AVIATION (ASDI LIMITATIONS) / Federal Aviation Administration finalizes the process by which aircraft owners and operators may ask the FAA to limit the FAA’s dissemination of their aircraft data by means of the Aircraft Situation Display to Industry (ASDI) data feed to the airline industry.

“Access to Aircraft Situation Display to Industry (ASDI) and National Airspace System Status Information (NASSI) Data”

August 21, 2013. Final Notice Of The Process For Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed Via ASDI.

ASDI is a data feed hosted by U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center. This data feed is made available to airlines for purposes of safety. It includes information about aircraft location, together with data relating to altitude, airspeed, destination and various additional points. Continue reading

AVIATION (SPECIFIED SMALLER JET LESS THAN 75,000 POUNDS) / Amends the airplane operating regulations for jet airplanes with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds or less operating in the United States: After December 31, 2015, such airplanes will not be allowed to operate in the contiguous United States unless they meet Stage 3 noise levels.

“Adoption of Statutory Prohibition on the Operation of Jets Weighing 75,000 Pounds or Less That Are Not Stage 3 Noise Compliant.”

July 2, 2013. Final Rule.

“This rulemaking amends the airplane operating regulations to include certain provisions of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that affect jet airplanes with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds or less operating in the United States. The law provides that after December 31, 2015, such airplanes will not be allowed to operate in the contiguous United States unless they meet Stage 3 noise levels. This final rule incorporates that prohibition and describes the circumstances under which an otherwise prohibited airplane may be operated.”

“In February 2012, in section 506 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (“the Act”), Congress prohibited the operation of jet airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or less in the contiguous United States after December 31, 2015, unless the airplanes meet Stage 3 noise levels. The Act also describes certain circumstances under which otherwise prohibited operations will be allowed. These provisions have been codified at 49 U.S.C. 47534.

“This final rule codifies the statutory prohibition and relieving circumstances into the regulations in 14 CFR. The FAA has no discretion to change any provision of the statute, and it is being codified into the regulations as adopted. The statute also directs the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe the regulations necessary to implement the statutory provisions.” 

INSURANCE (Excluded Coverage of Death While on “Corporate Aircraft”) / Employee’s surviving relatives bring lawsuit for denial of life insurance benefits where insurer’s initial response was denial of claim “based on a policy exclusion for ‘Corporate Owned or Leased Aircraft’”.

This case is reported while in the pleading stage, and the opinion and order relates to plaintiffs’ motion to amend their complaint (which district court granted). Odd facts in that the stated ground of insurance company’s initial denial related to “corporate aircraft” although court states that death occurred in a motorcycle event. Plaintiffs’ successfully moved to add major motor carriers USF Reddaway and YRC Worldwide, Inc. as defendants. Did decedent travel to event on corporate aircraft? Were they sponsors in some manner?

My point: Apparently under some life insurance or other death benefits policies travel on “corporate aircraft” is the subject of a coverage exclusion clause. This denial of claim based on “corporate aircraft” does not relate to a marginal or offbeat carrier (Zurich American Insurance Company), nor if “corporate aircraft” are in fact involved does this appear to relate to marginal or offbeat businesses (USF Reddaway and YRC Worldwide, Inc).

Martha Taylor v. Zurich American Insurance Co., Case No. CV 11-08110-PCT-JAT, Slip copy (U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, April 1, 2013). Free copy available here.

Note: Subsequent to initial denial based on “corporate aircraft” exclusion, according to the initial complaint, insurer next based its denial on “extra-hazardous activity” exclusion, and – thirdly – on the basis that decedent’s death was not an “accident”.