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Proposed Rule

Safety Enhancements, Certification of Airports; Reopening of Comment Period

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.


Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); Reopening of comment period.


The FAA published a proposed rule on February 1, 2011, to establish minimum standards for training of personnel who access the airport non-movement area (ramp and apron) to help prevent accidents and incidents in that area. This proposal would require a certificate holder to conduct pavement surface evaluations to ensure reliability of runway surfaces in wet weather conditions. This proposed action would also require a Surface Movement Guidance Control System (SMGCS) plan if the certificate holder conducts low visibility operations, facilitating the safe movement of aircraft and vehicles in low visibility conditions. Finally, this proposal would clarify the applicability of part 139 and explicitly prohibit fraudulent or intentionally false statements in a certificate application or record required to be maintained. This action reopens the comment period.


The comment period for the NPRM published on February 1, 2011, (76 FR 5510) closed on April 4, 2011, and is reopened until May 13, 2011.


You may send comments identified by Docket Number FAA-2010-0247 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at

Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Kenneth Langert, AAS-300, Office of Airports, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 493-4529; e-mail

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See the “Additional Information” section for information on how to comment on this proposal and how the FAA will handle comments received. The “Additional Information” section also contains related information about the docket, privacy, and the handling of proprietary or confidential business information. In addition, there is information on obtaining copies of related rulemaking documents.


On February 1, 2011, the FAA issued Notice No. 11-01, entitled “Safety Enhancements Part 139, Certification of Airports” [76 FR 5510]. Comments to that document were to be received on or before April 4, 2011.

Historically, the FAA's Flight Standards Service (AFS) has approved airlines (via Operations Specifications) to depart at visibilities less than runway visual range (RVR) 1200 feet even in cases where the instrument approach procedures are published at landing visibilities above RVR 1200. These departure operations are routinely available where runway centerline lights and RVR equipment are installed.

Recently, the FAA Office of Airports (ARP) learned that a number of airport operators may not be aware that low-visibility approaches and departures have been approved for their airport. Advisory Circular AC 120-57A, Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (SMGCS) Plans, includes recommendations that airports should follow in low-visibility take-off operations or develop their own similar procedures. The proposed rule would require a SMGCS plan, similar to that described in AC-120-57A, for each certificate holder where departures below RVR 1200 are authorized, as well as where approach minima less than RVR 1200 are published.

The FAA would like to ensure all airports and industry associations are fully aware of both AC 120-57A and the proposed rule. For this reason, and in the interest of transparency, the FAA will notify, by letter, airports with Start Printed Page 20571approved low-visibility departures. The reopening of the comment period will allow time for affected airports to receive notice from the FAA, review this NPRM, and adequately assess, prepare, and submit comments on the possible impact of this NPRM.

Reopening of Comment Period

In accordance with § 11.47(c) of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, the FAA has determined that re-opening of the comment period is consistent with the public interest, and that good cause exists for taking this action. To accomplish the strategies for providing additional information to the public, the FAA has determined that re-opening the comment period is consistent with the public interest, and that good cause exists for this action. Absent unusual circumstances, the FAA does not anticipate any further extension of the comment period for this rulemaking.

Accordingly, the comment period for Notice No. 11-01 is reopened until May 13, 2011.

Additional Information

A. Comments Invited

The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The agency may change this proposal in light of the comments it receives.

Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Do not file proprietary or confidential business information in the docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting information on a disk or CD-ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is proprietary or confidential.

Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under Department of Transportation procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by—

1. Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (;

2. Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies web page at​regulations_​policies or

3. Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at​fr/​index.html.

Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this rulemaking.

All documents the FAA considered in developing this proposed rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced in item (1) above.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on April 7, 2011.

James R. White,

Deputy Director of Airport Safety and Standards.

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[FR Doc. 2011-8838 Filed 4-12-11; 8:45 am]