[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 5 (Tuesday, January 8, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1133-1143]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00111]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 21 and 36

[Docket No. FAA-2011-0629; Amdt. Nos. 21-97; 36-29]
RIN 2120-AJ76


Noise Certification Standards for Tiltrotors

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule amends the regulations governing noise certification 
standards for issuing type and airworthiness certificates for a new 
civil, hybrid airplane-rotorcraft known as the tiltrotor. This noise 
standard establishes new noise limits and procedures as the basis to 
ensure consistent aviation noise reduction technology is incorporated 
in tiltrotors for environmental protection. It provides uniform noise 
certification standards for tiltrotors certificated in the United 
States and harmonizes the U.S. regulations with the standards of the 
International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Annex 16.

DATES: Effective March 11, 2013.

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 final rule 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 final rule contact Karen 
Petronis, AGC-200, 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 would 
establish new noise certification test procedures and noise limits for 
a new class of aircraft. Applicants for type certificates, changes in 
type design, and airworthiness certificates for tiltrotors are required 
to comply with these new regulations.

Overview of Final Rule

    The standards in this final rule apply to the issuance of an 
original type certificate, changes to a type certificate, and the 
issuance of a standard airworthiness certificate for tiltrotors. This 
final rule creates noise certification standards that are applicable to 
all tiltrotors, such as the AgustaWestland Model AW609 currently under 
development. These regulations incorporate the same standards as ICAO 
Annex 16, Volume 1, Chapter 13, Attachment F (Amendment 7) for 
tiltrotors, consistent with the FAA goal of harmonizing U.S. 
regulations with international standards.

Background

    A new aircraft type known as a tiltrotor is currently in production 
after more than six decades of research and development. The aircraft 
uses rotating nacelles, a hybrid of propellers and helicopter rotors, 
to provide both lift and propulsive force. The tiltrotor is designed to 
function as a helicopter for takeoff and landing and as an airplane 
during the en-route portion of flight operations.
    The most recognizable tiltrotor operating today is the V-22 Osprey 
used by the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Air Force. The V-22 Osprey was 
designed for the U.S. Department of Defense Special Operations Forces 
and can transport 24 fully equipped troops. The proposed civil version 
of the tiltrotor would carry up to nine passengers.
    The tiltrotor concept was first explored for the U.S. Army in the 
mid-1950s as a convertiplane concept that incorporated mixed vertical 
and forward flight capabilities. In 1958, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. 
(Bell) of Fort Worth, Texas developed the XV-3 tiltrotor for a joint 
research program between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. The Bell 
XV-3 completed a successful full conversion from vertical flight to 
forward cruise and demonstrated the feasibility of tiltrotor 
technology. Following the successful full conversion of the Bell XV-3, 
the U.S. Army and National Aeronautics and Space Administration awarded 
Bell a prototype development contract in the mid 1970s to build two 
Bell XV-15 tiltrotor demonstrator aircraft. These tiltrotor aircraft 
served as predecessors to the V-22 Osprey to demonstrate mature 
tiltrotor technology and flight capabilities.

ICAO Noise Certification Standards

    ICAO is the international body with responsibility for the 
development of International Standards and Recommended Practices 
pursuant to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago 
Convention). Consistent with their obligations under the Chicago 
Convention, Contracting States agree to implement ICAO standards in 
their national regulations to the extent practicable. The standards for 
aircraft noise are contained in Annex 16, Environmental Protection, 
Volume 1, Aircraft Noise.
    In anticipation of civil tiltrotor production, ICAO's Committee on 
Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) chartered the Tiltrotor Task 
Group (TRTG) in 1997 to develop noise certification guidelines for 
tiltrotors. The FAA participated in the TRTG and its development of the 
tiltrotor noise guidelines from 1997 to 2000. The ICAO tiltrotor 
guidelines used the same noise limits that the United States had 
incorporated into part 36, Appendix H for helicopter noise 
certification. The ICAO has included additional requirements that are 
unique to the design of tiltrotors.
    On June 29, 2001, the TRTG's guidelines were adopted by the ICAO 
Council for incorporation into Annex 16, Volume 1, Chapter 13, 
Attachment F (Amendment 7). The ICAO guidelines became effective on 
October 29, 2001, with an applicability date of March 21, 2002.

Statement of the Problem

    Current regulations in part 36 do not contain noise certification 
requirements specific to the tiltrotor and its unique

[[Page 1134]]

flight capabilities. Since no standards for the tiltrotor currently 
exist, the FAA is adding new standards to part 36, and amending part 
21, Sec.  21.93 (Classification of Changes in Type Design) to 
accommodate certification of the tiltrotor. In order to harmonize the 
U.S. regulations with the international standards, this rulemaking 
adopts the same noise certification standards as used in ICAO Annex 16, 
Volume 1, Chapter 13, Attachment F (Amendment 7) for tiltrotors.

Type Certification Activity in the United States

    As the tiltrotor concept and technology proved promising with the 
production of the V-22 Osprey, Bell and Agusta (now AgustaWestland) 
established a joint business venture in September 1998 to co-develop 
the Bell/Agusta model BA609 civil tiltrotor.
    In August 1996, Bell, the original and lead developer of the 
tiltrotor, applied for a U.S. type certificate for the model BA609 
tiltrotor, prior to the establishment of the joint venture. The BA609 
would be type certificated as a ``special class'' of aircraft under 
Sec. Sec.  21.17 and 21.21, using the applicable airworthiness 
provisions of part 25 (Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category 
Airplanes) and part 29 (Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category 
Rotorcraft). This is the first application for this class of aircraft.
    In June 2011, the contract for the joint tiltrotor program between 
Bell and AgustaWestland was renegotiated, with AgustaWestland assuming 
full ownership. The change in ownership resulted in the BA609 
designation being renamed to the AW609, and on February 15, 2012, 
AgustaWestland applied for a type certificate from the FAA. 
AgustaWestland is targeting existing helicopter operators as the 
primary civil market for the AW609, and has stated that the AW609 could 
operate from existing heliports without the need for new infrastructure 
to accommodate the aircraft.

Summary of the NPRM

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on June 
21, 2011 (76 FR 36001) that proposed the changes to parts 21 and 36 
discussed above that would establish noise certification standards for 
issuing type and airworthiness certificates for the tiltrotor.

Discussion of Public Comments

    The comment period for the NPRM closed on October 19, 2011. The FAA 
received one comment, from AgustaWestland. AgustaWestland stated that 
the proposed rule did not specify the entity that would determine the 
flyover configuration in Appendix K to Part 36. AgustaWestland 
recommended that the regulation specify that the applicant be the 
entity that prescribes the constant flyover aircraft configuration.
    The FAA agrees the regulation needs to specify what entity 
prescribes the constant flyover configuration. The FAA agrees the 
applicant is the proper entity, and has modified the final rule to 
incorporate this change.

Differences Between the NPRM and the Final Rule

    We are adopting this final rule for the reasons stated in the NPRM, 
with the following changes. First, the NPRM incorrectly included 
VMCP and VMO as requirements for tiltrotors. Both 
VMCP and VMO are voluntary reporting parameters 
for airspeeds at maximum continuous power and maximum operating limit 
for airplane mode as noted in the ICAO standards. The FAA is not 
requiring them in Part 36. However, the voluntary reporting of 
VMCP and VMO will be recommended in an 
accompanying Advisory Circular as supplemental information. The FAA is 
removing VMCP and VMO representing airplane mode 
from Sec.  36.1 and Appendix K in the final rule since airplane mode is 
only a voluntary and supplemental condition for noise. The harshest 
(maximum) noise levels are identified in helicopter mode.
    Second, the labels used in the proposed Figure K.2 of Appendix K to 
part 36 incorrectly describe the two sideline noise measurement points 
as S(starboard) and S(port) instead of 
S(sideline) for both. Since the flyover condition has a 
symmetrical test set-up, the generic label assignment, 
S(sideline), is used to indicate that flight from either 
direction is allowable without a reference to right or left. The figure 
is adopted in this final rule with the corrected labels.
    Third, the NPRM included the term ``power-on'' in section K6.1(f) 
of Appendix K to part 36. That terminology is outdated and is replaced 
in this final rule by the term ``reference''.
    Fourth, the final rule adds the phrase ``throughout the 10 dB-down 
time interval.'' in sections K7.5, K7.9 and K7.10 of Appendix K of part 
36 to be consistent throughout the appendix.
    Fifth, based on AgustaWestland's comment discussed previously, 
section K6.3(b) of Appendix K to part 36 specifies that the flyover 
configuration is to be selected by the applicant.

Regulatory Evaluation, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, 
International Trade Impact Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and 13563 direct each Federal 
agency to 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, this Trade Act requires agencies to consider 
international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis 
of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of 
the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that 
include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, 
local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with 
base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's 
analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule.
    Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies 
and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. 
If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule 
does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement 
to that effect and the basis for it 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 minimal 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 have a significant effect on international trade; and
    (6) Will not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal

[[Page 1135]]

governments, or on the private sector by exceeding the monetary 
threshold identified.

These analyses are summarized below.

    No comments were received on the regulatory evaluation of the 
proposed rule. However, after the NPRM was published on June 21, 2011, 
there was a change in the ownership of the known civil tiltrotor 
program.
    When the NPRM was published, the one known civil tiltrotor 
development program was jointly owned by the Bell and AgustaWestland 
helicopter companies; the project was designated the BA609. In 
November, 2011 AgustaWestland purchased Bell's share of the civil 
tiltrotor program and changed the designation of the aircraft in 
development to AW609. The former Bell Agusta Aerospace Company (BAAC) 
was renamed the AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Company, LLC and merged with 
Agusta US Incorporated to become AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Company 
Incorporated, an American company that is the applicant for a type 
certificate for the AW609. The new company is incorporated in Delaware 
and is a wholly owned subsidiary of AgustaWestland that is owned by 
Finmeccanica, an Italian firm.
    The AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Company, Inc. has rented a facility 
at the Arlington, Texas Municipal Airport. The facility consists of 
approximately 99,000 square feet including a hangar/office building. 
The company plans to construct an adjacent office building. The 
facilities may be used for aircraft sales, engineering and design, 
flight testing, and aircraft maintenance, and other activities when 
approved by the airport.
    Because of the change in ownership of the civil tiltrotor program 
that occurred after the publication of the NPRM, this regulatory 
evaluation has been revised to incorporate the changed circumstances.
    There are currently no part 36 noise certification standards for 
tiltrotors in U.S. regulations. This final rule provides part 36 noise 
certification requirements for tiltrotors by adopting existing ICAO 
standards. The initial regulatory evaluation estimated that these noise 
requirements would be minimal cost. We asked for comments and received 
none. Accordingly, we affirm our determination that these requirements 
will be minimal cost. Providing U.S. tiltrotor noise certification 
standards will facilitate the startup and development of a new 
commercial class of aircraft, the tiltrotor, and allow for 
certification in the United States as exists for other aircraft 
designs. The tiltrotor aircraft type can then be marketed domestically 
and internationally. The FAA believes that this could result in 
substantial benefits.
    The FAA used the same price/cost estimates for the NPRM and 
received no comments. The FAA maintained in the NPRM that this rule was 
minimal cost and we received no comments on that determination.
    The total value of the estimated market equals the aircraft 
purchase price multiplied by the estimated units sold. The potential 
size of the tiltrotor market has been estimated using the sales 
projections of the previous developer, Bell/Agusta. In the next 10 
years, one model of a civil tiltrotor is expected to be available, the 
AW609 (previously the BA609). This aircraft is currently in 
development.
    The price of a BA609 (now the AW609) was estimated to be $10 to $14 
million (aircraftcompare.com, ``Bell Agusta BA609'', http://www.aircraftcompare.com/helicopter-airplane/Bell%20Agusta%20BA609%20/279). This is an increase from the original estimate of $7 million in 
2000. The price of $14 million for a BA609 was used to estimate the 
potential market size for tiltrotor aircraft because AgustaWestland has 
not announced a purchase price for the AW609.
    Bell estimated that the market would result in sales of 
approximately 100 BA609s over 10 years, making the potential near-term 
tiltrotor market worth a nominal $1 billion to $1.4 billion. Table 1 
shows the nominal and present value estimates of the tiltrotor market. 
The present value is based on a 7 percent discount rate, and a ten year 
production period with 10 tiltrotors being delivered each year. The 
present value of the tiltrotor market is estimated to be between 
$702,000,000 and $983,000,000.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR08JA13.005


[[Page 1136]]


    Table 2 summarizes the incremental manufacturer costs for the noise 
certification of a civil tiltrotor as discussed in the initial 
regulatory evaluation. At that time we determined that these costs were 
minimal. We received no comments on that determination and it is not 
changed in the final rule.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR08JA13.006

    Issuance of a type certificate requires compliance with the 
applicable noise certification requirements of part 36. Full noise 
certification testing is generally required for each new aircraft type 
and for certain voluntary changes to type design that are classified as 
acoustical change under Sec.  21.93(b). The incremental costs recur 
only when a new type certificate is issued, or when a change to a type 
design results after an acoustical change is made.
    Noise certification costs consist of four major items: Acoustics; 
Flight Test; Aircraft; and Miscellaneous. For tiltrotors noise 
certification, as for any aircraft certification, the noise 
demonstration flight testing and reporting is the largest incremental 
cost of the noise certification.
    To meet the regulatory requirements for noise control, acoustical 
measurements are used to quantify the characteristic noise levels of 
the aircraft. Almost half the noise certification expense ($250,000) is 
invested in the acoustics group equipment and analysis. This cost 
includes overall noise test planning and coordination, noise test site 
preparation and measurement set-up.
    The second highest noise certification expense involves the flight 
test support ($220,000). These are the expenses for configuring and 
preparing the aircraft to execute the required noise flight test 
procedures.
    The last two noise certification expense groups are aircraft and 
miscellaneous expenses. The aircraft expense ($50,000) involves costs 
associated with aircraft flight time, fuel, and flight crew support. 
Most other general expenses of test support are miscellaneous costs 
($68,000).
    The cost estimates for noise certification were provided by Bell 
Helicopter Textron, the original developer of the civil tiltrotor. The 
cost of noise certification for the tiltrotor is comparable to that for 
a large helicopter (over 7,000 pounds). As shown in Table 2, the 
estimated total incremental cost of a single noise certification is 
$588,000. As the $588,000 would be incurred in the first year, the 
nominal value equals the present value.
    The FAA may incur costs in this certification process. However, 
these costs are not expected to vary significantly from the agency's 
current costs to noise certificate any other new aircraft type.
    Based on the above analyses, and consistent with the determinations 
made in the NPRM, this final rule is considered to be a minimal cost 
rule.
    Since the tiltrotor industry is still developing, the costs and 
benefits discussed are based on the single existing civil tiltrotor 
program. This final rule establishes the noise certification 
requirements for a tiltrotor. While the estimated benefits and costs 
are based on a single tiltrotor type, we have also determined that any 
future designs will benefit from the established noise certification 
requirements.
    The present value cost of the final rule is $588,000 for the 
certification of one tiltrotor type, about the same as would be 
required for a traditional helicopter design. The FAA considered this 
cost to be minimal in the NPRM. The FAA received no comments on this 
minimal cost determination. Therefore, the FAA considers this cost to 
be minimal in this final regulatory evaluation.
    The FAA believes that this final rule will be cost beneficial 
because it is minimal cost, and because it facilitates the development 
of tiltrotor aircraft and the commercial market for them.

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 
businesses, 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.

[[Page 1137]]

    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.
    When the NPRM was published, the tiltrotor was being developed by a 
joint venture of Bell Helicopter, an American company and 
AgustaWestland, an Italian firm. Because an American firm was 
potentially affected by the proposed rule, a Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis was prepared. No comments were received on the Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis which concluded there was no significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    After the NPRM was published, AgustaWestland, an Italian company, 
bought the ownership interests of Bell Helicopter. As such, the 
original BAAC was renamed and merged to become AgustaWestland Tilt-
Rotor Company Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of 
AgustaWestland, an Italian company. AgustaWestland is owned by 
Finmeccanica, also an Italian company.
    Section 601 of the RFA defines the term ``small business'' as 
follows: ``The term ``small business'' has the same meaning as the term 
``small business concern'' under section 3 of the Small Business Act, * 
* *''
    Section 3(a)(1) of the Small Business Act defines a small business 
concern as follows: ``For the purposes of this Act, a small business 
concern, including, but not limited to enterprises that are engaged in 
the business of the production of food and fiber, ranching and raising 
of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural 
related industries, shall be deemed to be one which is independently 
owned and operated and which is not dominant in its field of operation: 
''
    Section 3(a)(2) of the Small Business Act discusses the 
establishment of size standards. The Small Business Administration 
(SBA) size standard for a small entity in aircraft manufacturing is 
1,500 employees.
    The AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Company Incorporated currently 
employs 12 people. While the number of employees of the AgustaWestland 
Tilt Rotor Company meets the SBA employment size standard for a small 
entity, the company is not a small entity as defined by the SBA because 
it is not independently owned and operated. The owner of the 
AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Company, Inc. is Finmeccanica, which has 
75,733 employees, far exceeding the aircraft manufacturing size 
standard of 1,500 employees.
    There are no other companies which are known to be developing or 
manufacturing a civil tiltrotor. Therefore, Finmeccanica (including its 
subsidiaries) is the dominant company involved in the development of a 
civilian tiltrotor. This final rule is expected to be minimal cost and 
there are no small entities affected. Therefore, as the acting FAA 
Administrator, I certify that this final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small tiltrotor 
manufacturers.

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 has assessed the potential effect of this final rule and 
determined that it will encourage international trade by adopting the 
international standards of ICAO as the basis for a rule for the noise 
certification of tiltrotors.

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 $143.1 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

    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 tiltrotor noise guidelines. This regulation harmonizes U.S. 
noise standards with the international standards by adopting the same 
requirements, adapted for the 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 in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. This rule adopts 
internationally established noise standards for a new civil, hybrid 
airplane-rotorcraft known as the tiltrotor. Based on the presence of 
both helicopter and propeller airplane characteristics inherit in the 
tiltrotor, the noise standards use preexisting helicopter noise 
certification limits and procedures. This final rule adopts these noise 
limits to control the harshest (maximum) noise levels when the 
tiltrotor operates in its noisiest configuration--helicopter mode. In 
airplane mode, the tiltrotor is significantly quieter because of its 
low RPM design in cruise mode. The FAA finds the applicability of the 
noise limits adopted here as technologically and environmentally 
consistent for this new class of aircraft.
    The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the 
categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312f of the Order and 
involves no extraordinary circumstances.

[[Page 1138]]

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 Executive Order 12866 and 
DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures, 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 my be obtained by using 
the Internet--
    1. Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);
    2. Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ or
    3. Access the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.
    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by 
notice, amendment, or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680.

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

14 CFR Part 21

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

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 21--CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7572; 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40105, 40113, 
44701-44702, 44704, 44707, 44709, 44711, 44713, 44715, 45303.


0
2. Amend Sec.  21.93 by adding paragraph (b)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  21.93  Classification of changes in type design.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (5) Tiltrotors.
* * * * *

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

0
3. 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
4. Amend Sec.  36.1 as follows:
0
A. Add paragraph (a)(5);
0
B. Amend paragraph (c) by removing the phrase ``or 36.11'' and adding 
the phrase ``36.11 or 36.13'' in its place; and
0
C. Add paragraph (i)
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  36.1  Applicability and definitions.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (5) Type certificates, changes to those certificates, and standard 
airworthiness certificates, for tiltrotors.
* * * * *
    (i) For the purpose of showing compliance with this part for 
tiltrotors, the following terms have the specified meanings:
    Airplane mode means a configuration with nacelles on the down stops 
(axis aligned horizontally) and rotor speed set to cruise revolutions 
per minute (RPM).
    Airplane mode RPM means the lower range of rotor rotational speed 
in RPM defined for the airplane mode cruise flight condition.
    Fixed operation points mean designated nacelle angle positions 
selected for airworthiness reference. These are default positions used 
to refer to normal nacelle positioning operation of the aircraft. The 
nacelle angle is controlled by a self-centering switch. When the 
nacelle angle is 0 degrees (airplane mode) and the pilot moves the 
nacelle switch upwards, the nacelles are programmed to automatically 
turn to the first default position (for example, 60 degrees) where they 
will stop. A second upward move of the switch will tilt the nacelle to 
the second default position (for example, 75 degrees). Above the last 
default position, the nacelle angle can be set to any angle up to 
approximately 95 degrees by moving the switch in the up or down 
direction. The number and position of the fixed operation points may 
vary on different tiltrotor configurations.
    Nacelle angle is defined as the angle between the rotor shaft 
centerline and the longitudinal axis of the aircraft fuselage.
    Tiltrotor means a class of aircraft capable of vertical take-off 
and landing, within the powered-lift category, with rotors mounted at 
or near the wing tips that vary in pitch from near vertical to near 
horizontal configuration relative to the wing and fuselage.
    Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) mode means the aircraft state 
or configuration having the rotors orientated with the axis of rotation 
in a vertical manner (i.e., nacelle angle of approximately 90 degrees) 
for vertical takeoff and landing operations.
    VCON is defined as the maximum authorized speed for any 
nacelle angle in VTOL/Conversion mode.
    VTOL/Conversion mode is all approved nacelle positions where the

[[Page 1139]]

design operating rotor speed is used for hover operations.
    VTOL mode RPM means highest range of RPM that occur for takeoff, 
approach, hover, and conversion conditions.

0
5. Add Sec.  36.13 to subpart A to read as follows:


Sec.  36.13  Acoustical change: Tiltrotor aircraft.

    The following requirements apply to tiltrotors in any category for 
which an acoustical change approval is applied for under Sec.  21.93(b) 
of this chapter on or after March 11, 2013:
    (a) In showing compliance with Appendix K of this part, noise 
levels must be measured, evaluated, and calculated in accordance with 
the applicable procedures and conditions prescribed in Appendix K of 
this part.
    (b) Compliance with the noise limits prescribed in section K4 
(Noise Limits) of Appendix K of this part must be shown in accordance 
with the applicable provisions of sections K2 (Noise Evaluation 
Measure), K3 (Noise Measurement Reference Points), K6 (Noise 
Certification Reference Procedures), and K7 (Test Procedures) of 
Appendix K of this part.
    (c) After a change in type design, tiltrotor noise levels may not 
exceed the limits specified in Sec.  36.1103.

0
6. Add Subpart K of part 36 to read as follows:
Subpart K--Tiltrotors
Sec.
36.1101 Noise measurement and evaluation.
36.1103 Noise limits.

Subpart K--Tiltrotors


Sec.  36.1101  Noise measurement and evaluation.

    For tiltrotors, the noise generated must be measured and evaluated 
under Appendix K of this part, or under an approved equivalent 
procedure.


Sec.  36.1103  Noise limits.

    (a) Compliance with the maximum noise levels prescribed in Appendix 
K of this part must be shown for a tiltrotor for which the application 
for the issuance of a type certificate is made on or after March 11, 
2013.
    (b) To demonstrate compliance with this part, noise levels may not 
exceed the noise limits listed in Appendix K, Section K4, Noise Limits 
of this part. Appendix K of this part (or an approved equivalent 
procedure) must also be used to evaluate and demonstrate compliance 
with the approved test procedures, and at the applicable noise 
measurement points.

0
7. Add Appendix K to part 36 to read as follows:
Appendix K to Part 36--Noise Requirements for Tiltrotors Under Subpart 
K
Sec.
K1 General
K2 Noise Evaluation Measure
K3 Noise Measurement Reference Points
K4 Noise Limits
K5 Trade-offs
K6 Noise Certification Reference Procedures
K7 Test Procedures

Section K1 General

    This appendix prescribes noise limits and procedures for measuring 
noise and adjusting the data to standard conditions for tiltrotors as 
specified in Sec.  36.1 of this part.

Section K2 Noise Evaluation Measure

    The noise evaluation measure is the effective perceived noise level 
in EPNdB, to be calculated in accordance with section A36.4 of Appendix 
A to this part, except corrections for spectral irregularities must be 
determined using the 50 Hz sound pressure level found in section 
H36.201 of Appendix H to this part.

Section K3 Noise Measurement Reference Points

    The following noise reference points must be used when 
demonstrating tiltrotor compliance with section K6 (Noise Certification 
Reference Procedures) and section K7 (Test Procedures) of this 
appendix:
    (a) Takeoff reference noise measurement points--
    As shown in Figure K1 below:
    (1) The centerline noise measurement flight path reference point, 
designated A, is located on the ground vertically below the reference 
takeoff flight path. The measurement point is located 1,640 feet (500 
m) in the horizontal direction of flight from the point Cr where 
transition to climbing flight is initiated, as described in section 
K6.2 of this appendix;
    (2) Two sideline noise measurement points, designated as 
S(starboard) and S(port), are located on the ground perpendicular to 
and symmetrically stationed at 492 feet (150 m) on each side of the 
takeoff reference flight path. The measurement points bisect the 
centerline flight path reference point A.
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[[Page 1140]]

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    (b) Flyover reference noise measurement points--
    As shown in Figure K2 below:
    (1) The centerline noise measurement flight path reference point, 
designated A, is located on the ground 492 feet (150 m) vertically 
below the reference flyover flight path. The measurement point is 
defined by the flyover reference procedure in section K6.3 of this 
appendix;
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR08JA13.008


[[Page 1141]]


    (2) Two sideline noise measurement points, designated as 
S(sideline), are located on the ground perpendicular to and 
symmetrically stationed at 492 feet (150 m) on each side of the flyover 
reference flight path. The measurement points bisect the centerline 
flight path reference point A.
    (c) Approach reference noise measurement points--
    As shown in Figure K3 below:
    (1) The centerline noise measurement flight path reference point, 
designated A, is located on the ground 394 feet (120 m) vertically 
below the reference approach flight path. The measurement point is 
defined by the approach reference procedure in section K6.4 of this 
appendix. On level ground, the measurement point corresponds to a 
position 3,740 feet (1,140 m) from the intersection of the 6.0 degree 
approach path with the ground plane;
    (2) Two sideline noise measurement points, designated as 
S(starboard) and S(port), are located on the ground perpendicular to 
and symmetrically stationed at 492 feet (150 m) on each side of the 
approach reference flight path. The measurement points bisect the 
centerline flight path reference point A.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR08JA13.009

Section K4 Noise Limits

    For a tiltrotor, the maximum noise levels, as determined in 
accordance with the noise evaluation in EPNdB and calculation method 
described in section H36.201 of Appendix H of this part, must not 
exceed the noise limits as follows:
    (a) At the takeoff flight path reference point: For a tiltrotor 
having a maximum certificated takeoff weight (mass) of 176,370 pounds 
(80,000 kg) or more, in VTOL/Conversion mode, 109 EPNdB, decreasing 
linearly with the logarithm of the tiltrotor weight (mass) at a rate of 
3.0 EPNdB per halving of weight (mass) down to 89 EPNdB, after which 
the limit is constant. Figure K4 illustrates the takeoff noise limit as 
a solid line.
    (b) At the Flyover path reference point: For a tiltrotor having a 
maximum certificated takeoff weight (mass) of 176,370 pounds (80,000 
kg) or more, in VTOL/Conversion mode, 108 EPNdB, decreasing linearly 
with the logarithm of the tiltrotor weight (mass) at a rate of 3.0 
EPNdB per halving of weight (mass) down to 88 EPNdB, after which the 
limit is constant. Figure K4 illustrates the flyover noise limit as a 
dashed line.
    (c) At the approach flight path reference point: For a tiltrotor 
having a maximum certificated takeoff weight (mass) of 176,370 pounds 
(80,000 kg) or more, in VTOL/Conversion mode, 110 EPNdB, decreasing 
linearly with the logarithm of the tiltrotors weight (mass) at a rate 
of 3.0 EPNdB per halving of weight (mass) down to 90 EPNdB, after which 
the limit is constant. Figure K4 illustrates the approach noise limit 
as a dash-dot line.

[[Page 1142]]

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Section K5 Trade-Offs

    If the noise evaluation measurement exceeds the noise limits 
described in K4 of this appendix at one or two measurement points:
    (a) The sum of excesses must not be greater than 4 EPNdB;
    (b) The excess at any single point must not be greater than 3 
EPNdB; and
    (c) Any excess must be offset by the remaining noise margin at the 
other point or points.

Section K6 Noise Certification Reference Procedures

    K6.1 General Conditions
    (a) [Reserved]
    (b) [Reserved]
    (c) The takeoff, flyover and approach reference procedures must be 
established in accordance with sections K6.2, K6.3 and K6.4 of this 
appendix, except as specified in section K6.1(d) of this appendix.
    (d) If the design characteristics of the tiltrotor prevent test 
flights from being conducted in accordance with section K6.2, K6.3 or 
K6.4 of this appendix, the applicant must revise the test procedures 
and resubmit the procedures for approval.
    (e) The following reference atmospheric conditions must be used to 
establish the reference procedures:
    (1) Sea level atmospheric pressure of 2,116 pounds per square foot 
(1,013.25 hPa);
    (2) Ambient air temperature of 77[emsp14][deg]Fahrenheit (25 [deg] 
Celsius, i.e. ISA + 10 [deg]C);
    (3) Relative humidity of 70 percent; and
    (4) Zero wind.
    (f) For tests conducted in accordance with sections K6.2, K6.3, and 
K6.4 of this appendix, use the maximum normal operating RPM 
corresponding to the airworthiness limit imposed by the manufacturer. 
For configurations for which the rotor speed automatically links with 
the flight condition, use the maximum normal operating rotor speed 
corresponding with the reference flight condition. For configurations 
for which the rotor speed can change by pilot action, use the highest 
normal rotor speed specified in the flight manual limitation section 
for the reference conditions.
    K6.2 Takeoff Reference Procedure. The takeoff reference flight 
procedure is as follows:
    (a) A constant takeoff configuration must be maintained, including 
the nacelle angle selected by the applicant;
    (b) The tiltrotor power must be stabilized at the maximum takeoff 
power corresponding to the minimum

[[Page 1143]]

installed engine(s) specification power available for the reference 
ambient conditions or gearbox torque limit, whichever is lower. The 
tiltrotor power must also be stabilized along a path starting from a 
point located 1,640 feet (500 m) before the flight path reference 
point, at 65 ft (20 m) above ground level;
    (c) The nacelle angle and the corresponding best rate of climb 
speed, or the lowest approved speed for the climb after takeoff, 
whichever is the greater, must be maintained throughout the takeoff 
reference procedure;
    (d) The rotor speed must be stabilized at the maximum normal 
operating RPM certificated for takeoff;
    (e) The weight (mass) of the tiltrotors must be the maximum takeoff 
weight (mass) as requested for noise certification; and
    (f) The reference takeoff flight profile is a straight line segment 
inclined from the starting point 1,640 feet (500 m) before to the 
center noise measurement point and 65 ft (20 m) above ground level at 
an angle defined by best rate of climb and the speed corresponding to 
the selected nacelle angle and for minimum specification engine 
performance.
    K6.3 Flyover Reference Procedure. The flyover reference flight 
procedure is as follows:
    (a) The tiltrotor must be stabilized for level flight along the 
centerline flyover flight path and over the noise measurement reference 
point at an altitude of 492 ft (150 m) above ground level;
    (b) A constant flyover configuration selected by the applicant must 
be maintained;
    (c) The weight (mass) of the tiltrotor must be the maximum takeoff 
weight (mass) as requested for noise certification;
    (d) In the VTOL/Conversion mode:
    (1) The nacelle angle must be at the authorized fixed operation 
point that is closest to the shallow nacelle angle certificated for 
zero airspeed;
    (2) The airspeed must be 0.9VCON and
    (3) The rotor speed must be stabilized at the maximum normal 
operating RPM certificated for level flight.
    K6.4 Approach Reference Procedure. The approach reference procedure 
is as follows:
    (a) The tiltrotor must be stabilized to follow a 6.0 degree 
approach path;
    (b) An approved airworthiness configuration in which maximum noise 
occurs must be maintained;
    (1) An airspeed equal to the best rate of climb speed corresponding 
to the nacelle angle, or the lowest approved airspeed for the approach, 
whichever is greater, must be stabilized and maintained; and
    (2) The tiltrotor power during the approach must be stabilized over 
the flight path reference point, and continue as if landing;
    (c) The rotor speed must be stabilized at the maximum normal 
operating RPM certificated for approach;
    (d) The constant approach configuration used in airworthiness 
certification tests, with the landing gear extended, must be 
maintained; and
    (e) The weight (mass) of the tiltrotor at landing must be the 
maximum landing weight (mass) as requested for noise certification.

Section K7 Test Procedures

    K7.1 [Reserved]
    K7.2 The test procedures and noise measurements must be conducted 
and processed to yield the noise evaluation measure designated in 
section K2 of this appendix.
    K7.3 If either the test conditions or test procedures do not comply 
to the applicable noise certification reference conditions or 
procedures prescribed by this part, the applicant must apply the 
correction methods described in section H36.205 of Appendix H of this 
part to the acoustic test data measured.
    K7.4 Adjustments for differences between test and reference flight 
procedures must not exceed:
    (a) For takeoff: 4.0 EPNdB, of which the arithmetic sum of delta 1 
and the term -7.5 log (QK/QrKr) from delta 2 must not in total exceed 
2.0 EPNdB;
    (b) For flyover or approach: 2.0 EPNdB.
    K7.5 The average rotor RPM must not vary from the normal maximum 
operating RPM by more than 1.0 percent throughout the 10 
dB-down time interval.
    K7.6 The tiltrotor airspeed must not vary from the reference 
airspeed appropriate to the flight demonstration by more than 5 kts (9 km/h) throughout the 10 dB-down time 
interval.
    K7.7 The number of level flyovers made with a head wind component 
must be equal to the number of level flyovers made with a tail wind 
component.
    K7.8 The tiltrotor must operate between 10 degrees from 
the vertical or between 65 feet (20 m) lateral 
deviation tolerance, whichever is greater, above the reference track 
and throughout the 10 dB-down time interval.
    K7.9 The tiltrotor altitude must not vary during each flyover by 
more than 30 ft (9 m) from the reference 
altitude throughout the 10 dB-down time interval.
    K7.10 During the approach procedure, the tiltrotor must establish a 
stabilized constant speed approach and fly between approach angles of 
5.5 degrees and 6.5 degrees throughout the 10 dB-down time interval.
    K7.11 During all test procedures, the tiltrotor weight (mass) must 
not be less than 90 percent and not more than 105 percent of the 
maximum certificated weight (mass). For each of the test procedures, 
complete at least one test at or above this maximum certificated weight 
(mass).
    K7.12 A tiltrotor capable of carrying external loads or external 
equipment must be noise certificated without such loads or equipment 
fitted
    K7.13 The value of VCON used for noise certification 
must be included in the approved Flight Manual.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 21, 2012.
Michael P. Huerta,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-00111 Filed 1-7-13; 8:45 am]
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