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 A330-200, -300, -800, and -900 series airplanes; and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports that certain oxygen supply solenoid valves are a potential source of increased flow resistance within the flightcrew oxygen system. This proposed AD would require a special detailed inspection (flow test) of certain solenoid valves, and replacement if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed for incorporation 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 April 22, 2021.
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 that will be incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +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 Start Printed Page 13240information 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-2021-0131.
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-2021-0131; 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.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; email email@example.com.
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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 ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2021-0131; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01628-T” at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposal because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this proposed AD.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as “PROPIN.” The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0273, dated December 9, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0273) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A330-201, A330-202, A330-203, A330-223, A330-243, A330-301, A330-302, A330-303, A330-321, A330-322, A330-323, A330-341, A330-342, A330-343, A330-743L, A330-841, A330-941, A340-211, A340-212, A340-213, A340-311, A340-312, A340-313, A340-541, A340-542, A340-642, and A340-643 airplanes. Model A330-743L, A340-542, and A340-643 airplanes are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet; this proposed AD therefore does not include those airplanes in the applicability.
This proposed AD was prompted by reports that oxygen supply solenoid valves having certain part numbers and a certain year of manufacture, are a potential source of increased flow resistance within the flightcrew oxygen system. The FAA is proposing this AD to address increased flow resistance within the flightcrew oxygen system, which could lead to a reduced flow of oxygen supply to the flightcrew oxygen masks, and in combination with in-flight depressurization, smoke in the flight deck, or a smoke evacuation procedure, could lead to flightcrew hypoxia and loss of useful consciousness, resulting in loss of control of the airplane. See the MCAI for additional background information.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2020-0273 describes procedures for doing a special detailed inspection (flow test) of certain solenoid valves by using the flightcrew oxygen masks and replacing any solenoid valve that fails the flow test with a serviceable part. 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 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 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 2020-0273 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified 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 2020-0273 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0273 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 Start Printed Page 13241information specified in EASA AD 2020-0273 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0273 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0131 after the FAA final rule is published.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 112 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:
|Labor cost||Parts cost||Cost per product||Cost on U.S. operators|
|3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255||$0||$255||$28,560|
The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary replacement that would be required based on the results of any proposed actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need replacement:
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Action
|Labor cost||Parts cost||Cost per product|
|1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85||Up to $5,496||Up to $5,581.|
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 operators. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for affected operators. 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) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would 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: End Amendment Part
Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2021-0131; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01628-T.
(a) Comments Due Date
The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) action by April 22, 2021.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to all Airbus SAS airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (8) of this AD.
(1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes.
(2) Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.
(3) Model A330-841 airplanes.
(4) Model A330-941 airplanes.
(5) Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes.
(6) Model A340-311, -312, and -313 airplanes.
(7) Model A340-541 airplanes.
(8) Model A340-642 airplanes.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35, Oxygen.
This AD was prompted by reports that certain oxygen supply solenoid valves are a potential source of increased flow resistance within the flightcrew oxygen system. The FAA is issuing this AD to address increased flow resistance within the flightcrew oxygen system, which could lead to a reduced flow of oxygen supply to the flightcrew oxygen masks, and in combination with in-flight depressurization, smoke in the flight deck, or a smoke evacuation procedure, could lead to flightcrew hypoxia and loss of useful consciousness, resulting in loss of control of the airplane.
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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020-0273, dated December 9, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0273).Start Printed Page 13242
(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0273
(1) Where EASA AD 2020-0273 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2020-0273 does not apply to this AD.
(i) No Reporting Requirement
Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0273 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, 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 (k)(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 responsible Flight Standards 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 2020-0273 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraph (j)(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.
(k) Related Information
(1) For information about EASA AD 2020-0273, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +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-2021-0131.
(2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; email email@example.com.
End Supplemental Information
Issued on February 26, 2021.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-04442 Filed 3-5-21; 8:45 am]
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