Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus SAS Model A300 F4-605R airplanes and Model A310-324 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that certain emergency locator transmitter (ELT) lithium batteries lack protection against current injection. This proposed AD would require modification of the airplane circuit connecting the ELT battery, as specified in a European Union 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 November 2, 2020.
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 https://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 material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; 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, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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-2020-0841.
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-2020-0841; 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, 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:
Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3225; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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-2020-0841; Product Identifier 2020-NM-087-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 the FAA receives, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact the FAA receives about this NPRM.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0108, dated May 14, 2020 (“EASA AD 2020-0108”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A300-600 series airplanes and Model A310 series airplanes.
This proposed AD was prompted by a report that ELT lithium batteries lack protection against current injection of 28 Volts DC or 115 Volts AC. The FAA is proposing this AD to address ELT lithium batteries lacking protection against current injection, which could induce a local battery fire, even after a significant delay, and could result in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants. See the MCAI for additional background information.
EASA AD 2020-0108 describes procedures for modification of the airplane circuit connecting the ELT battery by installing a diode. 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 country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the 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 the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2020-0108 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences Start Printed Page 57803identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD.
Explanation of Required Compliance Information
In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA initially 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. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020-0108 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0108 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to “all required actions and compliance times,” compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled “Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)” in the EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2020-0108 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0108 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0841 after the FAA final rule is published.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 6 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|
|2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170||$50||$220||$1,320|
According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs in the cost estimate.
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.
The FAA 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) 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
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2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): End Amendment Part
Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2020-0841; Product Identifier 2020-NM-087-AD.
(a) Comments Due Date
The FAA must receive comments by November 2, 2020.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to the Airbus SAS airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this AD, certificated in any category, as identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020-0108, dated May 14, 2020 (“EASA AD 2020-0108”).
(1) Model A300 F4-605R airplanes.
(2) Model A310-324 airplanes.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.
This AD was prompted by a report that certain emergency locator transmitter (ELT) lithium batteries lack protection against current injection. The FAA is issuing this AD to address ELT lithium batteries lacking protection against current injection, which could induce a local battery fire, even after a significant delay, and could result in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.
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, EASA AD 2020-0108.
(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0108
(1) Where EASA AD 2020-0108 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2020-0108 does not apply to this AD.
(3) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020-0108 specifies to “modify the airplane,” the Start Printed Page 57804modification includes the testing required in paragraph 3.E. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information specified in paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020-0108.
(i) Other FAA AD Provisions
The following provisions also apply to this AD:
(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 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 Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@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, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 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 2020-0108 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.
(j) Related Information
(1) For information about EASA AD 2020-0108, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; 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 material at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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-2020-0841.
(2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3225; email: email@example.com.
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Issued on September 9, 2020.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-20277 Filed 9-15-20; 8:45 am]
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