Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel; Establishment of a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, 20265-20268 [2016-08062]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules Kansas City, MO 64106; telephone (816) 329–4125, facsimile (816) 329–4090. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On March 14, 2016, the FAA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled ‘‘Revision of Airworthiness Standards for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes’’. The FAA proposes in this NPRM to amend its airworthiness standards for normal, utility, acrobatic, and commuter category airplanes by removing current prescriptive design requirements and replacing them with performance-based airworthiness standards. The proposed standards would also replace the current weight and propulsion divisions in part 23 with performance- and riskbased divisions for airplanes with a maximum seating capacity of 19 passengers or less and a maximum takeoff weight of 19,000 pounds or less. The proposed airworthiness standards are based on, and would maintain, the level of safety of the current part 23. Finally, the FAA proposes to adopt additional airworthiness standards to address certification for flight in icing conditions, enhanced stall characteristics, and minimum control speed to prevent departure from controlled flight for multiengine airplanes. The NPRM addresses the Congressional mandate set forth in the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 1 (Pub. L. 113–53, 49 U.S.C. 44704 note). Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Purpose of the Public Meetings The purpose of the public meetings is for the FAA to discuss the NPRM, hear the public’s questions, address any confusion, and obtain information relevant to the final rule under consideration. The FAA will consider comments made at the public meetings before making a final decision on issuance of the final rule. Public Meeting Procedures A panel of representatives from the FAA will be present. An FAA representative will facilitate the meetings in accordance with the following procedures: (1) There will be no admission fees or other charges to attend or to participate in the public meetings. The meetings will be open to all persons, subject to availability of space in the meeting room. The FAA will make every effort to accommodate all persons wishing to attend. The FAA asks that participants 1 https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/ house-bill/1848/text. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 sign in between 7:00–8:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting being attended. The meetings may adjourn early if the agenda items are completed in less time than is scheduled for the meetings. (2) The meetings will be recorded by a court reporter. A transcript of the meetings and all material accepted by the panel during the meetings will be included in the public docket, unless protected from disclosure. Each person interested in purchasing a copy of a transcript should contact the court reporter directly. Information on how to purchase a transcript will be available at the meetings. Issued in Washington, DC, on April 1, 2016. James M. Crotty, Acting Director, Office of Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 2016–07943 Filed 4–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 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; Establishment of a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of intent to establish the Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS) Advisory Committee; Solicitation of applications and nominations for membership. AGENCY: The Department of Transportation (‘‘Department,’’ ‘‘DOT,’’ or ‘‘we’’) announces its intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking (Reg– Neg) committee to negotiate and develop proposed amendments to the Department’s disability regulation on three issues: Whether to require accessible inflight entertainment (IFE) and strengthen accessibility requirements for other in-flight communications; whether to require an accessible lavatory on new single-aisle aircraft over a certain size; and whether to amend the definition of ‘‘service animals’’ that may accompany passengers with a disability on a flight. The committee will include representatives of organizations or groups with interests that are affected significantly by the subject matter of the proposed regulation. The Department anticipates that the interested parties may include disability SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20265 advocacy organizations, airlines, airports, and aircraft manufacturers. The Department seeks comment on the establishment of the Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS) Advisory Committee, the issues to be addressed, and the proposed list of stakeholder types to be represented on the Committee. We also invite nominations or applications for membership on the ACCESS Advisory Committee. To the extent it can do so consistent with the goal of ensuring effective representation and necessary expertise, the Department will select individuals who reflect the diversity among the organizations or groups represented. DATES: Comments and nominations for Committee membership must be received on or before April 21, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments using any one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: 202 493–2251. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Submitting Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments. In all cases, please identify your comment with docket number DOT–OST–2015– 0246. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about the regulatory negotiation, you may contact Livaughn Chapman or Blane A. Workie, Office of the Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, U.S. Department of Transportation, by email at livaughn.chapman@dot.gov or blane.workie@dot.gov or by telephone at 202–366–9342. To obtain a copy of this notice of intent in an accessible format, you may also contact Livaughn Chapman. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice of intent (DOT–OST–2015–0246), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 20266 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online, by mail, by hand delivery, or by fax. Please use only one of these methods. DOT recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number with your comments so that DOT can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission. All comments and material received in the docket during this comment period will be given consideration and become part of the record in this rulemaking proceeding. We will consider to the extent practicable all comments and material received in the docket after the comment period ends. Viewing Comments and Documents You may view comments on this notice of intent, as well as any documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov. After entering the docket number, click the link to ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Submitting Nominations All nomination materials should be submitted electronically via email to accesscommittee@dot.gov. Any person needing accessibility accommodations should contact Livaughn Chapman, Chief, Aviation Civil Rights Compliance Branch, Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, at (202) 366–9342. Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Privacy Act In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. Background On December 7, 2015, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register announcing its intent to consider a Reg-Neg on six issues—(1) inflight entertainment accessibility; (2) supplemental medical oxygen; (3) service animals; (4) accessible lavatories on single-aisle aircraft; (5) seating VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 accommodations; and (6) carrier reporting of disability service requests.1 On January 5, 2016, the Department subsequently announced an extension of the 30-day comment period to January 21, 2016.2 At the close of the comment period, we had received nearly 70 comments. To date, we have received close to 90 comments. The Department also announced that we had hired a neutral convener, Mr. Richard Parker, a professor of law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, to speak with representatives from among the organizational interests mentioned above about the feasibility of conducting a Reg-Neg on these six issues. Mr. Parker conducted interviews with 46 different stakeholders representing these interests and prepared a convening report to DOT on the feasibility of conducting the negotiated rulemaking under consideration. The convening report is available in the rulemaking docket at DOT–OST–2015–0246. Based on the convening report, the comments received on the December notice, and on the statutory factors in the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (5 U.S.C. 563), DOT decided that it would be in the public interest to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee (5 U.S.C. 564) with a narrower scope. Chief among the statutory factors we considered in our decision was whether a Committee could be assembled that would fairly represent all affected interests, negotiate in good faith, and offer a reasonable likelihood of reaching a consensus on the issues. We determined that the following three issues were the most suitable for the Reg-Neg: (1) Whether to require accessible inflight entertainment (IFE) and strengthen accessibility requirements for other in-flight communications; (2) whether to require an accessible lavatory on single-aisle new aircraft over a certain size; and (3) whether to amend the definition of ‘‘service animals’’ that may accompany passengers with a disability on a flight. The Department intends to address the remaining issues (supplemental medical oxygen, seating accommodations, and carrier reporting of disability service requests) through other actions. In selecting these three issues for the Reg-Neg, the Department considered the impact of the issues on all the affected stakeholders and the likelihood of the Committee reaching agreement on recommendations to the Department. Concerns expressed across interest groups about service animals on aircraft 1 80 2 81 PO 00000 FR 75953 (December 7, 2015). FR 193 (January 5, 2016). Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 suggested that stakeholders would be motivated to come to agreement on their recommendations. While the differences among stakeholders on IFE accessibility were greater, there were other indications that consensus recommendations may be achievable and that Committee deliberations might furnish highly relevant and useful information and insight to guide Departmental rulemaking deliberations in any event. For example, new technologies and methods for providing IFE have created more accessible onboard entertainment and communications options at lower cost than ever before. Although lavatory accessibility on single aisle aircraft is perhaps the longest standing and the most controversial of the issues considered for the Reg-Neg, we believe that there are significant advantages to including it. The Reg-Neg process will serve to educate all the parties about the state of the art in lavatory accessibility and allow stakeholders to identify regulatory options and share information on their costs and benefits. We believe these stakeholder discussions will enhance the possibility of reaching agreement on proposals to recommend to the Department, and in furnishing useful information to guide the Department’s rulemaking if consensus is not reached. For the above reasons, we believe that the scope of the rulemaking should focus on these issues. The Department acknowledges the views and concerns of all the participants in the convening process and is committed to addressing the issues of supplemental medical oxygen, seating accommodations, and carrier reporting of disability service requests as appropriate in subsequent rulemaking or other actions. The Secretary of Transportation has approved a charter to govern the activities of the ACCESS Advisory Committee in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2. In accordance with section 14 of FACA, the charter provides for the ACCESS Advisory Committee to remain in existence for two years after the filing date unless sooner terminated or renewed. However, the Department intends to complete the Reg-Neg for the proposed rule in 2016 and to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in 2017. This notice of intent requests nominations for members of the Committee to ensure a wide range of member candidates and a balanced committee. The Secretary of Transportation will appoint approximately 25 Committee members, E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules including a representative of DOT, who will each serve until the stated objectives of the Committee have been accomplished (i.e., the Committee submits its recommendation to the Secretary). The Committee is expected to meet every month from May to October 2016. Members should be senior level officials who can commit their organizations and who either are experts on accessibility with respect to the topics of interest to their organizations or who have access to such experts. The Department will choose the Committee members based on four main criteria: (1) Representativeness (does the applicant represent a significant stakeholder group that will be substantially affected by the final rule); (2) expertise (does the applicant bring essential knowledge, expertise and/or experience regarding accessibility and the topic area(s) of interest that will enrich the discussion of the available options and their respective costs and benefits); (3) balance (does the slate of selected applicants comprise a balanced array of representative and expert stakeholders); and (4) willingness to participate fully (is the applicant able and willing to attend the listed meetings and associated working group conference calls, bring in other experts from the applicant’s organization as needed and relevant, bargain in good faith, and generally contribute constructively to a rigorous policy development process). Subject to change based on information received in response to this notice of intent, DOT proposes for public comment the following list of stakeholder categories to be members of the Committee: • U.S. Department of Transportation • Airlines (1 representative each from 2 large U.S. airlines, 2 large foreign airlines, 1 regional U.S. air carrier, 1 low-cost US air carrier, and 1 charter carrier to be determined) • Cross-disability advocacy groups (2 representatives to be determined) • Consumer groups (1 representative to be determined) • Professional associations of flight attendants (1 representative to be determined) • Advocacy groups for blind and visually impaired individuals (2 representatives to be determined) • Advocacy Groups representing service animal users (1 representative to be determined) • Advocacy Groups representing people with psychiatric disabilities (1 representative to be determined) VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 • Providers, manufactures, or experts of IFE products, systems, and services (2 representatives to be determined) • Advocacy groups representing deaf and hard of hearing individuals (2 representatives to be determined) • Academic or non-profit institutions having technical expertise in accessibility research and development (2 representatives to be determined) • Aircraft manufacturers (2 representatives to be determined) • Advocacy groups representing individuals with mobility disabilities (2 representatives to be determined) We believe that the aforementioned stakeholder categories represent the interests significantly affected by this rulemaking. Organizations from each stakeholder category may nominate a candidate for Committee membership from their own organization, or jointly nominate a candidate to represent their collective interests. The list is not presented as a complete or exclusive list of stakeholder categories from which Committee members will be selected. The list merely indicates the stakeholder categories that DOT tentatively has identified as representing significantly affected interests in the proposed rule to enhance requirements for accessibility in air transportation. All individuals or organizations who wish to be selected to serve on the Committee should submit an application, regardless of whether their stakeholder category appears on the above list. If anyone believes their interests would not be adequately represented by one or more of these categories, they should document that assertion in their comment and/or their application for membership on the Committee. DOT requests comments and suggestions regarding its tentative list of significantly affected stakeholder categories from which potential members of the Committee may be selected. Individuals applying for membership should keep in mind that Committee members will be selected to represent not only the interest of that individual’s own organization but rather the collective stakeholder interests of organizations in the same stakeholder category. For example, an individual from a large U.S. airline selected to serve on the Committee would represent not only its airline but all large U.S. airlines. As such, the individual would be expected to consult with other large airlines in bringing issues to the table and making decisions on proposals before the Committee. Working groups may be formed to address the specific ACCESS Advisory PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20267 Committee issues. These working groups will include Committee members but may also include experts or representatives who are not Committee members. Such working groups will report back to the ACCESS Advisory Committee. The experience of past Reg-Negs has been that working groups play a vital role in the policy development process and deliberations. They provide both Committee Members and non-Members an important opportunity for meaningful participation and interaction in identifying and weighing options and alternatives. The Department’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings will provide appropriate funding, logistics, administrative, and technical support for the Committee and its working groups. DOT subject matter experts, attorneys, and economists will also provide support to the Committee and work groups. A Web site for Committee members, working group members, and the public to access online general information, meeting announcements, agendas, and minutes, as well as Committee and working group work products will be established at https://www.transportation.gov/ airconsumer/accesscommittee. At this time, we anticipate that the ACCESS Advisory Committee will have six two-day meetings in Washington DC. We propose to hold the meetings on the following dates: First meeting, May 17– 18; second meeting, June 14–15; third meeting, July 11–12; fourth meeting, August 16–17; fifth meeting, September 22–23, and the sixth and final meeting, October 13–14. Individuals interested in serving on the Committee should plan to attend each of these meetings in person. When appropriate, designees will be permitted. Process and Deadline for Submitting Nominations: Organizations and/or persons who believe they meet the criteria listed above are invited to apply for membership on the ACCESS Advisory Committee to represent the stakeholder interests of their organizational category with respect to the proposed issues. Organizational applicants should indicate both the stakeholder category they propose to represent and the individual from their organization applying to serve on the Committee; describe the responsibilities and qualifications of that person; and describe the qualifications of any alternates or professional colleagues who will be assisting the principal representative in the process. Qualified individuals can selfnominate or be nominated by any stakeholder or stakeholder organization. To be considered for the ACCESS E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 20268 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules Advisory Committee, nominators should submit the following information: (1) Name, title, and relevant contact information (including phone and email address) and a description of the issues addressed in this rulemaking that such individual is qualified to address, and the interests such a person shall represent; (2) A letter of support from a company, union, trade association, or non-profit organization on letterhead containing a brief description why the nominee is qualified and should be considered for membership to the extent the nominee proposes to represent parties with interest in this proceeding; (3) A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall actively participate in good faith in the development of the rule under consideration; (4) Short biography of nominee including professional and academic credentials; (5) An affirmative statement that the nominee meets all Committee eligibility requirements; and (6) If applicable, the reason(s) that the parties identified in this notice of intent as affected interests and stakeholders do not adequately represent the interest of the person submitting the application or nomination. All individuals representing a stakeholder interest who wish to serve on the Reg-Neg Committee should apply for membership by supplying the information listed above. Please do not send company, trade association, or organization brochures or any other information. Materials submitted should total two single-spaced pages or less. Should more information be needed, DOT staff will contact the nominee, obtain information from the nominee’s past affiliations, or obtain information from publicly available sources, such as the Internet. Nominations may be emailed to accesscommittee@dot.gov. Nominations must be received by April 21, 2016. Nominees selected for appointment to the Committee will be notified of appointment by email. Nominations are open to all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical handicap, marital status, or sexual orientation. To ensure that recommendations to the Secretary take into account the needs of the diverse groups served by DOT, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent persons with disabilities, minorities, and women. The Department will file any comments it receives on this notice VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 of intent in docket DOT–OST–2015– 0246. Notice to the public will be published in the Federal Register at least 15 days prior to each plenary meeting of the ACCESS Advisory Committee and members of the public will be invited to attend. Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.27. Dated: April 4, 2016. Kathryn B. Thomson, General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2016–08062 Filed 4–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–9X–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [Docket ID ED–2016–OSERS–0005; CFDA Number: 84.160C.] Proposed Priority—Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Proposed priority. AGENCY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year 2016 and later years. We take this action to provide training and technical assistance to better prepare novice interpreters to become highly qualified nationally certified sign language interpreters. DATES: We must receive your comments on or before May 9, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under the ‘‘help’’ tab. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 • Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address them to Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5062, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202–5076. Privacy Note: The Department’s policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez. Telephone: (202) 245–6103 or by email: Kristen.Rhinehart@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify clearly the specific section of the proposed priority that each comment addresses. We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this proposed priority. Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program. Specific Issues Open for Comment: In addition to your general comments and recommended clarifications, we seek input on the proposed design of the Experiential Learning Model Demonstration Center for Novice Interpreters and Baccalaureate Degree ASL-English Interpretation Programs (Center) and expectations for implementation. We are particularly interested in your feedback on the following questions: • Are the proposed required project activities appropriate? Are there any additional project activities beyond those included in the proposed priority that should be considered? For example, are there any specific activities that may be strongly associated with long-term success for ASL-English interpreters that we have not included? If so, please specify what additional activities should be required and why. E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 67 (Thursday, April 7, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 20265-20268]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-08062]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

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; 
Establishment of a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

AGENCY:  Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation.

ACTION:  Notice of intent to establish the Accessible Air 
Transportation (ACCESS) Advisory Committee; Solicitation of 
applications and nominations for membership.

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SUMMARY:  The Department of Transportation (``Department,'' ``DOT,'' or 
``we'') announces its intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking (Reg-
Neg) committee to negotiate and develop proposed amendments to the 
Department's disability regulation on three issues: Whether to require 
accessible inflight entertainment (IFE) and strengthen accessibility 
requirements for other in-flight communications; whether to require an 
accessible lavatory on new single-aisle aircraft over a certain size; 
and whether to amend the definition of ``service animals'' that may 
accompany passengers with a disability on a flight. The committee will 
include representatives of organizations or groups with interests that 
are affected significantly by the subject matter of the proposed 
regulation.
    The Department anticipates that the interested parties may include 
disability advocacy organizations, airlines, airports, and aircraft 
manufacturers. The Department seeks comment on the establishment of the 
Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS) Advisory Committee, the issues 
to be addressed, and the proposed list of stakeholder types to be 
represented on the Committee. We also invite nominations or 
applications for membership on the ACCESS Advisory Committee. To the 
extent it can do so consistent with the goal of ensuring effective 
representation and necessary expertise, the Department will select 
individuals who reflect the diversity among the organizations or groups 
represented.

DATES:  Comments and nominations for Committee membership must be 
received on or before April 21, 2016.

ADDRESSES:  You may submit comments using any one of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department 
of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 202 493-2251. To avoid duplication, please use only 
one of these four methods. See the ``Submitting Comments'' portion of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting 
comments. In all cases, please identify your comment with docket number 
DOT-OST-2015-0246.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about the 
regulatory negotiation, you may contact Livaughn Chapman or Blane A. 
Workie, Office of the Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, by email at livaughn.chapman@dot.gov or 
blane.workie@dot.gov or by telephone at 202-366-9342. To obtain a copy 
of this notice of intent in an accessible format, you may also contact 
Livaughn Chapman.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice of intent (DOT-OST-2015-0246), indicate the specific section of 
this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for 
each

[[Page 20266]]

suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material 
online, by mail, by hand delivery, or by fax. Please use only one of 
these methods. DOT recommends that you include your name and a mailing 
address, an email address, or a phone number with your comments so that 
DOT can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission. 
All comments and material received in the docket during this comment 
period will be given consideration and become part of the record in 
this rulemaking proceeding. We will consider to the extent practicable 
all comments and material received in the docket after the comment 
period ends.

Viewing Comments and Documents

    You may view comments on this notice of intent, as well as any 
documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket 
at http://www.regulations.gov. After entering the docket number, click 
the link to ``Open Docket Folder'' and choose the document to review. 
If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket 
online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on 
the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

Submitting Nominations

    All nomination materials should be submitted electronically via 
email to accesscommittee@dot.gov. Any person needing accessibility 
accommodations should contact Livaughn Chapman, Chief, Aviation Civil 
Rights Compliance Branch, Office of Aviation Enforcement and 
Proceedings, at (202) 366-9342.

Privacy Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the 
public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these 
comments, without edit, including any personal information the 
commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system 
of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

Background

    On December 7, 2015, the Department published a notice in the 
Federal Register announcing its intent to consider a Reg-Neg on six 
issues--(1) inflight entertainment accessibility; (2) supplemental 
medical oxygen; (3) service animals; (4) accessible lavatories on 
single-aisle aircraft; (5) seating accommodations; and (6) carrier 
reporting of disability service requests.\1\ On January 5, 2016, the 
Department subsequently announced an extension of the 30-day comment 
period to January 21, 2016.\2\ At the close of the comment period, we 
had received nearly 70 comments. To date, we have received close to 90 
comments. The Department also announced that we had hired a neutral 
convener, Mr. Richard Parker, a professor of law at the University of 
Connecticut School of Law, to speak with representatives from among the 
organizational interests mentioned above about the feasibility of 
conducting a Reg-Neg on these six issues. Mr. Parker conducted 
interviews with 46 different stakeholders representing these interests 
and prepared a convening report to DOT on the feasibility of conducting 
the negotiated rulemaking under consideration. The convening report is 
available in the rulemaking docket at DOT-OST-2015-0246. Based on the 
convening report, the comments received on the December notice, and on 
the statutory factors in the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (5 U.S.C. 563), 
DOT decided that it would be in the public interest to establish a 
negotiated rulemaking committee (5 U.S.C. 564) with a narrower scope. 
Chief among the statutory factors we considered in our decision was 
whether a Committee could be assembled that would fairly represent all 
affected interests, negotiate in good faith, and offer a reasonable 
likelihood of reaching a consensus on the issues. We determined that 
the following three issues were the most suitable for the Reg-Neg: (1) 
Whether to require accessible inflight entertainment (IFE) and 
strengthen accessibility requirements for other in-flight 
communications; (2) whether to require an accessible lavatory on 
single-aisle new aircraft over a certain size; and (3) whether to amend 
the definition of ``service animals'' that may accompany passengers 
with a disability on a flight. The Department intends to address the 
remaining issues (supplemental medical oxygen, seating accommodations, 
and carrier reporting of disability service requests) through other 
actions.
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    \1\ 80 FR 75953 (December 7, 2015).
    \2\ 81 FR 193 (January 5, 2016).
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    In selecting these three issues for the Reg-Neg, the Department 
considered the impact of the issues on all the affected stakeholders 
and the likelihood of the Committee reaching agreement on 
recommendations to the Department. Concerns expressed across interest 
groups about service animals on aircraft suggested that stakeholders 
would be motivated to come to agreement on their recommendations. While 
the differences among stakeholders on IFE accessibility were greater, 
there were other indications that consensus recommendations may be 
achievable and that Committee deliberations might furnish highly 
relevant and useful information and insight to guide Departmental 
rulemaking deliberations in any event. For example, new technologies 
and methods for providing IFE have created more accessible onboard 
entertainment and communications options at lower cost than ever 
before. Although lavatory accessibility on single aisle aircraft is 
perhaps the longest standing and the most controversial of the issues 
considered for the Reg-Neg, we believe that there are significant 
advantages to including it. The Reg-Neg process will serve to educate 
all the parties about the state of the art in lavatory accessibility 
and allow stakeholders to identify regulatory options and share 
information on their costs and benefits. We believe these stakeholder 
discussions will enhance the possibility of reaching agreement on 
proposals to recommend to the Department, and in furnishing useful 
information to guide the Department's rulemaking if consensus is not 
reached. For the above reasons, we believe that the scope of the 
rulemaking should focus on these issues.
    The Department acknowledges the views and concerns of all the 
participants in the convening process and is committed to addressing 
the issues of supplemental medical oxygen, seating accommodations, and 
carrier reporting of disability service requests as appropriate in 
subsequent rulemaking or other actions.
    The Secretary of Transportation has approved a charter to govern 
the activities of the ACCESS Advisory Committee in accordance with the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2. In accordance 
with section 14 of FACA, the charter provides for the ACCESS Advisory 
Committee to remain in existence for two years after the filing date 
unless sooner terminated or renewed. However, the Department intends to 
complete the Reg-Neg for the proposed rule in 2016 and to publish a 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in 2017.
    This notice of intent requests nominations for members of the 
Committee to ensure a wide range of member candidates and a balanced 
committee. The Secretary of Transportation will appoint approximately 
25 Committee members,

[[Page 20267]]

including a representative of DOT, who will each serve until the stated 
objectives of the Committee have been accomplished (i.e., the Committee 
submits its recommendation to the Secretary). The Committee is expected 
to meet every month from May to October 2016. Members should be senior 
level officials who can commit their organizations and who either are 
experts on accessibility with respect to the topics of interest to 
their organizations or who have access to such experts.
    The Department will choose the Committee members based on four main 
criteria: (1) Representativeness (does the applicant represent a 
significant stakeholder group that will be substantially affected by 
the final rule); (2) expertise (does the applicant bring essential 
knowledge, expertise and/or experience regarding accessibility and the 
topic area(s) of interest that will enrich the discussion of the 
available options and their respective costs and benefits); (3) balance 
(does the slate of selected applicants comprise a balanced array of 
representative and expert stakeholders); and (4) willingness to 
participate fully (is the applicant able and willing to attend the 
listed meetings and associated working group conference calls, bring in 
other experts from the applicant's organization as needed and relevant, 
bargain in good faith, and generally contribute constructively to a 
rigorous policy development process).
    Subject to change based on information received in response to this 
notice of intent, DOT proposes for public comment the following list of 
stakeholder categories to be members of the Committee:

 U.S. Department of Transportation
 Airlines (1 representative each from 2 large U.S. airlines, 2 
large foreign airlines, 1 regional U.S. air carrier, 1 low-cost US air 
carrier, and 1 charter carrier to be determined)
 Cross-disability advocacy groups (2 representatives to be 
determined)
 Consumer groups (1 representative to be determined)
 Professional associations of flight attendants (1 
representative to be determined)
 Advocacy groups for blind and visually impaired individuals (2 
representatives to be determined)
 Advocacy Groups representing service animal users (1 
representative to be determined)
 Advocacy Groups representing people with psychiatric 
disabilities (1 representative to be determined)
 Providers, manufactures, or experts of IFE products, systems, 
and services (2 representatives to be determined)
 Advocacy groups representing deaf and hard of hearing 
individuals (2 representatives to be determined)
 Academic or non-profit institutions having technical expertise 
in accessibility research and development (2 representatives to be 
determined)
 Aircraft manufacturers (2 representatives to be determined)
 Advocacy groups representing individuals with mobility 
disabilities (2 representatives to be determined)

    We believe that the aforementioned stakeholder categories represent 
the interests significantly affected by this rulemaking. Organizations 
from each stakeholder category may nominate a candidate for Committee 
membership from their own organization, or jointly nominate a candidate 
to represent their collective interests. The list is not presented as a 
complete or exclusive list of stakeholder categories from which 
Committee members will be selected. The list merely indicates the 
stakeholder categories that DOT tentatively has identified as 
representing significantly affected interests in the proposed rule to 
enhance requirements for accessibility in air transportation. All 
individuals or organizations who wish to be selected to serve on the 
Committee should submit an application, regardless of whether their 
stakeholder category appears on the above list. If anyone believes 
their interests would not be adequately represented by one or more of 
these categories, they should document that assertion in their comment 
and/or their application for membership on the Committee. DOT requests 
comments and suggestions regarding its tentative list of significantly 
affected stakeholder categories from which potential members of the 
Committee may be selected.
    Individuals applying for membership should keep in mind that 
Committee members will be selected to represent not only the interest 
of that individual's own organization but rather the collective 
stakeholder interests of organizations in the same stakeholder 
category. For example, an individual from a large U.S. airline selected 
to serve on the Committee would represent not only its airline but all 
large U.S. airlines. As such, the individual would be expected to 
consult with other large airlines in bringing issues to the table and 
making decisions on proposals before the Committee.
    Working groups may be formed to address the specific ACCESS 
Advisory Committee issues. These working groups will include Committee 
members but may also include experts or representatives who are not 
Committee members. Such working groups will report back to the ACCESS 
Advisory Committee. The experience of past Reg-Negs has been that 
working groups play a vital role in the policy development process and 
deliberations. They provide both Committee Members and non-Members an 
important opportunity for meaningful participation and interaction in 
identifying and weighing options and alternatives. The Department's 
Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings will provide appropriate 
funding, logistics, administrative, and technical support for the 
Committee and its working groups. DOT subject matter experts, 
attorneys, and economists will also provide support to the Committee 
and work groups. A Web site for Committee members, working group 
members, and the public to access online general information, meeting 
announcements, agendas, and minutes, as well as Committee and working 
group work products will be established at https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/accesscommittee.
    At this time, we anticipate that the ACCESS Advisory Committee will 
have six two-day meetings in Washington DC. We propose to hold the 
meetings on the following dates: First meeting, May 17-18; second 
meeting, June 14-15; third meeting, July 11-12; fourth meeting, August 
16-17; fifth meeting, September 22-23, and the sixth and final meeting, 
October 13-14. Individuals interested in serving on the Committee 
should plan to attend each of these meetings in person. When 
appropriate, designees will be permitted.
    Process and Deadline for Submitting Nominations: Organizations and/
or persons who believe they meet the criteria listed above are invited 
to apply for membership on the ACCESS Advisory Committee to represent 
the stakeholder interests of their organizational category with respect 
to the proposed issues. Organizational applicants should indicate both 
the stakeholder category they propose to represent and the individual 
from their organization applying to serve on the Committee; describe 
the responsibilities and qualifications of that person; and describe 
the qualifications of any alternates or professional colleagues who 
will be assisting the principal representative in the process.
    Qualified individuals can self-nominate or be nominated by any 
stakeholder or stakeholder organization. To be considered for the 
ACCESS

[[Page 20268]]

Advisory Committee, nominators should submit the following information:
    (1) Name, title, and relevant contact information (including phone 
and email address) and a description of the issues addressed in this 
rulemaking that such individual is qualified to address, and the 
interests such a person shall represent;
    (2) A letter of support from a company, union, trade association, 
or non-profit organization on letterhead containing a brief description 
why the nominee is qualified and should be considered for membership to 
the extent the nominee proposes to represent parties with interest in 
this proceeding;
    (3) A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall 
actively participate in good faith in the development of the rule under 
consideration;
    (4) Short biography of nominee including professional and academic 
credentials;
    (5) An affirmative statement that the nominee meets all Committee 
eligibility requirements; and
    (6) If applicable, the reason(s) that the parties identified in 
this notice of intent as affected interests and stakeholders do not 
adequately represent the interest of the person submitting the 
application or nomination.
    All individuals representing a stakeholder interest who wish to 
serve on the Reg-Neg Committee should apply for membership by supplying 
the information listed above. Please do not send company, trade 
association, or organization brochures or any other information. 
Materials submitted should total two single-spaced pages or less. 
Should more information be needed, DOT staff will contact the nominee, 
obtain information from the nominee's past affiliations, or obtain 
information from publicly available sources, such as the Internet. 
Nominations may be emailed to accesscommittee@dot.gov. Nominations must 
be received by April 21, 2016.
    Nominees selected for appointment to the Committee will be notified 
of appointment by email. Nominations are open to all individuals 
without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, 
mental or physical handicap, marital status, or sexual orientation. To 
ensure that recommendations to the Secretary take into account the 
needs of the diverse groups served by DOT, membership shall include, to 
the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to 
represent persons with disabilities, minorities, and women. The 
Department will file any comments it receives on this notice of intent 
in docket DOT-OST-2015-0246. Notice to the public will be published in 
the Federal Register at least 15 days prior to each plenary meeting of 
the ACCESS Advisory Committee and members of the public will be invited 
to attend.
    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.27.

    Dated: April 4, 2016.
Kathryn B. Thomson,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2016-08062 Filed 4-6-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P