[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 68 (Friday, April 9, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18134-18138]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-8130]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 21

[Docket No. FAA-2010-0218; Notice No. 10-03]
RIN 2120-AJ56


Function and Reliability Flight Testing for Turbine-Powered 
Airplanes Weighing 6,000 Pounds or Less

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This action proposes to revise the applicability for function 
and reliability flight testing to include all turbine-powered airplanes 
weighing 6,000 pounds or less. Revising the applicability is necessary 
because advancements in aviation technology have invalidated the 
reasons for excluding these airplanes. The proposed revision would 
improve aviation safety for these airplanes.

DATES: Send your comments on or before July 8, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments identified by Docket Number FAA-2010-
0218 using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12-
140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket 
Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 
New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at (202) 493-2251.
    Privacy: We will post all comments we receive, without change, to 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. Using the search function of our docket Web site, anyone can 
find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any of 
our dockets, including the name of the individual sending the comment 
(or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, 
etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you 
may visit http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: To read background documents or comments received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov at any time and follow the online 
instructions for accessing the docket, or go to Docket Operations in 
Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Victor Powell, Aircraft Certification 
Service, Aircraft Engineering Division, Certification Procedures 
Branch, AIR-110, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 385-6312; facsimile 
(202) 385-6475; e-mail victor.powell@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) authority to issue 
rules on aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States 
Code. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA 
Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes the scope of 
the FAA Administrator's authority.
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 
subtitle VII, part A, subpart III, chapter 447, section 44701. Under 
that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting the safe flight 
of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for 
practices, methods, and procedures the FAA Administrator finds 
necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the 
scope of that authority because it will prescribe new safety procedures 
for turbine-powered airplanes.

Discussion of the Proposal

I. Statement of the Problem

    For part 23, function and reliability (F & R) flight testing is 
required by Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.35(b)(2) 
for all airplanes weighing more than 6,000 pounds maximum certified 
weight. Function and reliability flight testing is not required for 
gliders, nor for part 23 airplanes weighing 6,000 pounds or less. 
Because of advancements in airplane structures, propulsion methods, and 
systems technologies, the 6,000 pound break point may no longer be 
justified. Turbine-powered airplanes that weigh 6,000 pounds or less 
are not required to undergo F & R flight testing regardless of the 
airplane's systems complexity or level of automation. After reviewing 
several recent TC projects for small turbojet-powered airplanes 
(turbojets)--involving airplanes expected to weigh 6,000 pounds or 
less--the FAA has determined that most, if not all, of these airplane 
designs would benefit from the F & R flight testing requirement. This 
determination is based on new lightweight, turbine-powered airplanes 
having design features and performance consistent with larger airplanes 
that are required to undergo F & R flight testing.

II. Background

A. What Is Function and Reliability Flight Testing?
    Function and reliability flight testing simulates typical aircraft, 
in-service flight operations for a new aircraft design. This flight 
testing is done prior to the aircraft's final design approval leading 
to the issuance of a TC. The F & R flight testing requirement in Sec.  
21.35(b)(2) gives the FAA and the public a reasonable assurance that an 
aircraft, its components, and its equipment are reliable and function 
properly.
    Function and reliability flight testing covers a wide variety of 
operations that an aircraft will likely undertake in service. 
Typically, F & R flight testing plans specify the type and number of 
each task to be completed (i.e., takeoffs, landings, Instrument Landing 
Systems approaches, high altitude, hot/cold/humid air operations, 
stalls, in-flight engine restarts, engine starts using different power 
sources, flight in rain, and night flights).
    In addition, F & R flight testing involves simulated in-service 
operations

[[Page 18135]]

using a mature aircraft configuration. Mature in this sense means the 
aircraft configuration that represents the type design that has been 
shown to meet the airworthiness standards of the aircraft's 
certification basis in accordance with applicable requirements of 
Sec. Sec.  21.33 and 21.35(a). The regulatory sequencing prescribed by 
Sec. Sec.  21.35(a) and (b) results in the aircraft configuration 
selected for F & R flight testing having successfully completed much, 
if not most, of the individual certification requirements for the 
issuance of a TC.
B. Historical Overview of Function and Reliability Flight Testing
    The requirement for F & R flight testing originated with the Civil 
Aeronautics Board (CAB) imposing a ``service test'' requirement for 
aircraft in 1947. The purpose of these service tests was to ``ascertain 
whether there is reasonable assurance that the airplane, its 
components, and equipment are reliable and function properly'' (see 12 
FR 2086, March 29, 1947). A related rulemaking included a reference to 
a study of accidents and maintenance issues of then relatively new 
model aircraft (see 12 FR 1028, February 13, 1947). That study showed 
extensive difficulties can occur in the initial stages of operating new 
aircraft.
    The operation of new aircraft had a greater chance for accidents 
caused by mechanical malfunctioning of troublesome components or 
equipment. The CAB determined that accidents likely would be prevented 
if an aircraft were required to undergo tests specifically designed to 
ascertain the reliability and proper functioning of the aircraft and 
its systems and equipment before type certification.
    In 1950, the CAB amended the airworthiness standards to exclude ``* 
* * smaller airplanes, specifically those of 6,000 pounds maximum 
weight or less * * *'' from the service test requirement (see 15 FR 
8899, December 15, 1950). The introductory material published in the 
revision of the service test requirement explained that most of the 
significant changes in the amendment stemmed from ``the desire for 
simplification of the rules in this part with respect to the smaller 
airplanes, specifically those of 6,000 pounds maximum weight or less, 
which would be expected to be used mainly as personal airplanes.'' \1\ 
The introductory material also stated the service test requirement was 
removed for airplanes of 6,000 pounds or less maximum weight because 
``experience seems to indicate that this rule imposes a burden upon the 
manufacturers not commensurate with the safety gained.'' \2\
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    \1\ Id.
    \2\ Id.
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    With the recodification of airworthiness standards in 1964 and 
1965, the requirement for F & R flight testing was placed in Sec.  
21.35(b)(2). The exclusion of smaller airplanes weighing 6,000 pounds 
or less maximum certificated weight was described in terms of aircraft 
type certificated in accordance with part 23.

III. The Need for This Proposal

A. Evolution of Aviation Technology
    The decision to exclude certain airplanes of 6,000 pounds or less 
maximum weight from F & R flight testing was based on the state of 
technology existing in 1950. At that time, airplanes of 6,000 pounds or 
less maximum weight were expected to be used mainly as personal 
airplanes. Such civil aircraft developed between the years of 1945 and 
1955 were typically single, reciprocating-engine powered airplanes 
weighing less than 3,000 pounds with engine output of less than 300 
horsepower. Technological advancements now allow airplanes that weigh 
6,000 pounds or less to be more complex and integrated than some 
transport category airplanes of the 1960s and earlier.
B. Purpose of Function and Reliability Flight Testing
    The safety goal of F & R flight testing is to identify and reduce 
aircraft system malfunctions or failures that would be more than 
inconvenient nuisances routinely accommodated in normal operations. By 
minimizing flight crew distractions from system malfunctions, new 
aircraft entering service are protected from the flight crew workload 
consequences of aircraft system deficiencies. Function and reliability 
flight testing will target deficiencies that may not have been apparent 
during aircraft engineering ground and flight test programs.
C. Very Light Jet Certification Experience
    Recent FAA TC program experience with the new very light jets (VLJ) 
has led to reconsideration of the existing exclusion of airplanes 
weighing 6,000 pounds or less in Sec.  21.35(b)(2). This 
reconsideration was driven in part by difficulties encountered with the 
voluntary application of the requirement during the FAA type 
certification of the Eclipse Aviation Corporation's (Eclipse) EA-500 
VLJ and the subsequent problems experienced during that airplane's 
entry into service.
    The FAA assembled a team of technical staff to conduct a Special 
Certification Review (SCR) of the EA-500 certification program. A copy 
of the Eclipse SCR has been placed in the Rules Docket for this 
rulemaking.\3\ That team's report reviewed the FAA's TC program and 
focused on four service problems encountered during the EA-500's entry 
into service. That team also reviewed Service Difficulty Report (SDR) 
experience concerning airplane system deficiencies and malfunctions 
encountered subsequent to the EA-500's entry into service. The team 
developed eight findings and six recommendations. One of the SCR 
findings (Finding No. 8) stated: ``The newly designed VLJs have modern 
and integrated complex avionics. The traditional approach of defining 
certification requirements for part 23 airplanes based solely on 
maximum certificated weight is no longer valid.'' \4\ The FAA has 
issued a separate rulemaking proposal to address Finding No. 8 (see 
``Certification of Turbojets,'' 74 FR 41522, August 17, 2009). A 
corresponding recommendation (Recommendation No. 6) in the Eclipse SCR 
stated: ``The FAA should reevaluate the criteria for applicability of F 
& R testing.'' \5\ The Eclipse SCR further found that the EA-500 
complied with the requirements of its certification basis and noted 
that the airplane was not required by existing regulations to include 
the F & R flight testing requirements of Sec.  21.35(b)(2). This 
rulemaking proposal addresses Recommendation No. 6, which called for a 
revision of the applicability of the existing F & R flight testing 
requirements.
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    \3\ A Subcommittee of the United States Congress held hearings 
on problems related to the introduction of the Eclipse VLJ (Refer to 
House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation, Hearing No. 110-
169, September 17, 2008).
    \4\ Special Certification Review (SCR) of the Eclipse 500 
certification program.
    \5\ Id.
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    After reviewing the Eclipse SCR and the EA-500 certification 
program, the FAA reviewed the likelihood that F & R flight testing 
requirements might have preventatively identified problems encountered 
by the EA-500 when it entered into service. Function and reliability 
flight testing might have discovered five of the problems identified in 
the SCR (pitch and rudder trim problems; pitot system moisture trap; 
engine surges caused by hard carbon build-up on the static vanes; brake 
problems; and tire problems) while two of the cited problems (autopilot 
turbulence sensitivity; and problems with the software logic

[[Page 18136]]

dealing with the throttle position) would less likely have been 
detected, based on the chances of duplicating causal conditions and 
other risk factors.
    These conclusions were based on the likelihood that the root causes 
for the reported problems would be identified by the additional 
effective flight testing that would be accomplished by a mandatory F & 
R flight testing program (150 or 300 additional hours of simulated in-
service operations accomplished in various environments and locations). 
Section 21.35(f) has the criteria for selection of 150 or 300 hours, a 
provision that is not changed in this proposal.
    This proposal would expand the applicability of F & R flight 
testing requirements to all turbine-powered airplanes that weigh 6,000 
pounds or less, while retaining the exception for gliders and 
reciprocating-engine powered airplanes type certificated under 14 CFR 
part 23.

IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

Paperwork Reduction Act
    The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) 
requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other 
information collection burdens imposed on the public. We have 
determined that there is no information collection burden associated 
with this proposed rule.
International Compatibility
    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to comply with 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and 
has identified no differences with these proposed regulations.
Initial Regulatory Evaluation, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, 
International Trade Impact Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment
    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs that each Federal agency 
shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination 
that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) requires 
agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small 
entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits 
agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to 
the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. 
standards, this Trade Act requires agencies to consider international 
standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. 
standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 
104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by state, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 
1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of 
the economic impacts of this proposed rule. We suggest readers seeking 
greater detail read the full initial regulatory evaluation, a copy of 
which we have placed in the docket for this rulemaking.
    In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined that this proposed 
rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs, (2) is not an 
economically ``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 
3(f) of Executive Order 12866, (3) is not ``significant'' as defined in 
the DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; 
(5) would not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of 
the United States; and (6) would not impose an unfunded mandate on 
state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector by 
exceeding the threshold identified above. These analyses are summarized 
below.
Total Costs and Benefits of This Proposed Rule
    We expect that the typical certification project for an airplane 
subject to the proposed rule would be for a new airplane design with a 
turbine engine previously used in a type-certificated aircraft 
requiring 165 hours \6\ of F & R flight testing at a total cost of 
$317,000. In the case of a new airplane design and an engine not 
previously used on a certificated airplane, we estimate that double the 
hours (330 hours) would be required, so the total cost would double to 
$634,000.
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    \6\ See the separate cost section below for the reason we 
increased the number of hours from 150 hours, the minimum required 
by Sec.  21.35(f), to 165 hours.
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    We expect that adoption of this proposed rule would enhance safety 
and reduce costs by substantially reducing the number of safety 
incidents and post-certification Airworthiness Directives (AD). A 
partial estimate of the expected costs that would be avoided for a 
single new airplane design amounts to $1.8 million, with a present 
value of $1.6 million. These avoided costs are approximately six times 
the costs of our 165-hour estimate ($317,000) and approximately three 
times the higher 330-hour estimate ($634,000). Consequently, the 
benefits of this proposed rule greatly exceed its modest costs. For 
additional detail, see the separate sections on costs and benefits 
below.
    The FAA solicits comments on our determination of costs and 
benefits and our expectation that this proposed rule would enhance 
safety and reduce costs.
Who Is Potentially Affected by This Rule?
    Manufacturers of part 23 turbine-powered airplanes weighing 6,000 
pounds or less are potentially affected.
Assumptions and Sources of Information
     We use a two-year period of analysis, as we find this 
period sufficient to show the cost-beneficial nature of this proposed 
rule. We use the period from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2008, 
as the data used in the analysis are from this period. The short period 
of analysis reflects the inherent nature of F & R flight testing, 
designed as it is to uncover design flaws that otherwise would reveal 
themselves in the very early life of an airplane.
     Discount rate is 7% (Office of Management and Budget, 
Circular A-94, ``Guidelines and Discount Rates for Benefit-Cost 
Analysis of Federal Programs,'' October 29, 1992, p. 8).
     Data on costs of compliance with this proposal were 
obtained from a part 23 airplane manufacturer and FAA estimates.
Costs of This Proposed Rule
    Aircraft subject to F & R flight testing under 14 CFR 21.35(b)(2), 
Sec.  21.35(f) require at least 300 hours of F & R flight testing for 
aircraft ``incorporating turbine engines of a type not previously used 
in a type certificated aircraft'' and at least 150 hours for all other 
aircraft. Unless a totally new engine is used, it is rare that the 
applicant is required to run a full 300-hour program. Generally, an 
applicant with a new aircraft design, but with an engine previously 
used in a type-certificated aircraft, would be required to conduct at 
least 150 hours of F & R flight testing. As most VLJ projects appear to 
be based on derivatives of the Williams FJ-33 engine or other 
previously-certificated engines, we expect this requirement to hold for

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the typical project subject to this proposed rule. Failures during F & 
R flight testing, however, occasionally lead to extension of the 
required hours. We estimate that the average extension is 10%, or 15 
hours, so our ``typical'' estimate assumes 165 hours of F & R flight 
testing. We double that estimate to also provide an estimate for a new 
airplane design with a new engine design.
    Our final figures are $317,066 for a 165-hour program and $634,132 
for a 330-hour program.
Benefits of This Proposed Rule
    We expect that adoption of this proposed rule would enhance safety 
and reduce costs by substantially reducing the number of service 
difficulties experienced post-certification. This expectation is 
supported by evidence from the service experience of the EA-500. The 
Eclipse SCR \7\ team looked at 85 Eclipse SDRs submitted between July 
29, 2007 and May 13, 2008. The Eclipse SCR team ``concluded the 
majority of the SDRs resulted from reliability issues separate from 
compliance with the minimum FAA standards'' (see SCR, Executive 
Summary). There also were 6 Eclipse-related ADs issued in the one-year 
period between November 2007 and November 2008. In any case, the pitot/
angle of attack (AOA) issue (SCR, p. 25; AD 2008-02-04) is the one most 
likely to have been uncovered by a mandatory F & R flight testing 
program. Extending the AD estimate to the entire U.S.-registered 
Eclipse EA-500 fleet (264 airplanes), we estimate the total cost of the 
pitot/AOA problem to be $2.5 million. As discussed above, however, we 
assess the probability of F & R flight testing uncovering the pitot/AOA 
problem to be approximately 0.7 to 0.75. Using the lower figure, we 
accordingly calculate the expected benefit as the total cost avoided of 
$2.5 million times 0.7, or $1.8 million. Since the FAA issued a type 
certificate on September 30, 2006, approximately 1.5 years prior to the 
compliance date for this AD, we discount the expected benefit 1.5 years 
to find present value benefit of $1.6 million.
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    \7\ Special Certification Review: Eclipse Aviation Corporation 
Model EA-500 Airplane. Prepared for the Federal Aviation 
Administration Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, 
September 12, 2008.
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    Thus, the $1.6 million benefit from avoiding just this one problem 
greatly exceeds our $317,066 estimated typical cost of F & R flight 
testing.
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Determination
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) 
establishes ``as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall 
endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable 
statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale 
of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions 
subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required 
to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain 
the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given 
serious consideration.'' The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, 
including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small 
governmental jurisdictions.
    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.
    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the 
agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required. The certification must include a statement providing the 
factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be 
clear.
    The FAA believes that this proposed rule would not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of entities for the 
following reason: The cost of requiring F & R flight testing is small 
and a very small percentage of development, certification, and 
production costs. Consequently, requiring F & R flight testing for 
turbine-powered airplanes weighing 6,000 pounds or less would have a 
minimal cost impact on manufacturers of airplanes in this category. 
Therefore the FAA certifies that this proposed rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The FAA solicits comments regarding this determination.
International Trade Impact Assessment
    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the 
Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities 
that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not 
considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the 
United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic 
objective, such the protection of safety, and does not operate in a 
manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also 
requires consideration of international standards and, where 
appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has 
assessed the potential effect of this proposed rule and determined the 
purpose is to promote safety and is thus not considered an unnecessary 
obstacle to foreign commerce of the United States.
Unfunded Mandates Assessment
    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-
4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement 
assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final 
agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more 
(adjusted annually for inflation with the base year 1995) in any one 
year by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by 
the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a ``significant 
regulatory action.'' The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value 
of $136.1 million.
    This proposed rule does not contain such a mandate. The 
requirements of Title II do not apply to this proposal.
Executive Order 13132, Federalism
    The FAA analyzed this proposed rule under the principles and 
criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. We determined that this 
action would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government, and, therefore, would not have federalism implications.
Regulations Affecting Intrastate Aviation in Alaska
    Section 1205 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 1996 (110 Stat. 
3213) requires the Administrator, when modifying regulations in Title 
14 of the CFR in a manner affecting intrastate aviation in Alaska, to 
consider the extent to which Alaska is not served by transportation 
modes other than aviation, and to establish appropriate regulatory 
distinctions. The proposed rule would apply to the certification of 
airplanes that may be used for air transportation in Alaska. In light 
of air transportation needs, and terrain and aviation environment 
conditions unique

[[Page 18138]]

to that state, we anticipate that safety benefits of the proposal would 
be correspondingly higher than expected for aviation operations in the 
continental National Airspace System (NAS).
Environmental Analysis
    FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically 
excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or 
environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy 
Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has 
determined this proposed rulemaking action qualifies for the 
categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312(f) and involves no 
extraordinary circumstances.
Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or 
Use
    The FAA has analyzed this proposal under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). We have determined that it is not 
a ``significant regulatory action'' under the executive order because 
it is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866, and it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy.
Additional Information
    Comments Invited:
    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this 
rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also 
invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or 
federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in 
this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion 
of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain 
duplicate comments, please send only one copy of written comments, or 
if you are filing comments electronically, please submit your comments 
only one time.
    We will file in the docket all comments we receive, as well as a 
report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel 
concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we 
will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for 
comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has 
closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. 
We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.
    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information:
    Do not file in the docket information that you consider to be 
proprietary or confidential business information. Send or deliver this 
information directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. You must mark the 
information that you consider proprietary or confidential. If you send 
the information on a disk or CD-ROM, mark the outside of the disk or 
CD-ROM and also identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the 
specific information that is proprietary or confidential.
    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), when we are aware of proprietary information 
filed with a comment, we do not place it in the docket. We hold it in a 
separate file to which the public does not have access, and we place a 
note in the docket that we have received it. If we receive a request to 
examine or copy this information, we treat it as any other request 
under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). We process such a 
request under the DOT procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.
    Availability of Rulemaking Documents:
    You can get an electronic copy of rulemaking documents using the 
Internet by--
    1. Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov):
    2. Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies: or
    3. Accessing the Government Printing Office's web page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
    You can also get a copy by sending a request to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Make 
sure to identify the docket number or notice number of this rulemaking.
    You may access all documents the FAA considered in developing this 
proposed rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, from 
the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced in 
paragraph (1).

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 21

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration proposes to amend Chapter I of Title 14, Code of Federal 
Regulations, as follows:

PART 21--CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS, ARTICLES, AND PARTS

    1. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows:


    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7572; 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40105, 40113, 
44701-44702, 44704, 44707, 44709, 44711, 44713, 44715, 45303.

    2. Amend Sec.  21.35 by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  21.35  Flight tests.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) For aircraft to be certificated under this subchapter, except 
gliders and except reciprocating engine powered airplanes of 6,000 lbs. 
or less maximum certificated weight that are to be certificated under 
part 23 of this chapter, to determine whether there is reasonable 
assurance that the aircraft, its components, and its equipment are 
reliable and function properly.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2010.
Kalene C. Yanamura,
Acting Director, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-8130 Filed 4-8-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P