[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 42 (Tuesday, March 4, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12040-12045]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04479]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 36

[Docket No.: FAA-2012-0948; Amdt. No. 36-29]
RIN 2120-AJ96


Stage 3 Helicopter Noise Certification Standards

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rulemaking adopts more stringent noise certification 
standards for helicopters that are certificated in the United States 
(U.S.). This rule applies to applications for a new helicopter type 
design. It also allows applicants to upgrade Stage 1 and Stage 2 
helicopters to Stage 3 when applying for a supplemental type 
certificate. A helicopter type certificated under this standard is 
designated as a Stage 3 helicopter. This rule adopts the same noise 
certification standards for helicopters that exist in the standards of 
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These more 
stringent noise certification standards adopted into U.S. regulations 
will reduce noise exposure from helicopters certificated in the United 
Stated and are consistent with the FAA's goal of harmonizing U.S. 
regulations with international standards.

DATES: Effective May 5, 2014.

ADDRESSES: For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking 
documents and other information related to this final rule, see ``How 
To Obtain Additional Information'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section of this document.

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.
    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Karen Petronis, 
AGC-210, 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: 

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 
regulation is within the scope of that authority since it establishes 
new noise certification standards for helicopters that are applicable 
to new type designs.

Overview of Final Rule

    This final rule adopts noise standards for helicopters that are to 
be type certificated in the United States. The standards apply to 
applications for a new type certificate, and subsequent changes to a 
type certificate for which application is made after the effective date 
of this rule. These regulations incorporate the same noise 
certification standards for helicopters that exist in Annex 16, Volume 
1, Chapter 8 and Chapter 11 (Amendment 7) in the standards of 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This action is 
consistent with the FAA goals of reducing exposure to helicopter noise 
and of harmonizing U.S. regulations with international standards.

Background

ICAO Noise Certification Standards

    The ICAO is the international body with the responsibility for the 
development of international standards under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention). Consistent with 
their obligations under the Chicago Convention, Contracting States 
(including the United States) agree to implement ICAO standards in 
their national regulations to the extent practicable. The standards for 
aircraft noise are contained in ICAO Annex 16, Environmental 
Protection, Volume 1, Aircraft Noise.
    In 1997, ICAO's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection 
(CAEP) chartered the Rotorcraft Task Group (RTG) to study potential 
increases in the stringency of noise certification standards for 
helicopters. The FAA participated in the RTG from 1997 to 2000. By the 
fifth session of CAEP in 2001, more stringent noise standards for 
helicopters had been

[[Page 12041]]

defined. These standards lowered noise limits for new helicopter types 
while using the same helicopter noise certification test procedures 
that the United States had incorporated into Title 14 of the Code of 
the Federal Regulations (CFR) part 36, Appendices H and J.
    On June 29, 2001, CAEP's proposed noise stringency increases were 
adopted by the ICAO Council for incorporation into Annex 16, Volume 1, 
Chapters 8 and 11 (Amendment 7). The ICAO guidelines became effective 
on October 29, 2001, with an applicability date of March 21, 2002.

Statement of the Problem

    Although ICAO adopted increased noise stringency standards for 
helicopters in 2002, the United States did not adopt these standards 
into part 36. Since that time, there has been heightened public 
awareness of helicopter noise in the United States, and the FAA has 
determined that the public will benefit from adoption of these more 
stringent standards. The FAA's adoption of these certification 
standards into part 36, including Appendices H and J, will also satisfy 
the goal of harmonizing U.S. regulations with international standards. 
This rulemaking adopts the same noise certification standards for 
helicopters that exist in ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Chapters 8 and 11 
(Amendment 7).

History of U.S. Helicopter Noise Regulations

    In 1973, the FAA published an advanced notice of proposed 
rulemaking (ANPRM) (38 FR 35487, December 28, 1973) requesting comments 
on the development of standards for aircraft with efficient short stage 
length operations. This class of aircraft, referred to as ``short-
haul'', included aircraft with short, reduced, vertical, or near 
vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, and included helicopters. At 
the time of the ANPRM, U.S. noise regulations in part 36 did not 
include any noise certification regulations applicable to short-haul 
aircraft.
    The ANPRM invited public participation to aid in the identification 
and development of standards for this separate class of short-haul 
aircraft for relief and protection to the public health and welfare 
from all aircraft noise. Following receipt of comments, the FAA issued 
a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (44 FR 42410, July 9, 1979) that 
focused on helicopter noise certification standards and limits on 
further production of older, noisier helicopter types. Comments to the 
NPRM indicated that there was no noise abatement technology available 
at the time that could meet the noise levels proposed in the NPRM. The 
FAA withdrew the NPRM in 1981 (Notice No. 79-13, 46 FR 61486, December 
17, 1981).
    In 1982, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 
the FAA, and American helicopter manufacturers set up an accelerated 
joint research program to develop helicopter noise abatement 
technology. This cooperative, $20-million, multi-year program was 
established to reduce helicopter external noise, and develop noise 
prediction tools that could significantly lower the costs of applying 
the technology. The FAA also continued to study the issues of noise 
certification of helicopters in collaboration with ICAO's noise working 
group. On March 6, 1986, the FAA issued an NPRM (Notice No. 86-3, 51 FR 
7878) that proposed helicopter certification standards that were more 
consistent with then-current technology, and testing procedures similar 
to those adopted in ICAO Annex 16.
    On February 5, 1988, the FAA adopted the first U.S. helicopter 
noise certification regulations as an amendment to part 36. These 
regulations set limits on noise emissions for new helicopter type 
designs. Helicopters that did not meet the newly established limits or 
had never been noise tested were designated as Stage 1. Stage 2 
helicopters were those that met the new certification standards as 
defined by the noise limits and test procedures. The new certification 
standards applied to the issuance of original and amended type 
certificates for helicopters. In addition, the regulations prohibited 
changes in the type design of helicopters that might increase their 
noise levels beyond certain limits. These regulations were 
substantially similar to the standards adopted in ICAO Annex 16, but 
included additional test conditions for engine thrust or power.
    This rulemaking adopts more stringent noise levels consistent with 
the most recent international noise standards for helicopters and 
designates compliant designs as Stage 3. These standards apply to all 
applications for a new helicopter type design submitted on and after 
the effective date of the final rule. This rule is consistent with the 
effort of the fifth session of CAEP (2001) and its approval of the ICAO 
standards for helicopter noise in Annex 16, Chapters 8 and 11.

Summary of the NPRM

    The FAA published an NPRM on September 18, 2012 (77 FR 57524) that 
proposed changes to part 36 that would establish more stringent noise 
limits for helicopters to be type certificated in the United States. 
The lowered helicopter noise limits are identical to the standards 
adopted in ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Chapter 8 and Chapter 11 (Amendment 
7), and harmonize the U.S. regulations with those international 
standards. For helicopters certificated under Appendix H to part 36, 
the reduction in the noise limits are - 4 EPNdB for flyover, - 3 EPNdB 
for takeoff and - 1 EPNdB for approach conditions. For helicopters 
certificated under Appendix J to part 36, the reduction in the noise 
limit is - 2.5 dB SEL for flyover condition, with the constant lower 
limit, 82 dB SEL, extending to 3,125 pounds maximum takeoff weight.

Discussion of Public Comments

    The comment period for the NPRM closed on November 19, 2012. Four 
commenters submitted comments to the docket: Bell Helicopter Textron 
Company (Bell), Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky), the 
Helicopter Association International (HAI), and an individual.
    Bell and Sikorsky noted an inconsistency between the proposed rule 
and Annex 16 standards that would result in different noise 
calculations.
    Current Sec.  H36.305 uses a value of 3.01 dB and Sec.  J36.305 
uses a value of 3.0 dB to compute noise limits. The FAA proposed a 
calculation value of 3.01 dB for both. That value was derived from the 
noise limit equations in the FAA's 2001 Advisory Circular 36-1H. In 
2004, the FAA intended to change the value to 3.0 dB in both Appendices 
H and J, but only Appendix J was changed in a final rule harmonizing 
the noise certification regulations for helicopters (69 FR 31226, June 
2, 2004).
    Bell and Sikorsky each identified this inconsistency in the NPRM 
for calculation value used to compute the noise limits. Both commenters 
recommended that the FAA adopt the ICAO harmonized value of 3.0 dB per 
halving of weight (rather than the 3.01 dB per halving of the weight as 
proposed) in order to harmonize part 36 with the ICAO Annex 16 
standard.
    While the goal of harmonization exists, we are unable to change the 
3.01 historical value of Appendix H because it would alter the 
certification basis of several helicopters. Accordingly, this final 
rule adopts the 3.0 dB value for the newly adopted Stage 3 standard in 
both Appendices H and J. The values for Stage 2 remain unchanged. The 
FAA will also update Advisory Circular (AC)

[[Page 12042]]

AC 36-1 to reflect the values adopted in this rule for Stage 3 
certification.
    Bell and Sikorsky also suggested that the FAA rewrite proposed 
Sec.  36.11 for Stage 2 helicopter acoustical change. Each found that 
the proposed language did not clearly convey that the rule contains an 
option for certification applicants to certify to Stage 3 when applying 
for a supplemental type certificate for a Stage 1 or Stage 2 
helicopter. Prior to this rule, Stage 2 was the quietest noise 
certification available for new or supplemental type certificates. 
Since new type designs must meet Stage 3 noise levels, this rule 
provides the option to upgrade a helicopter to Stage 3 as part of an 
application for a supplemental type certificate. Such voluntary 
recertification to Stage 3 requires that the helicopter remain Stage 3 
thereafter.
    Bell and Sikorsky suggested that the voluntary option is best 
reflected by using the term ``may'' rather than ``must'' in the rule 
text since the applicant is making the choice. The FAA agrees that the 
language could be clearer, but disagrees with the suggested change. The 
introductory text of Sec.  36.11 has been changed to more clearly 
reflect that applicants have a choice when applying for a supplemental 
type certificate.
    Bell noted that the FAA did not propose an update of the maximum 
normal operating revolutions per minute (RPM) that would include the 
current ICAO terminology regarding reference rotor speed. Bell indicted 
that it should be included.
    The FAA agrees. This change was overlooked in Sec.  36.1(h)(7). 
Since one of the goals of this rulemaking was harmonizing with the ICAO 
standard, the change is within the scope of this rulemaking.
    The HAI supports the proposed rule and states that it is good for 
the long term growth of the industry. No changes were made based on 
this comment.
    An individual commenter expressed frustration regarding the amount 
of noise made by airplanes and helicopters in general. This comment is 
not relevant to this rulemaking and no changes were made based on its 
content.

Changes Adopted in This Final Rule

    This final rule incorporates the following changes from the NPRM:
    The FAA is adopting a noise limit calculation value of 3.0 for 
Stage 3 in Sec.  H36.305 and in Sec.  J36.305.
    The FAA has redrafted the introductory text of Sec.  36.11 to more 
clearly convey that applicants have an option to certificate to a more 
stringent Stage 3 standard.
    The FAA is amending in Sec.  36.1(h)(7) on reference rotor speed by 
adopting the term ``reference flight condition,'' to be consistent with 
ICAO Annex 16 standards.
    The incorporation of these changes more fully harmonizes U.S. 
regulations with the ICAO noise standards for helicopters.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 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 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 (DOT) 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 follows.
    This final rule:
    (1) Imposes no incremental costs and provides benefits;
    (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 monetary 
threshold identified.
    These analyses are summarized below.
    Currently, the United States does not have a noise certification 
standard for Stage 3 helicopters in 14 CFR part 36. Part 36 includes 
only noise certification standards for Stage 1 and Stage 2 helicopters. 
There are more stringent international noise standards for helicopters 
in ICAO Annex 16, Environmental Protection, Volume 1, Aircraft Noise, 
Chapter 8 and Chapter 11 (Amendment 7). This final rule includes 
amendments to the part 36 certification requirements that will require 
more stringent noise limits and allow new helicopter type designs to be 
designated Stage 3. This final rule will allow a helicopter that meets 
the ICAO standards to be classified as a Stage 3 helicopter in the 
United States, and will also apply to new helicopter type 
certifications submitted after the effective date of this final rule.
    This final rule has two major benefits. This final rule will result 
in quieter helicopter operations for those models type certificated 
under these standards. This final rule will also make it easier to sell 
U.S. Stage 3 helicopters outside the United States because the noise 
standards will be the same as those in ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Chapter 
8 and 11 standards.
    Given the complexity and expense in developing new helicopter 
models, the FAA estimates that applications for two new helicopter type 
designs will be submitted in the next 10 year period; this would mirror 
the development of helicopter type designs in the last decade.
    This final rule is not expected to result in additional costs. The 
U.S. testing procedures for helicopter noise certification already 
exist and will not change when certificating a helicopter to Stage 3 
standards. Further, these standards are not retroactive. This final 
rule does not include any requirements to modify existing Stage 1 and 
Stage 2 helicopters. Therefore, there will be no incremental costs for 
certificating a helicopter to Stage 3 standards.

[[Page 12043]]

    Although the FAA cannot quantify the benefits of this final rule, 
this rule will provide for quieter future helicopter models, will be 
consistent with international standards, and will not increase the cost 
of certification or noise testing. Thus the FAA finds that the benefits 
exceed the costs of the final rule.
    In the NPRM, the FAA stated that the expected outcome would be a 
minimal impact with positive net benefits, and a full regulatory 
evaluation was not prepared. The FAA received no comments on that 
minimal cost determination.
    Therefore, the FAA has determined that this final rule has benefits 
which exceed costs and 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.

Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) establishes ``as a 
principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, 
consistent with the objective of the rule and of applicable statutes, 
to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the 
business, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to 
regulation.'' To achieve that principle, the RFA requires agencies to 
solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the 
rationale for their actions. 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 proposed or 
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 a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in 
the Act.
    However, if an agency determines that a proposed or final rule is 
not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities, section 605(b) of the 1980 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.

Helicopter Manufacturers

    Size standards for small entities are published by the Small 
Business Administration (SBA) on its Web site at http://www.sba.gov/size. The size standards used herein are from ``SBA U.S. Small Business 
Administration, Table of Small Business Size Standards, Matched to 
North American Industry Classification System Codes''. Aircraft 
manufacturer size standards are listed in the above table of small 
business size standards under Sector 31-33--Manufacturing; Subsector 
336--Transportation Equipment Manufacturing; NAICS Code 336411--
Aircraft Manufacturing. The small entity size standard is 1,500 
employees.
    American helicopter manufacturers range in size from several 
hundred employees to thousands of employees. Therefore, some American 
helicopter manufacturers are small entities. However, this final rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on any small entity because 
the final rule imposes no incremental costs.
    The FAA received no comments on this RFA determination that was 
part of the proposed rule when it was published.
    If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, 
the head of the agency may so certify under section 605(b) of the RFA. 
Therefore, as provided in section 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies 
that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the 
Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities 
that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not 
considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the 
United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic 
objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a 
manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also 
requires consideration of international standards and, where 
appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards.
    The FAA assessed the potential effect of the proposed rule in the 
NPRM and determined that it would encourage international trade by 
adopting the same standards for Stage 3 helicopters in U.S. regulations 
that have been adopted by the ICAO.
    The FAA received no comments on this determination. Therefore, the 
FAA determines that this final rule will encourage international trade 
by adopting the same noise standards for Stage 3 helicopters.

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) 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 $151.0 million in lieu of 
$100 million.
    This final rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the 
requirements of Title II do not apply.

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.

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. In 2001, ICAO 
adopted stringent helicopter noise standards. This regulation 
harmonizes U.S. noise standards with the international standards by 
adopting the same requirements, adapted for U.S. regulatory format.
    Executive Order (EO) 13609, Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation, (77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012) promotes international 
regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, 
safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and reduce, 
eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory 
requirements. The FAA has analyzed this action under the policy and 
agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, Promoting 
International Regulatory Cooperation. The agency has determined that 
this action would eliminate differences between U.S. aviation standards 
and those of other civil aviation authorities by adopting

[[Page 12044]]

international standards, adapted for U.S. regulatory format.

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 (NEPA) in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. This rule 
adopts the same noise certification standards for helicopters adopted 
by ICAO. This rule promulgates these noise limits to control the 
maximum noise levels of newly certificated helicopters. The FAA finds 
the applicability of these stricter noise standards to be 
environmentally consistent with available technology. The adoption of 
more stringent noise standards requires new type certificated 
helicopters in the U.S. to comply with lower noise levels, thus 
offering increased environmental protection.
    The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the 
categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312f of NEPA and involves 
no extraordinary circumstances.

Executive Order Determinations

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.

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.

How To Obtain Additional Information

Rulemaking Documents

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

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.).

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 36

    Aircraft, Noise control.

The Amendment

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

PART 36 --NOISE STANDARDS: AIRCRAFT TYPE AND AIRWORTHINESS 
CERTIFICATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 36 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 
44701-44702, 44704, 44715; sec. 305, Pub. L. 96-193, 94 Stat. 50, 
57; E.O. 11514, 35 FR 4247, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 902.

0
2. Amend Sec.  36.1 as follows:
0
A. Redesignate paragraph (h)(5) as (h)(7).
0
B. Add new paragraph (h)(5);
0
C. Add new paragraph (h)(6);.
0
D. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (h)(7).
    The additions and revision read as follows:


Sec.  36.1  Applicability and definitions.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (5) A ``Stage 3 noise level'' means a takeoff, flyover, or approach 
noise level at or below the Stage 3 noise limits prescribed in section 
H36.305 of appendix H of this part, or a flyover noise level at or 
below the Stage 3 noise limit prescribed in section J36.305 of appendix 
J of this part.
    (6) A ``Stage 3 helicopter'' means a helicopter that has been shown 
under this part to comply with the Stage 3 noise limits (including 
applicable tradeoffs) prescribed in section H36.305 of appendix H of 
this part, or a helicopter that has been shown under this part to 
comply with the Stage 3 noise limit prescribed in section J36.305 of 
appendix J of this part.
    (7) Maximum normal operating RPM means the highest rotor speed 
corresponding to the airworthiness limit imposed by the manufacturer 
and approved by the FAA. Where a tolerance on the highest rotor speed 
is specified, the maximum normal operating rotor speed is the highest 
rotor speed for which that tolerance is given. If the rotor speed is 
automatically linked with flight condition, the maximum normal 
operating rotor speed corresponding with the reference flight condition 
must be used during the noise certification procedure. If rotor speed 
can be changed by pilot action, the highest normal operating rotor 
speed specified in the flight manual limitation section for reference 
conditions must be used during the noise certification procedure.
* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  36.11 by revising paragraph (c) and adding paragraph (d) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  36.11  Acoustical change: Helicopters.

* * * * *
    (c) Stage 2 helicopters. For each helicopter that is Stage 2 prior 
to a change in type design, after a change in type design the 
helicopter must either:
    (1) Remain a Stage 2 helicopter; or
    (2) Comply with Stage 3 requirements and remain a Stage 3 
helicopter thereafter.
    (d) Stage 3 helicopters. For a helicopter that is a Stage 3 
helicopter prior to a change in type design, the helicopter must remain 
a Stage 3 helicopter after a change in type design.

[[Page 12045]]


0
4. Amend Sec.  36.805 by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  36.805  Noise limits.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) When an application for issuance of a type certificate in the 
primary, normal, transport, or restricted category is made on and after 
March 6, 1986 and before May 5, 2014, that the noise levels of the 
helicopter are no greater than the Stage 2 noise limits prescribed in 
either section H36.305 of appendix H of this part or section J36.305 of 
appendix J of this part, as applicable; or
    (2) When an application for issuance of a type certificate in the 
primary, normal, transport, or restricted category is made on or after 
May 5, 2014, that the noise levels of the helicopter are no greater 
than the Stage 3 noise limits prescribed in either section H36.305 of 
appendix H of this part, or section J36.305 of appendix J of this part, 
as applicable.
* * * * *

0
5. In Appendix H to part 36 in section H36.305:
0
A. Revise paragraph (a) introductory text;
0
B. Add paragraph (a)(3).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:

Appendix H to Part 36--Noise Requirements for Helicopters Under Subpart 
H

* * * * *

Section H36.305 * * *

    (a) Limits. For compliance with this appendix, the applicant 
must show by flight test that the calculated noise levels of the 
helicopter, at the measuring points described in section H36.305(a) 
of this appendix, do not exceed the following, (with appropriate 
interpolation between weights):
* * * * *
    (3) Stage 3 noise limits are as follows:
    (i) For takeoff--For a helicopter having a maximum certificated 
takeoff weight of 176,370 pounds (80,000 kg) or more, the noise 
limit is 106 EPNdB, which decreases linearly with the logarithm of 
the helicopter weight (mass) at a rate of 3.0 EPNdB per halving of 
the weight (mass) down to 86 EPNdB, after which the limit is 
constant.
    (ii) For flyover--For a helicopter having a maximum certificated 
takeoff weight of 176,370 pounds (80,000 kg) or more, the noise 
limit is 104 EPNdB, which decreases linearly with the logarithm of 
the helicopter weight (mass) at a rate of 3.0 EPNdB per halving of 
the weight (mass) down to 84 EPNdB, after which the limit is 
constant.
    (iii) For approach--For a helicopter having a maximum 
certificated takeoff weight of 176,370 pounds (80,000 kg) or more, 
the noise limit is 109 EPNdB, which decreases linearly with the 
logarithm of the helicopter weight (mass) at a rate of 3.0 EPNdB per 
halving of the weight (mass) down to 89 EPNdB, after which the limit 
is constant.
* * * * *

0
6. Amend Appendix J of part 36 by revising section J36.305 paragraph 
(a) to read as follows:

Appendix J to Part 36--Alternative Noise Certification Procedure for 
Helicopters Under Subpart H Having a Maximum Certificated Takeoff 
Weight of Not More Than 7,000 Pounds

* * * * *

Section J36.305 * * *

    (a) For primary, normal, transport, and restricted category 
helicopters having a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more 
than 7,000 pounds that are noise tested under this appendix:
    (1) Stage 2 noise limit is constant at 82 decibels SEL for 
helicopters up to 1,737 pounds (787 kg) maximum certificated takeoff 
weight (mass) and increases linearly with the logarithm of the 
helicopter weight at a rate of 3.0 decibels SEL per the doubling of 
weight thereafter. The limit may be calculated by the equation:

LAE(limit) = 82 + 3.0 [log10(MTOW/1737)/
log10(2)] dB,

where MTOW is the maximum takeoff weight, in pounds, for which 
certification under this appendix is requested.

    (2) Stage 3 noise limit is constant at 82 decibels SEL for 
helicopters up to 3,125 pounds (1,417 kg) maximum certificated 
takeoff weight (mass) and increases linearly with the logarithm of 
the helicopter weight at a rate of 3.0 decibels SEL per the doubling 
of weight thereafter. The limit may be calculated using the 
equation:

LAE(limit) = 82 + 3.0 [log10(MTOW/3125)/log10(2)] dB,

where MTOW is the maximum takeoff weight, in pounds.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 20, 2014.
Michael P. Huerta,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-04479 Filed 3-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P