[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 93 (Monday, May 14, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 28247-28250]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11593]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 91

[Docket No. FAA-2011-1396]
RIN 2120-AK10


Operations in Class D Airspace

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is removing the provision describing an abbreviated 
taxi clearance. Previously, air traffic controllers issued abbreviated 
taxi instructions to aircraft en route to their assigned departure 
runway, which

[[Page 28248]]

allowed pilots to cross all runways that intersected the taxi route to 
their departure runway. The FAA no longer uses these abbreviated taxi 
clearances and is removing the provision of the regulation that 
describes this clearance. This action aligns the regulation with 
current air traffic control practice and responds to the National 
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendation Numbers A-00-
67 and -68.

DATES: Effective May 14, 2012.
    Submit comments on or before June 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2011-1396 
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 (DOT), 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: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without 
change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the 
docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all 
comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the 
individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an 
association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at 
http://www.regulations.gov at any time. 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: For questions concerning this rule, 
contact Ellen Crum, Airspace, Regulations and ATC Procedures Group, Air 
Traffic Organization, Mission Support Services, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; 
telephone (202) 267-8783; facsimile (202) 267-9328, email; 
Ellen.Crum@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is 
found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106, 
describes the authority of the FAA Acting Administrator, including the 
authority to issue, rescind, and revise regulations. Subtitle VII, 
Aviation Programs, describes, in more detail, the scope of the agency's 
authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described 
in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Chapter 401, Section 40103 (b), 
which allows the Acting Administrator to regulate the use of the 
navigable airspace as necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and 
the efficient use of airspace. Additionally, Subtitle VII, Part A, 
Subpart III, Chapter 447, Section 44701 (c) authorizes the Acting 
Administrator to carry out functions in this chapter in a way that 
helps to reduce or eliminate the possibility or recurrence of accidents 
in air transportation.

I. Background

    In January 1990, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) 
recommended that the FAA take action to address safety issues involving 
runway incursions and near-collision ground incidents.\1\ That 
recommendation followed several high-profile incidents, including a 
1990 ground collision at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport between an Eastern 
B727 and a King Air (resulting in one fatality and one injury).
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    \1\ NTSB Safety Recommendations A-00-67 and A-00-68 on July 6, 
2000. These actions recommended that the FAA require that all runway 
crossing be authorized only by specific air traffic control 
clearance and ensure that all U.S. pilots and personnel assigned to 
move aircraft and pilots operating under 14 CFR part 129 receive 
adequate notification of the change. The NTSB further recommended 
that when an aircraft needs to cross multiple runways, air traffic 
controllers must issue an explicit crossing instruction for each 
runway after the previous runway has been crossed.
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    On August 15, 2007, an FAA ``Call to Action'' committee issued 
several recommendations to address improving runway safety across the 
National Airspace System (NAS). The committee identified taxi 
clearances as a key area of concern. Following the committee's 
recommendations, the FAA convened a Safety Risk Management (SRM) panel 
of subject matter experts to review the committee's recommendations, 
including the NTSB recommendation to eliminate the issuance of a ``taxi 
to'' clearance found in 14 CFR 91.129(i).
    NTSB Safety Recommendations A-00-67 and A-00-68 were reiterated in 
an NTSB Safety Recommendation, dated August 28, 2007, following the 
2006 crash of Comair flight 5191, CL-600, which crashed during takeoff 
from Blue Grass Airport (LEX), Lexington, KY. The NTSB determined that 
a contributor to the probable cause of that accident, in which the 
flight crew was instructed to take off from runway 22 but began its 
takeoff roll on runway 26, was the FAA's failure to require that all 
runway crossings be authorized only by ATC clearances specific to the 
runway.
    On September 11, 2008, the SRM panel issued its ``Explicit Runway 
Crossing Clearances Safety Risk Management Document (SRMD),'' which 
contained a proposal ``to implement explicit runway crossing clearances 
per NTSB recommendation A-00-67.''
    In response to the NTSB's recommendation and effective June 30, 
2010, the FAA implemented changes to the procedures for issuing taxi 
and ground movement instructions. The changes subsequently were 
incorporated into FAA Orders, JO 7110.65 Air Traffic Control and JO 
7210.3 Facility Operation and Administration.

II. Immediately Adopted Final Rule

    This action revises paragraph (i) of Sec.  91.129 by removing the 
sentences that describe a ``clearance to `taxi to' the takeoff runway 
assigned to the aircraft.'' This language is contradictory to current 
air traffic control procedures and could lead to confusion and 
incorrect pilot expectations. Removing this provision does not alter 
the requirement to have an appropriate ATC clearance. The FAA will 
continue to require all aircraft to receive an ATC clearance prior to 
entering any taxiway or runway.
    The FAA finds, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), that notice and public 
comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. 
Furthermore, the FAA finds that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) 
to make this rule effective upon publication. The changes to this 
section align the rule with current air traffic procedures and will not 
adversely affect the flow of taxiing aircraft. As this rule does not 
change the requirement to have an ATC clearance prior to taxiing, this 
amendment will not adversely impact safety and will avoid confusion 
that can be caused between contradictory regulations and ATC 
procedures. Nonetheless, the FAA invites parties to comment on this 
proceeding. A separate

[[Page 28249]]

notice will be issued by the FAA addressing any comments received.

III. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 
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, the 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 rule.
    Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies 
and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. 
If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a rule does not warrant 
a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect 
and the basis for it to be included in the preamble if a full 
regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. Such a 
determination has been made for this rule. The reasoning for this 
determination follows:
    The changes to this section align the rule with current air traffic 
procedures and will not adversely affect the flow of taxiing aircraft. 
As this rule does not change the requirement to have an ATC clearance 
prior to taxiing, this amendment will not adversely impact safety and 
will avoid confusion that can be caused between contradicting 
regulations and ATC procedures. Further this rule responds to NTSB 
recommendations and to the August 15, 2007 FAA ``Call to Action'' 
Committee recommendations to address improving runway safety across the 
National Airspace System. That committee identified taxi clearances as 
a key area of concern. This action improves safety at no additional 
cost.
    The FAA has, therefore, determined that this rule is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866, and is not ``significant'' as defined in DOT's 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures.

B. 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. This rule aligns the agency's regulations with current practice, 
responds to NTSB Safety Recommendation Numbers A-00-67 and A-00-68, and 
with no change in existing procedures there are no additional costs.
    Therefore as the FAA Acting Administrator, I certify that this rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.

C. 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 as 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 rule and determined that it will 
have only a domestic impact and therefore has no effect on 
international trade.

D. 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 
(in 1995 dollars) 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 $143.1 million in lieu of $100 
million. This rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the 
requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act 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. The FAA has determined that 
there is no new requirement for information collection associated with 
this immediately adopted final rule.

F. International Compatibility

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices 
that correspond to these regulations.

IV. Executive Order Determinations

A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA analyzed this immediately adopted final rule under the 
principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132,

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Federalism. The agency determined that this action will not have a 
substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between 
the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, 
therefore, does not have Federalism implications.

B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    The FAA analyzed this immediately adopted final rule under 
Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 
2001). The agency has determined that it is not a ``significant energy 
action'' under the executive order and it is not likely to have a 
significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of 
energy.

V. How To Obtain Additional Information

A. Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by 
using the Internet--
    1. Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);
    2. Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://
www.faa.gov/regulations--policies/or
    3. Access the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.

Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by 
amendment or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation 
Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680.

B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 
1996 requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information 
or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its 
jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this document may 
contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under the FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of the preamble. 
To find out more about SBREFA on the Internet, visit http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91

    Afghanistan, Agriculture, Air traffic control, Aircraft, Airmen, 
Airports, Aviation safety, Canada, Cuba, Ethiopia, Freight, Mexico, 
Noise control, Political candidates, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements and Yugoslavia.

The Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal 
Regulations as follows:

PART 91--GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES

0
1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 1155, 40103, 40113, 40120, 44101, 
44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 
44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 47122, 47508, 47528-
47531, articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil 
Aviation (61 Stat. 1180).


0
2. Amend Sec.  91.129 by revising paragraph (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.129  Operations in Class D airspace.

* * * * *
    (i) Takeoff, landing, taxi clearance. No person may, at any airport 
with an operating control tower, operate an aircraft on a runway or 
taxiway, or take off or land an aircraft, unless an appropriate 
clearance is received from ATC.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 19, 2012.
Michael P. Huerta,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-11593 Filed 5-11-12; 8:45 am]
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