Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A318 and A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that during a maintenance check, cracks were found in a stiffener of a certain lateral window frame. This proposed AD would require repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of a stiffener of a certain lateral window frame, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions, as specified in a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be incorporated by reference. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 8, 2019.
You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For the material identified in this proposed AD that will be incorporated by reference (IBR), contact the EASA, at Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 89990 1000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0481; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.
End Further Info
Start Supplemental Information
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2019-0481; Product Identifier 2019-NM-058-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM based on those comments.
The FAA will post all comments, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact the agency receives about this NPRM.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0067, dated March 27, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0067”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A318 and A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:
Several occurrences were reported where, during a maintenance check, cracks were found at the lateral sliding window of the fuselage FR4 [frame 4] upper attachment on both RH [right-hand] and LH [left-hand] sides.
This condition if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the fuselage.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus developed Airworthiness Limitation Item (ALI) task 531105, providing instructions for a detailed inspection (DET), or a special detailed inspection (SDI) using high frequency eddy current (HFEC) method. Following further analysis of the reported events, Airbus published the applicable inspection SB [service bulletin], providing instructions to accomplish the SDI, with updated threshold and intervals, and not allowing accomplishment of the DET as alternative to the SDI.
For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive SDI of the affected parts and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable [related investigative and] corrective action(s).
Related investigative actions include an HFEC inspection and a detailed visual inspection of the reworked area to ensure a crack-free condition. Corrective actions include reworking the horizontal upper stiffener, a modification (a cut-out of the sliding window frame stiffener), and repair.
Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2019-0067 describes procedures for repetitive HFEC inspections of the horizontal upper stiffener of the lateral window frame on the RH and LH sides for any cracking, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions. This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD
This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another Start Printed Page 29427country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA 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.
Proposed Requirements of This NPRM
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2019-0067 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD. This proposed AD also would require sending certain inspection results to Airbus.
Explanation of Required Compliance Information
In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. As a result, EASA AD 2019-0067 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with the provisions specified in EASA AD 2019-0067, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2019-0067 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2019-0067 will be available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0481 after the FAA final rule is published.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 1,291 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|Labor cost||Parts cost||Cost per product||Cost on U.S. operators|
|9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765||$0||$765||$987,615|
The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions *
|Labor cost||Parts cost||Cost per product|
|Up to 13 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $1,105||$0||Up to $1,105.|
|*Table does not include estimated costs for reporting and on-condition repairs. The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide cost estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this proposed AD.|
The FAA estimates that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the proposed on-condition reporting requirement in this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, the FAA estimates the cost of reporting the inspection results on U.S. operators to be $85 per product.
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to 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 control number for the collection of information required by this NPRM is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this NPRM has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this NPRM is 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.
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.
The FAA is 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.
This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes and associated appliances to the Director of the System Oversight Division.
The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not Start Printed Page 29428have 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) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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.
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- Air transportation
- Aviation safety
- Incorporation by reference
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
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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: End Amendment Part
Start Amendment Part
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): End Amendment Part
Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2019-0481; Product Identifier 2019-NM-058-AD.
(a) Comments Due Date
The FAA must receive comments by August 8, 2019.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category.
(1) Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.
(2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.
(3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.
(4) Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.
This AD was prompted by a report that during a maintenance check, cracks were found on an upper stiffener of the lateral window frame at the frame 4 upper attachment. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking of the horizontal upper stiffener of the lateral window frame, which could reduce the structural integrity of the fuselage.
Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.
Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0067, dated March 27, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0067”).
(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0067
(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where EASA AD 2019-0067 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2019-0067 does not apply to this AD.
(3) Paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2019-0067 specifies to report certain inspection results to Airbus. For this AD, report those inspection results at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(3)(i) or (h)(3)(ii) of this AD.
(i) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.
(ii) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.
(i) Other FAA AD Provisions
The following provisions also apply to this AD:
(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, 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 Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. 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.
(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.
(3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information referenced in EASA AD 2019-0067 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, RC procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.
(4) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement: 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 1 hour 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.
(j) Related Information
(1) For information about EASA AD 2019-0067, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 89990 6017; email ADs@easa .europa.eu; Internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this EASA AD at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. EASA AD 2019-0067 may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0481.
(2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.
End Supplemental Information
Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on June 17, 2019.
Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-13337 Filed 6-21-19; 8:45 am]
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