DOT to Issue Final Rule Regarding Air Travel with Musical Instruments by the End of 2014. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to issue a final rule by the end of 2014 to implement section 403 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 regarding the carriage of musical instruments as carry-on baggage or checked baggage on commercial passenger flights operated by U.S. air carriers. The rulemaking follows several meetings between representatives of DOT, the airline industry, and musician organizations, which were held to address challenges musicians face when traveling by air with their musical instruments. Contact: Caitlin Harvey: (202) 366-4570.
Maritime Administration Announces Extension of the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA). The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced the extension of the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program until October 1, 2019. The VISA program creates a partnership between the U.S. government and the maritime industry to provide commercial sealift and intermodal shipping services and systems necessary to meet military mobilization requirements. Through the VISA program, transportation solutions are developed in peacetime to anticipate Department of Defense requirements. The VISA program enables a seamless, time-phased transition from peacetime to wartime operations. More than 90 percent of the U.S. flag fleet vessels that the military can use to carry supplies are committed to the VISA program. Contact: Kim Strong at 202-366-5807.