[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 127 (Tuesday, July 2, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 39576-39583]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15843]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 91

[Docket No. FAA-2013-0503; Amdt. No. 91-328]
RIN 2120-AK25


Adoption of Statutory Prohibition on the Operation of Jets 
Weighing 75,000 Pounds or Less That Are Not Stage 3 Noise Compliant

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rulemaking amends the airplane operating regulations to 
include certain provisions of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 
2012 that affect jet airplanes with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds 
or less operating in the United States. The law provides that after 
December 31, 2015, such airplanes will not be allowed to operate in the 
contiguous United States unless they meet Stage 3 noise levels. This 
final rule incorporates that prohibition and describes the 
circumstances under which an otherwise prohibited airplane may be 
operated.

DATES: This rule becomes effective September 3, 2013. Send comments on 
or before August 1, 2013.
    Compliance with the prohibition in Sec.  91.801(e) is required 
after December 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions concerning 
this action, contact Sandy Liu, AEE-100, Office of Environment and 
Energy, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 493-4864; facsimile (202) 267-
5594; email: sandy.liu@faa.gov.

[[Page 39577]]

    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Karen Petronis, 
AGC-200, Office of the Chief Counsel, International Law, Legislation, 
and Regulations Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-
3073; email: karen.petronis@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Good Cause for Immediate Adoption

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 
USC 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and 
comment procedures for rules when the agency for ``good cause'' finds 
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to 
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good 
cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the 
rulemaking.
    In February 2012, in section 506 of the FAA Modernization and 
Reform Act of 2012 (``the Act''), Congress prohibited the operation of 
jet airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or less in the contiguous United 
States after December 31, 2015, unless the airplanes meet Stage 3 noise 
levels. The Act also describes certain circumstances under which 
otherwise prohibited operations will be allowed. These provisions have 
been codified at 49 U.S.C. 47534.
    This final rule codifies the statutory prohibition and relieving 
circumstances into the regulations in 14 CFR. The FAA has no discretion 
to change any provision of the statute, and it is being codified into 
the regulations as adopted. The statute also directs the Secretary of 
Transportation to prescribe the regulations necessary to implement the 
statutory provisions.
    Accordingly, the FAA finds that further public comment on the 
codification of these provisions is unnecessary.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's 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 in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44715, Controlling aircraft 
noise and sonic boom. Under that section, the FAA is charged with 
prescribing regulations to measure and abate aircraft noise. This 
rulemaking is also promulgated under the authority of Section 47534, 
prohibition on operating certain aircraft weighing 75,000 pounds or 
less and not complying with Stage 3 noises levels. That authority 
directs the agency to prescribe regulations necessary to implement the 
requirements of Section 506 of the Act. This regulation is within the 
scope of that authority.

I. Overview of This Final Rule

    This final rule adopts into the operating rules certain 
prohibitions from Section 506 of the Act, codified at 49 USC 47534. 
That statute prohibits, after December 31, 2015, the operation in the 
contiguous United States of jet airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or 
less that do not meet Stage 3 noise levels as defined in 14 CFR Part 
36. This prohibition will decrease airplane noise in the contiguous 
United States. Operators of these airplanes that do not comply with 
Stage 3 noise levels may choose to replace them, or to incorporate 
noise-reduction technologies that may be available to make the 
airplanes Stage 3 noise compliant.

II. History of Noise Operating Rules in the United States

    In December 1976, the FAA adopted its first noise operating rules 
in the United States as Subpart E to Part 91 of Title 14 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (14 CFR). That subpart was recodified in August 
1989 as Subpart I--Operating Noise Limits. The first regulations 
prohibited the operation of Stage 1 airplanes by U.S. operators in the 
United States after December 31, 1984 (41 FR 56046, December 23, 1976). 
In November 1980, the regulations were amended to include operations 
conducted by foreign operators in the United States (45 FR 79302, 
November 28, 1980).
    By the late 1980s, more than 400 U.S. airports had adopted some 
type of airport access restriction or other action in an effort to 
reduce local noise in their communities. To eliminate this growing 
patchwork of restrictions, on November 5, 1990, Congress established a 
national noise policy in the adoption of the Airport Noise and Capacity 
Act of 1990 (ANCA). The law required the phase-out of Stage 2 airplanes 
weighing over 75,000 pounds operating in the contiguous United States. 
The phase-out was completed on December 31, 1999, leaving only Stage 3 
large jets operating in the contiguous United States.

III. Recent Statutory Changes

    The noise from smaller jet airplanes continues to have an impact on 
communities near airports. In recognition of this impact, Congress 
addressed the operations of these airplanes in the Act. Section 506 of 
the Act states:

    ``[A]fter December 31, 2015, a person may not operate a civil 
subsonic jet airplane with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds or 
less, and for which an airworthiness certificate (other than an 
experimental certificate) has been issued, to or from an airport in 
the United States unless the Secretary of Transportation finds that 
the aircraft complies with [S]tage 3 noise levels.''

The law is applicable to operations in the 48 contiguous United States. 
The law also provides for operation of otherwise prohibited airplanes 
after that date under certain circumstances.
    This final rule codifies into the regulations of 14 CFR part 91 the 
operating prohibition of Sec.  47534 (a), and the circumstances for 
which otherwise prohibited operations may be conducted as listed in 
Sec.  47534 (c). The circumstances are similar to those that were 
allowed under the 1990 statute that were codified in 14 CFR 91.858.
    This prohibition is being codified into the operating rules as 
Sec.  91.881. Because Congress included operational circumstances in 
the Act that were not included in ANCA, we are codifying them 
separately as Sec.  91.883 to prevent confusion with the circumstances 
applicable to larger jet airplanes.

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 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

[[Page 39578]]

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 final 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 proposed or final rule 
does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement 
to that effect and the basis for it 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 final rule. The reasoning 
for this determination is as follows:
    This rule implements those provisions of the Act that prohibit the 
operation of civil jet airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or less in the 
48 contiguous United States after December 31, 2015, unless they comply 
with Stage 3 noise levels. This part of the Act completes the 
elimination of Stage 2 jet airplane noise that was begun in 1990 with 
the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA), which phased out 
civil jet airplanes weighing over 75,000 pounds from operating at Stage 
2 noise levels, by the end of 1999. As Congress mandated this phase-
out, the benefits of the phase-out are presumed to exceed the costs.
    The Act affects 457 registered owners of 599 \1\ airplanes that 
range between 25 to 50 years in age. Four hundred and three of the 
registered owners (88 percent) have only one airplane affected by the 
ban; 51 of the owners have 2 to 10 affected airplanes; and three owners 
(all nonscheduled airlines) have a combined total of 51 airplanes 
affected by the ban.
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    \1\ OAG Aviation Solutions Fleet Database as of November 14, 
2012, was used to identify the individual airplanes affected by the 
ban.

   Operator Categories for Civil Stage 2 Jet Airplanes Weighing 75,000
                             Pounds or Less
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Number of       Number of
            Operator category                 owners         airplanes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corporation (Non-Airline)...............             349             413
Nonscheduled Airline....................              55             128
Leasing Company/Broker/Parts Dealer/Etc.              31              35
Private Individual......................              16              17
Financial Institution...................               6               6
                                         -------------------------------
    Grand Total.........................             457             599
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some models of the banned airplanes can be upgraded to Stage 3 
noise levels with the installation of a hushkit. A hushkit is a device 
used for reducing engine noise. Of the 17 models of airplanes affected 
by this ban, hushkits had previously been available for six models: the 
Dassault Falcon 20; the Learjet 23, 24, and 25; and the Gulfstream II 
and III. An unknown number of these airplanes may have already 
installed a hushkit.
    Currently, the only hushkits available for Stage 2 civil jet 
airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or less are for the Gulfstream II and 
Gulfstream III. There are two companies that perform the Gulfstream 
engine modifications required to meet Stage 3 noise levels, and each 
has provided cost estimates to the FAA for this service. The estimates 
range from $0.85 million to $1.50 million. There are 217 Gulfstream IIs 
and IIIs that can potentially be hushkitted; however, the cost of the 
hushkkit for the Gulfstream II exceeds the recorded value of the 
airplanes.
    The hushkit for the Falcon 20 is no longer manufactured and the 
Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Learjet engine modification 
was returned to the FAA. There is no indication that hushkits will be 
manufactured for these airplanes. Thus, of the 599 airplanes affected 
by the ban, 382 cannot be made Stage 3 compliant.
    Owners of civil Stage 2 airplanes that cannot be made Stage 3 
compliant will have three alternatives for complying with the mandate: 
(1) Sell the airplanes for operation outside of the 48 contiguous 
United States, (2) salvage the airplanes for parts, or (3) scrap the 
airplanes. The actions of the owners will result in an indeterminate 
mix of these choices. The FAA uses the retail price of the aircraft as 
a proxy for its economic value. The true economic cost of the mandate 
is the pre-law retail price minus the post-law retail price. For the 
reasons discussed below, the best estimate of the economic cost is the 
value of the fleet before the mandate minus a couple of special 
considerations.
    The following table provides an estimate of the monetary impact to 
owners based on the action they may choose to comply with the ban. The 
table includes the pre-law retail price of selling, scrapping, or 
hushkitting an airplane by equipment type. Information on airplane 
salvage value is not available to be included, and with the engines 
being the most valuable part of these airplanes, the engine value is 
expected to equal the airplane's scrap value.

                         Pre-Law Airplane Retail Value and Cost of Hushkit Installation
                                                 [Per airplane]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Average retail value*                          Average
                                                 --------------------------------  Average scrap      hushkit
            Equipment              Number of A/C                                     value **      installation
                                                        Low            High                          cost ***
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dassault Falcon 20C/CF/D/DF/DC/               69        $200,000        $850,000          $2,118             N/A
 ECM/E/F........................
Gulfstream II (G-1159/B/TT/SP)..             109         250,000       1,050,000           8,075       1,162,500
Gulfstream III (G-1159A)........             108       1,000,000       2,200,000           8,075       1,162,500
Hawker Siddeley HS.125-1/2/3....               8         167,000         200,000           2,440             N/A

[[Page 39579]]

 
Hawker Siddeley HS.125-400......               7         167,000         200,000           2,440             N/A
Hawker Siddeley HS.125-600......              12         400,000         400,000           2,440             N/A
IA1123..........................               1         400,000         400,000           2,261             N/A
Learjet 23......................               3         100,000         100,000           1,355             N/A
Learjet 24......................              78         100,000         280,000           1,355             N/A
Learjet 25......................             143         150,000         600,000           1,355             N/A
Learjet 28......................               4         400,000         400,000           1,355             N/A
Lockheed L-1329 Jetstar II......              13         550,000         800,000           4,845             N/A
Rockwell 1121 Jet Commander.....               3         235,000         235,000           2,128             N/A
Rockwell Sabre 40...............              15         235,000         290,000           2,518             N/A
Rockwell Sabre 50...............               1         235,000         235,000           2,299             N/A
Rockwell Sabre 60...............              24         235,000         330,000           2,299             N/A
Rockwell UTX/T-39 Sabreliner....               1         235,000         235,000           1,759             N/A
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................             599        $100,000      $2,200,000          $4,797  ..............
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Airplane Bluebook Price Digest, Winter 2011. The Airplane Bluebook Price Digest contains the average retail
  value, by year, model, and serial number for each airplane affected by the ban. The range in value is
  primarily due to age (i.e., the older an airplane the lower its retail value versus a newer model of the same
  airplane). Note that this reflects the pre-law airplane value. The post-law values have yet to be determined
  but they are expected to be lower than the values shown in the table.
**Average scrap value is based on information provided by two companies that perform this work. It does not
  include incidental expenses associated with delivery of the airplane to a scrap yard.
***Average hushkit installation cost is based on four estimates provided by two companies that perform this
  work.

    The value of these airplanes before this mandate equals their 
retail value at that time. To determine the pre-law retail value, the 
Airplane Blue Book Price Digest \2\ was used. The ``Digest'' provides 
average retail values for airplanes by model, year, and serial number. 
It is only a guide since the actual condition and upgrades to 
individual airplanes are not known. For the small minority of airplanes 
affected by the ban but not listed in the ``Digest,'' a proxy is used 
based on an airplane of similar type and year. The average pre-law 
retail value equals the sum of the listed retail value for each of the 
599 airplanes. This summation equals $355.5 million ($271.2 million in 
the year 2016 using 7 percent present value), which is the maximum 
economic cost for the mandate.
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    \2\ Winter 2011 Edition.
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    To comply with the mandate and to mitigate economic losses, owners 
will most likely attempt to sell their Stage 2 airplanes to operators 
outside of the United States. However, such an action will create a 
glut in the marketplace. Furthermore, with the Stage 2 ban in effect in 
the lower 48 states, this further reduction in operating space reduces 
these airplanes' value to potential buyers.
A Limited World-Wide Market
    Many countries have already preceded the U.S. in either banning or 
legislating limited operations of these airplanes. At least eight 
countries already ban Stage 2 operations by airplanes of any size. 
These countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Japan, 
Macau, Singapore, and Switzerland.\3\ The inability to operate the 
Stage 2 airplanes across all borders will reduce their desirability for 
ownership.
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    \3\ Additionally, other countries have noise restrictions in 
place or legislation enacted to limit their operation. http://www.qtaerospace.com/noise_report.htm
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    Excluding the United States, there are 50 countries that have a 
total of 392 registered airplanes like those banned in the United 
States. Almost 50 percent of these jets are registered in Mexico. The 
U.S. ban on Stage 2 operations reduces the value of these airplanes in 
Mexico as a large potential destination for operators is lost. The 
limited world-wide market hinders an owner's ability to sell a banned 
airplane at the pre-law retail value.

   Foreign Countries With Registered Stage 2 Airplanes Weighing 75,000
                             Pounds or Less
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Number of
           Rank                  Country         airplanes     % Share*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1........................  Mexico.............          182         46.4
2........................  Republic of South             25          6.4
                            Africa.
3........................  Venezuela..........           24          6.1
4........................  Iran...............           17          4.3
5........................  United Kingdom.....           16          4.1
6........................  Brazil.............           14          3.6
7........................  France.............           13          3.3
8........................  Argentina..........           12          3.1
9........................  Republic of Congo..            7          1.8
10.......................  Saudi Arabia.......            7          1.8
11.......................  Dominican Republic.            6          1.5
12.......................  Spain..............            5          1.3
13.......................  Bolivia............            4          1.0

[[Page 39580]]

 
14.......................  Canada.............            4          1.0
15.......................  Ecuador............            4          1.0
16.......................  India..............            4          1.0
17.......................  Libya..............            3          0.8
18.......................  Pakistan...........            3          0.8
19.......................  Cameroon...........            2          0.5
20.......................  Egypt..............            2          0.5
21.......................  Israel.............            2          0.5
22.......................  Malaysia...........            2          0.5
23.......................  Morocco............            2          0.5
24.......................  Nigeria............            2          0.5
25.......................  Sudan..............            2          0.5
26.......................  Syria..............            2          0.5
27.......................  Turkey.............            2          0.5
28.......................  Ukraine............            2          0.5
29.......................  Angola.............            1          0.3
30.......................  Bahrain............            1          0.3
31.......................  Chad...............            1          0.3
32.......................  Chile..............            1          0.3
33.......................  Comoros Islands....            1          0.3
34.......................  Eritrea............            1          0.3
35.......................  Gabon..............            1          0.3
36.......................  Ghana..............            1          0.3
37.......................  Guatemala..........            1          0.3
38.......................  Indonesia..........            1          0.3
39.......................  Italy..............            1          0.3
40.......................  Ivory Coast........            1          0.3
41.......................  Japan..............            1          0.3
42.......................  Philippines........            1          0.3
43.......................  Portugal...........            1          0.3
44.......................  Russia.............            1          0.3
45.......................  Senegal............            1          0.3
46.......................  Sweden.............            1          0.3
47.......................  Togo...............            1          0.3
48.......................  United Arab                    1          0.3
                            Emirates.
49.......................  Uruguay............            1          0.3
50.......................  Zimbabwe...........            1          0.3
                                               -------------------------
                            Total.............          392       100.0%
                            United States.....          599  ...........
                                               -------------------------
                            Grand Total.......  ...........          991
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Totals in table may exactly add due to rounding.

``Scrappage'' of Banned Airplanes
    A lack of demand for the banned airplanes will leave most owners 
with no choice other than to sell the airplanes for their scrap value. 
The salvage value is likely to equal the scrap value. The single most 
valuable part on the airplane is the engines which after the ban have 
essentially no value. Secondarily, the round-dial instrumentation used 
in the affected fleet is largely obsolete with a small used market.
Hushkits
    Other than their sale and scrappage, the remaining option is to 
hushkit the Gulfstreams. In November 2012, there were 217 Gulfstream II 
and III airplanes registered in the United States. At that time, these 
airplanes had a pre-law retail value ranging from $250,000 to $2.2 
million. Gulfstream owners will have to weigh the cost of hushkitting 
against not having use of the airplane.
    The cost to hushkit a Gulfstream II or III will average between 
$0.85 to $1.5 million, per airplane. This cost exceeds the pre-law 
retail value for most Gulfstream II's. The measure of economic loss for 
the Gulfstream II equals its pre-mandate value (assuming very few have 
been sold since that date). However, for a majority of the Gulfstream 
III's, the cost to hushkit is less than its pre-law retail value. If 
all Gulfstream III owners hushkit their airplanes the economic loss is 
the cost of the hushkit which equals $125.6 million.
    For the owners of the remaining 491 airplanes, the economic cost is 
$204.3 million. This cost equals their pre-mandate resale value 
excluding some minor salvage value. Additionally some of these 
airplanes may have been sold to foreign buyers. The total economic loss 
equals the Gulfstream III hushkit loss of $125.6 million plus the 
$204.3 million equaling $329.9 million, or in present value $251.7 
million using 7 percent.

[[Page 39581]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Costs by action and number of aircraft
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                   Present value
                                                                                                   in 2016 at 7%
                             Action                                  Number of      Millions of   discount rate--
                                                                     aircraft          2012$        millions of
                                                                                                       2012$
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hushkit.........................................................             108         $ 125.6          $ 95.8
Scrapped/Sold Aircraft..........................................             491           204.3           155.9
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................             599           329.9           251.7
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since Congress has mandated the prohibition on the operation of 
certain airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or less that do not comply 
with Stage 3 noise levels, Congress has determined that the benefits 
exceed the costs. The FAA has determined that this final rule is a 
significant regulatory action as defined in section 3(f) of Executive 
Order 12866, and is 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.
Estimated Number of Small Firms Potentially Impacted
    The Act requires that (except as otherwise noted) after December 
31, 2015, civil subsonic jet airplanes with a maximum weight of 75,000 
pounds or less and for which an airworthiness certificate (other than 
an experimental certificate) has been issued, shall not be operated to 
or from an airport in the United States unless the Secretary of 
Transportation finds that the airplane complies with Stage 3 noise 
levels. The purpose of this statutory provision is to reduce noise 
levels at airports and the communities surrounding them across the 
United States.
    Under the RFA, the FAA must determine whether a proposed rule 
significantly affects a substantial number of small entities. This 
determination is typically based on small entity size and revenue 
thresholds that vary depending on the affected industry.\4\ To 
determine the number of small entities affected by the mandate, we 
searched a commercially available airplane fleet database.\5\ The 
search results identified five operator categories consisting of 457 
entities that own 599 airplanes. The entities consist of privately held 
corporations, financial institutions, leasing companies, non-scheduled 
airlines, and private individuals. In most cases, the size of the 
entities cannot be determined because financial and employment data for 
privately held entities is sparse. Nevertheless, the number of small 
business entities is believed to be substantial.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Thresholds are based on the North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS). The NAICS is the standard used by 
Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments 
for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical 
data related to the U.S. business economy.
    \5\ OAG Aviation Solutions Fleet Database as of November 14, 
2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of the 599 affected airplanes, over half (382 airplanes) cannot be 
converted to Stage 3 noise levels because there are no modifications 
currently available. Owners of airplanes that are unable to modify 
their airplanes may choose to (1) Sell their airplanes to an entity 
whose operations are not constrained by noise restrictions, (2) salvage 
the airplanes for parts, or (3) sell the airplanes for scrap value. For 
the remaining 217 airplanes that are able to be converted to Stage 3 
noise levels, owners will have to determine if the benefit of operating 
the airplanes outweighs the cost of making the airplanes Stage 3 noise 
compliant and the higher operating costs are worth the expense.
    As the effective date of the prohibition approaches (January 1, 
2016), the resale value of any remaining airplanes in the U.S. fleet 
will fall dramatically, ultimately to zero. In addition, the value of 
the entire world fleet of these Stage 2 airplanes will be reduced with 
the influx of U.S. airplanes available for sale and the prohibition of 
foreign Stage 2 airplanes from operating in the U.S. Complying with the 
congressional mandate creates a significant economic impact for owners 
since the compliance cost requires an owner to either forego the use of 
its airplane or to purchase one that meets Stage 3 noise levels. Since 
this rule only places Congress' language of the statutory ban into the 
civil regulations and has no requirements of its own, the requirements 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act do not apply.

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

[[Page 39582]]

and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The 
FAA has assessed the potential effect of this final rule and determined 
that since it implements an action by Congress, the Trade Agreements 
Act provisions do not apply.

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. Although this rule exceeds $143.1 million the year it takes 
effect, it implements the direction of Congress and thus Title II of 
the Act is not applicable.

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 information collection associated with the requirement 
to demonstrate eligibility under the statutory provisions when making a 
request for special flight authorization for otherwise prohibited jet 
airplane operations. That information collection requirement previously 
was approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) 
and was assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0652.

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

    This rule implements Section 506 of the Act by adding jets weighing 
75,000 pounds or less to the applicability of the operating noise 
subpart in Sec.  91.801. This rule incorporates the prohibition on 
operations of small jets not meeting Stage 3 noise levels after 
December 31, 2015. It also incorporates the special operating 
circumstances allowed by law for these smaller jets. The environmental 
impacts of this rule, including the reduction in jet noise in the 
contiguous United States, and the minor impacts of allowing statutorily 
limited operations of Stage 2 jets, are a result of the statutory 
requirements. The FAA has no authority to change any of these statutory 
provisions or their environmental impact.
    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.

IV. 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. 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.

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

    The FAA analyzed this 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. Additional Information

A. Availability of 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.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
    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.

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

    Aircraft, Operating noise limits.

The Amendments

    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 is revised 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, 47534, articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International 
Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11).

[[Page 39583]]


0
2. Amend Sec.  91.801 by adding new paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.801  Applicability: Relation to part 36.

* * * * *
    (e) Sections 91.881 through 91.883 of this subpart prescribe 
operating noise limits and related requirements that apply to any civil 
subsonic jet airplane with a maximum takeoff weight of 75,000 pounds or 
less and for which an airworthiness certificate (other than an 
experimental certificate) has been issued, operating to or from an 
airport in the contiguous United States under this part, part 121, 125, 
129, or 135 of this chapter on and after December 31, 2015.

0
3. Add new Sec.  91.881 to read as follows:


Sec.  91.881  Final compliance: Civil subsonic jet airplanes weighing 
75,000 pounds or less.

    Except as provided in Sec.  91.883, after December 31, 2015, a 
person may not operate to or from an airport in the contiguous United 
States a civil subsonic jet airplane subject to Sec.  91.801(e) of this 
subpart unless that airplane has been shown to comply with Stage 3 
noise levels.

0
4. Add new Sec.  91.883 to read as follows:


Sec.  91.883  Special flight authorizations for jet airplanes weighing 
75,000 pounds or less.

    (a) After December 31, 2015, an operator of a jet airplane weighing 
75,000 pounds or less that does not comply with Stage 3 noise levels 
may, when granted a special flight authorization by the FAA, operate 
that airplane in the contiguous United States only for one of the 
following purposes:
    (1) To sell, lease, or use the airplane outside the 48 contiguous 
States;
    (2) To scrap the airplane;
    (3) To obtain modifications to the airplane to meet Stage 3 noise 
levels;
    (4) To perform scheduled heavy maintenance or significant 
modifications on the airplane at a maintenance facility located in the 
contiguous 48 States;
    (5) To deliver the airplane to an operator leasing the airplane 
from the owner or return the airplane to the lessor;
    (6) To prepare, park, or store the airplane in anticipation of any 
of the activities described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5) of this 
section;
    (7) To provide transport of persons and goods in the relief of an 
emergency situation; or
    (8) To divert the airplane to an alternative airport in the 48 
contiguous States on account of weather, mechanical, fuel, air traffic 
control, or other safety reasons while conducting a flight in order to 
perform any of the activities described in paragraphs (a)(1) through 
(a)(7) of this section.
    (b) An operator of an affected airplane may apply for a special 
flight authorization for one of the purposes listed in paragraph (a) of 
this section by filing an application with the FAA's Office of 
Environment and Energy. Except for emergency relief authorizations 
sought under paragraph (a)(7) of this section, applications must be 
filed at least 30 days in advance of the planned flight. All 
applications must provide the information necessary for the FAA to 
determine that the planned flight is within the limits prescribed in 
the law.

    Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f) and 47534 in 
Washington, DC, on June 18, 2013.
Michael P. Huerta,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-15843 Filed 7-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P