[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 55 (Friday, March 21, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 15679-15680]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06199]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 91

[Docket No. FAA-2011-0246; Amendment No. 91-321A; SFAR No. 112]
RIN 2120-AJ93


Prohibition Against Certain Flights Within the Tripoli Flight 
Information Region (FIR); Extension of Expiration Date

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; extension of expiration date.

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SUMMARY: This action extends the prohibition of flight operations 
within the Tripoli Flight Information Region (FIR) by all U.S. air 
carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges 
of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons 
are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and 
operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except operators of such 
aircraft that are foreign air carriers. The extension of the expiration 
date is necessary to prevent a potential hazard to persons and aircraft 
engaged in such flight operations while the FAA evaluates whether any 
amendments to the regulation would be appropriate, given current 
conditions in Libya.

DATES: In this action, amendment 2 to Sec.  91.1603 is effective March 
21, 2014. Amendment 3 to Sec.  91.1603 is effective March 20, 2015.
    SFAR 112 (14 CFR 91.1603), published at 76 FR 16236 (March 23, 
2011) and scheduled to expire on March 21, 2014, will remain in effect. 
The expiration date is extended until March 20, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments identified by docket number FAA-2011-
0246 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

[[Page 15680]]

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: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments 
from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts 
these comments, without edit, including any personal information the 
commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system 
of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.
    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at 
http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions 
for accessing the docket or go to 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 about this 
final rule, contact: William Gonzalez, Air Transportation Division, 
Flight Standards Service, AFS-220, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591. Telephone: 202-267-4080. 
For legal questions contact: Robert Frenzel, Office of the Chief 
Counsel, AGC-200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-7638.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    As a result of safety and national security concerns regarding 
flight operations in the Tripoli FIR (HLLL), the FAA issued section 
91.1603 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Special Federal 
Aviation Regulation 112 (SFAR No. 112), in March 2011. SFAR No. 112 
prohibits all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons 
exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, 
except when such persons are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a 
foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, 
except operators of such aircraft that are foreign air carriers, from 
conducting flight operations in the Tripoli FIR, except as provided in 
paragraphs (c) and (d) of that SFAR. When SFAR No. 112 was issued, an 
armed conflict was ongoing in Libya and presented a potential hazard to 
civil aviation. The FAA was concerned that runways at Libya's 
international airports, including the main international airports 
serving Benghazi (HLLB) and Tripoli (HLLT), might be damaged or 
degraded. There was also concern that air navigation services in the 
Tripoli FIR might be unavailable or degraded. In addition, the 
proliferation of air defense weapons, including Man-Portable Air-
Defense Systems (MANPADS), and the presence of military operations, 
including Libyan aerial bombardments and unplanned military flights 
entering and departing the Tripoli FIR, posed a potential hazard to 
U.S. operators, U.S.-registered aircraft, and FAA-certificated airmen 
that might operate within the Tripoli FIR. Additionally, the UN 
Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 on March 18, 2011, which 
mandated a ban on all flights in the airspace of Libya, with certain 
exceptions.
    Although the Gadhafi regime has been overthrown and the UN-mandated 
ban on flights in Libyan airspace has been lifted, significant security 
concerns remain for Libya and for the safety of U.S. civil aviation 
operations in that country. On December 12, 2013, the Department of 
State issued a Travel Warning strongly advising against all non-
essential travel to Libya. The security situation in country remains 
unstable and various groups have called for attacks against U.S. 
citizens and U.S. interests in Libya. As a consequence of the 
unpredictable security environment, a potential hazard to U.S.-
registered aircraft, U.S. operators, and FAA-certified airmen still 
exists. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private 
individuals and groups, among them anti-aircraft weapons that may be 
used against civil aviation, to include MANPADS. The Travel Warning 
also warns that closures or threats of closures of the international 
airports occur regularly for maintenance, labor, or security-related 
reasons. For these reasons, the FAA finds it necessary to extend the 
expiration date of SFAR No. 112 for an additional one year.
    Because the circumstances described herein warrant immediate action 
by the FAA, I find that notice and public comment under 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. 
Further, I find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making 
this rule effective immediately upon issuance. I also find that this 
action is fully consistent with the obligations under 49 U.S.C. 40105 
to ensure that I exercise my duties consistently with the obligations 
of the United States under international agreements.
    If appropriate, the FAA may amend, supersede or rescind SFAR No. 
112 prior to its new expiration date. Whether further extension of this 
SFAR will be necessary will depend upon conditions in Libya in March 
2015, which the FAA is unable to predict at this time.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91

    Air traffic control, Aircraft, Airmen, Airports, Aviation safety, 
Freight, Libya.

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 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 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).

0
2. Effective March 21, 2014, amend Sec.  91.1603 by revising paragraph 
(e) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.1603  Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 112--Prohibition 
Against Certain Flights Within the Tripoli (HLLL) Flight Information 
Region (FIR).

* * * * *
    (e) Expiration. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation will 
expire March 20, 2015. The FAA may amend, rescind, or extend this 
Special Federal Aviation Regulation as necessary.


Sec.  91.1603  [Amended]

0
3. Effective March 20, 2015, amend Sec.  91.1603 by removing paragraph 
(e)

     Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a), 
and 44703 in Washington, DC, on March 14, 2014.
Michael P. Huerta,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-06199 Filed 3-20-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P