Text: H.R.2476 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 105-148 (12/16/1997)

 
[105th Congress Public Law 148]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ148.105]


[[Page 111 STAT. 2681]]

Public Law 105-148
105th Congress

                                 An Act


 
     To amend title 49, United States Code, to require the National 
   Transportation Safety Board and individual foreign air carriers to 
    address the needs of families of passengers involved in aircraft 
accidents involving foreign air carriers. <<NOTE: Dec. 16, 1997 -  [H.R. 
                                2476]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. PLANS TO ADDRESS NEEDS OF FAMILIES OF PASSENGERS INVOLVED IN 
            FOREIGN AIR CARRIER ACCIDENTS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 413 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:

``Sec. 41313. Plans to address needs of families of passengers involved 
                        in foreign air carrier accidents

    ``(a) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
            ``(1) Aircraft accident.--The term `aircraft accident' means 
        any aviation disaster, regardless of its cause or suspected 
        cause, that occurs within the United States; and
            ``(2) Passenger.--The term `passenger' includes an employee 
        of a foreign air carrier or air carrier aboard an 
        aircraft.

    ``(b) Submission of Plans.--A foreign air carrier providing foreign 
air transportation under this chapter shall transmit to the Secretary of 
Transportation and the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety 
Board a plan for addressing the needs of the families of passengers 
involved in an aircraft accident that involves an aircraft under the 
control of the foreign air carrier and results in a significant loss of 
life.
    ``(c) Contents of Plans.--To the extent permitted by foreign law 
which was in effect on the date of the enactment of this section, a plan 
submitted by a foreign air carrier under subsection (b) shall include 
the following:
            ``(1) Telephone number.--A plan for publicizing a reliable, 
        toll-free telephone number and staff to take calls to such 
        number from families of passengers involved in an aircraft 
        accident that involves an aircraft under the control of the 
        foreign air carrier and results in a significant loss of life.
            ``(2) Notification of families.--A process for notifying, in 
        person to the extent practicable, the families of passengers 
        involved in an aircraft accident that involves an aircraft under 
        the control of the foreign air carrier and results in a 
        significant loss of life before providing any public notice of 
        the names of such passengers. Such notice shall be provided by 
        using the services of--

[[Page 111 STAT. 2682]]

                    ``(A) the organization designated for the accident 
                under section 1136(a)(2); or
                    ``(B) other suitably trained individuals.
            ``(3) Notice provided as soon as possible.--An assurance 
        that the notice required by paragraph (2) shall be provided as 
        soon as practicable after the foreign air carrier has verified 
        the identity of a passenger on the foreign aircraft, whether or 
        not the names of all of the passengers have been verified.
            ``(4) List of passengers.--An assurance that the foreign air 
        carrier shall provide, immediately upon request, and update a 
        list (based on the best available information at the time of the 
        request) of the names of the passengers aboard the aircraft 
        (whether or not such names have been verified), to--
                    ``(A) the director of family support services 
                designated for the accident under section 1136(a)(1); 
                and
                    ``(B) the organization designated for the accident 
                under section 1136(a)(2).
            ``(5) Consultation regarding disposition of remains and 
        effects.--An assurance that the family of each passenger will be 
        consulted about the disposition of any remains and personal 
        effects of the passenger that are within the control of the 
        foreign air carrier.
            ``(6) Return of possessions.--An assurance that, if 
        requested by the family of a passenger, any possession 
        (regardless of its condition) of that passenger that is within 
        the control of the foreign air carrier will be returned to the 
        family unless the possession is needed for the accident 
        investigation or a criminal investigation.
            ``(7) Unclaimed possessions retained.--An assurance that any 
        unclaimed possession of a passenger within the control of the 
        foreign air carrier will be retained by the foreign air carrier 
        for not less than 18 months after the date of the accident.
            ``(8) Monuments.--An assurance that the family of each 
        passenger will be consulted about construction by the foreign 
        air carrier of any monument to the passengers built in the 
        United States, including any inscription on the monument.
            ``(9) Equal treatment of passengers.--An assurance that the 
        treatment of the families of nonrevenue passengers will be the 
        same as the treatment of the families of revenue 
        passengers.
            ``(10) Service and assistance to families of passen-
        gers.--An assurance that the foreign air carrier will work with 
        any organization designated under section 1136(a)(2) on an 
        ongoing basis to ensure that families of passengers receive an 
        appropriate level of services and assistance following an 
        accident.
            ``(11) Compensation to service organizations.--An assurance 
        that the foreign air carrier will provide reasonable 
        compensation to any organization designated under section 
        1136(a)(2) for services and assistance provided by the 
        organization.
            ``(12) Travel and care expenses.--An assurance that the 
        foreign air carrier will assist the family of any passenger in 
        traveling to the location of the accident and provide for the 
        physical care of the family while the family is staying at such 
        location.

[[Page 111 STAT. 2683]]

            ``(13) Resources for plan.--An assurance that the foreign 
        air carrier will commit sufficient resources to carry out the 
        plan.
            ``(14) Substitute measures.--If a foreign air carrier does 
        not wish to comply with paragraph (10), (11), or (12), a 
        description of proposed adequate substitute measures for the 
        requirements of each paragraph with which the foreign air 
        carrier does not wish to comply.

    ``(d) Permit and Exemption Requirement.--The Secretary shall not 
approve an application for a permit under section 41302 unless the 
applicant has included as part of the application or request for 
exemption a plan that meets the requirements of 
subsection (c).
    ``(e) Limitation on Liability.--A foreign air carrier shall not be 
liable for damages in any action brought in a Federal or State court 
arising out of the performance of the foreign air carrier in preparing 
or providing a passenger list pursuant to a plan submitted by the 
foreign air carrier under subsection (c), unless the liability was 
caused by conduct of the foreign air carrier which was grossly negligent 
or which constituted intentional misconduct.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for such chapter is 
amended by adding at the end the following:

``41313. Plans to address needs of families of passengers involved in 
           foreign air 
           carrier accidents.''.

    (c) <<NOTE: 49 USC 41313 note.>>  Effective Date.--The amendments 
made by this section shall take effect on the 180th day following the 
date of the 
enactment of this Act.

    Approved December 16, 1997.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2476:
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HOUSE REPORTS: No. 105-371 (Comm. on Transportation and Infrastructure).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 143 (1997):
            Nov. 9, considered and passed House.
            Nov. 13, considered and passed Senate.

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