Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Federal Aviation Administration Is Deciding If Planesharing Apps Are Legal

The Federal Aviation Administration is formally deliberating on whether amateur pilots can use apps and websites to trade extra seats on flights they’ve planned in exchange for gas money. Amateur pilots aren’t allowed to profit from flying passengers, but several startups like Flytenow have set up private plane ridesharing sites, akin to Zimride for the sky.

Now, one startup called AirPooler has submitted an official request for legal interpretation to clear up the grey area, and confirms the FAA is expected to take a stance within its traditional 120 day window to respond. Until then, AirPooler has ceased listing flights on its site. The FAA didn’t return a request for comment, which is somewhat expected as I’m told it’s unlikely to discuss details of on-going deliberations.

AirPooler‘s attorney Rebecca MacPherson, who is highly qualified to comment since she was the former FAA assistant chief counsel, tells me “This is an issue that the FAA is very uncomfortable with because they’re worried about abuses. They’re looking at what restraints they could put on the response to make sure there’s a minimum number of bad actors in the marketplace.”

Read more here:  http://techcrunch.com

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