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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Number 2 - Rural Service Improvement Act

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Alaska Mail Rates
Number 2
Issue Date: October 17, 2003
Effective Date: Immediately


This directive advises Alaskan air carriers of two provisions of the Rural Service Improvement Act (RSIA) (Public Law 107-206, Sec. 3002, 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act).


RSIA extends to seven years the existing 3-year record retention requirement for Intra-Alaskan air carriers established in 14 CFR Part 249. Individual air carriers reports can impact the tender of mail to carriers hauling the mail. Periodic audits and reviews of carrier records will be performed to help assure the proper mail distribution.


RSIA requires air carriers to submit to BTS timely and accurate traffic data or face removal from mail tender. The penalties for a carrier that "significantly misstates" its data in an attempt to qualify for mail tender are as follows:

  • First offense is a 30-day suspension from mail tender on the route where the data was misstated.
  • Second offense is a 60-day suspension from mail tender on the route where the data was misstated.
  • Third offense is a 1-year suspension from mail tender in the entire state.
  • The fourth offense is a permanent suspension from mail tender in the entire state.

The Office of Airline Information will continue to edit and work with the air carriers in an attempt to secure acceptable data. BTS plans to offer annual training in Alaska during or around the time of the Alaska Air Carriers Associations annual meeting. As always, BTS staff is available for consultation and guidance. Nevertheless, carriers must comply and take responsibility for all data they submit to the Department.


RSIA requires the Department of Transportation to establish three separate rates for the carriage of bush mail. Because of this requirement, carriers will not be allowed to group like aircraft under aircraft codes 091, 092, 093, 094, 095 and 096. Rather, aircraft must be reported under the specific code assigned to that aircrafts make and model.


Sometimes a carrier will carry a passenger on a flight that was listed as a scheduled all-cargo flight. In such cases, the carrier should report the flight as a Scheduled Passenger/Cargo operation by using Service Class F. This will allow BTS to count the passenger in the market totals sent to the United States Postal Service for mail tender.

Please e-mail any questions you have to Bernie Stankus at sends e-mail) or contact him by telephone on (202) 366-4387.

This action is taken under authority delegated in 14 CFR Part 385.19(e) of the Departments Organizational Regulations.

Donald W. Bright signature
Donald W. Bright
Assistant Director 
Airline Information