ACI-NA Weekly Legal Briefing


ACI-NA’s Weekly Legal Briefing

Volume 2012, Issue 2

Week of January 16 – January 20, 2012

Legal Affairs Committee Members:

The following matters are highlighted for your review and information.

Update on FAA Reauthorization:

  • The ACI-NA Government Affairs Department Provided the following update this Afternoon

FROM:            Jane Calderwood, ACI-NA Government Affairs                       

SUBJECT:      A deal has been reached on NMB language clearing way for FAA Conference Report

GA MEMO:    2012-3

A deal has been reached between the House and Senate on the National Mediation Board language that has proven to be the major hold up in completing work on the FAA Reauthorization bill.  There remain several other items that need to be worked out, according to Committee staff, so a short term extension may be necessary because the House and Senate schedules for the next week and a half may not provide enough time to get a final conference report passed.

According to what we have been told, the NMB deal includes the following

  • All substantive NMB rulemakings will now require a public hearing (including notice for the hearing, a transcript of the hearing, and other requirements from the Administrative Procedures Act).
  • In the event of a run-off election, the top two options will be in the run-off (previously it was the top two unions in the run-off – so if Union A received 47% of the vote, Union B received 10% of the vote, and no-union received 43% of the vote, the two unions would be in the run-off with no opportunity for employees to vote for the no-union option).
  • The showing of interest threshold for all elections is now raised to 50% of the eligible class (currently it is 35% for a new union and 50% to change or decertify an existing union).
  • Within 180 days of the legislation being enacted into law, GAO will provide a report on certification procedures and make recommendations to Congress on any changes that should be made.  The report will specifically compare and contrast the NMB with other Federal & State entities that have similar labor-related jurisdictions and evaluate the current & past NMB practices with Congressional intent.
  • GAO will also conduct an audit of the NMB at least every two years to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of all NMB operations; including the certification process (NMB currently has no Inspector General or meaningful oversight whatsoever).
  • It is unprecedented that an FAA reauthorization would include any reforms to the National Mediation Board.

We will keep you updated as we obtain additional information.

Please contact ACI-NA’s Government Affairs staff should you have any additional questions or concerns.

Regulatory Matters:

  • Federal Aviation Administration Appointing New Chief Counsel

Reliable sources have advised that effective Monday, January, January 23, 2012, Kathryn Thomson, former Counselor to DOT Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, will become FAA Chief Counsel.  Marc Warren is expected to maintain the Deputy Chief Counsel position within the agency.

  • Department of Transportation

DOT published in Thursday’s Federal Register an “information collection request” that sets forth new requirements and procedures for DOT grantees that submit and receive payments from DOT Operating Administrations (OAs), which includes the FAA.

Federal Register Link to Notice:

[Docket No. DOT–OST–2011–0129]

Proposed Information Collection Request; Notice of New Requirements and Procedures for Grant Payment Request Submission

AGENCY: Department of Transportation (DOT).

SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of the Secretary (OST) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget

Title:Procedures for Grant Payment Request Submission.

Type of Request:New information collection.

Background:This notice sets forth requirements and procedures for grantees that receive payments from DOT OAs,1 with the exception of DOT grant recipients requesting payment electronically through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Grant Tracking System (GTS), the Federal Highway Administration’s Rapid Approval State Payment System (RASPS), or Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant recipients requesting payment through the Electronic Clearing House Operation System (ECHO–Web).

The Proposed Procedures Provide:

Grantees will now be required to have electronic Internet access to register in the Delphi eInvoicing system.

 Grantees will be required to submit payment requests electronically and DOT OAs must process payment requests electronically.

The identities of system users must be verified prior to receiving access to the Delphi eInvoicing system. Users must complete a user request form and provide the following information: Full name, work address, work phone number, work email address, home address and home phone number. Once completed, this form must be presented to a Notary Public for verification. Once notarized, the prospective grantee user will return the form to receive their login credentials.

DOT Office of Financial Management officials may allow exceptions to the requirement that grantees register and submit payment requests through the Delphi eInvoicing system under limited circumstances. Recipients may apply for an exemption by submitting an electronic Waiver Request Form to the DOT Office of Financial Management. The exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis via Waiver Request Form.

Affected Public: DOT Grant Recipients.

1 The DOT OAs are: Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Maritime Administration (MARAD), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) and Surface Transportation Board (STB).

[Submitted by James Briggs]

Upcoming Conferences

ACI-NA Upcoming Conference and Events:

2012 Air Service Data and Planning Seminar               2012 Media Relations Seminar

January 22, 2012 - January 24, 2012                          January 25, 2012 - January 27, 2012

Long Beach, CA                                                         Long Beach, CA


2012 Winter Board of Directors Meeting and CEO Forum

February 8, 2012 - February 10, 2012

Salt Lake City, UT

  • The American Bar Association Air & Space Law Forum’sone-day Washington Update annual aviation law conference is being held on Friday, February 17, in Washington, D.C.    The following weblink is to the marketing brochure for the 2012 Washington Update Conference.  Registration and program information are contained in the brochure.

Feel free to share this information within your organizations and to send this weblink and/or the brochure to anyone you know that might be interested in attending.


Congratulations to Pablo O. Nuesch, who was recently named Head of the Transportation Practice Group of associate law firm, Spiegel & McDiarmid in Washington, D.C.  Pablo will continue to provide legal counsel to airport clients on aviation matters.


If you have information of interest to share, forward it to me by COB on Thursday of each week.

  Send it to:

Have a great weekend!


Monica R. Hargrove
General Counsel

Direct: (202) 861-8088