Wow...the way I'm starting to understand this "transporter" licensing thing is that it seems more like non resident and resident UNGUIDED hunters would be far better off to choose to hire an operator who is NOT a licensed transporter?
Larry, see why I didn't put anything in print on this?
Anybody care to summarize this mess for the average guy out there? Back to the original question, slightly modified:
In 25 words or less, what's the difference between an air charter and a transporter?
LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself or guided hunts.
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It would help if someone would layout the history of this........It all goes back the the use of the word "OUTFITTER" by those directly competing with the Hunting Guiding Industry, but without a Guide License. And to appease them for stopping using the word "Outfitter".......they gave an automatic Registered Guides License, and many of them knew nothing about hunting or firearms........zero. They had a river boat, or an ocean boat or aircraft, or horses, and they advertised as "XXX" Guides and Outfitters. They were in the business of dropping off fishermen, and hunters. APHA said, "You need a Guide License to use the word "OUTFITTER".........they say, "No we don't". And at that time they did not, the attorney general said so.
So after a few years it was agreed, and the law was changed so only Registered Guides could use the word "Outfitter". Well, after they got a free Registered Guides License, and had to start dealing with those laws and regulations. Some said, "The hell with this". We need a "transporter" classification for what we do, and we don't want any of that paper work those Registered Guides have to do.
YES, I skipped over a lot, but that is the highlights. APHA & the Registered Guides were the BIG looser in that deal.
"Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller
Another important thing I for got to mention is that a Transporter is required to have a contract with the client detailing all costs the may occur such as extra flying for getting all your game out of the field or any other costs that may arise, that way there are no surprises at the end of the flight. In other words you know what you will be paying for on your hunt. This is one reason sometimes a package charter is cheaper than the hourly rate!
The entire "transporter" classification and license is open to a whole lot of legal questions.
Think about it: The State of Alaska comes up with a program ("Transporter") and tells all federally regulated Part 135 air taxis that if they fly hunters as a part of their service they can no longer market and/or advertise anywhere (print, online etc) that they fly hunters as part of their service ... unless they become a licensed "transporter" and pay a licensing fee and administrative costs. Furthermore, the state says that unless you do this (become a "transporter"), we are gonna tell you how much you can charge for your services.
How has this not landed in court yet?
Makes you realize why an air taxi operator actually has probably never even been charged; let alone convicted, of a "transporter" violation since the state has no authority over Part 135 operators?
Another good one is that a 135 operator in Alaska can land passengers on the U.S. Forest at will. But if you're a guide, you'll need a conditional use permit to do the same.
Guides may not provided drop off hunting services to hunters; in their guide use area or otherwise, UNLESS the aircraft and the pilot flying are operating under 135 rules.
The part 91 rules apply to "guided" hunters only...not drop off hunters.
Try running a business in that environment. Everything gets complicated when hunting season opens.
"No state can make regulation infringing on air commerce regulation. Job of the Federal govt only" Paraphrased.
Its been upheld literally hundreds of times in court against various states since 1926…..
AK guide board made a series of regs to "control" Air Taxis as they were controlling other transport types. Its not gone to court challenge.
The state has muddied up an already very very heavily regulated business. Not to mention the different troopers interpretations.
-If you purchase a transporter license from the state- the state says that you can charge a lot more and advertise
-If you don't get the license- you can't do those things. (there again-how does the state legally tell me what to charge or if I can advertise….)
Don't be surprised when you get different answers from different air taxis. Its silly.
Tsunami's post is about as good as you'll get < 25 words.