[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 129 (Monday, July 7, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 38266-38273]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15789]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 129 / Monday, July 7, 2014 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 38266]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 25

[Docket No.: FAA-2014-0001; Notice No. 14-06]
RIN 2120-AK29


Harmonization of Airworthiness Standards--Fire Extinguishers and 
Class B and F Cargo Compartments

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY:  The FAA proposes to amend certain airworthiness regulations 
for transport category airplanes by upgrading fire safety standards for 
one type of cargo compartment; establishing fire safety standards for a 
new type of cargo compartment; and updating related standards for fire 
extinguishers. The proposed rules are based on recommendations from the 
Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) and the National 
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and they address designs for which 
airworthiness directives have been issued by both the FAA and the 
French civil aviation authority, Direction G[eacute]n[eacute]rale de 
l'Aviation Civile (DGAC).
    Adopting these proposals would eliminate regulatory differences 
between the airworthiness standards of the U.S. and the European 
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), without affecting current industry 
design practices. These proposed changes would ensure an acceptable 
level of safety for these types of cargo compartments by standardizing 
certain requirements, concepts, and procedures.

DATES: Send comments on or before October 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2014-0001 
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 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: For technical questions concerning 
this action, contact Stephen M. Happenny, Propulsion/Mechanical Systems 
Branch, ANM-112, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 1601 Lind Ave. SW., Renton, 
WA 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2147; facsimile (425) 227-1232; 
email: Stephen.Happenny@faa.gov.
    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Sean Howe, 
Office of Regional Counsel, ANM-7, Federal Aviation Administration, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2591; 
facsimile (425) 227-1007; email: sean.howe@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 44701, ``General 
requirements.'' Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing 
regulations in the interest of safety for the design and performance of 
aircraft; regulations and minimum standards in the interest of safety 
for inspecting, servicing, and overhauling aircraft; and regulations 
for other practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds 
necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the 
scope of that authority because it prescribes new safety standards for 
the design and operation of transport category airplanes.

I. Overview of Proposed Rule

    The purpose of the proposed rulemaking is to harmonize certain 
Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 25 requirements for 
fire extinguishers and cargo compartments with the corresponding 
requirements in Book 1 of EASA Certification Specifications and 
Acceptable Means of Compliance for Large Airplanes (CS-25).
    Applicants for FAA type certification already use the proposed 
changes through equivalent level of safety findings and special 
conditions. Harmonizing these requirements with EASA would benefit 
manufacturers and modifiers by providing them a single set of 
requirements with which they must show compliance, thereby reducing the 
cost and complexity of certification and codifying a consistent level 
of safety.
    The proposed rulemaking would limit the size of an existing class 
of cargo compartments, define a new class of accessible cargo 
compartments without size limitation, update associated fire 
extinguisher requirements, update cargo liner and floor panel 
requirements and their material testing criteria, and propose 
associated advisory information

[[Page 38267]]

for compliance. The proposed changes would apply to new airplane 
designs only, not to existing airplanes. Applicability to derivative 
airplanes or changed products would be determined according to 14 CFR 
21.101.
    1. A new paragraph, (f), would be added to Sec.  25.857 to 
establish requirements for certification of accessible cargo 
compartments without size limitation under a new classification, Class 
F, that must meet safety standards similar to those of Class C cargo 
compartments or equivalent.
    2. Section 25.851(a)(3), ``Hand fire extinguishers,'' would be 
revised to extend the existing fire extinguisher requirements for Class 
A, B, or E cargo or baggage compartments to be applicable to new Class 
F accessible cargo or baggage compartments defined in the new Sec.  
25.857(f). The amended requirements would specify that at least one 
readily accessible hand fire extinguisher be available to crewmembers 
in-flight for use in each Class A, B, E, or F compartment.
    3. Section 25.851(b)(2), ``Built-in fire extinguishers,'' would be 
revised by adding a sentence to the existing regulation to clarify that 
the capacity of a built-in fire extinguishing/fire suppression system 
in a Class C and, if installed, a Class F cargo compartment must be 
adequate to respond to a fire that could occur in any part of the cargo 
compartment where cargo or baggage may be placed. The FAA is taking 
this step to harmonize our regulation to the EASA regulation and 
practice because FAA testing has shown that current methods of 
compliance are inadequate. Advisory material will provide guidance on 
acceptable means of compliance with this proposal.
    4. Sections 25.855(b), (c), and (h), ``Cargo or baggage 
compartments,'' would be revised to require that new Class F cargo 
compartments have a liner that meets flame penetration standards 
currently required for Class C cargo compartments unless other means 
are provided to contain a fire and protect critical systems and 
structure. In addition, Sec.  25.855(h)(3) would be revised to add a 
required demonstration of compliance of the dissipation of the 
extinguishing agent in Class F cargo compartments with designs that 
incorporate a built-in fire extinguisher(s) for controlling a fire.
    5. Section 25.857(b)(1), ``Cargo compartment classification,'' 
would be revised to indirectly limit the size of a Class B cargo 
compartment by requiring a defined firefighting access point.
    6. Part I of appendix F to part 25, ``Test Criteria and Procedures 
for Showing Compliance with Sec.  25.853 or Sec.  25.855,'' paragraphs 
(a)(1)(ii) and (a)(2)(iii) would be revised to add a reference to Class 
F cargo compartment floor panels. Other changes to appendix F to part 
25 are being considered as part of a separate rulemaking that may 
result in a different, but technically equivalent, change.

II. Background

A. Statement of the Problem

    Part 25 prescribes airworthiness standards for type certification 
of transport category airplanes for products certified in the United 
States. EASA CS-25 Book 1 prescribes the corresponding airworthiness 
standards for products certified in Europe. While part 25 and CS-25 are 
similar, they differ in several respects. To improve certification 
efficiency, the FAA tasked ARAC to review existing cargo compartments 
and fire extinguisher regulations and to recommend changes that would 
eliminate differences between U.S. and European airworthiness 
standards, while maintaining or improving the level of safety in the 
current regulations.
    ARAC established the Cargo Standards Harmonization Working Group 
(CSHWG), assigning it the task of developing new or revised 
requirements for Class B cargo compartments of transport category 
airplanes. ARAC also established the Mechanical Systems Harmonization 
Working Group (MSHWG), assigning it the task of developing new or 
revised requirements for a built-in fire extinguishing system for 
existing or new cargo compartment classifications. Each working group 
was to document its work as a draft NPRM with supporting material or 
collateral documents, such as advisory circulars. The scope of these 
taskings included developing similar proposed regulations to amend 
Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR)-25, the precursor to CS-25, as 
necessary to achieve harmonization between the FAA and the Joint 
Aviation Authorities (JAA), the predecessor of EASA. EASA incorporated 
the ARAC working groups' recommendations into the CS-25 requirements 
via Amendments 4 and 8, on December 27, 2007, and December 18, 2009, 
respectively. The FAA agrees with ARAC's recommendations to harmonize 
U.S. airworthiness standards for cargo compartments and associated fire 
extinguishers with corresponding EASA regulations and proposes to amend 
part 25 accordingly. The proposals are not expected to be controversial 
and should reduce certification costs to industry without adversely 
affecting safety. The complete analyses for the proposed changes made 
in response to ARAC recommendations can be found in the ARAC 
recommendation reports, located in the docket for this rulemaking.

B. History

    On November 27, 1987, a fire occurred in the Class B cargo 
compartment of a Boeing Model 747-244B airplane operated by South 
African Airways. The airplane was on a scheduled flight between Taipei, 
Taiwan, to Johannesburg, South Africa. It was carrying both passengers 
and cargo on the main deck, a configuration known as a ``combi'' and 
classified as a Class B cargo compartment. The airplane crashed in the 
Indian Ocean about 140 miles northeast of Mauritius. All people aboard 
the airplane perished.
    The South African Board of Inquiry reported that (1) there was 
clear indication that a fire broke out in a right hand front pallet 
(one of six) in the main deck cargo hold, and (2) the fire could not be 
controlled and consequently led to the crash. The South African Board 
unanimously agreed with the following findings and conclusions of the 
FAA Review Team:
    1. Existing rules, policies, and procedures being applied to the 
certification of Class B cargo or baggage compartments for smoke and 
fire protection, the required quantity of fire extinguishing agent, and 
the number of portable fire extinguishers are inadequate.
    2. The use of pallets to carry cargo in Class B compartments is no 
longer acceptable.
    3. While entry into the cargo compartment is available, not all 
cargo is accessible.
    4. The reliance on crew members to fight a cargo fire must be 
discontinued.
    In response to the South African Airways accident, the FAA issued 
Airworthiness Directive (AD) 89-18-12 (54 FR 34762, August 21, 1989), 
which required a number of changes in the standards for Class B cargo 
compartments located on the main deck of certain large airplanes. The 
affected airplane models included Boeing Model 707, 727, 737, 747, and 
757 series airplanes, and McDonnell Douglas DC-8, DC-9, and DC-10 
series airplanes. That AD was superseded twice. The first supersedure, 
AD 91-10-02 (56 FR 20529, May 6, 1991) was issued after operators and 
manufacturers reported design and logistics problems in complying with 
AD 89-18-12. The second AD supersedure was in response to comments 
received following issuance of the first AD supersedure and the 
publication of new test data provided by the FAA William J. Hughes 
Technical Center (57 FR 36918, August

[[Page 38268]]

17, 1992). The current AD, AD 93-07-15 \1\ (58 FR 21243, April 20, 
1993), requires operational and procedural changes, additional 
equipment, and enhanced fire detection and suppression systems on 
applicable large main-deck combi airplanes. The enhanced fire detection 
and suppression system standards require modification of the Class B 
cargo compartment to either comply with the requirements for a Class C 
cargo compartment, as defined in Sec. Sec.  25.855 (Amendment 25-60), 
25.857(c), and 25.858 (Amendment 25-54), or to incorporate other 
specified safeguards. A similar airworthiness directive was issued by 
the French airworthiness authority, DGAC, AD 92-113(B)R1. These ADs 
provided options to the operators of the affected airplanes for 
achieving an adequate level of safety. These are encompassed in the 
proposed regulations and associated guidance material.
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    \1\ AD 93-07-15 Boeing and McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-8547. 
Docket No. 92-NM-67-AD.
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C. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Recommendations

    NTSB investigated the South African 747-244B accident and on May 
16, 1988, issued the following Safety Recommendations:
    1. A-88-61. Until fire detection and suppression methods for Class 
B cargo compartment fires are evaluated and revised, as necessary, the 
NTSB recommended that the FAA require all cargo carried in Class B 
cargo compartments of U.S.-registered transport category airplanes be 
carried in fire resistant containers.
    The FAA responded to this recommendation with the current AD 93-07-
15. These proposed revisions to the related regulations and to part I 
of appendix F to part 25 for fire testing requirements also address 
this recommendation.
    2. A-88-62. The NTSB recommended that the FAA conduct research to 
establish the fire detection and suppression methods needed to protect 
transport category airplanes from catastrophic fires in Class B 
compartments.
    To address this recommendation, both the FAA and the JAA conducted 
research to determine whether Class B cargo compartments might be 
unsafe. Both authorities concluded that entering the compartment to 
combat a fire is ineffective for cargo compartments larger than 200 
cubic feet in volume. They agreed on the need to conduct tests with 
actual fires to try to more closely establish the maximum safe Class B 
cargo compartment size. In coordination with the CSHWG, the Fire Safety 
Branch of the FAA Technical Center conducted a number of ground tests 
using an airplane hull with a cargo compartment located in the rear of 
the passenger cabin. The simulated compartment had smoke detection, 
ventilation rates, and air balance approximately the same as would be 
encountered in a flight, and an entry door similar to those in the 
compartments of smaller transport category airplanes.
    Based on that testing, the FAA Technical Center made several 
observations. During actual fire testing conducted in a simulated Class 
B cargo compartment with a volume of 175 cubic feet, flight attendants 
equipped with protective breathing equipment and a hand fire 
extinguisher, but without protective clothing, were unwilling to enter 
the cargo compartment when a fire was present. This result led the 
CSHWG to conclude that reliance on a flight attendant to physically 
enter the cargo compartment to extinguish a fire was unrealistic, and 
that a standard based on such an expectation was undesirable.
    During other tests, trained fire fighters, dressed in full 
firefighting gear, found it unnecessary to enter the compartment to 
extinguish the fire. They were able to extinguish the fire from the 
doorway.
    Based on these findings, the CSHWG recognized that a fire could be 
effectively combated by direct access, but without entry, to some of 
these compartments. The CSHWG decided it would not be appropriate to 
specify a maximum allowable volume for a cargo compartment. Instead, 
the CSHWG proposal stipulated that, when standing at an access point, 
the person fighting the fire must be able to reach any part of the 
compartment with the contents of a hand fire extinguisher. Under the 
CSHWG proposal, access would be a function of how the compartment was 
configured rather than volume. In determining access, the CSHWG 
proposal stipulated that it would not be appropriate to pull baggage or 
cargo on to the floor of the passenger compartment to gain access to 
the seat of the fire; such action may introduce a safety hazard to the 
occupants.
    3. A-88-63. The NTSB recommended that the FAA establish fire 
resistant requirements for the ceiling and sidewall liners in Class B 
cargo compartments of transport category airplanes that equal or exceed 
the requirements for Class C as set forth in 14 CFR part 25, appendix 
F, part III.
    The current AD and the proposed revisions to cargo compartment 
classifications address this recommendation.

III. Discussion of the Proposal

A. Revise ``Fire Extinguishers'' (Sec.  25.851)

1. ``Hand Fire Extinguishers'' (Sec.  25.851(a))
    Introduction of a new Class F cargo or baggage compartment via 
Sec.  25.857(f) necessitates an amendment of Sec.  25.851(a)(3) to 
require at least one readily accessible hand fire extinguisher for use 
in each new Class F cargo or baggage compartment that is accessible to 
crewmembers in flight. This is the same requirement currently for Class 
A, B, or E cargo or baggage compartments.
2. ``Built-In Fire Extinguishers'' (Sec.  25.851(b))
    Section 25.851(b)(2) requires that the capacity of a built-in fire 
extinguishing system be adequate for any fire likely to occur in the 
compartment where used, and section 25.21 requires that an applicant 
prove compliance with the requirements of part 25. The FAA proposes to 
clarify when a system is ``adequate,'' and also proposes new guidance 
governing an acceptable means of demonstrating compliance. EASA 
implements its requirement CS 25.851(b) to ensure that the system is 
adequate to control any fire likely to occur anywhere within the 
compartment. We propose to add a sentence to Sec.  25.851(b) to 
harmonize with EASA's application of the rule. This new sentence would 
clarify that an adequate capacity would provide sufficient quantity of 
agent to combat a fire anywhere baggage or cargo is placed within the 
cargo compartment and be available for the time required to land and 
evacuate the airplane.
    The key point of this proposed new sentence is that, because of the 
inability to know in advance the contents of cargo and baggage placed 
within a cargo compartment, it must be assumed that each piece of 
baggage or cargo is a potential fuel source and a potential ignition 
point. This clarification is predicated on the basis that all baggage 
and cargo placed on board the airplane is done in accordance with the 
FAA- and EASA-approved manufacturer and operator airplane weights and 
balance manuals. In addition, placement of all baggage and cargo must 
be in accordance with all appropriate national civil aviation authority 
requirements and the manufacturer's loading instructions and 
limitations.
    One effect of this proposed revision would be that the means of 
compliance that allow averaging of the individual extinguishing agent 
concentration

[[Page 38269]]

sensors would typically no longer be compliant. The current averaging 
technique allows different applicants to use different test standards 
for determining the success of extinguishing agents, as opposed to CS 
certification methods, which are consistent for all applicants.
    Current EASA policy does not accept averaging methods but requires 
that each individual sensor display the required concentration. The 
corroborating factors that harmonized the EASA/FAA position included 
consideration of available test data. In addition, testing at the FAA 
Technical Center and other data from standardized fire extinguishing 
evaluation tests indicates that the use of averaging techniques may not 
show whether adequate concentration levels of fire extinguishing agent 
exist throughout the compartment to effectively suppress a cargo fire. 
If a cargo fire occurred, and was subsequently suppressed by Halon 
1301, the core of the fire could remain hot for a period of time. If 
the local concentration of Halon 1301 in the vicinity of the fire core 
dropped below 3 percent by volume and sufficient oxygen was available, 
re-ignition could occur. FAA testing and other industry testing have 
shown that when the Halon 1301 concentration level drops below 3 
percent by volume and the cargo fire re-ignites, the convective 
stirring caused by the heat of the fire may be insufficient to raise 
the local concentration of Halon 1301 in the vicinity of the fire.
    The proposed guidance would suggest means by which gaseous 
extinguishing agent concentrations could be measured and how the 
discrete measured data could be interpreted. Also, the proposed 
guidance would describe a means of compliance that would demonstrate 
that a ``suppressed environment'' is maintained in the cargo 
compartment through landing to enable passengers and crew to evacuate 
the airplane.
    The guidance would contain recommendations regarding markings and 
placards in the cargo compartment as a means of ensuring that baggage 
loading personnel do not load baggage and cargo above the safe limit 
certified by testing.
    Section 25.851 provides requirements for built-in fire 
extinguishing systems regardless of the extinguishing agent or delivery 
system used. Therefore, it is not limited to halon gaseous agents or 
any specific agent delivery system provided that such a system is 
effective in extinguishing/suppressing fire threats in the cargo 
compartment. Currently industry and the FAA Technical Center are 
investigating alternative halon replacement agents and other types of 
delivery systems and extinguishing/suppression systems.
    The advisory material would establish guidance for evaluating brief 
excursions in the concentration readings and if the data from a single 
measuring point could be time-averaged. Additional laboratory testing 
is recommended only if critical issues requiring advisory clarification 
cannot be resolved by other means.

B. Revise ``Cargo or Baggage Compartments'' (Sec.  25.855), ``Cargo 
Compartment Classification'' (25.857), and ``Test Criteria and 
Procedures for Showing Compliance With Sec.  25.853 or Sec.  25.855'' 
(Part I of Appendix F to Part 25)

1. Proposed Amendment to Class B Cargo Compartments
    We propose to revise the existing airworthiness requirements for 
the Class B cargo compartment in Sec.  25.857(b)(1) to indirectly limit 
the depth, width, and size of Class B cargo compartments by requiring a 
defined firefighting access point.
    Currently, Class B cargo compartments incorporate a separate, 
approved smoke or fire detection system to give a fire warning at the 
pilot or flight engineer station. Class B cargo compartments must have 
sufficient access in flight to enable a crewmember to effectively reach 
any part of the compartment with the contents of a hand fire 
extinguisher. These compartments must be designed so that no hazardous 
quantity of smoke, flames, or extinguishing agent may enter any 
compartment occupied by the crew or passengers. To protect adjacent 
structures, Class B cargo compartments must also have a liner meeting 
the flame penetration standards of Sec.  25.855 and part I of appendix 
F to part 25. Section 25.858, which was added in Amendment 25-54 (45 FR 
66173, September 11, 1980), requires that fire detection systems of 
Class B cargo compartments provide a visual indication to the 
flightcrew within one minute after the start of a fire. In addition, 
the system must be capable of detecting the fire at a temperature 
significantly below that at which the structural integrity of the 
airplane is safely decreased.
    These standards were initially developed when cargo compartments 
were relatively small and airplanes were powered by reciprocating 
engines. With the advent of larger turbine-powered airplanes, cargo 
compartment sizes, operating altitudes, and route lengths increased. In 
addition, combination passenger/cargo configurations, or ``combis,'' 
were introduced that were designed to carry both passengers and cargo 
on the main deck. These passenger and cargo compartments are separated 
by a barrier intended to prevent smoke and gasses from entering 
occupied areas. In some combis, the barrier is movable to change the 
available cargo and passenger capacity as needed for specific 
operational requirements.
    There are currently no limitations on the size or the volume of 
current Class B cargo compartments. For domestic jet transport 
airplanes, these compartments can range from approximately 200 cubic 
feet for business jets to 17,000 cubic feet for large transport 
airplanes.
    Based on tests conducted at the FAA Technical Center (57 FR 36918, 
August 17, 1992), the proposed requirements would effectively limit the 
size of new design Class B cargo compartments by requiring that a 
crewmember, standing at any one access point and without stepping into 
the compartment, be able to extinguish a fire using a hand fire 
extinguisher. Class B cargo compartments, under the proposed amendment 
to Sec.  25.857(b)(1), would be smaller than most current compartments 
because the current rule allows a compartment so large as to require a 
crewmember to enter the compartment in order to reach and extinguish 
the fire. The FAA proposes applicable guidance material in the AC 
associated with this rule.
    The requirements in Sec.  25.857(b)(2) and (b)(3) will remain 
unchanged and will continue to require exclusion of hazardous 
quantities of smoke, flames, or extinguishing agent from any 
compartment occupied by the crew or passengers, as well as provision of 
a separate, approved smoke detector or fire detector system to give 
warning at the pilot or flight engineer station.
2. New Class F Cargo Compartments
    (a) We propose to add a new paragraph, Sec.  25.857(f), to 
establish a new cargo compartment category, Class F. The new Class F 
accessible cargo compartments would not be size-limited. There would, 
however, need to be a means to control or extinguish a fire without 
requiring a crewmember to enter the compartment to conduct manual 
firefighting. Other fire safety features proposed for Class F cargo 
compartments would include: (1) A fire detection system that meets 
Sec.  25.858, and (2) a means to exclude cargo compartment smoke and 
fumes from entering occupied spaces. As discussed in paragraph 2(b) of 
this section, a liner may be necessary, which would be

[[Page 38270]]

required to meet part III of appendix F to part 25 or an equivalent 
standard.
    The proposed Class F accessible cargo compartments would 
accommodate the carriage of more baggage and cargo in a combi 
configuration (passengers and cargo on the main deck) and in larger 
volumes than allowed by the proposed amendment to Class B compartments. 
In reviewing the existing Class B cargo compartments in transport 
category airplanes, the CSHWG noted that several combi configurations 
do not satisfy the concerns about fighting a fire without personnel 
entering the cargo compartment. However, such combi configurations are 
necessary to sustain those geographic areas with no means of supply 
other than air cargo, such as small isolated towns and villages in 
Alaska and Northern Canada. In considering this issue, ARAC recommended 
that the FAA propose a new Class F cargo compartment that would allow 
for flexibility in new airplane designs while ensuring adequate fire 
control.
    Unlike the requirements for Class C cargo Compartments, the 
proposed Class F would not necessarily be required to have either a 
built-in fire extinguishing system or a means to control ventilation 
and drafts within the compartment. Instead, the proposed Sec.  
25.857(f)(2) would require that these compartments use either a 
crewmember to access the compartment with a hand fire extinguisher 
without entering the compartment or other means of controlling the fire 
(e.g., a built-in fire extinguisher/suppression system, fire 
containment covers, or other means that would be discussed in the 
proposed draft AC 25.857-X). The proposed Sec.  25.857(f)(1) and (f)(3) 
are identical to the existing Sec.  25.857(c)(1) and (c)(3) applicable 
to Class C cargo compartments, respectively, and are intended to 
require the provision of a separate approved smoke detector or fire 
detector system to give warning at the pilot or flight engineer station 
as well as exclusion of hazardous quantities of smoke, flames, or 
extinguishing agent from any compartment occupied by the crew or 
passengers. In addition, for Class F cargo compartment designs that 
incorporate a built-in fire extinguisher(s) for controlling fire, 
Sec. Sec.  25.851(b) and 25.855(h)(3) would be modified.
    (b) The introduction of Class F accessible cargo compartments 
necessitates revising Sec.  25.855(b) and (c), which currently require 
a liner or other means of fire protection for Class B through E cargo 
compartments. We propose to revise Sec.  25.855(b) and (c) to require 
that new Class F cargo compartments have a liner meeting flame 
penetration standards currently required for Class C cargo 
compartments. Class F cargo compartments would not have to have such 
liners if other means were provided to contain a fire and protect 
critical systems and structure. The proposed revision would result in 
retaining the same level of safety regarding fire protection.
    Section 25.855(b) would require Class F accessible compartments to 
have a liner, unless other means provide the necessary fire 
containment. The CSHWG considered two potential methods for relieving 
Class F compartments from the liner requirements. These would be 
included in the proposed AC associated with this proposed rule. One 
method is to use existing approved (e.g., Class C cargo compartment) 
containers carried inside the proposed new Class F cargo compartment. 
The containers themselves suppress fire. This design would provide a 
means of compliance similar to that offered in one of the options in 
the combi AD.\2\ To ensure use of appropriate containers, the 
requirement for use of the Class C cargo compartment containers would 
have to be identified as part of any loading restrictions in the 
airplane flight manual (AFM).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ A copy of AD 93-07-15 is included in the docket.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A second method, already used in accordance with the combi AD, uses 
a system to distribute the contents of a hand fire extinguisher 
throughout the compartment. An external nozzle in the compartment wall 
or liner connects with the hand fire extinguisher. Internal plumbing 
carries the extinguishing agent throughout the compartment. This allows 
the certification of airplanes with compartments with less expensive 
hardware and does not require a flight crewmember to enter the 
compartment. The AFM would have to limit operations to a route 
structure that ensured the airplane could land before the available 
fire extinguishing capability was exhausted.
    (c) The introduction of Class F accessible cargo compartments 
necessitates revising paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of part I of appendix F to 
part 25. That paragraph currently requires self-extinguishing floor 
panels or other approved equivalent means of fire protection to contain 
a fire and protect critical systems and structure. We propose to revise 
paragraph (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(2)(iii) to require the floor panels in new 
Class F cargo compartments meet the flame penetration standards 
currently required for Class B, C, or E cargo compartments. The 
proposed revision would result in Class F cargo compartments meeting 
the same level of safety.

IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 
directs 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 proposed 
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 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 proposed rule. The 
reasoning for this determination follows:
    The FAA tasked the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) 
through the Cargo Standards Harmonization Working Group (CSHWG) and the 
Mechanical Systems Harmonization Working Group (MSHWG) to review 
existing cargo compartments and fire extinguisher regulations and to 
recommend changes that would eliminate differences between the U.S. and 
the European

[[Page 38271]]

airworthiness standards, while maintaining or improving the level of 
safety in the current regulations.
    The FAA agrees with the ARAC recommendations to harmonize 
airworthiness standards for cargo compartments and associated fire 
extinguishers with the corresponding EASA regulations and proposes to 
amend part 25 accordingly. The proposed changes would eliminate 
differences between the U.S. and European airworthiness standards. 
These efforts are referred to as harmonization.
    This proposal is for changes in the standards in part 25 for new 
airplane designs only. The proposed changes will not apply to existing 
airplanes. This proposed rule would revise Sec. Sec.  25.851, ``Fire 
extinguishers;'' 25.855, ``Cargo or baggage compartments;'' 25.857, 
``Cargo compartment classification;'' and appendix F, part I, ``Test 
Criteria and Procedures for Showing Compliance with Sec.  25.853, or 
Sec.  25.855.''
    The FAA estimates that there are higher safety standards and no 
costs associated with this proposal. A review of current manufacturers 
of transport category airplanes certificated under part 25 has revealed 
that all such future airplanes are expected to be certificated under 
part 25 of both U.S. and EASA (CS-25) airworthiness regulations. Since 
future certificated transport category airplanes are expected to meet 
the existing EASA CS-25 Book 1 requirements, and this rule adopts the 
same EASA requirements, manufacturers would incur no additional cost 
resulting from this proposal. This proposal may even reduce cost. 
Without harmonization the manufacturers would meet two sets of 
standards (EASA and FAA). Meeting two sets of certification 
requirements raises the cost of developing a new transport category 
airplane, often with no increase in safety. EASA regulations and 
associated compliance in the areas affected by the changes in this NPRM 
are more stringent than FAA regulations and compliance. These safety 
requirements are increased with no costs, or perhaps at lower costs.
    The FAA concludes that the proposed changes would eliminate 
regulatory differences between the airworthiness standards of the FAA 
and EASA without affecting current industry design practices resulting 
in potential cost savings and maintaining current levels of safety. The 
FAA requests comments with supporting documentation in regard to the 
conclusions contained in this section.
    The FAA has, therefore, determined that this proposed rule is not 
an economically ``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 
3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

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, Sec.  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.
    As noted above, the proposed changes to part 25 are cost-relieving 
because this proposed rule creates a single certification standard and 
removes the burden of having to meet two sets of certification 
requirements. The FAA believes that this proposed rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    The net effect of the proposed rule is minimum regulatory cost 
relief. Airplane manufacturers already meet or expect to meet this 
standard. The FAA uses the size standards from the Small Business 
Administration for Aircraft Manufacturing that specify companies having 
less than 1,500 employees are small entities. Given that this proposed 
rule is cost-relieving and there are no small entity manufacturers of 
part 25 airplanes with less than 1,500 employees, this proposed rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. The FAA requests comments regarding this determination. 
If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, the head 
of the agency may so certify under Sec.  605(b) of the RFA. Therefore, 
as provided in Sec.  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. Please provide detailed economic 
analysis to support any cost differences.

C. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing any standards or engaging in related 
activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of 
the United States. Legitimate domestic objectives, such as safety, are 
not considered unnecessary obstacles. 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 proposed rule and has determined that the rule 
is in accord with the Trade Agreements Act as the proposed rule uses 
European standards as the basis for United States regulation.

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 $151 million in lieu of $100 
million. This proposed 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 would be no new requirement for information collection associated 
with this proposed rule.

F. International Compatibility

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International

[[Page 38272]]

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 proposed regulations.
    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 creating a single set 
of certification requirements for transport category airplanes that 
would be acceptable in both the United States and Europe.

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 paragraph 312f of Order 1050.1E and involves no 
extraordinary circumstances.

V. Executive Order Determinations

A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this proposed rule under the principles and 
criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency has 
determined that this action would 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, would not have 
Federalism implications.

B. Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    The FAA analyzed this proposed 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 
would not be a ``significant energy action'' under the executive order 
and would not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy.

VI. Additional Information

A. Comments Invited

    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 proposals in 
this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion 
of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain 
duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written 
comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should 
submit only one time.
    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well 
as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA 
personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this 
proposal, the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before 
the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed 
after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without 
incurring expense or delay. The agency may change this proposal in 
light of the comments it receives.
    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Commenters should 
not file proprietary or confidential business information in the 
docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the 
person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting 
information on a disk or CD-ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD-
ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific 
information that is proprietary or confidential.
    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary 
information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the 
docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have 
access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received 
it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, 
it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act 
(5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under Department of 
Transportation procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the 
Internet by--
    1. Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);
    2. Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies or
    3. Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. 
Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this 
rulemaking.
    All documents the FAA considered in developing this proposed rule, 
including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from 
the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced in item 
(1) above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Life-limited parts, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration proposes to amend chapter I of Title 14, Code of Federal 
Regulations as follows:

PART 25--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY AIRPLANES

0
1. The authority citation for part 25 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. Amend Sec.  25.851 by revising paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(2) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  25.851  Fire extinguishers.

    (a) * * *
    (3) At least one readily accessible hand fire extinguisher must be 
available for use in each Class A or Class B cargo or baggage 
compartment and in each Class E or Class F cargo or baggage compartment 
that is accessible to crewmembers in flight.
* * * * *
    (b) * * *

[[Page 38273]]

    (2) The capacity of each required built-in fire extinguishing 
system must be adequate for any fire likely to occur in the compartment 
where used, considering the volume of the compartment and the 
ventilation rate. For purposes of this section, a system is adequate if 
there is sufficient quantity of agent to extinguish the fire or 
suppress the fire anywhere baggage or cargo is placed within the cargo 
compartment for the duration required to land and evacuate the 
airplane.
0
3. Amend Sec.  25.855 by revising paragraphs (b), (c), and (h)(3) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  25.855  Cargo or baggage compartments.

* * * * *
    (b) Each of the following cargo or baggage compartments, as defined 
in Sec.  25.857, must have a liner that is separate from, but may be 
attached to, the airplane structure:
    (1) Any Class B through Class E cargo or baggage compartment, and
    (2) Any Class F cargo or baggage compartment, unless other means of 
containing a fire and protecting critical systems and structure are 
provided.
    (c) Ceiling and sidewall liner panels of Class C cargo or baggage 
compartments, and ceiling and sidewall liner panels in Class F cargo or 
baggage compartments, if installed to meet the requirements of 
paragraph (b)(2) of this section, must meet the test requirements of 
part III of appendix F of this part or other approved equivalent 
methods.
* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (3) The dissipation of the extinguishing agent in all Class C 
compartments or, if applicable, in any Class F compartments.
* * * * *
0
4. Amend Sec.  25.857 by revising paragraph (b)(1) and adding a new 
paragraph (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  25.857  Cargo compartment classification.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) There is sufficient access in flight to enable a crewmember, 
standing at any one access point and without stepping into the 
compartment, to extinguish a fire occurring in any part of the 
compartment using a hand fire extinguisher.
* * * * *
    (f) Class F. A Class F cargo or baggage compartment is located on 
the main deck, readily accessible in flight, and is one in which--
    (1) There is a separate approved smoke detector or fire detector 
system to give warning at the pilot or flight engineer station;
    (2) There are means to extinguish or control a fire without 
requiring a crewmember to enter the compartment; and
    (3) There are means to exclude hazardous quantities of smoke, 
flames, or extinguishing agent from any compartment occupied by the 
crew or passengers.
0
5. Amend part I of appendix F to part 25 by revising paragraphs 
(a)(1)(ii) and (a)(2)(iii) to read as follows:

Appendix F to Part 25

    Part I--Test Criteria and Procedures for Showing Compliance with 
Sec.  25.853 or Sec.  25.855.
    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) Floor covering, textiles (including draperies and 
upholstery), seat cushions, padding, decorative and nondecorative 
coated fabrics, leather, trays and galley furnishings, electrical 
conduit, air ducting, joint and edge covering, liners of Class B and 
E cargo or baggage compartments, floor panels of Class B, C, E, or F 
cargo or baggage compartments, cargo covers and transparencies, 
molded and thermoformed parts, air ducting joints, and trim strips 
(decorative and chafing), that are constructed of materials not 
covered in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of part I of this appendix, must be 
self-extinguishing when tested vertically in accordance with the 
applicable portions of part I of this appendix or other approved 
equivalent means. The average burn length may not exceed 8 inches, 
and the average flame time after removal of the flame source may not 
exceed 15 seconds. Drippings from the test specimen may not continue 
to flame for more than an average of 5 seconds after falling.
* * * * *
    (2) * * *
    (iii) A cargo or baggage compartment defined in Sec.  25.857 as 
Class B, C, E, or F must have floor panels constructed of materials 
which meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of part I of 
this appendix and which are separated from the airplane structure 
(except for attachments). Such panels must be subjected to the 45 
degree angle test. The flame may not penetrate (pass through) the 
material during application of the flame or subsequent to its 
removal. The average flame time after removal of the flame source 
may not exceed 15 seconds, and the average glow time may not exceed 
10 seconds.
* * * * *

    Issued under the authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 
44701(a), and 44703 in Washington, DC, on June 26, 2014.
Frank P. Paskiewicz,
Acting Director, Aircraft Certification Service.

[FR Doc. 2014-15789 Filed 7-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P