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News Digest DOT 100-14

MARAD Testing Alternative Power for Vessels. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is testing state-of-the-art, environmentally efficient technology onboard the Training Ship (TS) Kennedy. The National Defense Reserve Fleet vessel was provided to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy by MARAD for Cadet training.  This one-year undertaking is part of a MARAD initiative to test fuel cells as a source of power for shipboard electrical systems.  Researchers will evaluate the performance of the fuel cell technology and how low sulfur marine diesel fuel can be used to efficiently power a fuel cell to produce auxiliary power.  Unlike using low sulfur fuel in diesel engine generators to provide electrical power, the system produces no harmful air emissions. Contact:  Kim Strong 202-366-5807.

DOT Fines Air Canada Rouge for Tarmac Delay Rule Violations.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Air Canada Rouge $90,000 for failing to adhere to the assurances in its contingency plan for lengthy tarmac delays, in violation of the Department’s tarmac delay rule, and ordered the carrier to cease and desist from further violations.  Under DOT rules, airlines are required to adopt, implement, and adhere to contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays at each large, medium, small, and non-hub U.S. airport.  Airlines may not allow tarmac delays longer than four hours on international flights at U.S. airports without giving passengers an opportunity to leave the plane.  Exceptions are allowed only for safety, security, and air traffic control-related reasons.  In addition, carriers are required to provide adequate food and drinking water no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of a departure) or touches down (in the case of an arrival), and ensure that they have sufficient resources to implement their plan.  An investigation by DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that Air Canada Rouge flight AC 1861 diverted to Buffalo Niagara International Airport at 10:09 p.m. on January 11, 2014 due to freezing rain and fog while en route to Toronto Pearson International Airport.  The carrier did not seek a gate or another disembarkation point to deplane passengers until 1:25 a.m.  At 2:36 a.m., flight AC 1861 was assigned a gate and passengers were afforded the opportunity to deplane at 2:50 a.m., four hours and 31 minutes into the delay.    In addition, although passengers were provided with beverages throughout the delay, Rouge did not have adequate food on board the aircraft to provide to all of its passengers during the delay.  By not providing passengers with an opportunity to deplane before the tarmac delay exceeded four hours and not providing food to all of its passengers within two hours after the aircraft arrived in Buffalo, demonstrating a lack of sufficient resources available to implement its contingency plan, Air Canada Rouge failed to adhere to the terms of its plan.  The consent order is available at, docket DOT-OST-2014-0001.  Contact:  Caitlin Harvey:  (202) 366-4570.

Daylight Saving Time to End Sunday, Nov. 2 for Most Americans.  Most of the nation will return to standard time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, when clocks will be turned back one hour, providing an additional hour of daylight in the morning.  Under law, daylight saving time is observed from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, with the nation returning to standard time starting Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014.  Federal law does not require any area to observe daylight time, but those that do must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law.  No resetting of clocks is required for those parts of the country not observing daylight time: Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas, and most of Arizona.  The U.S. Department of Transportation has overseen the time laws since 1966, when Congress transferred this responsibility from the Interstate Commerce Commission.  Contact:  Caitlin Harvey:  (202) 366-4570.

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DOT 100-14

Updated: Friday, October 31, 2014
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