49 U.S.C. § 47129 - Resolution of disputes concerning airport fees

Cite as:49 U.S.C. § 47129
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-158 (08/14/2020)


(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary of Transportation shall issue a determination as to whether a fee imposed upon one or more air carriers or foreign air carriers (as those terms are defined in section 40102) by the owner or operator of an airport is reasonable if-

(A) a written request for such determination is filed with the Secretary by such owner or operator; or

(B) a written complaint requesting such determination is filed with the Secretary by an affected air carrier or foreign air carrier within 60 days after such carrier receives written notice of the establishment or increase of such fee.

(2) CALCULATION OF FEE.-A fee subject to a determination of reasonableness under this section may be calculated pursuant to either a compensatory or residual fee methodology or any combination thereof.

(3) SECRETARY NOT TO SET FEE.-In determining whether a fee is reasonable under this section, the Secretary may only determine whether the fee is reasonable or unreasonable and shall not set the level of the fee.

(4) FEES IMPOSED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AIRPORTS.-In evaluating the reasonableness of a fee imposed by an airport receiving an exemption under section 47134 of this title, the Secretary shall consider whether the airport has complied with section 47134(c)(4).

(b) PROCEDURAL REGULATIONS.-Not later than 90 days after August 23, 1994, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register final regulations, policy statements, or guidelines establishing-

(1) the procedures for acting upon any written request or complaint filed under subsection (a)(1); and

(2) the standards or guidelines that shall be used by the Secretary in determining under this section whether an airport fee is reasonable.

(c) DECISIONS BY SECRETARY.-The final regulations, policy statements, or guidelines required in subsection (b) shall provide the following:

(1) Not more than 120 days after an air carrier or foreign air carrier files with the Secretary a written complaint relating to an airport fee, the Secretary shall issue a final order determining whether such fee is reasonable.

(2) Within 30 days after such complaint is filed with the Secretary, the Secretary shall dismiss the complaint if no significant dispute exists or shall assign the matter to an administrative law judge; and thereafter the matter shall be handled in accordance with part 302 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, or as modified by the Secretary to ensure an orderly disposition of the matter within the 120-day period and any specifically applicable provisions of this section.

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