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News Digest DOT 111-14

DOT Advises Air Travelers and Colleges About Tour Packages to College Bowl Games.  The U.S. Department of Transportation issued earlier this week two notices concerning tour packages to college bowl games.  The first notice reminds air travelers going to this season’s college bowl games and other special events not to purchase an air tour package that is advertised as including game tickets if the company marketing the air tour does not have the tickets in hand or a written contract for the tickets.  The second notice advises colleges and other organizations on how to properly arrange charter flights to football bowl games, NCAA basketball tournament games, or other special events.  Both notices can be found online  People may file complaints about college bowl tour operators that advertise tickets, but do not provide them, or other violations of the Department’s rules on special event tours by contacting the Enforcement Office’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division at, by voicemail at (202) 366-2220, or by TTY at (202) 366-0511.  Contact for news media:  Caitlin Harvey:  (202) 366-4570.

MARAD Releases Report on U.S.-flagged Articulated & Integrated Tug-Barge Units. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) released a first-of-its-kind, public database that chronicles U.S.-flagged, privately owned domestic articulated tug-barge (ATB) and integrated tug-barge (ITB) vessels.  The United States leads the world in the number of ATBs operated, which provide a cost-competitive alternative to tankers in the domestic energy market.  Unlike a typical tug and barge combination, an ATB/ITB is mechanically linked, combining the economics of tug and barge operations with the speed, maneuverability, sea-keeping capability, and heavy weather-reliability similar to that of a self-propelled tanker.  ATBs can also be built in less time than conventional tankers, and offer improved operating efficiencies at a lower capital cost.  In the report, MARAD has catalogued over 130 tug-barge units in service with a carrying capacity of 15.2 million barrels.  The intention of this report is to calculate and illustrate the scale and scope of this unique segment of the maritime industry.  The report can be viewed on the MARAD website at:  Media Contact only: Kim Strong: (202) 366-5807.

MARAD Issues for Public Comment the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Port Ambrose Deepwater Port License application.  The Maritime Administration (MARAD), through a Federal Register Notice published on December 16, 2014, has notified the public that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Port Ambrose Deepwater Port License application is available for public comment.  The Notice of Availability begins a 60 day public comment period on the DEIS.  It also provides the dates, times and locations for informational open houses and public meetings to be held in the Adjacent Coastal States of New York and New Jersey.  The public will be able to ask general questions and submit comments about the DEIS at these meetings.  The Port Ambrose Deepwater Port project is proposed to be located in federal waters approximately 27.1 nautical miles from the entrance to New York harbor. The facility, as proposed, will only be to import shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from international sources using specialized LNG carrier vessels. 

Additional details regarding the Port Ambrose project, the DEIS, submittal of public comments and the informational open houses and public meetings can be found in the Federal Register Notice of Availability, which can be viewed at  MARAD Contact:  Kim Strong (202) 366-5807.


Updated: Friday, December 19, 2014
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