FAA Bill Allows Musical Instruments on Planes

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• January 29, 2013

AirThe American Federation of Musicians was successful in lobbying Congress to enact legislation permitting musical instruments on-board airplanes as checked and carry-on luggage.

The provision has been passed in a bill by the House of Representatives and the Senate reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Existing law allowed each airline to set their own policy regarding musical instruments. Permitted proportions for instruments varied widely for both carry-on and checked baggage.

Checked instruments must now qualify within the uniform weight and size standards set by the bill. Carry-on instruments must be safely stored in overhead compartments or underneath seats. Larger or more delicate instruments have the ability to have seats purchased for transport. The agency reportedly has until Feb. 2014 to implement new standards, which are expected to be drafted within the year.

“This is great news for professional musicians throughout the U.S. and Canada who carry the tools of our trade – our instruments – aboard commercial aircraft,” said AFM President Ray Hair. “Carry-on baggage has been a top legislative priority for nearly a decade. I am proud of our Government Relations Director, Hal Ponder, and his assistant Laura Brigandi in our Washington legislative office for seeing the effort through.”

Experiences like the one in the song below will hopefully be eliminated.

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In addition to running RowFax, Eric T. Parker oversees marketing initiatives for the pitch sheet, MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com and the CountryBreakout Chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. eparker@musicrow.com

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