[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 111 (Tuesday, June 10, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33043-33045]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-13530]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 111 / Tuesday, June 10, 2014 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 33043]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 25

[Docket No. FAA-2014-0365; Notice No. 25-554-SC]


Special Conditions: Embraer S.A., Model EMB-550 Airplane; 
Installation of Rechargeable Lithium Batteries

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final Special Conditions; Request for Comments.

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SUMMARY: These special conditions are issued for the Embraer S.A. Model 
EMB-550 airplanes. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design 
feature associated with the installation of a satellite communication 
system that uses rechargeable lithium battery technology. The 
applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special 
conditions contain the additional safety standards that the 
Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety 
equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES: The effective date of these special conditions is June 10, 2014. 
We must receive your comments by July 10, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2014-0365 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRegulations 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 go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 
of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Slotte, FAA, Airplane and 
Flight Crew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Airplane Directorate, 
Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2315; facsimile 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA has determined that notice of, and 
opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions is 
impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay 
issuance of the design approval and thus delivery of the affected 
aircraft. In addition, the substance of these special conditions has 
been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances 
with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that 
good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon 
publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by 
sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments 
reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.
    We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing 
date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the 
comments we receive.

Background

    On May 14, 2009, Embraer S.A. applied for a type certificate for 
its new Model EMB-550 airplane. The Model EMB-550 airplane is the first 
of a new family of jet airplanes designed for corporate flight, 
fractional, charter, and private owner operations. The airplane has a 
configuration with low wing and T-tail empennage. The primary structure 
is metal with composite empennage and control surfaces. The Model EMB-
550 airplane is designed for eight (8) passengers, with a maximum of 
twelve (12) passengers. It is equipped with two Honeywell AS907-3-1E 
medium bypass ratio turbofan engines mounted on aft fuselage pylons. 
Each engine produces approximately 6,540 pounds of thrust for normal 
takeoff.
    The Model EMB-550 will have a novel or unusual design feature 
associated with a satellite communication system that uses rechargeable 
lithium battery technology. Rechargeable lithium batteries are a novel 
or unusual design feature in transport category airplanes. This type of 
battery has certain failure, operational, and maintenance 
characteristics that differ significantly from those of the nickel-
cadmium and lead-acid rechargeable batteries currently approved for 
installation on transport category airplanes. Because of rapid 
improvements in airplane technology, the applicable airworthiness 
regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for 
this design feature.

Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 
CFR) 21.17, Embraer S.A. must show that the Model EMB-550 meets the 
applicable provisions of part 25 as amended

[[Page 33044]]

through Amendments 25-1 through 25-127 thereto.
    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness 
regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for the Model EMB-550 airplane because of 
a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed 
under the provisions of Sec.  21.16.
    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which 
they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended 
later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar 
novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also 
apply to the other model.
    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special 
conditions, the Model EMB-550 airplane must comply with the fuel vent 
and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise 
certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36, and the FAA must issue a 
finding of regulatory adequacy under Sec.  611 of Public Law 92 574, 
the ``Noise Control Act of 1972.''
    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in 
accordance with Sec.  11.38, and they become part of the type 
certification basis under Sec.  21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Model EMB-550 airplane will incorporate the following novel or 
unusual design feature: A satellite communication system that uses 
rechargeable lithium battery technology. Rechargeable lithium batteries 
are a novel or unusual design feature in transport category airplanes 
for which the applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain 
adequate or appropriate safety standards. These special conditions 
contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator 
considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that 
established by the existing airworthiness standards.

Discussion

    These special conditions provide additional safety standards to 
accommodate the unique features of rechargeable lithium battery 
technology. This type of battery has certain failure, operational, and 
maintenance characteristics that differ significantly from those of the 
nickel-cadmium and lead-acid rechargeable batteries currently approved 
for installation on transport category airplanes.
    The current regulations governing installation of batteries in 
transport category airplanes were derived from Civil Air Regulations 
(CAR) part 4b.625(d) as part of the re-codification of CAR 4b that 
established 14 CFR part 25 in February 1965. The new battery 
requirements, 14 CFR 25.1353(c)(1) through (c)(4), basically reworded 
the CAR requirements.
    Increased use of nickel-cadmium batteries in small airplanes 
resulted in increased incidents of battery fires and failures that led 
to additional rulemaking affecting transport category airplanes as well 
as small airplanes. On September 1, 1977, and March 1, 1978, 
respectively, the FAA issued Sec.  25.1353(c)(5) and (c)(6), governing 
nickel-cadmium battery installations on transport category airplanes. 
At Amendment 25-123, effective December 10, 2007, the FAA issued a 
revised Sec.  25.1353, which moved the battery requirements to Sec.  
25.1353(b)(1) through (b)(6).
    The proposed use of rechargeable lithium batteries for equipment 
and systems on the Model EMB-550 has prompted the FAA to review the 
adequacy of these existing regulations. Our review indicates that the 
existing regulations do not adequately address several failure, 
operational, and maintenance characteristics of rechargeable lithium 
batteries that could affect the safety of the airplane and its 
passengers and crew.
    At present, there is limited experience with use of rechargeable 
lithium batteries in applications involving commercial aviation. 
However, other users of this technology, ranging from wireless 
telephone manufacturers to the electric vehicle industry, have noted 
safety problems with rechargeable lithium batteries. These problems 
include overcharging, over-discharging, and flammability of cell 
components.

1. Overcharging

    In general, lithium batteries are significantly more susceptible to 
internal failures that can result in self-sustaining increases in 
temperature and pressure (i.e., thermal runaway) than their nickel-
cadmium or lead-acid counterparts. This is especially true for 
overcharging, which causes heating and destabilization of the 
components of the cell, leading to the formation (by plating) of highly 
unstable metallic lithium. The metallic lithium can ignite, resulting 
in a self-sustaining fire or explosion. Finally, the severity of 
thermal runaway due to overcharging increases with increasing battery 
capacity due to the higher amount of electrolyte in large batteries.

2. Over-Discharging

    Discharge of some types of lithium batteries beyond a certain 
voltage (typically 2.4 volts) can cause corrosion of the electrodes of 
the cell, resulting in loss of battery capacity that cannot be reversed 
by recharging. This loss of capacity may not be detected by the simple 
voltage measurements commonly available to flight crews as a means of 
checking battery status--a problem shared with nickel-cadmium 
batteries.

3. Flammability of Cell Components

    Unlike nickel-cadmium and lead-acid batteries, some types of 
lithium batteries use liquid electrolytes that are flammable. The 
electrolyte can serve as a source of fuel for an external fire if there 
is a breach of the battery container.
    These problems experienced by users of lithium batteries raise 
concern about the use of these batteries in commercial aviation. The 
intent of these special condition is to establish appropriate 
airworthiness standards for rechargeable lithium battery installations 
in the Embraer Model EMB-550, and to ensure, as required by Sec. Sec.  
25.1309 and 25.601, that these battery installations are not hazardous 
or unreliable.

Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the 
Embraer S.A. Model EMB-550 airplane. Should Embraer S.A. apply at a 
later date for a change to the type certificate to include another 
model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the 
special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on one airplane model. It is not a rule of general applicability.
    The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the 
notice and comment period in several prior instances and has been 
derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is 
unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change 
from the substance contained herein. Therefore, because a delay would 
significantly affect the certification of the airplane, which is 
imminent, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment 
are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting 
these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register. The 
FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views 
that may not

[[Page 33045]]

have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment 
described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

The Special Conditions

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of 
the type certification basis for the Embraer S.A. Model EMB-550 
airplane.

Installation of Rechargeable Lithium Batteries

    In lieu of the requirements of Sec.  25.1353(b)(1) through (b)(4) 
at Amendment 25-123, all rechargeable lithium batteries and battery 
system installations on the Model EMB-550 must be designed and 
installed as follows:
    (1) Safe cell temperatures and pressures must be maintained during 
any foreseeable charging or discharging condition and during any 
failure of the charging or battery monitoring system not shown to be 
extremely remote. The rechargeable lithium battery installation must 
preclude explosion in the event of those failures.
    (2) Design of the rechargeable lithium batteries must preclude the 
occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrolled increases in temperature or 
pressure.
    (3) No explosive or toxic gases emitted by any rechargeable lithium 
battery in normal operation, or as the result of any failure of the 
battery charging system, monitoring system, or battery installation 
that is not shown to be extremely remote, may accumulate in hazardous 
quantities within the airplane.
    (4) Installations of rechargeable lithium batteries must meet the 
requirements of 14 CFR 25.863(a) through (d).
    (5) No corrosive fluids or gases that may escape from any 
rechargeable lithium battery may damage surrounding structure or any 
adjacent systems, equipment, or electrical wiring of the airplane in 
such a way as to cause a major or more severe failure condition, in 
accordance with Sec.  25.1309(b) and applicable regulatory guidance.
    (6) Each rechargeable lithium battery installation must have 
provisions to prevent any hazardous effect on structure or essential 
systems caused by the maximum amount of heat the battery can generate 
during a short circuit of the battery or of its individual cells.
    (7) Rechargeable lithium battery installations must have a system 
to control the charging rate of the battery automatically, so as to 
prevent battery overheating or overcharging, and,
    (i) A battery temperature sensing and over-temperature warning 
system with a means for automatically disconnecting the battery from 
its charging source in the event of an over-temperature condition, or,
    (ii) A battery failure sensing and warning system with a means for 
automatically disconnecting the battery from its charging source in the 
event of battery failure.
    (8) Any rechargeable lithium battery installation, the function of 
which is required for safe operation of the airplane, must incorporate 
a monitoring and warning feature that will provide an indication to the 
appropriate flight crewmembers whenever the state-of-charge of the 
batteries has fallen below levels considered acceptable for dispatch of 
the airplane.
    (9) The Instructions for Continued Airworthiness required by Sec.  
25.1529 must contain maintenance requirements to assure that the 
battery is sufficiently charged at appropriate intervals specified by 
the battery manufacturer and the equipment manufacturer that contain 
the rechargeable lithium battery or rechargeable lithium battery 
system. This is required to ensure that lithium rechargeable batteries 
and lithium rechargeable battery systems will not degrade below 
specified ampere-hour levels sufficient to power the aircraft system, 
for intended applications. The Instructions for Continued Airworthiness 
must also contain procedures for the maintenance of batteries in spares 
storage to prevent the replacement of batteries with batteries that 
have experienced degraded charge retention ability or other damage due 
to prolonged storage at a low state of charge. Replacement batteries 
must be of the same manufacturer and part number as approved by the 
FAA. Precautions should be included in the Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness maintenance instructions to prevent mishandling of the 
rechargeable lithium battery and rechargeable lithium battery systems 
that could result in short-circuit or other unintentional impact damage 
caused by dropping or other destructive means that could result in 
personal injury or property damage.

    Note 1: The electrical wiring interconnection systems (EWIS) 
maintenance and inspection tasks required by Sec.  25.1729 must 
ensure that EWIS components associated with the batteries and 
battery systems are sufficient to detect degradation of any EWIS 
component that is designed and installed to support compliance with 
special conditions 1 through 8.


    Note 2:  The term ``sufficiently charged'' means that the 
battery will retain enough of a charge, expressed in ampere-hours, 
to ensure that the battery cells will not be damaged. A battery cell 
may be damaged by lowering the charge below a point where there is a 
reduction in the ability to charge and retain a full charge. This 
reduction would be greater than the reduction that may result from 
normal operational degradation.


    Note 3:  These special conditions are not intended to replace 
Sec.  25.1353(b) at Amendment 25-123 in the certification basis of 
the Embraer Model EMB-550. These special conditions apply only to 
rechargeable lithium batteries and rechargeable lithium battery 
systems and their installations. The requirements of Sec.  
25.1353(b) at Amendment 25-123 remain in effect for batteries and 
battery installations on the Embraer Model EMB-550 that do not use 
rechargeable lithium batteries.


    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 2, 2014.
Michael Kaszycki,
Assistant Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft 
Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-13530 Filed 6-9-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P