The United Motorcoach Association, Inc. (UMA) and The American Bus Association, Inc. (ABA) have requested a determination that certain vehicle inspection requirements for ground transportation operators imposed by the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on passenger-carrying motor vehicles in interstate commerce are preempted by federal law. See a copy of the joint letter.

Currently, all vehicles operating at the Airport must display a transponder and permit-specific decals. Vehicles not registered at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are subject to citations issued by the San Francisco Police Department-Airport Bureau ranging from $50 to $1,250 depending on the infraction as well as administrative fines issued by Landside Operations.

The petition focuses on SFO’s vehicle inspection program which requires that "airport mechanics" inspect ground transportation vehicles upon application for a permit and annually thereafter. For fleets of 25 or more vehicles an offsite inspection is allowed, with fees attached.

SFO does not state the standards to be utilized inspect vehicles nor the training or other qualifications of the airport mechanics possess to conduct inspections of commercial buses and motorcoaches.

FMCSA is requesting comments in response to the petition and we encourage operators to comment independently in an effort to inform FMCSA the scope of the problem nationwide and of course, to submit the petition before them.