News Archives from 1-04-07 to 1-23-07

DOT Proposes new ADA rules . . . - 01/23/2007

The Department of Transportation is proposing to issue a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rule to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of disability by passenger vessels. This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerns service and policy issues. Issues concerning physical accessibility standards will be addressed at a later time, in conjunction with proposed passenger vessel accessibility guidelines drafted by the Access Board. Comment Closing Date: Comments should be submitted by April 23, 2007. Complete details are in the proposed rule federal register notice below.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PROPOSED RULE ON ADA REQUIREMENTS

Federal Register Notice

Marine Exchange Moves to new Offices . . . - 01/22/2007

After six years of being located in the Merchant's Wharf Building on the waterfront in Juneau, the Marine Exchange of Alaska has moved its offices to a new location. The Marine Exchange is now located on the second deck of the Juneau Electronics building next to the bridge to Douglas. This move consolidates the Marine Exchange of Alaska's headquarters office with its Network Operations Control Center (NOCC). The new location will enable the Marine Exchange to provide better service to its customers by having all functions and personnel available in the same location. The new address for the Marine Exchange is:

Marine Exchange of Alaska

1000 Harbor Way Suite 204

Juneau, Alaska 99801

NEW LOCATION FOR MARINE EXCHANGE

Advance Copy of TWIC Regs available . . . - 01/04/2007

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released an advance copy of the Final Rule for phase one of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The official copy will be published in the Federal Register shortly. The rule, which lays out the process for issuance and initial use of TWIC cards, comes into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Comments on the card replacement fee should be submitted within 30 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register. The requirement for facilities and OCS facilities to limit unescorted access to secure areas to persons holding valid TWIC cards will come into effect based upon notifications to be published in the Federal Register and will require compliance on a USCG Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone basis. Persons seeking unescorted access to secure areas aboard affected vessels, as well as all USCG-credentialed merchant mariners, must possess a valid TWIC card not later than 20 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. The enrollment process will commence no sooner than March 2007 in a small number of ports, with gradual expansion nationwide. Subsequent notices will provide detailed information on enrollment sites, schedules, etc. While the TWIC will be a smart card, with encrypted biometric data, the requirement for installation and use of a card reader will be delayed for a future rulemaking (phase two). In the meantime, the TWIC card will function as a photographic identification. Since the TWIC card will not be issued until after the applicant has passed a background check, security will be enhanced, but not as much as it will be when card readers are installed and functioning. Provision has been made for new-hires to have limited access to vessels and marine facilities once their TWIC applications have been submitted. Owners and operators of certain marine facilities are provided an opportunity to redesignate portions of their facilities so that TWIC cards are not required of persons working in areas that don’t need to be secure. The fee for application for and issuance of the TWIC card will be established in a subsequent notice. Crewmembers on foreign-flag ships will not need TWIC cards, but can expect further restrictions concerning going ashore without an escort.

ADVANCE COPY TWIC FINAL RULE

Twic Final Rule

UAS Announces Spring Semester Maritime classes . . - 12/12/2006

The University of Alaska Southeast in Ketchikan announced a schedule of classes for the spring semester. The classes are to be held in different locations throughout Southeast Alaska.

UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA SPRING SEMESTER MARITIME COURSES

UAS SPRING SEMESTER Notice

Drug Tests and Physical Reporting . . . - 12/12/2006

The Coast Guard issued a Notice in the Federal Register December 12, 2006, reminding first class pilots that they are required to submit for review the results of their annual chemical tests for dangerous drugs and that the requirement to submit their most recent annual physical examination for review by the Coast Guard had been extended until April 11, 2007, from the original date of no later than December 27, 2006. Complete details are in the Federal Register Notice below.

REQUIREMENTS FOR SUBMITTING DRUG TESTS AND ANNUAL PHYSICALS FOR FIRST CLASS PILOTS

Federal Register Notice