[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 149 (Thursday, August 2, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 45921-45922]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-18557]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 21


Alaskan Fuel Hauling as a Restricted Category Special Purpose 
Flight Operation

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of policy.

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SUMMARY: This notice of policy announces Alaskan fuel hauling as a 
restricted category special purpose

[[Page 45922]]

operation under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 
21.25(b)(7), for aircraft type-certificated under 14 CFR 21.25(a)(1), 
for operations within the State of Alaska, to provide bulk fuel to 
isolated individuals or locations in the State of Alaska.

DATES: This policy is August 2, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Federal Aviation Administration, 
Aircraft Certification Service, Aircraft Engineering Division, 
Certification Procedures Office (AIR-110), Mike Monroney Aeronautical 
Center, P.O. Box 26460, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Attn: Jon Mowery. 
Telephone (405) 954-4776, fax 405-954-2209, email to: 
jon.mowery@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 6, 2009, a notice of proposed 
policy was published in the Federal Register (74 FR 39242) in which the 
FAA proposed to specify Alaskan fuel hauling as a restricted category 
special purpose operation under 14 CFR 21.25(b)(7). The comment period 
closed September 8, 2009. This notice of policy addresses only one of 
the three special purpose operations proposed in 2009. The other two 
proposals are still under consideration and are not addressed at this 
time in this notice.
    The FAA received comments from six commenters, in three major 
areas. One of the comments submitted was, ``The transport of the fuel 
could be made safer by limiting the payload on each flight to say 35% 
of the aircraft weight so there won't be problems with takeoff and 
landing''. Another commenter proposed that Alaska fuel hauling be 
limited to aircraft having a maximum certificated takeoff weight 
(``MTOW'') of 20,000 lb or less. The FAA does not agree with setting an 
arbitrary maximum weight limit for this special purpose, nor does the 
FAA see a need to operate below the certificated capabilities of the 
aircraft. To provide for safe operations, each aircraft used to 
transport fuel will be required to receive FAA certification for the 
purpose of fuel hauling. During certification the airplane payload and 
performance limits will be specified as part of the certification 
process. All aircraft must be operated within their certificated weight 
and balance limitations, and airfield performance limitations. No 
overweight operations will be permitted.
    One commenter suggested that the special purpose of fuel hauling be 
expanded to include operations outside the State of Alaska, while 
another commenter requested that the proposal be strictly limited to 
operations conducted solely within the state. The FAA will limit this 
proposed special purpose to operations in the State of Alaska only. 
Alaska has a unique dependence on aviation for delivery of essential 
supplies to remote villages that are not serviced by roads or rail. 
Most of these villages are served by airports with runways less than 
3,000 feet long. The remoteness and limited transportation 
infrastructure means that air transportation of fuel is the only method 
to deliver fuel to these areas during many times of the year.
    One commenter requested that the FAA confirm that restricted 
category aircraft certificated for the special purpose of Alaskan fuel 
hauling would be permitted to conduct these operations in view of the 
provisions of Sec.  91.313, which provides the operating limitations 
for aircraft certificated in restricted category. Section 91.313(a) 
states that no person may operate a restricted category civil aircraft 
for any purpose other than the special purpose for which it is 
certificated. Section 91.313(c) states that a restricted category 
aircraft cannot be used to carry persons or property for compensation 
or hire. However, this paragraph goes on to say that for the purposes 
of Sec.  91.313(c) the definition of ``for compensation or hire'' 
changes if the special purpose requires the carriage of material 
necessary for that special purpose. Then carriage of that material is 
not considered carriage ``for compensation or hire'', but only in 
regards to the limitations in Sec.  91.313(c). For example, an airplane 
with a restricted category airworthiness certificate for the special 
purpose of Alaska fuel hauling may carry fuel for commercial gain. 
However, the operation must comply with 14 CFR part 119, which 
addresses commercial operations. Since Alaskan fuel hauling does not 
meet any of the exclusions in 14 CFR part 119, the operation would need 
to meet the requirements of 14 CFR part 135 or part 121. Operational 
approval for Alaskan fuel hauling must be obtained from FAA Flight 
Standards Service in accordance with the operating regulations.
    The special purpose of Alaskan fuel hauling was considered for 
aircraft type-certificated under Sec.  21.25(a)(1). This limitation 
will result in a higher level of safety than surplus military aircraft 
type-certificated under Sec.  21.25(a)(2). Compliance with 14 CFR part 
36 noise requirements is required for this special purpose. The fuel 
hauling system must be shown to meet the applicable airworthiness 
regulations as required by Sec. Sec.  21.25(a)(1), and 21.101 if 
appropriate. Upon approval of the fuel hauling configuration of an 
aircraft for Alaskan fuel hauling, the operator must obtain an 
airworthiness certificate for the new special purpose.
    Accordingly, the Aircraft Engineering Division hereby specifies, 
under authority delegated by the Administrator, that Alaskan fuel 
hauling is a restricted category special purpose flight operation under 
the provisions of Sec.  21.25(b)(7). This approval is limited to 
aircraft type-certificated under Sec.  21.25(a)(1). This action will 
enable bulk fuel to be carried to isolated individuals and locations 
(such as villages, towns, and mining facilities) in the State of 
Alaska, during times when other methods are impractical.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 29, 2012.
David W. Hempe,
Manager, Aircraft Engineering Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-18557 Filed 8-1-12; 8:45 am]
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