(a) General.—Basic essential air service provided under section 41733 of this title is scheduled air transportation of passengers and cargo—
(1) to a hub airport that has convenient connecting or single-plane air service to a substantial number of destinations beyond that airport; or
(2) to a small hub or nonhub airport, when in Alaska or when the nearest hub airport is more than 400 miles from an eligible place.
(b) Minimum Requirements.—Basic essential air service shall include at least the following:
(1)(A) for a place not in Alaska, 2 daily round trips 6 days a week, with not more than one intermediate stop on each flight; or
(B) for a place in Alaska, a level of service at least equal to that provided in 1976 or 2 round trips a week, whichever is greater, except that the Secretary of Transportation and the appropriate State authority of Alaska may agree to a different level of service after consulting with the affected community.
(2) flights at reasonable times considering the needs of passengers with connecting flights at the airport and at prices that are not excessive compared to the generally prevailing prices of other air carriers for like service between similar places.
(3) for a place not in Alaska, service provided in an aircraft with an effective capacity of at least 15 passengers if the average daily boardings at the place in any calendar year from 1976-1986 were more than 11 passengers unless—
(A) that level-of-service requirement would require paying compensation in a fiscal year under section 41733(d) or 41734(d) or (e) of this title for the place when compensation otherwise would not have been paid for that place in that year; or
(B) the affected community agrees with the Secretary in writing to the use of smaller aircraft to provide service to the place.
(4) service accommodating the estimated passenger and property traffic at an average load factor, for each class of traffic considering seasonal demands for the service, of not more than—
(A) 50 percent; or
(B) 60 percent when service is provided by aircraft with more than 14 passenger seats.
(5) service provided in aircraft with at least 2 engines and using 2 pilots, unless scheduled air transportation has not been provided to the place in aircraft with at least 2 engines and using 2 pilots for at least 60 consecutive operating days at any time since October 31, 1978.
(6) service provided by pressurized aircraft when the service is provided by aircraft that regularly fly above 8,000 feet in altitude.
(c) Waivers.—Notwithstanding section 41733(e), upon request by an eligible place, the Secretary may waive, in whole or in part, subsections (a) and (b) of this section or subsections (a) through (c) of section 41734. A waiver issued under this subsection shall remain in effect for a limited period of time, as determined by the Secretary.
Historical and Revision Notes Revised SectionSource (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)41732(a) 49 App.:1389(k)(1) (1st sentence). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731, §419(k)(1); added Oct. 24, 1978, Pub. L. 95–504, §33(a), 92 Stat. 1732; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–213, §10, 97 Stat. 1461; Oct. 4, 1984, Pub. L. 98–443, §9(r), 98 Stat. 1708; restated Dec. 30, 1987, Pub. L. 100–223, §202(a)(1), (2), (b)(1), 101 Stat. 1507, 1516. 41732(b) 49 App.:1389(k)(1) (last sentence).In subsection (a), before clause (1), the words "provided under section 41733 of this title" are added for clarity. In clause (2), the words "from an eligible place" are added for clarity. In subsection (b), before clause (1), the words "Basic essential air service" are substituted for "Such transportation" for clarity and consistency in the revised title. In clause (1)(B), the word "1976" is substituted for "calendar year 1976" to eliminate unnecessary words. The words "appropriate State authority of Alaska" are substituted for "State agency of the State of Alaska" for clarity and consistency with the source provisions restated in section 41734(a) of the revised title. The words "agree to a different level of service" are substituted for "otherwise specified under an agreement" for clarity. In clause (2), the word "prices" is substituted for "rates, fares, and charges" and "fares" because of the definition of "price" in section 40102(a) of the revised title. In clause (3), before subclause (A), the word "boardings" is substituted for "enplanements" for clarity and consistency in the revised title. The words "from 1976-1986" are substituted for "beginning after December 31, 1975, and ending on or before December 31, 1986" to eliminate unnecessary words. In subclause (B), the words "affected community" are substituted for "community concerned" for consistency with the source provisions restated in clause (1)(B) of this section. In clause (5), the words "for at least 60 consecutive operating days" are substituted for "on each of 60 consecutive operating days" for clarity.AMENDMENTS 2018—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–254 added subsec. (c).
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