The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has the power to plan, make policies for, and adopt rules for the use of the state highway system, which may include certain aspects of aviation facilities and services that intersect with state transportation infrastructure. While TxDOT's primary focus is on highways, the department also coordinates with federal and local agencies on transportation matters, which could include commercial aviation issues.
The Texas Department of Transportation is authorized to cooperate with other governmental entities, including the federal government, to carry out its transportation-related functions. This cooperation may extend to aviation safety and consumer protection issues, where coordination with the FAA and DOT is necessary.
The Texas Department of Transportation has the authority to acquire, construct, maintain, and operate aviation facilities or to assist political subdivisions in doing so. This could include airports and other facilities that are integral to commercial aviation operations within the state.
State agencies in Texas are required to adopt by rule a procedure to fairly and efficiently resolve complaints made by the public, including complaints about services. While the FAA and DOT primarily handle aviation complaints, this statute ensures that there is a state-level process for addressing grievances that may relate to state-managed aviation services or facilities.
Texas law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or ancestry. While the enforcement of these protections in air travel would typically fall under federal jurisdiction, this statute underscores the state's commitment to civil rights, which could be invoked in cases of discrimination related to state-regulated aspects of aviation.
14 CFR Part 382 implements the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and prohibits discrimination by airlines on the basis of disability. The regulation requires airlines to provide assistance to passengers with disabilities, including boarding and deplaning, making aircraft, facilities, and services accessible, and providing effective communication. Airlines must also respond to complaints of discrimination and are subject to enforcement action for noncompliance.
49 U.S.C. § 41712 grants the Department of Transportation (DOT) the authority to prohibit and penalize unfair or deceptive practices and unfair methods of competition by airlines. This includes issues such as advertising, pricing, refunds, and other consumer protection matters. The DOT can investigate complaints and take enforcement action against airlines that violate these provisions.
14 CFR Part 259 requires airlines to adopt contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays and to publish these plans on their websites. Airlines must provide for the essential needs of passengers during such delays, including food, water, restroom facilities, and medical care if needed. The regulation also requires airlines to notify passengers of flight status changes in a timely manner.
14 CFR Part 250 outlines the rights of passengers and the obligations of airlines in situations of oversales, commonly known as 'bumping.' Airlines must request volunteers before involuntarily denying boarding to passengers, and those who are bumped involuntarily are entitled to compensation and must be informed of their rights. The amount of compensation is based on the length of the delay in reaching the passenger's final destination.
14 CFR Part 234 requires airlines to file monthly reports with the DOT on their performance in areas such as flight delays, cancellations, mishandled baggage, and overbooking. The DOT uses this data to compile the Air Travel Consumer Report, which is published monthly and helps consumers make informed decisions about air travel.
14 CFR Part 1 contains definitions and abbreviations that apply to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). This part is essential for interpreting the FAR correctly, as it ensures that terms are used consistently throughout the regulations and that their meanings are clear to airlines, passengers, and regulators.