[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 233 (Tuesday, December 4, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71691-71695]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29276]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 21

[Docket No. FAA-2001-8994; Amdt. No. 21-96]
RIN 2120-AK19


Type Certification Procedures for Changed Products

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is revising a final rule published on June 7, 2000 (65 
FR 36244). In that final rule, the FAA amended its regulations for the 
certification of changes to type-certificated products. That amendment 
was to enhance safety by applying the latest airworthiness standards, 
to the extent practical, for the certification of significant design 
changes of aircraft, aircraft engines, and propellers. The existing 
rule requires the applicant show that the ``changed product'' complies 
with applicable standards. This action revises that requirement so that 
an applicant is required to show compliance only for the change and 
areas affected by the change. The intended effect of this action is to 
make the regulation consistent with the FAA's

[[Page 71692]]

intent and with the certification practice both before and after the 
adoption of the existing rule.

DATES: Effective date: This rule becomes effective February 4, 2013.
    Comment date: Send comments on or before January 3, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2001-8994 
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. This includes 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 the 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 technical questions concerning 
this action, contact Victor Powell, Certification Procedures Office 
(AIR-110), Aircraft Certification Service, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024; telephone 
(202) 385-6326; email victor.powell@faa.gov; or Randall Petersen, 
Certification Procedures Office (AIR-110), Aircraft Certification 
Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 
Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 385-6325, email 
randall.petersen@faa.gov.
    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Douglas 
Anderson, Northwest Mountain Region--Deputy Regional Counsel (ANM-7), 
Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration Northwest 
Mountain Regional Office, 1601 Lind Ave. SW., Renton, WA 98057; 
telephone (425) 227-2166; facsimile (425) 227-1007; email 
douglas.anderson@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 clarify existing requirements 
for an applicant's showing of compliance of an altered type-
certificated product.

I. Overview of Final Rule

    The FAA has recognized over time the wording of current Sec.  
21.101 may establish a requirement for a compliance showing that is too 
broad for an applicant for a major design change. The current Sec.  
21.101(a) requires an applicant to show the ``changed product'' meets 
applicable airworthiness requirements.\1\ The purpose of Sec.  21.101 
is to require an applicant to evaluate the proposed design change and 
its effect on the product rather than the re-evaluation (certification) 
of the entire changed product. Therefore, Sec.  21.101 is amended to 
replace ``changed product'' with ``change and areas affected by the 
change'' to accurately limit the scope of compliance responsibility for 
the applicant. That change is also made in Sec.  21.97 for the same 
reason.
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    \1\ The term ``product'' is defined in Sec.  21.1(b) as 
``aircraft, aircraft engine, or propeller.''
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II. Background

    On June 7, 2000, the FAA published a final rule entitled, ``Type 
Certification Procedures for Changed Products'' (65 FR 36244). In that 
final rule, the FAA revised the procedural requirements for the 
certification of changes to type-certificated products. The revision 
required the applicant to apply the latest airworthiness standards in 
effect, to the extent practical, for the certification of significant 
design changes of aircraft, aircraft engines, and propellers. Before 
this final rule, many changes to aeronautical products were not 
required to show compliance with the latest airworthiness standards. 
This rule was needed because incremental design approval changes 
accumulated into significant differences from the original product. The 
final rule was intended to expand under what conditions the latest 
airworthiness amendments needed to be applied to changes to 
aeronautical products.

A. Statement of the Problem

    Section 21.101 requires that applicants show the ``changed 
product'' meets the applicable requirements to obtain an amended type 
certificate, supplemental type certificate, or amended supplemental 
type certificate. While the purpose of the rule was to enhance safety 
by requiring compliance with the latest amendments, we intended to 
limit an applicant's responsibility to those areas affected by the 
change. Areas not affected by the change, as described in Sec.  
21.101(b)(2) need not be resubstantiated.
    The preambles to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (62 FR 
24294, May 2, 1997) and the subsequent final rule entitled ``Type 
Certification Procedures for Changed Products'' (65 FR 36244, June 7, 
2000) established parameters of an applicant's responsibility for 
showing compliance with the latest amendments to the change and those 
areas affected by the change of a type-certificated product. However, 
the term ``product'' is defined in Sec.  21.1(b) to mean ``aircraft, 
aircraft engine, or propeller.'' By requiring applicants to show the 
``changed product'' meets applicable requirements, we inadvertently 
required the entire product be shown to meet at least the requirements 
that applied to the original type certificate. This was not our intent 
and was neither the FAA's practice before the adoption of that rule, 
nor has it been our practice since its adoption.

B. Revision to the Regulation

    The term ``changed product'' is replaced with ``change and areas 
affected by the change'' in Sec.  21.101 to be consistent with the rule 
language as established in Sec.  21.101(b)(2) and (b)(3)

[[Page 71693]]

and to clarify the responsibility of the applicant. The ``change'' 
refers to the design change proposed by the applicant. ``Areas affected 
by the change'' refers to aspects of the type design the applicant may 
not be proposing to change directly, but that are affected by the 
applicant's proposal. For example, changing an airframe's structure, 
such as adding a cargo door in one location, may affect the frame or 
floor loading in another area. Further, upgrading engines with new 
performance capabilities could require additional showing of compliance 
for minimum control speeds and airplane performance requirements. For 
many years the FAA has required applicants to consider these effects, 
and this practice is unchanged by this rulemaking.
    During efforts to revise Sec.  21.101, the FAA discovered that 
Sec.  21.97(a)(2), Approval of major changes in type design, contains 
similar language to Sec.  21.101 in the case of a ``changed product.'' 
The FAA has therefore determined that Sec.  21.97(a)(2) should also be 
changed by this amendment.

IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct that each 
Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned 
determination 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 rule.
    In conducting these analyses, the FAA determined that this 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 DOT's 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures, (4) will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, (5) will not 
create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States, and (6) will not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or 
tribal governments, or on the private sector by exceeding the threshold 
identified above.
    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 proposed or final rule 
does not warrant a full evaluation, this order allows 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 minimal cost determination has been made on this final rule 
because this requirement reflects current practices.

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 final 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 an initial regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the 
RFA. However, if an agency determines that a final rule will not 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 net economic impact of this rule is expected to be minimal. As 
this rule is clarifying in nature, the acting FAA Administrator 
certifies 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 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. We assessed the 
potential effect of this rule and determined that it will not 
constitute an obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, 
and, thus, is consistent with the Trade Assessments Act.

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 
(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 $143.1 million in lieu of $100 million. This rule does not contain 
such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II 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 final rule.

[[Page 71694]]

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    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 
reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and 
has identified no differences with these regulations.
    Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation, promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet 
shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, 
environmental, and other issues and to reduce, eliminate, or prevent 
unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA has 
analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of 
Executive Order 13609, and has determined that this action would have 
no effect on international regulatory cooperation.

G. 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 rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical 
exclusion identified in paragraph 312(f) of the Order and involves no 
extraordinary circumstances.

V. Executive Order Determinations

A. Executive Order 12866

    See the ``Regulatory Evaluation'' discussion in the ``Regulatory 
Notices and Analyses'' section elsewhere in this preamble.

B. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this final rule under the principles and 
criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. We 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, will not have Federalism implications.

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

    The FAA has analyzed this final rule 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 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.

VI. Additional Information

A. Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this 
rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency 
also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, 
or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the amendments in 
this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion 
of the rulemaking, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain 
duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written 
comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should 
submit only one time.
    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well 
as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA 
personnel concerning this rulemaking. Before acting on this rulemaking, 
the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing 
date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the 
comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring 
expense or delay. The agency may change this proposal in light of the 
comments it receives.
    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Commenters should 
not file proprietary or confidential business information in the 
docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the 
person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting 
information on a disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD 
ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific 
information that is proprietary or confidential.
    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary 
information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the 
docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have 
access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received 
it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, 
it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act 
(5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under Department of 
Transportation procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of a rulemaking document my 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 
notice, 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.

C. Comments Submitted to the Docket

    Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions to search the 
docket number for this action. Anyone is able to search the electronic 
form of all comments received into any of the FAA's dockets by the name 
of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

C. 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 21

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

The Amendments

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

[[Page 71695]]

PART 21--CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS

0
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.


0
2. In Sec.  21.97, revise paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  21.97  Approval of major changes in type design.

    (a) * * *
    (2) Show that the change and areas affected by the change comply 
with the applicable requirements of this subchapter, and provide the 
FAA the means by which such compliance has been shown; and
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  21.101, revise paragraphs (a), (b) introductory text, 
(b)(3), and (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  21.101  Designation of applicable regulations.

    (a) An applicant for a change to a type certificate must show that 
the change and areas affected by the change comply with the 
airworthiness requirements applicable to the category of the product in 
effect on the date of the application for the change and with parts 34 
and 36 of this chapter. Exceptions are detailed in paragraphs (b) and 
(c) of this section.
    (b) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, if 
paragraphs (b)(1), (2), or (3) of this section apply, an applicant may 
show that the change and areas affected by the change comply with an 
earlier amendment of a regulation required by paragraph (a) of this 
section, and of any other regulation the FAA finds is directly related. 
However, the earlier amended regulation may not precede either the 
corresponding regulation incorporated by reference in the type 
certificate, or any regulation in Sec. Sec.  23.2, 25.2, 27.2, or 29.2 
of this subchapter that is related to the change. The applicant may 
show compliance with an earlier amendment of a regulation for any of 
the following:
* * * * *
    (3) Each area, system, component, equipment, or appliance that is 
affected by the change, for which the FAA finds that compliance with a 
regulation described in paragraph (a) of this section would not 
contribute materially to the level of safety of the product or would be 
impractical.
    (c) An applicant for a change to an aircraft (other than a 
rotorcraft) of 6,000 pounds or less maximum weight, or to a non-turbine 
rotorcraft of 3,000 pounds or less maximum weight may show that the 
change and areas affected by the change comply with the regulations 
incorporated by reference in the type certificate. However, if the FAA 
finds that the change is significant in an area, the FAA may designate 
compliance with an amendment to the regulation incorporated by 
reference in the type certificate that applies to the change and any 
regulation that the FAA finds is directly related, unless the FAA also 
finds that compliance with that amendment or regulation would not 
contribute materially to the level of safety of the product or would be 
impractical.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC on November 21, 2012.
Michael P. Huerta,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-29276 Filed 12-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P