Resident Commissioner Gonzalez-Colon Introduces Air Cargo Act

On July 31, before Congress left town for its August recess, Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon introduced HR 3472, the Puerto Rico Air Cargo Industry Empowerment Act.

The bill’s official title: “A bill to amend title 49, United States Code, with respect to air cargo in Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.” The short title is “Puerto Rico Air Cargo Industry Empowerment Act”.

Title 49 discusses air cargo and many details of its regulation. The purpose of HR 3472 is to apply this section of federal law to Puerto Rico in the same way that it applies to Alaska. In fact, the bill asks that the words “or Puerto Rico” be added in every place where “Alaska” is now mentioned. This refers specifically to Section 41703(e) of title 49, United States Code: “Cargo in Alaska.”

For example, “(e) Cargo in Alaska” now has this paragraph as (e)(1):

For the purposes of subsection (c), eligible cargo taken on or off any aircraft at a place in Alaska in the course of transportation of that cargo by any combination of 2 or more air carriers or foreign air carriers in either direction between a place in the United States and a place outside the United States shall not be deemed to have broken its international journey in, be taken on in, or be destined for Alaska.

Under HR 3472, the paragraph would read,

For the purposes of subsection (c), eligible cargo taken on or off any aircraft at a place in Alaska or Puerto Rico in the course of transportation of that cargo by any combination of 2 or more air carriers or foreign air carriers in either direction between a place in the United States and a place outside the United States shall not be deemed to have broken its international journey in, be taken on in, or be destined for Alaska or Puerto Rico.

The bill has been referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

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