Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A318-112 and -121 airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -115, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320- 214, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-211, -212, -213, and -231 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracked nuts on the fuselage. This proposed AD would require an inspection to determine if certain fuselage nuts are installed, a detailed inspection for cracking of fuselage nuts having a certain part number, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracked nuts on the fuselage which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 17, 2012.
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 W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.
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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; fax (425) 227-1149.
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-2012-0329; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-139-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.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2011-0120R1, dated July 13, 2011 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:
During structural part assembly in Airbus production line, some nuts Part Number (P/N) ASNA2531-4 were found cracked. Investigations were performed to determine the batches of the affected nuts and had revealed that these nuts have been installed in production on the fuselage of aeroplanes listed in the applicability section of this [EASA] AD.
Static, fatigue and corrosion tests were performed, which demonstrated that no immediate maintenance action is necessary. However, a large number of these nuts are fitted on primary structural elements, which could have long-term consequences.
This condition, if not corrected, could impair the structural integrity of the affected aeroplanes.
For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires [an inspection to determine if certain fuselage nuts are installed,] a detailed inspection [for cracking] of the affected nuts, associated corrective actions, [general visual inspection for scratching of the hole if necessary] depending on findings, and replacement of the affected P/N ASNA2531-4 nuts with new ones, having the same P/N.
* * * * *
Required actions include related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Related investigative actions include a general visual inspection for scratching of the hole. Corrective actions include replacing the fastener and installing a new fuselage nut. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.
Relevant Service Information
Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-53-1218, Revision 01, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated June 17, 2010. 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.
Costs of Compliance
Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 152 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 15 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $193,800, or $1,275 per product.
In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 10 work-hours and require parts costing $362, for a cost of $1,212 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.
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.
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);
3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and
4. 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.
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:
Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2012-0329; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-139-AD.
(a) Comments Due Date
We must receive comments by May 17, 2012.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-112 and -121 airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -115, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-214, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-211, -212, -213, and -231 airplanes; certificated in any category; manufacturer serial numbers 3339, 3340, 3350, 3355, 3360, 3367, 3369, 3372, 3380, 3382, 3385, 3387, 3388, 3390, 3393, 3395, 3397 through 3508 inclusive, 3510 through 3519 inclusive, 3522, 3523, 3525, 3527, 3529, 3530, 3537, 3539, 3542, 3544, 3546, 3548, 3552, and 3555.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53: Fuselage.
This AD was prompted by reports of cracked nuts on the fuselage. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracked nuts on the fuselage which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.
You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.
(g) Inspection and Replacement
Within 72 months since first flight of the airplane or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, do an inspection for nuts having part number (P/N) ASNA2531-4 located in the fuselage. If a nut having P/N ASNA2531-4 is found, before further flight, do a detailed inspection for cracking of the nut, and all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1218, Revision 01, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated June 17, 2010. If any cracking is found, before further flight, repair, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1218, Revision 01, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated June 17, 2010.
Submit a report of the findings in accordance with Appendix 01 of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD to Airbus in accordance with Appendix 01 of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1218, Revision 01, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated June 17, 2010, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD.
(1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 90 days after the inspection.
(2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
(i) Credit for Previous Actions
This paragraph provides credit for inspections and replacements required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1218, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated February 8, 2010.
(j) Other FAA AD Provisions
The following provisions also apply to this AD:
(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; phone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.
(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: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.
(k) Related Information
Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive 2011-0120R1, dated July 13, 2011; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1218, Revision 01, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated June 17, 2010; for related information.
Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 22, 2012.
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-7770 Filed 3-30-12; 8:45 am]
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