Skip to Content

Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

Comments on this document are being accepted at Regulations.gov. Submit a formal comment

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document including its time on Public Inspection. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

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

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that during inspection of the installation of oxygen containers, certain fasteners of the oxygen containers and adjacent panels in the passenger supply channels (PSCs) were found damaged or unlocked, which could result in insufficient clearance between the oxygen container and adjacent panels. This AD requires a one-time inspection of the oxygen containers and adjacent panels and applicable corrective actions, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective March 12, 2020.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 12, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

For the material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, 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 https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0721.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0721; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218; email kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0210, dated August 26, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0210”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes.

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2019 (84 FR 58060). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that during inspection of the installation of oxygen containers on the production line, certain fasteners of oxygen containers and adjacent panels in the PSCs were found damaged or unlocked; unlocked fasteners could Start Printed Page 6758move on the rails, which could result in insufficient clearance between the oxygen container and adjacent panels. The NPRM proposed to require a one-time inspection of the oxygen containers and adjacent panels and applicable corrective actions. The FAA is issuing this AD to address this condition, which could prevent the opening of the oxygen containers and result in failure of the oxygen masks to deploy and provide supplemental oxygen in case of an in-flight decompression, possibly resulting in injury to cabin occupants. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Comments

The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to that comment.

Request To Extend Compliance Time

Delta Air Lines, Inc., (Delta) asked that the compliance time for the inspection specified in the proposed AD be extended to 5, 6, or 7 months, in lieu of 4 months, in order to align with the 5-month compliance time specified in Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35P015-19, Revision 01, dated June 19, 2019. Delta stated that this would allow extra planning time to properly schedule the inspection for the affected fleet at suitable maintenance stations, and to obtain the correct amount of contingency parts (locking fasteners) to correct any discrepancies found. Delta also stated that Airbus or its supplier may be unable to provide all the required parts in such a short compliance time; but the actual fallout rate remains unknown. Delta added that the quantity of parts required is critical for accomplishing any necessary corrective action. Delta noted that if the corrective action cannot be accomplished before further flight, as required by EASA AD 2019-0210, operators could be forced to ground airplanes until the parts are available, causing an undue burden on customers.

The FAA does not agree with the commenter's request to extend the compliance time. The FAA has determined that the 4-month compliance time identified in EASA AD 2019-0210 addresses the identified unsafe condition in a timely manner. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this AD, the FAA considered the degree of urgency associated with addressing the subject unsafe condition, the average utilization of the affected fleet, and the time necessary to perform the inspection. In light of all of these factors, the FAA finds the compliance times specified in EASA AD 2019-0210, represents an appropriate interval of time for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety. However, under the provisions of paragraph (j) of this AD, the FAA will consider requests for approval of an extension of the compliance time if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable level of safety. The AD has not been changed in this regard.

Conclusion

The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

EASA AD 2019-0210 describes procedures for inspecting the oxygen containers and the installation of adjacent panels located in all PSCs, to check that each fastener of each panel/component is locked and to measure the clearance between the oxygen container door lid and the adjacent panel/component. EASA AD 2019-0210 also describes procedures for applicable corrective actions, including attaining minimum clearance, locking any unlocked fasteners, and replacing damaged parts.

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.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 11 airplanes of U.S. registry. The agency estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

Labor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340$0$340$3,740

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary corrective action that would be required based on the results of the inspection. The agency has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this corrective action:

Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions

Labor costParts costCost per product
1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85$0$85

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 Start Printed Page 6759procedures 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

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) 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
End List of Subjects

Adoption of the Amendment

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

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

End Part Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

2020-02-14 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19828; Docket No. FAA-2019-0721; Product Identifier 2019-NM-150-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective March 12, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0210, dated August 26, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0210”).

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35, Oxygen.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report that during inspection of the installation of oxygen containers, certain fasteners of the oxygen containers and adjacent panels in the passenger supply channels (PSCs) were found damaged or unlocked; which could result in insufficient clearance between the oxygen container and adjacent panels. The FAA is issuing this AD to address this condition, which could prevent the opening of the oxygen containers and result in failure of the oxygen masks to deploy and provide supplemental oxygen in case of an in-flight decompression, possibly resulting in injury to cabin occupants.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Requirements

Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2019-0210.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0210

(1) Where EASA AD 2019-0210 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.

(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2019-0210 does not apply to this AD.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2019-0210 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

(j) 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 (k) 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 2019-0210 that contains RC procedures and tests: 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.

(k) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218; email kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(i) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0210, dated August 26, 2019.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For information about EASA AD 2019-0210, 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.

(4) You may view this 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. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0721.

(5) You may view this material that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, email fedreg.legal@nara.gov, or go to: https://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued on January 23, 2020.

Gaetano A. Sciortino,

Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-02198 Filed 2-5-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P