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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A300 B4-605R Airplanes and Model A310-308, -324, and -325 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-605R airplanes and Model A310-308, -324, and -325 airplanes. This AD requires modifying the Bruce floor plan electrical emergency path marking system (FPEEPMS) and, for certain airplanes, modifying the automatic switching of the emergency lighting system. This AD results from a report that in the case of vertical separation of the fuselage forward of door 1, the FPEEPMS and the exit signs do not turn on. We are issuing this AD to prevent inadequate lighting and marking of the escape path, which could delay or impede the flightcrew and passengers when exiting the airplane during an emergency landing.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective March 5, 2007.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of March 5, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC.

Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for service information identified in this AD.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Stafford, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1622; fax (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Examining the Docket

You may examine the airworthiness directive (AD) docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section.

Discussion

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A300 B4-605R airplanes and Model A310-308, -324, and -325 airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on October 12, 2006 (71 FR 60089). That NPRM proposed to require modifying the Bruce floor plan electrical emergency path marking system (FPEEPMS) and, for certain airplanes, modifying the automatic switching of the emergency lighting system.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comments received.

Request To Change Incorporation of Certain Information

The Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) states that, typically, airworthiness directives are based on service information originating with the type certificate holder or its suppliers. MARPA adds that manufacturer service documents are privately authored instruments generally having copyright protection against duplication and distribution. MARPA notes that when a service document is incorporated by reference into a public document, such as an airworthiness directive, it loses its private, protected status and becomes a public document. MARPA adds that if a service document is used as a Start Printed Page 3926mandatory element of compliance, it should not simply be referenced, but should be incorporated into the regulatory document; by definition, public laws must be public, which means they cannot rely upon private writings.

MARPA adds that incorporated by reference service documents should be made available to the public by publication in the Docket Management System (DMS), keyed to the action that incorporates them. MARPA notes that the stated purpose of the incorporation by reference method is brevity, to keep from expanding the Federal Register needlessly by publishing documents already in the hands of the affected individuals; traditionally, “affected individuals” means aircraft owners and operators, who are generally provided service information by the manufacturer. MARPA adds that a new class of affected individuals has emerged, since the majority of aircraft maintenance is now performed by specialty shops instead of aircraft owners and operators. MARPA notes that this new class includes maintenance and repair organizations, component servicing and repair shops, parts purveyors and distributors, and organizations manufacturing or servicing alternatively certified parts under section 21.303 (“Replacement and modification parts”) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.303). MARPA adds that the concept of brevity is now nearly archaic as documents exist more frequently in electronic format than on paper. Therefore, MARPA asks that the service documents deemed essential to the accomplishment of the NPRM be incorporated by reference into the regulatory instrument and published in the DMS.

We understand MARPA's comment concerning incorporation by reference. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) requires that documents that are necessary to accomplish the requirements of the AD be incorporated by reference during the final rule phase of rulemaking. This final rule incorporates by reference the documents necessary for the accomplishment of the requirements mandated by this AD. Further, we point out that while documents that are incorporated by reference do become public information, they do not lose their copyright protection. For that reason, we advise the public to contact the manufacturer to obtain copies of the referenced service information.

In regard to the commenter's request to post service bulletins on the Department of Transportation's DMS, we are currently in the process of reviewing issues surrounding the posting of service bulletins on the DMS as part of an AD docket. Once we have thoroughly examined all aspects of this issue and have made a final determination, we will consider whether our current practice needs to be revised. No change to the final rule is necessary in response to this comment.

Request To Add FAA Intent To Incorporate Certain Service Bulletins by Reference in the NPRM

MARPA requests that, during the NPRM stage of AD rulemaking, the FAA state its intent to incorporate by reference (IBR) any relevant service information. MARPA states that without such a statement in the NPRM, it is unclear whether the relevant service information will be incorporated by reference in the final rule.

The FAA does not concur with the commenter's request. When we reference certain service information in a proposed AD, the public can assume we intend to IBR that service information, as required by the Office of the Federal Register. No change to this final rule is necessary in regard to the commenter's request.

Conclusion

We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

The following table provides the estimated costs for the U.S. operator to comply with this AD.

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourPartsCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.- registered airplanesFleet cost
Modification of FPEEPMSBetween 44 and 47$80Between $2,570 and $2,690Between $6,090 and $6,4501Between $6,090 and $6,450.
Modification of automatic switching1480Between $534 and $727Between $1,654 and $1,8471Between $1,654 and $1,847.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, Section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701, “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We have determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and

(3) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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[Amended]
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2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

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2007-02-19 Airbus: Amendment 39-14906. Docket No. FAA-2006-26047; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-146-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective March 5, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B4-605R airplanes and Model A310-308, -324, and -325 airplanes, certificated in any category; on which Airbus Modification 06810 or 06934 (Bruce floor proximity emergency escape path marking system (FPEEPMS)) has been installed in production; or on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-33-6047 or A310-33-2045, both dated March 5, 2004, has been done.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report that in the case of vertical separation of the fuselage forward of door 1, the FPEEPMS and the exit signs do not turn on. We are issuing this AD to prevent inadequate lighting and marking of the escape path, which could delay or impede the flightcrew and passengers when exiting the airplane during an emergency landing.

Compliance

(e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

Modification

(f) Within 16 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the Bruce FPEEPMS in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-33-6047, Revision 01, dated January 20, 2006 (for Model A300 B4-605R airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A310-33-2045, Revision 01, dated January 20, 2006 (for Model A310-308, -324, and -325 airplanes); as applicable.

(g) For Model A310-308, -324, and -325 airplanes: Prior to or concurrently with the modification required in paragraph (f) of this AD, modify the automatic switching of the emergency lighting system in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-33-2025, Revision 01, dated April 17, 2001.

Modifications Accomplished According to Previous Issue of Service Bulletin

(h) Modifications accomplished before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A310-33-2025, dated March 1, 1993, are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding action specified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(i)(1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

(2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office.

Related Information

(j) EASA airworthiness directive 2006-0077, dated April 3, 2006, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(k) You must use the applicable service bulletin identified in Table 1 of this AD to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of these documents in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for a copy of this service information. You may review copies at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room PL-401, Nassif Building, Washington, DC; on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov;​ or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/​federal_​register/​code_​of_​federal_​regulations/​ibr_​locations.html.

Table 1.—Material Incorporated by Reference

Airbus Service BulletinRevision levelDate
A300-33-604701January 20, 2006.
A310-33-202501April 17, 2001.
A310-33-204501January 20, 2006.
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Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 12, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E7-1198 Filed 1-26-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P