[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 128 (Wednesday, July 3, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 39968-39971]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16011]



[[Page 39968]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 91, 121 and 125

[Docket No.: FAA-2013-0579; Amendment Nos. 91-329, 121-364 and 125-62]
RIN 2120-AK27


Flight Data Recorder Airplane Parameter Specification Omissions 
and Corrections

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This action amends the operating regulations for flight data 
recorders by correcting errors in recording rates in three different 
appendices. These errors create requirements that could not be met by 
certain airplanes without extensive modification, which was not 
intended when the requirements were adopted. The corrected recording 
rates are as intended when the applicable flight data recorder 
parameter requirements were adopted, but which have been omitted from 
the current publication of the regulatory text.

DATES: Effective September 3, 2013.
    Submit comments on or before August 2, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2013-0579 
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 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 Chris Parfitt, Flight Standards Service, Aircraft 
Maintenance Division--Avionics Maintenance Branch, AFS-360, Federal 
Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20591; telephone (202) 385-6398; email chris.parfitt@faa.gov.
    For legal questions concerning this rule contact Karen Petronis, 
International Law, Legislation and Regulations Division (AGC-200), 
Office of the Chief Counsel, 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 
U.S.C.) 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.
    This rule corrects errors in the recording rates for two flight 
data recorder parameters. The errors appear in three appendices to the 
flight recorder requirements. The correct standards were adopted during 
full notice and comment rulemakings. The nature of the errors is 
explained in the preamble below. None of the errors changes a standard, 
nor will there be any effect on regulated entities other than to 
prevent future misunderstandings that would have been resolved when 
interested persons contact the FAA.
    Accordingly, the FAA finds that further notice and comment are 
unnecessary.

Comments Invited

    For the reasons noted above, the FAA is adopting this final rule 
without prior notice and public comment. The Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 1134; 
February 26, 1979), provide that, to the maximum extent possible, 
operating administrations for the DOT should provide an opportunity for 
public comment on regulations issued without prior notice.
    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 changes. The 
most helpful comments reference a specific portion of this rule, 
explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting 
data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, please 
send only one copy of written comments, or, if you are filing comments 
electronically, please submit your comments only one time.
    The FAA will file in the docket all comments we receive, as well as 
a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel 
concerning this rulemaking. Once the comment period closes, the FAA 
will review and dispose of the comments filed in the rulemaking docket. 
Because this is a final rule, the FAA will publish a disposition of 
comments in the Federal Register. Based on the comments received, the 
FAA will state whether it has decided that (i) no action is necessary 
other than publishing the disposition of comments in the Federal 
Register, or (ii) the FAA should prepare a revised final rule.

Proprietary or Confidential Business Information

    Do not file in the docket information that you consider to be 
proprietary or confidential business information. Send or deliver this 
information directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. Mark the information that 
is considered proprietary or confidential. If the information is on a 
disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM and also 
identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific 
information that is proprietary or confidential.
    Under Sec.  11.35(b), when the FAA is aware of proprietary 
information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the 
docket. The FAA holds it in a separate file to which the public

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does not have access, and the agency places a note in the docket that 
it has received it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy 
this information, the FAA treats it as any other request under the 
Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552. The FAA processes such a 
request under the DOT procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

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 44701. Under that section, 
the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations providing minimum 
standards for other practices, methods and procedures necessary for 
safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that 
authority since flight data recorders are the only means available to 
account for airplane movement and flight crew actions critical to 
finding the probable cause of incidents or accidents, including data 
that could prevent future incidents or accidents.

I. Discussion of Final Rule

    This final rule amends three appendices in 14 CFR related to flight 
data recorder (FDR) requirements.
    First, Appendix E to part 91 is amended to correct what appears to 
be a typographical error introduced when the rule was published. 
Currently, for the altitude parameter, the sampling rate per second is 
listed as 11. The correct rate has always been 1 sample per second. A 
review of the original typewritten document that was submitted for 
publication suggests that a stray mark caused the number to be 
translated as 11. The sample rate of 1 per second was in the proposed 
rule (53 FR 4314; February 12, 1988) and the final rule (54 FR 34284; 
August 18, 1989). Since a sample rate of 11 is unknown in the industry 
and compliance would require a major airplane equipment modification, 
affected operators have understood that this was a typographical error, 
and complied with the 1 sample per second rate. Despite the age of the 
error, this correction does not comprise the adoption of a different 
standard that will affect airplanes operating under these regulations 
since any initial misunderstandings have been clarified when the agency 
was contacted.
    The second and third corrections concern identical standards in 
Appendix M to part 121 and Appendix E to part 125. In each Appendix, 
footnote 5 was added following a petition for rulemaking from Airbus 
Industries and subsequent rulemaking to adopt the changes (64 FR 46117; 
August 24, 1999), as evidenced by the discussion in the preamble to 
that rule. However, the current regulation lists only the adjustment 
for the resolution, and not the sampling interval. This action puts the 
sampling interval of once per second back in to the footnote for the 
affected airplanes. Since the airplane can be operated under parts 121 
or 125 using the identical standard, the appendices for each are being 
corrected.
    None of these changes will require action by airplane owners, 
operators or manufacturers as the affected airplanes already comply 
with the requirements of the originally adopted rules and the 
corrections adopted here. Since these requirements were intended in the 
original rules, there is no new impact on safety. The correction of 
these errors and omissions will prevent future confusion and require 
less contact between the FAA and regulated entities who must comply 
with the regulations.

II. Summary of the Costs and Benefits of the Final Rule

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 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 
(Public Law 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 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 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 final rule. The reasoning 
for this determination follows:

    This rule has minimal cost because none of the changes outlined 
above will require action by airplane owners, operators or 
manufacturers as the affected airplanes already comply with the 
requirements of the originally adopted rules and the corrections 
adopted here. Furthermore, since these requirements were intended in 
the original rules, there is no new impact on safety.

    The FAA has, therefore, determined that this final 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.

III. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

A. 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

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include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, 
and the reasoning should be clear.
    This rule will have minimal cost because none of the changes 
outlined above will require action by airplane owners, operators or 
manufacturers as the affected airplanes already comply with the 
requirements of the originally adopted rules and the corrections 
adopted here. Furthermore, since these requirements were intended in 
the original rules, there is no new impact on safety.
    Therefore, as the FAA Administrator, I certify that this rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

B. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Public Law 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 final rule and determined that 
none of the rule changes will require action by airplane owners, 
operators or manufacturers as the affected airplanes already comply 
with the requirements of the originally adopted rules and the 
corrections adopted here. Therefore this final rule will have no effect 
on international trade.

C. 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 final 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 final rule.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    (1) 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.
    (2) 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 Chapter 3, paragraph 312f and involves no 
extraordinary circumstances.

IV. Executive Order Determinations

A. 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.

B. 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. How To Obtain Additional Information

A. 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.

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

14 CFR Part 91

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 121

    Air carriers, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety, Transportation.

14 CFR Part 125

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

[[Page 39971]]

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. In Appendix E to part 91, revise the entry for Altitude under the 
column heading ``Parameters'' to read as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Installed system
                                                           \1\ minimum          Sampling     Resolution \4\ read
           Parameters                    Range             accuracy (to      interval (per           out
                                                         recovered data)        second)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Altitude........................  -1,000 ft. to max    100 to                1   25 to 150 ft.
                                   cert. alt. of A/C.   700
                                                        ft. (see Table 1,
                                                        TSO C51-a).
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 121--OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL 
OPERATIONS

0
3. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 40119, 41706, 44101, 44701-
44702, 44705, 44709-44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722, 46105.


0
4. In Appendix M to part 121, revise footnote 5 to parameter 14a, Yaw 
control position(s) (fly-by-wire), to read as follows:

Appendix M to Part 121

* * * * *
    \5\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 1.18% 
(0.703[deg] > 0.120[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, seconds per sampling interval = 
1.
* * * * *

PART 125--CERTIFICATION AND OPERATIONS: AIRPLANES HAVING A SEATING 
CAPACITY OF 20 OR MORE PASSENGERS OR A MAXIMUM PAYLOAD COPACITY OF 
6,000 POUNDS OR MORE; AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH 
AIRCRAFT

0
5. The authority citation for part 125 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702, 44705, 44710-
44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722.


0
6. In Appendix E to part 125, revise footnote 5 to parameter 14a, Yaw 
control position(s) (fly-by-wire), to read as follows:

Appendix E to Part 125

* * * * *
    \5\ For A330/A340 series airplanes, resolution = 1.18% 
(0.703[deg] > 0.120[deg]).
    For A330/A340 series airplanes, seconds per sampling interval = 
1.
* * * * *

    Issued under authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f) and 44701(a) in 
Washington, DC, on June 21, 2013.
Michael P. Huerta,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-16011 Filed 7-2-13; 8:45 am]
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