Department of Transportation Rulemaking. During the comment period on the 2004 draft, the following issues received comment, but should be addressed by DOT when it publishes its NPRM:

  • Who is the administrative authority for US flag and foreign flag passenger vessels (since a number of provisions in the draft relate to determinations by the administrative authority)?
  • What criteria should be used for determining whether a passenger vessel is considered a new vessel or an existing vessel (e.g., date of keel laying or shipyard contract signing), and what effective date for the standards should be established which provides sufficient advance notice?
  • What responsibilities do landside facility owners (e.g., pier owners) have in providing accessible passenger boarding systems?
  • How should conflicts between provisions in this draft and foreign safety and accessibility standards be addressed?
  • How should conflicts between provisions in this draft and International Conventions (which the United States is a party) be addressed?
  • How should operational issues be addressed which do not fall under the Board’s jurisdiction (examples may include providing service animal relief areas, blockage of passageways with luggage and housing keeping carts, accessibility of shore side amenities offered by passenger vessel operators, tours, accessible guest rooms being used by non-disabled passengers, and providing portable shower and pool chairs)?

US Coast Guard. In a number of places, commenters on the 2004 draft noted potential conflicts with US Coast Guard requirements. Except for the coaming issue (see V404.2.5 discussion below) which is still being evaluated by the Board, we do not believe any conflicts remain. In most cases, what were identified as conflicts, were provisions which differed from Coast Guard requirements but did not conflict. For example, subchapter K of the Coast Guard regulations requires ceiling heights of 74 inches minimum but the draft in V307.4 sets the vertical clearance at 80 inches minimum. As the Coast Guard requirement is a minimum, no Coast Guard conflict exists if the clearance is raised to 80 inches. However, the V307.4 requirement may create an impact on the construction of new vessels which is one of many sections the Board will further evaluate in the vessel case studies mentioned below.

Figures. In this draft, only four figures are provided and are located in V404.2.5 of the draft. When the NPRM is published, additional figures will be placed within the text of the guidelines. As many of the requirements and the section numbering system found in this draft are identical to the requirements and section numbering system found in ADAAG, figures in ADAAG can be used to provide further assistance in understanding many of the provisions of this draft.