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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 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 all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 airplanes. This AD requires revising the Airworthiness Limitations section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems. This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective August 28, 2007.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of August 28, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 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:

Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2141; 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 Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is located on the ground floor of the West 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 all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2007 (72 FR 7936). That NPRM proposed to require revising the Airworthiness Limitations section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the single comment received. The commenter, Airbus, supports the NPRM. Start Printed Page 40223

Explanation of Change to Applicability

We have removed the Model A318-121 and A318-122 airplanes from the applicability because Models A318-121 and A318-122 have not yet been certificated by the FAA. When the Model A318-121 and A318-122 are certificated, the airworthiness limitations applicable to these models will include the limitations required by this AD in the FAA-approved type design for these models.

Changes to Language for Repetitive Intervals

In paragraph (f) of the NPRM, we stated that all tasks identified in Section 1 of Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1931/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005, “ * * * must be accomplished within the repetitive interval specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1931/05. * * *” We have revised paragraph (f) of this AD to more clearly state that “* * * the repetitive inspections must be accomplished thereafter at the intervals specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1931/05. * * *”

Airbus issued Operator Information Telex (OIT) SE 999.0076/06, dated June 20, 2006, to identify the applicable sections of the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Airplane Maintenance Manual necessary for accomplishing the tasks specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1931/05. We have added a note to paragraph (f) of this AD to refer to that OIT.

Clarification of Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) Paragraph

We have revised this action to clarify the appropriate procedure for notifying the principal inspector before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies.

Conclusion

We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We have determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

This AD affects about 720 airplanes of U.S. registry. The required actions take about 2 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of this AD for U.S. operators is $115,200, or $160 per airplane.

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.

Start List of Subjects

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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2007-15-06 Airbus: Amendment 39-15135. Docket No. FAA-2007-27268; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-190-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective August 28, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all Airbus Model A318-111 and -112 airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-111, -211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes; certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new inspections and critical design configuration control limitations (CDCCLs). Compliance with the operator maintenance documents is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections and CDCCLs, the operator may not be able to accomplish inspections and CDCCLs described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (i) of this AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections and CDCCLs that will preserve the critical ignition source prevention feature of the affected fuel system.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

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.

Revise Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) To Incorporate Fuel Maintenance and Inspection Tasks

(f) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated February 28, 2006, as defined in Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1931/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005 (approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Start Printed Page 40224March 14, 2006), Section 1, “Maintenance/Inspection Tasks.” For all tasks identified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1931/05, the initial compliance times start from the effective date of this AD and the repetitive inspections must be accomplished thereafter at the intervals specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1931/05.

Note 2:

Airbus Operator Information Telex (OIT) SE 999.0076/06, dated June 20, 2006, identifies the applicable sections of the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Airplane Maintenance Manual necessary for accomplishing the tasks specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1931/05.

Revise ALS To Incorporate CDCCLs

(g) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated February 28, 2006, as defined in Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1931/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005 (approved by the EASA on March 14, 2006), Section 2, “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations.”

No Alternative Inspections, Inspection Intervals, or CDCCLs

(h) Except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD: After accomplishing the actions specified in paragraphs (f) and (g) of this AD, no alternative inspections, inspection intervals, or CDCCLs may be used.

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) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

Related Information

(j) EASA airworthiness directive 2006-0203, dated July 11, 2006, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(k) You must use Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1931/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005; and Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated February 28, 2006; to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approves 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 FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 13, 2007.

Stephen P. Boyd,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E7-14044 Filed 7-23-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P