A-18302, MAY 14, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 739

A-18302: May 14, 1927

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FOR READY REFERENCE THE ABOVE REFERRED ACT AS AMENDED IS GIVEN HEREWITH. THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO CONTRACT WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL. THE NUMERATOR OF WHICH IS THE PERCENTUM OF REVENUES DERIVED FROM AIR MAIL TO WHICH THE CONTRACTOR WAS PREVIOUSLY ENTITLED UNDER THE CONTRACT. THE DENOMINATOR OF WHICH IS EIGHTY. AS THE STOPS HAVE USUALLY BEEN ON THE DIRECT AIR LINE AND THE DEPARTMENT IS DESIROUS OF EXTENDING THE BENEFITS OF AIR MAIL SERVICE. THE STOPS HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED. "IT IS HEREBY FURTHER STIPULATED AND AGREED THAT THE DISTANCES FOR PURPOSE OF COMPUTATION OF PAYMENT TO THE CONTRACTOR SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS FROM CENTER OF CITY TO CENTER OF CITY (DESIGNATED AS STOPS ON THE ROUTE) IN AN AIR LINE.

A-18302, MAY 14, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 739

AIR MAIL SERVICE - ADDITIONAL STOPS - ADVERTISING ADDITIONAL STOPS MAY BE DESIGNATED EITHER ON THE DIRECT LINE OF AN ESTABLISHED AIR MAIL ROUTE OR NOT MORE THAN 100 MILES THEREFROM, WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF REQUIRING ADVERTISING AND SECURING ADDITIONAL COMPETITION IN COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 3709 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, IF SUCH ADDITIONAL STOPS DO NOT INCREASE THE MILEAGE OF THE ROUTE TO SUCH A DISTANCE AS TO INCREASE THE RATE FOR TRANSPORTATION OVER THE ROUTE, OR OTHERWISE GIVE THE CONTRACTOR BENEFITS NOT CONTEMPLATED IN OBTAINING THE ORIGINAL BIDS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY 14, 1927:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 2, 1925, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, AUTHORIZES THE POSTMASTER GENERAL TO CONTRACT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL BY AIRCRAFT. FOR READY REFERENCE THE ABOVE REFERRED ACT AS AMENDED IS GIVEN HEREWITH.

"BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, THAT THIS ACT MAY BE CITED AS THE AIR MAIL ACT.

"SEC. 2. THAT WHEN USED IN THIS ACT THE TERM "AIR MAIL" MEANS FIRST- CLASS MAIL PREPAID AT THE RATES OF POSTAGE HEREIN PRESCRIBED.

"SEC. 3. THAT THE RATES OF POSTAGE ON AIR MAIL SHALL BE NOT LESS THAN 10 CENTS FOR EACH OUNCE OR FRACTION THEREOF.

"SEC. 4. THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO CONTRACT WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL, FIRM, OR CORPORATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF AIR MAIL BY AIRCRAFT BETWEEN SUCH POINTS AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, AND TO FURTHER CONTRACT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION BY AIRCRAFT OF FIRST-CLASS MAIL OTHER THAN AIR MAIL AT FIXED RATES PER POUND, INCLUDING EQUIPMENT, UNDER SUCH RATES, RULES, AND REGULATIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE, NOT EXCEEDING $3 PER POUND FOR AIR MAIL FOR THE FIRST ONE THOUSAND MILES AND NOT TO EXCEED 30 CENTS PER POUND ADDITIONAL FOR EACH ADDITIONAL ONE HUNDRED MILES OR FRACTIONAL PART THEREOF FOR ROUTES IN EXCESS OF ONE THOUSAND MILES IN LENGTH, AND NOT EXCEEDING 60 CENTS PER POUND FOR FIRST-CLASS MAIL OTHER THAN AIR MAIL FOR THE FIRST ONE THOUSAND MILES, AND NOT TO EXCEED 6 CENTS PER POUND ADDITIONAL FOR EACH ADDITIONAL ONE HUNDRED MILES OR FRACTIONAL PART THEREOF FOR ROUTES IN EXCESS OF ONE THOUSAND MILES IN LENGTH. EXISTING CONTRACTS MAY BE AMENDED BY THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE CONTRACTOR AND THE POSTMASTER GENERAL TO PROVIDE FOR A FIXED RATE PER POUND, INCLUDING EQUIPMENT, SAID RATE TO BE DETERMINED BY MULTIPLYING THE RATE HEREINABOVE PROVIDED BY A FRACTION, THE NUMERATOR OF WHICH IS THE PERCENTUM OF REVENUES DERIVED FROM AIR MAIL TO WHICH THE CONTRACTOR WAS PREVIOUSLY ENTITLED UNDER THE CONTRACT, AND THE DENOMINATOR OF WHICH IS EIGHTY.

"SEC. 5. THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY MAKE SUCH RULES, REGULATIONS, AND ORDERS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT: PROVIDED, THAT NOTHING IN THIS ACT SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO INTERFERE WITH THE POSTAGE CHARGED OR TO BE CHARGED ON GOVERNMENT OPERATED AIR-MAIL ROUTES.

"APPROVED, FEBRUARY 2, 1925-JUNE 3, 1926.'

IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF CONTRACT AIR MAIL SERVICE THE QUESTION OF ADDITIONAL STOPS ON EXISTING ROUTES HAS BEEN RAISED AT DIFFERENT TIMES; AND, AS THE STOPS HAVE USUALLY BEEN ON THE DIRECT AIR LINE AND THE DEPARTMENT IS DESIROUS OF EXTENDING THE BENEFITS OF AIR MAIL SERVICE, THE STOPS HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN DEEMED QUESTIONABLE AS TO HOW CLOSE A CITY MUST BE TO THE COURSE OF THE ROUTE IN ORDER TO LOGICALLY BECOME A POSSIBLE STOP IN THE EVENT THE CONTRACTOR AND THE DEPARTMENT AGREE TO SUCH A STOP. THE AIR MAIL CONTRACTS CARRY A PROVISION WITH REFERENCE THERETO READING AS FOLLOWS:

"THE DEPARTMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE NUMBER OF INTERMEDIATE STOPS OR THE NUMBER OF ROUND TRIPS PER WEEK AND TO CHANGE THE TERMINI OF THE ROUTE BY AGREEMENT WITH THE CONTRACTOR.

"IT IS HEREBY FURTHER STIPULATED AND AGREED THAT THE DISTANCES FOR PURPOSE OF COMPUTATION OF PAYMENT TO THE CONTRACTOR SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS FROM CENTER OF CITY TO CENTER OF CITY (DESIGNATED AS STOPS ON THE ROUTE) IN AN AIR LINE.

"IT IS HEREBY FURTHER STIPULATED AND AGREED THAT WHEREVER AN EXISTING STOP IS DISCONTINUED, OR AN ADDITIONAL STOP ADDED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS AS SET FORTH IN THIS CONTRACT, THE DISTANCE OVER THE ROUTE WILL BE RESTATED AND PAYMENT FOR THE UNIT OF 100 MILES OR FRACTION THEREOF IN ADDITION TO THE FIRST 1,000 MILES WILL BE MADE ON THE SAME BASIS AS BEFORE. WHERE THE DISTANCE FORMERLY WAS LESS THAN 1,000 MILES, THE RATE FOR EACH 100 MILES OR FRACTION THEREOF IN EXCESS OF 1,000 MILES UNDER THE RESTATEMENT SHALL BE IN THE SAME RATIO AS THE ORIGINAL BID WAS TO THE MAXIMUM ALLOWED BY LAW.'

AN AIR MAIL CONTRACTOR HAS REQUESTED THAT A STOP BE ADDED TO HIS ROUTE. THE EXAMPLE IS GIVEN AS FOLLOWS:

A CONTRACT HAS BEEN AWARDED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL BY AIRCRAFT OVER ROUTE C.A.M. 19, NEW YORK, N.Y., TO ATLANTA, GA., AND RETURN VIA PHILADELPHIA, PA., WASHINGTON, D.C., RICHMOND, A., GREENSBORO, N.C., TO ATLANTA, GA. AN ADDITIONAL STOP HAS BEEN AGREED UPON AT SPARTANBURG, S.C. THE CONTRACTOR REQUESTS OF THE DEPARTMENT THAT ASHEVILLE, N.C., BE ALSO DESIGNATED AS A STOP ON HIS ROUTE. ASHEVILLE IS 60 MILES IN AN AIR LINE DUE NORTHWEST FROM THE NEAREST POINT ON THIS ROUTE, VIZ, SPARTANBURG. WOULD BE IMPRACTICABLE TO SERVE ASHEVILLE OTHER THAN BY A ,FEEDER" LINE FROM SPARTANBURG. THE REASON BEING THAT TO LEAVE THE MAIN TRAVEL ROUTE SOUTHBOUND AT GREENSBORO, THE NEXT NORTHERN STOP, AND PROCEED IN A SOUTHWESTERLY DIRECTION TO ASHEVILLE, AND THENCE TO SHARPLY DEVIATE SOUTHEASTERLY TO SPARTANBURG WOULD SO SLOW UP THE RUNNING TIME BETWEEN TERMINALS AS TO MATERIALLY AFFECT THE ADVANTAGE OF THE ROUTE. THEREFORE THE CONTRACTOR WOULD LOGICALLY OPERATE A PLANE BETWEEN ASHEVILLE AND SPARTANBURG TO CONNECT WITH THE MAIN LINE PLANE AT SPARTANBURG. A DIAGRAM OF THE ROUTE IS ATTACHED. THE CONTRACT RATE FOR THIS ROUTE IS $3 A POUND. THE AIR LINE DISTANCE BETWEEN TERMINI IS APPROXIMATELY 773 MILES.

THE OPERATION OF AIR-MAIL SERVICE MUST, HOWEVER, BE VIEWED IN A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT LIGHT THAN THAT OF OTHER MAIL ROUTES. PLANES DO NOT FLY THE MOST DIRECT COURSE AT ALL TIMES; THEY MAY FLY ANYWHERE FROM FIVE TO FIFTEEN MILES EITHER SIDE OF THE MAIN COURSE, GENERALLY SPEAKING, DEPENDING ENTIRELY UPON WEATHER CONDITIONS AND VISIBILITY.

ON A CONTRACT AIR MAIL ROUTE IT IS TO THE DEPARTMENT'S INTEREST TO DESIGNATE A CITY AS BEING ON THE ROUTE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE CITY MAY BE 100 MILES OR LESS OFF THE COURSE OF THE ROUTE, IF THE CONTRACTOR IS ALSO IN AGREEMENT, RATHER THAN TO ESTABLISH A SEPARATE ROUTE FOR THE SUPPLY OF SUCH CITY. REFERRING TO THE EXAMPLE CITED ABOVE, IN THE EVENT ASHERVILLE IS DESIGNATED AS A STOP ON C.A.M. 19 THE DEPARTMENT WOULD PAY THE CONTRACTOR AT THE RATE OF $3 PER POUND FOR AIR MAIL DISPATCHED TO THE PLANE AT ASHEVILLE AND CARRIED TO ANY POINT ON THE ROUTE WHEREAS IF THIS WAS NOT PERMISSIBLE AND IT WAS NECESSARY TO DESIGNATE A SEPARATE ROUTE FROM SPARTANBURG TO ASHEVILLE, THE DEPARTMENT WOULD PAY THE CONTRACTOR AT THE RATE OF HIS BID FROM ASHEVILLE TO SPARTANBURG AND IN ADDITION AT THE RATE OF $3 A POUND FROM SPARTANBURG TO ANY OTHER POINT ON THE ROUTE.

IN VIEW OF THIS UNUSUAL SITUATION WITH RESPECT TO THE HANDLING OF ADDITIONAL STOPS ON CONTRACT AIR MAIL ROUTES, AND THE FACT THAT THIS QUESTION HAS ALSO BEEN RAISED INFORMALLY BY ONE OTHER CONTRACTOR, THE MATTER IS REFERRED TO YOU FOR DECISION AS TO THE LIMIT OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT, IN AGREEMENT WITH THE CONTRACTOR, TO DESIGNATE ADDITIONAL STOPS ON CONTRACT AIR MAIL ROUTES, WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF DESIGNATING AN ADDITIONAL ROUTE AND INVITING PROPOSALS FOR SUCH ROUTE, IN SUCH INSTANCES AS THAT REFERRED TO IN THE EXAMPLE CITED HEREIN.

THE APPARENT QUESTION FOR DETERMINATION IN AUTHORIZING ADDITIONAL STOPS ON ESTABLISHED ROUTES, SERVICE OVER WHICH HAS BEEN LET TO CONTRACT AFTER COMPETITION IS WHETHER THE CONTRACTOR WOULD OBTAIN A BENEFIT NOT CONTEMPLATED IN OBTAINING PROPOSALS AT THE TIME AND THUS NOT OPEN TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THOSE INVITED TO SUBMIT BIDS. IF IT SO APPEARED, IT WOULD NECESSITATE THE INVITING OF BIDS THEREFOR.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 2, 1925, 43 STAT. 805, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 692, PROVIDES FOR COMPENSATION ON THE BASIS OF 1,000 MILES AND FOR EACH ADDITIONAL 100 MILES OR FRACTIONAL PART THEREOF. WOULD APPEAR REASONABLE AND IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO AUTHORIZE ADDITIONAL STOPS, EITHER ON OR AT A REASONABLE DISTANCE FROM THE DIRECT LINE OF THE ROUTE, WHICH WOULD NOT INCREASE THE MILEAGE OF THE ROUTE TO SUCH A DISTANCE AS TO INCREASE THE RATE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL OVER THAT ROUTE. AS AN ADDITION OF 100 MILES IN THE LENGTH OF ROUTES IN EXCESS OF 1,000 MILES IS FIXED IN THE STATUTE AS THE BASIS FOR INCREASED RATES, IT WOULD SEEM REASONABLE TO ADOPT THAT DISTANCE AS THE MAXIMUM DISTANCE FROM THE DIRECT LINE OF AN ESTABLISHED ROUTE WITHIN WHICH ADDITIONAL STOPS MAY BE DESIGNATED, TO BE SERVED BY A "FEEDER" PLANE OR BY THE REGULAR PLANE OR PLANES COVERING THE ESTABLISHED ROUTE, WITHOUT REQUIRING COMPETITION BY REASON OF SUCH ADDITION TO THE CONTRACT.

IN THE ILLUSTRATION GIVEN, THE DESIGNATION OF ASHEVILLE, N.C., AS AN ADDITIONAL STOP ON ROUTE C.A.M. 19, WOULD APPEAR TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND IF THE CONTRACTOR AGREES TO SERVE THE ADDITIONAL 60 MILES FROM SPARTANBURG TO ASHEVILLE BY A "FEEDER" PLANE AS APART OF AN ADDITIONAL STOP ON THE REGULAR ROUTE, SUCH ARRANGEMENT MAY BE MADE WITHOUT ADVERTISING.