Text: H.R.5004 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/13/2018)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
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[H.R. 5004 Introduced in House (IH)]

<DOC>






115th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5004

     To protect the rights of passengers with disabilities in air 
                transportation, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 13, 2018

Mr. Langevin (for himself and Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation 
                           and Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
     To protect the rights of passengers with disabilities in air 
                transportation, and for other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Air Carrier Access Amendments Act of 
2018''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed the Air Carrier 
        Access Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-435; 100 Stat. 1080), adding 
        a provision now codified in section 41705 of title 49, United 
        States Code (in this section referred to as the ``ACAA''), 
        prohibiting disability-based discrimination in air 
        transportation.
            (2) Despite progress, many individuals with disabilities, 
        including veterans, still encounter significant barriers while 
        traveling in air transportation, such as--
                    (A) damaged assistive devices;
                    (B) inaccessible aircraft, lavatories, and 
                communication media;
                    (C) delayed assistance;
                    (D) inequitable treatment of service animals;
                    (E) inadequate disability cultural competency; and
                    (F) a lack of suitable seating accommodations.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--The following is the sense of Congress:
            (1) Access for individuals with disabilities in air 
        transportation must move into the 21st century. Otherwise, 
        individuals with disabilities will be left behind and unable to 
        compete in today's job market or enjoy the opportunities 
        available to other citizens of the United States.
            (2) Aircraft must be designed to accommodate individuals 
        with disabilities and air carriers must acquire aircraft that 
        meet broad accessibility standards.
            (3) The ACAA must be updated to improve access to air 
        transportation for individuals with disabilities. Legislation 
        is necessary for the modernization of standards and 
        requirements that will strengthen accessibility in air 
        transportation, including the accessibility of aircraft.
            (4) The Department of Transportation and the Architectural 
        and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (in this section 
        referred to as the ``Access Board'') must promulgate 
        regulations to ensure that all passengers with disabilities 
        receive--
                    (A) prompt and effective boarding, deplaning, and 
                connections between flights;
                    (B) accommodations, including nonstandard 
                accommodations, that safely facilitate air travel; and
                    (C) better access to airport facilities, including 
                the provision of visually accessible announcements and 
                full and equal access to aural communications.
            (5) Legislation is necessary to ensure that individuals 
        with disabilities have adequate remedies available when air 
        carriers violate the ACAA (including regulations prescribed 
        under the ACAA).
            (6) Unlike other civil rights statutes, the ACAA does not 
        contain a private right of action, which is critical to the 
        enforcement of civil rights statutes. Legislation is necessary 
        to correct this anomaly.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Access board.--The term ``Access Board'' means the 
        Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.
            (2) Air carrier.--The term ``air carrier'' means an air 
        carrier or foreign air carrier (as those terms are defined in 
        section 40102 of title 49, United States Code).
            (3) Disability.--The term ``disability'' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities 
        Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102), including the meaning under that 
        section as amended by the ADA Amendments of 2008 (Public Law 
        110-325; 122 Stat. 3553).
            (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Transportation.

SEC. 4. IMPROVING ACCESS TO AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH 
              DISABILITIES.

    (a) In General.--Section 41705 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 41705. Accessibility of air transportation for individuals with 
              disabilities
    ``(a) In General.--In providing air transportation, an air carrier 
may not discriminate against an individual on the basis of a 
disability, including by taking any of the actions prohibited under 
subsection (b) or not taking any of the actions required by subsection 
(c).
    ``(b) Prohibited Actions.--
            ``(1) In general.--An air carrier may not--
                    ``(A) directly or through a contractual, licensing, 
                or other arrangement, discriminate in the full and 
                equal enjoyment (within the meaning of that term under 
                section 302(a) of the Americans with Disabilities Act 
                of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12182(a))) of air transportation;
                    ``(B) deny the opportunity of an individual or a 
                class of individuals, on the basis of a disability or 
                disabilities of the individual or class, to participate 
                in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, 
                advantages, accommodations, or other opportunities 
                provided by the air carrier;
                    ``(C) afford an individual or a class of 
                individuals, on the basis of a disability or 
                disabilities of the individual or class, with the 
                opportunity to participate in or benefit from a good, 
                service, facility, advantage, accommodation, or other 
                opportunity that is not equal to a good, service, 
                facility, advantage, accommodation, or other 
                opportunity afforded to other individuals;
                    ``(D) subject to paragraph (2), provide an 
                individual or a class of individuals, on the basis of a 
                disability or disabilities of the individual or class, 
                with a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, 
                accommodation, or other opportunity that is different 
                or separate from a good, service, facility, privilege, 
                advantage, accommodation, or other opportunity provided 
                to other individuals;
                    ``(E) deny any goods, services, facilities, 
                privileges, advantages, accommodations, or other 
                opportunities to an individual because of the known 
                disability of another individual with whom the 
                individual is known to have a relationship or 
                association;
                    ``(F) impose or apply eligibility criteria that 
                screen out or have the effect of screening out 
                individuals with disabilities or a class of individuals 
                with disabilities from fully enjoying any good, 
                service, facility, privilege, advantage, accommodation, 
                or other opportunity provided by the air carrier, 
                unless the air carrier can demonstrate that such 
                criteria are necessary for the provision of the good, 
                service, facility, privilege, advantage, accommodation, 
                or other opportunity;
                    ``(G) directly or through a contractual, licensing, 
                or other arrangement, use standards or criteria or 
                methods of administration--
                            ``(i) that have the effect of 
                        discriminating on the basis of disability; or
                            ``(ii) that perpetuate the discrimination 
                        of others who are subject to common 
                        administrative control;
                    ``(H) purchase or lease an aircraft that does not 
                comply with this section and regulations prescribed 
                under this section; or
                    ``(I) refurbish an aircraft manufactured before the 
                date of the enactment of the Air Carrier Access 
                Amendments Act of 2018, or purchase or lease such an 
                aircraft, unless the aircraft, to the maximum extent 
                feasible, is made readily accessible to and usable by 
                individuals with disabilities, including individuals 
                who use wheelchairs, in accordance with this section 
                and upon issuance of regulations prescribed under this 
                section.
            ``(2) Exception.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), an 
                air carrier may provide an individual or a class of 
                individuals, on the basis of a disability or 
                disabilities of the individual or class, with a good, 
                service, facility, privilege, advantage, accommodation, 
                or other opportunity that is different or separate from 
                the good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, 
                accommodation, or other opportunity provided to other 
                individuals if doing so is necessary to provide the 
                individual or class of individuals with a good, 
                service, facility, privilege, advantage, accommodation, 
                or other opportunity that is as effective as the good, 
                service, facility, privilege, advantage, accommodation, 
                or other opportunity provided to other individuals.
                    ``(B) Acceptance.--An individual or a class of 
                individuals shall retain the authority to decide 
                whether to accept or refuse a good, service, facility, 
                privilege, advantage, accommodation, or other 
                opportunity referred to in subparagraph (A).
                    ``(C) Selection of goods, etc., provided to 
                others.--If, in accordance with subparagraph (A), an 
                air carrier provides to an individual or a class of 
                individuals a good, service, facility, privilege, 
                advantage, accommodation, or other opportunity that is 
                different or separate from the good, service, facility, 
                privilege, advantage, accommodation, or other 
                opportunity provided to other individuals, the air 
                carrier may not deny to an individual with a disability 
                the opportunity to participate in the good, service, 
                facility, privilege, advantage, accommodation, or other 
                opportunity provided to such other individuals.
    ``(c) Required Actions.--An air carrier shall--
            ``(1) afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, 
        advantages, accommodations, and other opportunities to an 
        individual with a disability in the most integrated setting 
        appropriate to the needs of the individual;
            ``(2) make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, 
        or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford 
        goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, 
        accommodations, or other opportunities to individuals with 
        disabilities, unless the air carrier can demonstrate that 
        making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature 
        of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, 
        accommodations, or other opportunities;
            ``(3) take such measures as may be necessary to ensure that 
        no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, 
        segregated, or otherwise treated differently from other 
        individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids or 
        services, unless the air carrier can demonstrate that taking 
        such measures would--
                    ``(A) fundamentally alter the nature of a good, 
                service, facility, privilege, advantage, accommodation, 
                or other opportunity being offered; or
                    ``(B) result in an undue burden to the air carrier; 
                and
            ``(4)(A) remove architectural barriers to equal access by 
        individuals with disabilities to goods, services, facilities, 
        privileges, advantages, accommodations, or other opportunities 
        provided by the air carrier, and communication barriers to such 
        access that are structural in nature, in facilities of the air 
        carrier (whether owned or leased by the air carrier) that were 
        constructed before or altered after the date of the enactment 
        of the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act of 2018, and remove 
        barriers to such access in aircraft manufactured before such 
        date of enactment and used by an air carrier for transporting 
        individuals, if the removal of such barriers is readily 
        achievable; or
            ``(B) if the air carrier can demonstrate that the removal 
        of a barrier described in subparagraph (A) is not readily 
        achievable, make such goods, services, facilities, privileges, 
        advantages, accommodations, or other opportunities available 
        through alternative methods that are readily achievable.
    ``(d) Complaints.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary of Transportation shall 
        ensure that individuals with disabilities traveling in air 
        transportation are able--
                    ``(A) to file complaints with the Department of 
                Transportation in response to disability-related 
                discrimination prohibited under this section or 
                regulations prescribed under this section; and
                    ``(B) to receive assistance from the Department 
                through a toll-free hotline telephone number or 
                comparable electronic means of communication.
            ``(2) Notice to passengers with disabilities.--Each air 
        carrier shall include on its publicly available Internet 
        website, any related mobile device application, and online 
        service--
                    ``(A) the hotline telephone number established 
                under section 42302 or the telephone number for the 
                Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department 
                of Transportation and the Department's disability 
                assistance hotline telephone number or a comparable 
                electronic means of communication;
                    ``(B) notice that a consumer can file a disability-
                related complaint with the Aviation Consumer Protection 
                Division;
                    ``(C) an active link to the Internet website of the 
                Aviation Consumer Protection Division for a consumer to 
                file a disability-related complaint; and
                    ``(D) notice that the consumer can file a 
                disability-related complaint with the air carrier and 
                the process and any timelines for filing such a 
                complaint.
            ``(3) Investigation of complaints.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall--
                            ``(i) investigate each complaint of a 
                        violation of this section or a regulation 
                        prescribed under this section; and
                            ``(ii) provide, in writing, to the 
                        individual that filed the complaint and the air 
                        carrier alleged to have violated this section 
                        or a regulation prescribed under this section, 
                        the determination of the Secretary with respect 
                        to--
                                    ``(I) whether the air carrier 
                                violated this section or a regulation 
                                prescribed under this section; and
                                    ``(II) the facts underlying the 
                                complaint.
                    ``(B) Referral.--If the Secretary has reasonable 
                cause to believe that any air carrier or group of air 
                carriers is engaged in a pattern or practice of 
                discrimination under this section, or any person or 
                group of persons has been discriminated against under 
                this section and such discrimination raises an issue of 
                general public importance, the Secretary shall refer 
                the matter to the Attorney General.
                    ``(C) Publication of data.--The Secretary shall 
                publish disability-related complaint data in a manner 
                comparable to other aviation consumer complaint data.
                    ``(D) Review and report.--The Secretary shall 
                regularly review all complaints received by air 
                carriers alleging discrimination on the basis of 
                disability and shall report annually to Congress on the 
                disposition of such complaints.
    ``(e) Civil Action.--
            ``(1) Aggrieved persons.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Any person aggrieved by the 
                violation by an air carrier of this section or a 
                regulation prescribed under this section may, during 
                the 2-year period beginning on the date of the 
                violation, bring a civil action in an appropriate 
                district court of the United States.
                    ``(B) Available relief.--If a court finds in favor 
                of the plaintiff in a civil action brought under 
                subparagraph (A), the court may award to the plaintiff 
                equitable and legal relief, including compensatory and 
                punitive damages, and shall, in addition to any such 
                relief, award reasonable attorney's fees, reasonable 
                expert fees, and cost of the action to the plaintiff.
                    ``(C) Exhaustion of administrative remedies.--Any 
                person aggrieved by the violation by an air carrier of 
                this section or a regulation prescribed under this 
                section shall not be required to exhaust administrative 
                remedies before bringing a civil action under 
                subparagraph (A).
                    ``(D) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this 
                paragraph shall be construed to invalidate or limit 
                other Federal or State laws affording to people with 
                disabilities greater legal rights or protections than 
                those granted by this section.
            ``(2) Enforcement by attorney general.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The Attorney General may bring a 
                civil action on behalf of persons aggrieved by the 
                violation by an air carrier of this section or a 
                regulation prescribed under this section in any 
                appropriate district court of the United States.
                    ``(B) Authority of court.--In a civil action under 
                subparagraph (A), the court may--
                            ``(i) grant any equitable relief that the 
                        court considers to be appropriate;
                            ``(ii) award such other relief as the court 
                        considers to be appropriate, including monetary 
                        damages to persons aggrieved by the violation 
                        by an air carrier of this section or a 
                        regulation prescribed under this section, when 
                        requested by the Attorney General; and
                            ``(iii) assess a civil penalty against the 
                        air carrier.
    ``(f) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this subchapter shall 
require an air carrier to permit an individual to participate in or 
benefit from goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, 
accommodations, or other opportunities if the individual poses a 
significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be 
eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures or 
by the provision of auxiliary aids or services.
    ``(g) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) Access board.--The term `Access Board' means the 
        Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.
            ``(2) Air carrier.--The term `air carrier' means an air 
        carrier or, subject to section 40105(b), a foreign air carrier.
            ``(3) Disability.--The term `disability' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities 
        Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102), including the meaning under that 
        section as amended by the ADA Amendments of 2008 (Public Law 
        110-325; 122 Stat. 3553).
            ``(4) Readily achievable.--The term `readily achievable' 
        means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without 
        much difficulty or expense. In determining whether an action is 
        readily achievable, factors to be considered include--
                    ``(A) the nature and cost of the action needed; and
                    ``(B) the overall financial resources of the air 
                carrier.''.
    (b) Technical Assistance.--Not later than 180 days after the date 
of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall ensure the 
availability and provision of appropriate technical assistance manuals 
to individuals and entities with rights or responsibilities under 
section 41705 of title 49, United States Code, as amended by subsection 
(c).
    (c) Clerical Amendment.--The chapter analysis for chapter 417 of 
title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating 
to section 41705 and inserting the following:

``41705. Accessibility of air transportation for individuals with 
                            disabilities.''.

SEC. 5. STANDARDS.

    (a) Aircraft With New or Amended Type Certificates.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Access Board shall, in 
        consultation with the Secretary, prescribe regulations setting 
        forth the minimum standards to ensure that aircraft with type 
        certificates under part 21 of title 14, Code of Federal 
        Regulations, issued or amended after the date the regulations 
        are issued, and related boarding and deplaning equipment, are 
        accessible, in terms of design for, transportation of, and 
        communication to, individuals with disabilities, including 
        individuals who use wheelchairs.
            (2) Covered aircraft, equipment, and features.--The 
        standards issued under paragraph (1) shall address, at a 
        minimum--
                    (A) boarding and deplaning equipment, including 
                ensuring that there is a route accessible for 
                individuals with disabilities;
                    (B) seating accommodations;
                    (C) lavatories;
                    (D) captioning in-flight entertainment and any 
                other aural communication;
                    (E) individual video displays;
                    (F) visually accessible announcements;
                    (G) adequate in-cabin stowage for assistive 
                devices; and
                    (H) proper stowage of assistive devices in the 
                cargo hold to prevent damage.
    (b) Aircraft With an Existing Type Certificate.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than one year after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Access Board shall, in 
        consultation with the Secretary, prescribe regulations setting 
        forth minimum standards to ensure that barriers to the access 
        of individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use 
        wheelchairs, on aircraft with type certificates issued under 
        part 21 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, before such 
        date of enactment, are removed to meet basic accessibility 
        needs of individuals with disabilities to the extent readily 
        achievable.
            (2) Removal of barriers.--The standards issued under 
        paragraph (1) shall apply at a minimum to stowage of 
        wheelchairs in the cargo hold, captioning in-flight 
        entertainment and any other aural communication, visually 
        accessible announcements, individual video displays, and 
        improved access to seating and lavatories in all aircraft.
    (c) Airport Facilities.--Not later than one year after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Access Board shall, in consultation with 
the Secretary, issue or revise standards that ensure all gates 
(including counters), ticketing areas, and customer service desks at 
airports are accessible to and usable by all individuals with 
disabilities, including through the provision of visually accessible 
announcements and full and equal access to aural communications.
    (d) Websites and Kiosks.--Not later than one year after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Access Board shall, in consultation with 
the Secretary, prescribe regulations setting forth minimum standards to 
ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to access kiosks and 
websites in a manner that is equally as effective as individuals 
without disabilities, with a substantially equivalent ease of use. Such 
standards shall be consistent with the standards set forth in the Web 
Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA of the Web Accessibility 
Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium or any subsequent version.
    (e) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the Access Board 
issues standards under this section, the Secretary shall prescribe such 
regulations as are necessary to implement those standards, including 
the requirement to maintain accessible features of aircraft, equipment, 
and facilities.

SEC. 6. REGULATIONS.

    (a) Accessibility of Air Travel to Individuals With Disabilities.--
            (1) Assistance.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the 
                date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
                prescribe or revise regulations to ensure that 
                individuals with disabilities who request assistance at 
                any time while traveling in air transportation receive 
                timely and effective assistance at airports and on 
                aircraft from trained personnel. Such assistance may be 
                in boarding or deplaning an aircraft, connecting 
                between flights, or any other similar or related 
                request.
                    (B) Training.--The Secretary shall require air 
                carriers to ensure that personnel, including 
                contractors, who may be providing physical assistance 
                to a passenger with a disability receive hands-on 
                training on an annual basis in performing that 
                assistance, including the use of all equipment.
            (2) Ticketing practices and seat assignments.--Not later 
        than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
        Secretary shall prescribe or revise regulations--
                    (A) to ensure that individuals with disabilities 
                receive accommodations, if requested, in ticketing and 
                pre-flight seat assignments;
                    (B) to require air carriers to provide priority 
                access to bulkhead seating to people with disabilities 
                who need access to the features of those seats due to a 
                disability regardless of class of service of ticket 
                purchased; and
                    (C) to ensure the right of passengers with 
                disabilities to stow assistive devices, including 
                medication and medical supplies, without cost.
            (3) Service animals.--Not later than 180 days after the 
        date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue 
        revised regulations--
                    (A) eliminating additional documentation for 
                psychiatric service animals;
                    (B) protecting the ability of travelers to use 
                emotional support animals in air transportation; and
                    (C) prohibiting air carriers from requesting 
                medical documentation regarding the need for a service 
                animal as a standard requirement for access.
    (b) Review and Amendment.--The Access Board and the Secretary shall 
periodically review and, as appropriate, amend regulations and 
standards prescribed under this section.

SEC. 7. CIVIL PENALTIES.

    Section 46301(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ``(7) Penalties Relating to Harm to Passengers With Disabilities.--
            ``(A) Penalty for bodily harm or damage to wheelchair or 
        other mobility aid.--The amount of a civil penalty assessed 
        under this section for a violation of section 41705 that 
        involves damage to a passenger's wheelchair or other mobility 
        aid or injury to a passenger with a disability may be increased 
        above the otherwise applicable maximum amount under this 
        section for a violation of section 41705 to an amount not to 
        exceed 3 times the maximum penalty otherwise allowed.
            ``(B) Each act constitutes separate offense.--
        Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a separate violation of section 
        41705 occurs for each act of discrimination prohibited by that 
        section.''.

SEC. 8. AIRLINE PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES BILL OF RIGHTS.

    (a) Airline Passengers With Disabilities Bill of Rights.--The 
Secretary shall develop a document, to be known as the ``Airline 
Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights'', using plain language to 
describe the basic rights and responsibilities of air carriers, their 
employees and contractors, and people with disabilities under section 
41705 of title 49, United States Code, as amended by section 4.
    (b) Content.--The Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of 
Rights shall include, at a minimum, the following:
            (1) The right of passengers with disabilities to be treated 
        with dignity and respect.
            (2) The right of passengers with disabilities to receive 
        timely assistance, if requested, from properly trained air 
        carrier and contractor personnel.
            (3) The right of passengers with disabilities to travel 
        with wheelchairs, mobility aids, and other assistive devices, 
        including necessary medications and medical supplies, including 
        stowage of such wheelchairs, aids, and devices.
            (4) The right of passengers with disabilities to receive 
        seating accommodations, if requested, to accommodate a 
        disability.
            (5) The right of passengers with disabilities to receive 
        announcements in an accessible format.
            (6) The right of passengers with disabilities to speak with 
        a complaint resolution officer or to file a complaint with an 
        air carrier or the Department of Transportation.
    (c) Consultations.--In developing the Airline Passengers with 
Disabilities Bill of Rights, the Secretary shall consult with 
stakeholders, including disability organizations and air carriers and 
their contractors.
    (d) Display.--Each air carrier shall include the Airline Passengers 
with Disabilities Bill of Rights--
            (1) on a publicly available Internet website of the air 
        carrier; and
            (2) in any pre-flight notifications or communications 
        provided to passengers who alert the air carrier in advance of 
        the need for accommodations relating to a disability.
    (e) Training.--The Secretary shall ensure that employees of air 
carriers and their contractors receive training on the Airline 
Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights.

SEC. 9. STUDY ON IN-CABIN WHEELCHAIR RESTRAINT SYSTEMS.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Access Board, in consultation with the 
Secretary, shall--
            (1) conduct a study to determine the ways in which 
        individuals with significant disabilities who use wheelchairs, 
        including power wheelchairs, can be accommodated onboard 
        aircraft through in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems;
            (2) issue minimum guidelines for such systems; and
            (3) submit to Congress a report on the study.
    (b) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after completing the 
study required by subsection (a), the Secretary shall prescribe 
regulations consistent with the findings of the study and minimum 
guidelines issued by the Access Board under subsection (a)(2).

SEC. 10. ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE AIR TRAVEL NEEDS OF PASSENGERS WITH 
              DISABILITIES.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish an advisory 
committee for the air travel needs of passengers with disabilities (in 
this section referred to as the ``advisory committee'') to advise the 
Secretary in implementing section 41705 of title 49, United States 
Code, as amended by section 4.
    (b) Membership.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall appoint the members of 
        the advisory committee as follows:
                    (A) At least 2 members of the advisory committee 
                shall be representatives of each of the following:
                            (i) Individual passengers with 
                        disabilities.
                            (ii) National disability organizations.
                    (B) At least 2 members of the advisory committee 
                shall be representatives of each of the following:
                            (i) Airport operators.
                            (ii) Air carriers.
                            (iii) Entities contracted by air carriers 
                        to provide services to individuals with 
                        disabilities.
    (c) Travel Expenses.--Members of the advisory committee shall serve 
without pay but shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in 
lieu of subsistence, in accordance with subchapter I of chapter 57 of 
title 5, United States Code.
    (d) Chairperson.--The Secretary shall designate, from among the 
individuals appointed under subsection (b)(1)(A), an individual to 
serve as chairperson of the advisory committee.
    (e) Duties.--The duties of the advisory committee shall include--
            (1) assessing the disability-related access barriers 
        encountered by air travelers with disabilities;
            (2) determining the extent to which the programs and 
        activities of the Department of Transportation are addressing 
        those barriers;
            (3) making recommendations to the Secretary with respect to 
        improving the air travel experience of passengers with 
        disabilities; and
            (4) carrying out activities needed to make the reports and 
        recommendations required by subsection (f).
    (f) Reports.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than February 1, 2018, and 
        annually thereafter, the advisory committee shall submit to the 
        Secretary a report on the needs of passengers with disabilities 
        in air travel. Each report shall contain--
                    (A) an assessment of disability-related access 
                barriers that were evident in the preceding year and 
                those that are likely to be an issue during the 5-year 
                period beginning on the date of the report;
                    (B) an evaluation of the extent to which the 
                programs and activities of the Department of 
                Transportation are eliminating disability-related 
                access barriers;
                    (C) a description of the actions of the advisory 
                committee during the preceding calendar year;
                    (D) a description of activities that the advisory 
                committee proposes to undertake in the succeeding 
                calendar year; and
                    (E) any recommendations for legislation, 
                administrative action, and other action that the 
                advisory committee considers appropriate.
            (2) Submission to congress.--Not later than 60 days after 
        receiving a report under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall 
        transmit to Congress a copy of the report along with any 
        comments that the Secretary considers appropriate.
    (g) Termination.--Notwithstanding section 14 of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 14), the advisory committee shall 
continue in effect until terminated by an Act of Congress.
                                 <all>

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