[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 120 (Monday, June 23, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 35488-35490]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-14457]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 93

[Docket No.: FAA-2010-0302; Amdt. No. 93-98]
RIN 2120-AK46

The Extension of the Expiration Date of the New York North Shore 
Helicopter Route

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The action amends the expiration date of the final rule 
requiring pilots flying civil helicopters under Visual Flight Rules to 
use the New York North Shore Helicopter Route when operating along the 
north shore of Long Island, New York. The current rule expires on 
August 6, 2014. The FAA finds it necessary to extend this rule for an 
additional two years to preserve the current operating environment in 
order to determine whether the mandatory use of this route should be 
made permanent. The FAA will conduct notice and comment rulemaking on 
the permanent use of this route. A limited extension of the current 
rule provides needed time to conduct the appropriate analysis to assess 
the rule's impact and proper rulemaking procedures.

DATES: This final rule is effective August 6, 2014, through August 6, 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions concerning 
this action, contact David Maddox, Airspace Regulation and ATC 
Procedures Group, AJV-113, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone 202-267- 8783; 
email david.maddox@faa.gov.
    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Lorelei Peter, 
International Law, Legislation and Regulations Division, AGC-200, 
Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone 202-267-3073; 
email Lorelei.Peter@faa.gov.


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.
    The FAA has broad authority and responsibility to regulate the 
operation of aircraft, the use of the navigable airspace and to 
establish safety standards for and regulate the certification of 
airmen, aircraft, and air carriers. (49 U.S.C. 40104 et seq., 
40103(b)). The FAA's authority for this rule is contained in 49 U.S.C. 
40103 and 44715. Under section 40103, the Administrator of the FAA has 
authority to ``prescribe air traffic regulations on the flight of 
aircraft (including regulations on safe altitudes) for * * * (B) 
protecting individuals and property on the ground. (49 U.S.C. 
40103(b)(2)). In addition, section 44715(a), provides that to ``relieve 
and protect the public health and welfare from aircraft noise,'' the 
Administrator of the FAA, ``as he deems necessary, shall prescribe * * 
* (ii) regulations to control and abate aircraft noise * * *.''

I. Background

    In response to concerns from local residents regarding noise from 
helicopters operating over Long Island, the FAA adopted the New York 
North Shore Helicopter Route final rule (77 FR 39911). The rule is 
based on a voluntary Visual Flight Rule (VFR) route that was developed 
by the FAA working with the Eastern Region Helicopter Council. The rule 
requires civil helicopter pilots operating under VFR, whose route of 
flight takes them over the north shore of Long Island between the VPLYD 
waypoint and Orient point, to use the North Shore Helicopter Route, as 
published in the New York Helicopter Chart.\1\ The rule permits pilots 
to deviate from the route and altitude requirements when necessary for 
safety, weather conditions, or transitioning to or from a destination 
or point of landing. The rule was promulgated to maximize use of the 
route as published in order to secure and improve upon decreased levels 
of noise that had been voluntarily achieved.

    \1\ The voluntary route originally was added to the Helicopter 
Route Chart for New York on May 8, 2008.

    The current rule terminates on August 6, 2014. The FAA limited the 
duration of the rule because at the time of promulgation the FAA did 
not know the current rate of compliance with the voluntary route or the 
circumstances surrounding an operator's decision to not use the route. 
The FAA concluded that ``There is no reason to retain this rule if the 
FAA determines that it is not actually improving the noise situation 
along the north shore of Long Island.'' \2\ Accordingly, the agency 
decided that

[[Page 35489]]

the rule would sunset in two years if it was determined that there is 
no meaningful improvement in the effects of helicopter noise on quality 
of life or that the rule was otherwise unjustified. Specifically, the 
FAA stated ``Should there be such an improvement, the FAA may, after 
appropriate notice and opportunity for comment, decide to make the rule 
permanent. Likewise, should the FAA determine that reasonable 
modification could be made to the route to better address noise 
concerns (and any other relevant concerns), we may choose to modify the 
rule after notice and comment.'' \3\

    \2\ See 77 FR 39918.
    \3\ Id.

II. The Final Rule

    This action extends the requirement for pilots of civil helicopters 
to use the North Shore Helicopter Route when transiting along the north 
shore of Long Island for an additional two years, while the FAA 
considers whether to make the mandatory use of the route permanent. The 
current rule requiring use of the route expires on August 6, 2014. 
Public input to this consideration is critical and additional time is 
needed to conduct the rulemaking process. However, the FAA does not 
want to disrupt the operating environment and cause any confusion on 
using the route during this interim period. Therefore, the FAA finds 
that a two year extension of the current rule is warranted to maintain 
the current operating environment and permit the agency to engage in 
rulemaking to determine future action on this route. The FAA expects to 
issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the permanent use of this 
route in the immediate future. The FAA finds that under Title 5 of the 
United States Code section 553(b) good cause exists that notice and 
public comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

III. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct 
that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon 
a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation 
justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. 
L. 96-354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of 
regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act 
(Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create 
unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In 
developing U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider 
international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis 
of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of 
the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that 
include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, 
local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with 
base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's 
analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule.
    Department of Transportation 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 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 extension. The reasoning 
for this determination follows.
    Since this rule only extends the current requirements for pilots of 
civil helicopters to use the North Shore Helicopter Route when 
transiting along the north shore of Long Island for an additional two 
years, the expected outcome will be a minimal impact and a regulatory 
evaluation was not prepared.
    The FAA has therefore determined that this extension is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866, and is not ``significant'' as defined in DOT's 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures.

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, section 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 
    This final rule will maintain the current operating environment for 
two years, therefore the FAA maintains that it will only have a minimal 
impact on any small entity affected by this rulemaking action.

C. 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 
would have only a domestic impact and therefore no effect on 
international trade.

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

[[Page 35490]]

uses an inflation-adjusted value of $151 million in lieu of $100 
million. This final 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 is no new requirement for information collection associated with 
this final rule.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices 
that correspond to these regulations.
    Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation, promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet 
shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, 
environmental, and other issues and to reduce, eliminate, or prevent 
unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA has 
analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of 
Executive Order 13609, and has determined that this action would have 
no effect on international regulatory cooperation.

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 that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under 
the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 
1050.1E, ``Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,'' paragraph 
312f. This action is not expected to cause any potentially significant 
environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that 
warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

IV. Executive Order Determinations

A. 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 

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

    The FAA analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it 
is not a ``significant energy action'' under the executive order and it 
is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy.

V. Additional Information

A. 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.gpo.gov/fdsys/.
    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 amendment number of this 
    All documents the FAA considered in developing this rulemaking 
action, 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 93

    Air traffic control, Airspace, Navigation (air).

The Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration amends chapter I.


1. The authority citation for part 93 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40109, 40113, 44502, 
44514, 44701, 44715, 44719, 46301.

2. Amend Sec.  93.101 to read as follows:

Sec.  93.101  Applicability.

    This subpart prescribes a special air traffic rule for civil 
helicopters operating VFR along the North Shore, Long Island, New York, 
between August 6, 2012 and August 6, 2016.

    Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a), 
and 44703 in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2014.
Michael P. Huerta,
[FR Doc. 2014-14457 Filed 6-20-14; 8:45 am]