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DOT/OST RIN: 2105-AD96 Publication ID: Fall 2011 
Title: +Accessibility of Carrier Websites and Ticket Kiosks  
Abstract: This rulemaking was divided into two successive Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) rulemakings. This one, as well as the second rulemaking (2105-AE12), address issues raised in another rulemaking RIN 2105-AD92. This rulemaking would consider: (1) The cost and technical issues involved in requiring carrier website accessibility and (2) whether automated kiosks operated by carriers at airports and elsewhere should be required to be accessible. After the public comment periods, we intend to consolidate the final decisions in this rulemaking and RIN 2105-AE12 into one document. 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 14 CFR 382 
Legal Authority: 49 USC 41702; 49 USC 47105; 49 USC 41712 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: This rulemaking proposes to provide greater accommodations for individuals with disabilities in accessing automated kiosks at U.S. airports and Web sites operated by U.S. and foreign air carriers and their ticket agents. Automated kiosks are widely used by U.S. and foreign air carriers at airports to provide customer services (e.g., boarding pass and bag tag printing). Also, today's passengers increasingly rely on air travel Web sites for information about airline services, making reservations, and obtaining discounted airfares. Currently, neither airlines nor airports are required to make airport kiosks accessible to passengers with disabilities. Also, not all air travel information and services available to the public on Web sites are accessible to people with disabilities. Only DOT can protect air travelers with disabilities as states are preempted from regulating in these areas and no private right of action exists for airline consumers to enforce the Air Carrier Access Act.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The legal basis for the proposed rule is the Air Carrier Access Act, which prohibits discrimination in airline service on the basis of disability, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires accessibility in airport terminal facilities that receive Federal financial assistance.

Alternatives: Since May 2008, the Department has attempted to address the problem of inaccessible Web sites by requiring U.S. and foreign air carriers to make discounted, Web-based fares and amenities available to passengers who self-identify as being unable to use an airline's inaccessible Web site due to their disability. The Department has also tried to address the problem of inaccessible kiosks by requiring U.S. and foreign air carriers to make equivalent service available to passengers with a disability who cannot readily use a carrier's automated kiosk due to their disability. Disability advocacy groups have repeatedly expressed opposition to these interim solutions as they do not enable them to independently access and use airlines' Web sites or kiosks.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Preliminary estimates show that the present value of net benefits of the requirement to ensure the accessibility of automated airport kiosks to be $70.4 million over the 10-year period from 2013 through 2022, using a 7 percent discount rate. With respect to the proposed requirements to ensure air travel Web site accessibility, our preliminary regulatory evaluation estimates the expected present value of net benefits at $48.5 million over the period from 2013 through 2022, using the 7 percent discount rate.

Risks: N/A

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
SNPRM  09/26/2011  76 FR 59307 
SNPRM Comment Period End  11/25/2011   
Extension of Comment Period and Clarification of Proposed Rule  11/21/2011  76 FR 71914 
Supplemental NPRM Comment Period End  01/09/2012   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL: www.regulations.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Related RINs: Related to 2105-AE12 
Agency Contact:
Robert C Ashby
Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement
Department of Transportation
Office of the Secretary
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202-366-4723
TDD Phone:202-755-7687
Email: bob.ashby@ost.dot.gov

 
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