Summary: S.2992 — 94th Congress (1975-1976)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2992. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (02/18/1976)

Air Travel Protection Act - Declares that it is the policy of the United States to provide for the protection of the public against financial loss from injury, death or property damage from an aircraft incident, by requiring persons engaged in domestic air transportation to provide financial protection for the indemnification of victims of air incidents.

Includes as a condition for a certificate for interstate or overseas air transportation that the air carrier maintain financial protection of such type and in such amounts as the Secretary of Transportation shall require to indemnify victims of aircraft incidents. Directs the Secretary to extend such requirement to persons engaged in intrastate air transportation.

States that the amount of financial protection required shall be the amount of liability insurance available from private sources, unless the Secretary establishes a lesser amount based on specified criteria. Authorizes the Secretary to determine the proportion of such insurance to be borne by persons holding type certificates under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 with respect to aircraft, aircraft engines, and propellors or appliances used in the operation of aircraft. Requires compliance with such a determination to claim any benefits provided under this Act.

Directs the Secretary to indemnify victims of air incidents if the liability incurred is in excess of the financial protection provided by the air carrier. Authorizes the Secretary to create a fund for such indemnification purposes by directing air carriers to collect as part of a charge for domestic air transportation, and place in such fund, an amount specified by the Secretary. Allows air carriers to include an additional charge to be applied against the financial protection required under this Act. Authorizes the Secretary to enter into indemnity agreements and make advance payments thereon whenever such action would facilitate the purposes of this Act.

Directs the Secretary to use private facilities and services to the maximum extent possible to carry out the provisions of this Act.

States that any such indemnity agreements shall include the provisions that the Secretary shall have final authority regarding the payment of any claims under such agreement.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into agreements with other indemnitors to establish coordinated procedures for prompt handling, investigation, and settlement of claims for liability. Authorizes payments to provide immediate assistance following an aircraft incident. States that such payment shall not constitute an admission of liability and shall be applied to any final judgment or settlement.

Authorizes the Secretary to prescribe such rules, regulations, and policies as are deemed proper to carry out the functions of this Act.

Requires the Secretary to maintain an integral set of accounts created under this Act which shall be audited annually. Directs the Secretary to include in the annual report to Congress all activities, expenditures, and receipts under this Act.

Requires provisions in indemnity agreements and insurance policies with respect to extraordinary aircraft occurrences which waive: (1) any issue or defense based on the conduct or fault of the claimant; (2) any issue or defense of charitable or governmental immunity; and (3) any defense based on the statute of limitations if suit is instituted within two years of the incident. Defines "extraordinary aircraft occurrence" for purposes of this Act.

Grants jurisdiction to the United States district court in the district where such extraordinary occurrence takes place with respect to any public liability action arising out of such occurrence. Allows the Secretary or defendant to transfer venue to such court from any other State or district court.

Limits recovery from such extraordinary occurrence to allowable expenses, loss of income, replacement service loss, and survivor's loss. Defines such terms for purposes of this Act. Deducts from such recovery for economic detriment, social security benefits, workmen's compensation benefits, or any State required temporary non-occupational disability insurance and other benefits received by an individual, (except the proceeds from life insurance).

Disallows, in the event of death, recovery for pain and suffering of the deceased or other noneconomic injury. Disallows recovery of other persons for pain and suffering or noneconomic detriment unless such person has sustained serious and permanent disfigurement or other serious and permanent injury or has a total disability for more than 90 days.

Prohibits recovery for exemplary or punitive damages. Allows any person who recovers in an action based on an extraordinary aircraft occurrence to recover as part of such judgment costs and expenses reasonably incurred in the prosecution of such action.

Provides that this Act shall have no application to claims under life, accident, or similar insurance policies.

Makes technical amendments in the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to carry out the purposes of this Act.