest in using the data for planning.
    DOT proposes to reduce the confidentiality period from three years 
to immediately following the 

[[Page 5965]]
Department's determination that the database is complete, but no 
earlier than six months, for detailed international on-flight market 
and nonstop segment data in Schedules T-100 (U.S. carriers) and T-
100(f) (foreign carriers). In order that U.S. air carriers not be 
placed at a competitive disadvantage because of data disclosure 
incomparability, DOT will continue to restrict availability of on-
flight market and nonstop segment data for segments involving no U.S. 
points, for three years. (U.S. air carriers report all market and 
segment records, while foreign carriers only report those market and 
segment records that have a U.S. point.)
    In sum, the benefits of changing the period of confidentiality from 
three years to six months are considerable. Six-month old data are much 
more relevant for planning and analysis than three-year old data. They 
also are significantly more useful than data released after one year 
since they would enable analysis and planning for the next season's 
schedules and operations (i.e., one year after the date of the data).
    The impact on the reporting carriers will be minimal. Data released 
after six months are not so current as to allow day-to-day competitive 
strategies to be undermined. The requirement maintains a level playing 
field by reducing the time period for all carriers. Furthermore, the 
Department already makes domestic T-100 data immediately available to 
the public after DOT processing, and the T-100(f) data would enjoy 
greater protection. Because of the number and diversity of the carriers 
reporting international T-100 data (over 80 U.S. carriers and 170 
foreign carriers), it would take a considerably longer time to edit and 
release them to the public even if they were to be made available 
immediately.

Reporting of Capacity Data by Foreign Air Carriers

    Under the requirements of the final rule previously mentioned, 53 
FR 46284, foreign air carriers are not required to report available 
seats and available payload weight. Instead, the Department decided 
that it would rely upon existing data sources in the private sector to 
estimate aircraft capacity data for foreign air carriers. At the time 
of issuing the final rule, the Department stated that these procedures 
for estimating capacity data would be effective for a trial period and, 
if they proved inadequate, the Department would employ ad hoc reporting 
requirements or would impose requirements to submit actual capacity 
data. As a result of its experience under this trial procedure, the 
Department has tentatively determined that the present methods for 
estimating capacity data are unreliable and proposes in this rulemaking 
to require foreign air carriers to report capacity data.
    The Department's determination that the capacity estimates are 
unreliable is based, in part, upon the fact that use of the private 
sector sources for data on available aircraft seats has resulted in 
several instances of constructed load factors in excess of 100 percent 
for various foreign carriers, for various time periods, and in various 
markets. In constructing capacity figures from private sources, the 
Department encountered such problems as aircraft types not being on 
file or the same aircraft type for the same carrier having different 
capacities based on cabin configuration (first class, business, and 
coach, or all coach). In these scenarios, an estimate had to be used, 
which may not be close to the carrier's actual operation.2

    \2\ For example, suppose a carrier had two seating 
configurations for a B-747-400 aircraft (three class configuration 
for a total of 350 seats and single class configuration of 425 
seats), which means the Department has three choices--the high of 
425 seats, the low of 350 seats, or an average of 388 seats. None of 
these choices may approximate the carrier's actual operations.
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    Furthermore, the calculation of load factors in excess of 100 
percent, while a definite indication of inaccurate data, does not 
enable the Department to evaluate how inaccurate the data are. DOT has 
also, on occasion, found reason to question whether a load factor may 
be too low, although it is obvious that the Department cannot reject it 
with the same degree of certainty that it would a load factor above 100 
percent.
    As with seat capacity data, the Department has tentatively decided 
that it no longer will depend upon commercially available data with 
regard to available payload weight for foreign air carriers to ensure 
that its program responsibilities are administered based on the most 
accurate data possible. The Department thus is proposing to require 
that the foreign air carriers report both available seats and available 
payload weight. Since U.S. air carriers now report those data, 
requiring foreign air carriers to report them will also further the 
Department's effort to achieve data reporting comparability.

Reduction of Capacity Detail Requirement for U.S. Carriers

    The Department proposes to relax the current regulation requiring 
that Group III U.S. air carriers (those U.S. air carriers with total 
annual operating revenues of more than one billion dollars) report 
available seats, passenger enplanements, and passengers transported for 
each of three cabin configurations--first class cabin, middle class 
cabin, and coach class cabin--for all international operations. Thus, 
if this regulation is adopted, all carriers would report total 
available seats, total passenger enplanements, and total passengers 
transported by aircraft type. This action would reduce the reporting 
burden on U.S. air carriers while providing for data comparability 
among all reporting air carriers.

Form 41 Revenue Passenger Data by Fare Class

    Since the Department is proposing not to collect passenger traffic 
and capacity data by cabin configuration, it is also proposing to 
collect a single passenger revenue figure rather than passenger revenue 
for first class and coach service on Form 41 Schedule P-1.2, Statement 
of Operations.

Rulemaking Analysis and Notices

Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This notice of proposed rulemaking is not considered a significant 
regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and 
therefore it was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
    The rule is not considered significant under the regulatory 
policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation (44 FR 
11034), because it does not change Departmental policy concerning 
aviation information collection.
    The economic impact of this regulation is not great. The proposed 
change in confidentiality restriction has no impact at all on the 
reporting burden of the carriers. The proposed changes in requirements 
for reporting capacity and revenue data by the eight largest U.S. air 
carriers will reduce the reporting burden for these air carriers by 
approximately 96 hours annually. On the other hand, the foreign air 
carriers will incur an increase in reporting burden. However, the 
Department does not believe that the increased reporting burden will be 
significant or onerous because this regulation adds only two capacity 
data items which are readily available from the carriers' computerized 
data files or other easily accessible reference documents. In order to 
quantify broadly the increased burden, the Department assumed that each 
of the 176 foreign air carriers would submit two new data items each 
month and that the process of collecting and transmitting the data 
would take no more than one hour each month. The 

[[Page 5966]]
resulting hourly burden would not exceed 12 hours on an annual basis 
for any foreign air carrier, and the resulting total hourly burden on 
an annual basis for all the foreign air carriers as a group would be 
2,112 hours. For all air carriers, this would be a net burden of 2,016 
hours annually or $20,966 based on an estimated industry salary rate of 
about $10.40 an hour. (See 60 FR 61478, November 30, 1995.)
    The benefits to the public, the industry, and the Department of 
accurate capacity data reported on a reliable and consistent basis, 
although unquantifiable, outweigh the limited increase in reporting 
burden.

Executive Order 12612

    This proposed rule has been analyzed in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612 
(``Federalism'') and DOT has determined the proposed rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism Assessment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify this proposed rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed 
amendments would affect only large U.S. certificated air carriers and 
foreign air carriers.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The reporting and recordkeeping requirement associated with this 
rule is being sent to the Office of Management and Budget for approval 
in accordance with 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35 under OMB NO: 2139-new, 
formerly OMB NO: 2138-0040; ADMINISTRATION: Office of the Secretary; 
TITLE: T-100 International Data; NEED FOR INFORMATION: Passenger and 
Capacity Information for Aviation Planning and Regulation; PROPOSED USE 
OF INFORMATION: Electronic Dissemination to Transportation Planners and 
Analysts; FREQUENCY: Monthly; BURDEN ESTIMATE: 2,016 annual hours; 
AVERAGE BURDEN HOURS PER RESPONDENT: 12 annual hours; ESTIMATED NUMBER 
OF RESPONDENTS: 184 Air Carriers; FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
Copies of the information collection request submitted to OMB may be 
obtained from the IRM Strategies Division, M-32, Office of the 
Secretary of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 
20590-0001, (202) 366-4735. Comments on the proposed information 
collection request should be submitted to Office of Management and 
Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, D.C., 
20503, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of Transportation. It 
is requested that comments sent to OMB also be sent to the Office of 
the Secretary Rulemaking Docket for this proposed action.

Regulation Identifier Number

    A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory 
action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations, The 
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in 
April and October of each year. The RIN number 2105-AC34 contained in 
the heading of this document can be used to cross reference this action 
with the Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Parts 217 and 241

    Air Carriers, Air Transportation, Foreign Air Carriers.

Proposed Rule

PART 217--[AMENDED]

    Accordingly, the Department of Transportation proposes to amend 
Chapter II of 14 CFR Part 217 Reporting Traffic Statistics by Foreign 
Air Carriers in Civilian Scheduled, Charter, and Non-scheduled 
Services, as follows:
    1. The authority for Part 217 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 329 and chapters 401, 413, 417.

    2. Section 217.5 would be amended by adding paragraphs (b) (12) and 
(13) to read as follows:


Sec. 217.5  Data collected (data elements).

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (12) Available capacity-payload (Code 270) The available capacity 
is collected in kilograms. This figure shall reflect the available load 
(see load, available in 14 CFR Part 241 Section 03) or total available 
capacity for passengers, mail and freight applicable to the aircraft 
with which each flight stage is performed.
    (13) Available seats (Code 310) The number of seats available for 
sale. This figure reflects the actual number of seats available, 
excluding those blocked for safety or operational reasons. Report the 
total available seats in item 310.

PART 241--[AMENDED]

    Accordingly, the Department of Transportation proposes to amend 
Chapter II of 14 CFR Part 241 Uniform System of Accounts and Reports 
for Large Certificated Air Carriers, as follows:
    1. The authority for Part 241 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 329 and chapters 401, 411, 417.

    2. Section 19-5(c) (7), (8) and (18) would be revised to read as 
follows:


Section 19-5  Air transport traffic and capacity elements.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (7) 110  Revenue passengers enplaned. The total number of revenue 
passengers enplaned at the origin point of a flight, boarding the 
flight for the first time; an unduplicated count of passengers in a 
market. Under the T-100 system of reporting, these enplaned passengers 
are the sum of the passengers in the individual on-flight markets. 
Report only the total revenue passengers enplaned in item 110. For all 
air carriers and all entities, item 110 revenue passengers enplaned is 
reported on Form 41 Schedule T-100 in column C-1, as follows.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Col.     All carrier groups and entities 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
C-1                             110   Revenue passengers enplaned.      
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (8) 130  Revenue passengers transported. The total number of 
revenue passengers transported over single flight stage, including 
those already on board the aircraft from a previous flight stage. 
Report only the total revenue passengers transported in item 130. For 
all carriers and all entities, item 130 revenue passengers transported 
is reported on Form 41 Schedule T-100 in column B-7, as follows.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Col.     All carrier groups and entities 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
B-7                             130   Revenue passengers transported.   
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (18) 310  Available seats. The number of seats available for sale. 
This figure reflects the actual number of seats available, excluding 
those blocked for safety or operational reasons. Report the total 
available seats in item 310. For all air carriers and all entities, 
item 310 available seats, total is reported on Form 41 Schedule T-100 
in column B-4, as follows.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Col.     All carrier groups and entities 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
B-4                             310   Available seats, total.           
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    3. Section 19-6 would be amended by revising paragraph (b) 
introductory text to read:

[[Page 5967]]



Section 19-6  Public disclosure of traffic data.

    (a) * * *
    (b) Detailed international on-flight market and nonstop segment 
data in schedule T-100 and Schedule T-100(f) reports shall be publicly 
available immediately following the Department's determination that the 
data base is complete, but no earlier than six months, with the 
exception of any data for on-flight markets and nonstop segments 
involving no U.S. points, which shall not be made publicly available 
for three years. Industry and carrier summary data may be made public 
before the end of six months provided there are three or more carriers 
in the summary data disclosed. The Department may, at any time, publish 
international summary statistics without carrier detail. Further, the 
Department may release nonstop segment and on-flight market detail data 
by carrier before the end of the confidentiality periods as follows:
* * * * *
    4. In the appendix to section 241.25, Form 41, Schedule P-1.2, 
Statement of Operations, would be revised to read as shown below. 
Certain conventions have been used to highlight the proposed revision. 
New language is shown inside bold-faced arrows, while language that 
would be removed is set off with brackets.

BILLING CODE 4910-62-P

[[Page 5968]]
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15FE96.000


    Issued in Washington, DC on January 26, 1996.
Mark L. Gerchick,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs.
[FR Doc. 96-3374 Filed 2-14-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-62-C