Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 Series 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.

Start Preamble Start Printed Page 67813

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as:

Two incidents have occurred due to the lack of visibility on the Primary Flight Display (PFD) of the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) indications.

* * * * *

We are issuing this AD to prevent possible mid-air collisions due to lack of visibility of TCAS indications on the PFD. The proposed AD would require actions that are intended to address the unsafe condition described in the MCAI.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 17, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-40, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2141; fax (425) 227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2008-1215; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-072-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2008-0032, dated February 21, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Two incidents have occurred due to the lack of visibility on the Primary Flight Display (PFD) of the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) indications.

EIS2 [electronic instrument system 2] standard S7 introduces modifications to the vertical speed indication to improve the legibility in case of TCAS Resolution Advisory.

The modifications consist in changing the colour of the needle and increasing the width of the TCAS green band.

This AD supersedes [EASA] AD 2006-0108 [dated May 3, 2006]. Also, as all aircraft in this AD applicability have been retrofitted to at least S4.2 standard, the operational limitations contained in the Compliance paragraph 2. of AD 2006-0108 have already been addressed.

This AD therefore mandates the installation of the improved EIS2 standard S7.

We are issuing this AD to prevent possible mid-air collisions due to lack of visibility of TCAS indications on the PFD. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-31-1276, Revision 01, dated March 5, 2008. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI or Service Information

We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in general, agree with their substance. But we might have found it necessary to use Start Printed Page 67814different words from those in the MCAI to ensure the AD is clear for U.S. operators and is enforceable. In making these changes, we do not intend to differ substantively from the information provided in the MCAI and related service information.

We might also have proposed different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a NOTE within the proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 113 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $0 per product. Where the service information lists required parts costs that are covered under warranty, we have assumed that there will be no charge for these costs. As we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $36,160, or $320 per product.

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 determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 this proposed regulation:

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

2. Is not a “significant rule” under the 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 proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2008-1215; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-072-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by December 17, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111, A318-112, A319-111, A319-112, A319-113, A319-114, A319-115, A319-131, A319-132, A319-133, A320-111, A320-211, A320-212, A320-214, A320-231, A320-232, A320-233, A321-111, A321-112, A321-131, A321-211, A321-212, A321-213, A321-231, and A321-232, certificated in any category; equipped with EIS2 (electronic instrument system 2) standard S4.2 (DMC disk part number F1419418) installed by Airbus Modification 34571, or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31A1220, or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1234; except those airplanes on which Airbus Modification 36725 has been embodied in production.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 31: Instruments.

Reason

(e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states:

Two incidents have occurred due to the lack of visibility on the Primary Flight Display (PFD) of the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) indications.

EIS2 standard S7 introduces modifications to the vertical speed indication to improve the legibility in case of TCAS Resolution Advisory.

The modifications consist in changing the colour of the needle and increasing the width of the TCAS green band.

This AD supersedes AD 2006-0108 [dated May 3, 2006]. Also, as all aircraft in this AD applicability have been retrofitted to at least S4.2 standard, the operational limitations contained in the Compliance paragraph 2. of AD 2006-0108 have already been addressed.

This AD therefore mandates the installation of the improved EIS2 standard S7.

We are issuing this AD to prevent possible mid-air collisions due to lack of visibility of TCAS indications on the PFD.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Unless already done, do the following actions:

(1) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, install EIS2 standard S7 (DMC disk part number F1461768), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1276, Revision 01, dated March 5, 2008.

(2) Installations done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1263, Revision 01, dated July 20, 2007; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1263, Revision 02, dated August 10, 2007; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1263, Revision 03, dated November 23, 2007; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1276, dated April 18, 2007; are acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.

FAA AD Differences

Note:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows:

(1) This AD does not include the operational limitations specified in paragraph 1 of the MCAI. The MCAI carried these limitations forward from European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive 2006-0108, dated May 3, 2006. The FAA-approved Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) already contains these and more restrictive operational limitations, and we previously determined that no action was required on our part regarding this provision of EASA AD 2006-0108.

Other FAA AD Provisions

(g) The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, ANM-116, International Branch, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Start Printed Page 67815Send information to ATTN: Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2141; fax (425) 227-1149. 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.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

Related Information

(h) Refer to MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2008-0032, dated February 21, 2008, and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1276, Revision 01, dated March 5, 2008, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 6, 2008.

Stephen P. Boyd,

Assistant Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-27167 Filed 11-14-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P