[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 239 (Tuesday, December 13, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 90126-90177]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-28714]



[[Page 90125]]

Vol. 81

Tuesday,

No. 239

December 13, 2016

Part IV





 Department of Transportation





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 Federal Aviation Administration





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 14 CFR Parts 1, 23, 25, et al.





 Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced Flight 
Vision Systems and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements for Vision 
Systems; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 239 / Tuesday, December 13, 2016 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 90126]]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 1, 23, 25, 27, 29, 61, 91, 121, 125, and 135

[Docket No.: FAA-2013-0485; Amdt. Nos. 1-70, 23-63, 25-144, 27-48, 29-
56, 61-139, 91-345, 121-376, 125-66, and 135-135]
RIN 2120-AJ94


Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced 
Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements 
for Vision Systems

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: Prior to this final rule, persons could only use an Enhanced 
Flight Vision System (EFVS) in lieu of natural vision to descend below 
the decision altitude, decision height, or minimum descent altitude 
(DA/DH or MDA) down to 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation 
(TDZE) using certain straight-in landing instrument approach procedures 
(IAPs). This final rule permits operators to use an EFVS in lieu of 
natural vision to continue descending from 100 feet above the TDZE to 
the runway and to land on certain straight-in IAPs under instrument 
flight rules (IFR). This final rule also revises and relocates the 
regulations that permit operators to use an EFVS in lieu of natural 
vision to descend to 100 feet above the TDZE using certain straight-in 
IAPs. Additionally, this final rule addresses provisions that permit 
operators who conduct EFVS operations under parts 121, 125, or 135 to 
use EFVS-equipped aircraft to dispatch, release, or takeoff under IFR, 
and revises the regulations for those operators to initiate and 
continue an approach, when the destination airport weather is below 
authorized visibility minimums for the runway of intended landing. This 
final rule establishes pilot training and recent flight experience 
requirements for operators who use EFVS in lieu of natural vision to 
descend below the DA/DH or MDA. EFVS-equipped aircraft conducting 
operations to touchdown and rollout are required to meet additional 
airworthiness requirements. This final rule also revises pilot 
compartment view certification requirements for vision systems using a 
transparent display surface located in the pilot's outside field of 
view. The final rule takes advantage of advanced vision capabilities, 
thereby achieving the Next Generation Air Transportation System 
(NextGen) goals of increasing access, efficiency, and throughput at 
many airports when low visibility is the limiting factor. Additionally, 
it enables EFVS operations in reduced visibilities on a greater number 
of approach procedure types while maintaining an equivalent level of 
safety.

DATES: The final rule is effective March 13, 2017, except for the 
amendments to Sec. Sec.  61.66 (amendatory instruction no. 15), 91.175 
(amendatory instruction no. 18), 91.1039 (amendatory instruction no. 
23), 121.651 (amendatory instruction no. 27), 125.325 (amendatory 
instruction no. 33), 125.381 (amendatory instruction no. 35), and 
135.225 (amendatory instruction no. 38), which are effective March 13, 
2018.

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 action, contact Terry King, Flight Technologies and Procedures 
Division, AFS-400, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; 
telephone (202) 267-8790; email [email protected].

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 (49 U.S.C.). 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 49 
U.S.C. 40103, which vests the Administrator with broad authority to 
prescribe regulations to ensure the safety of aircraft and the 
efficient use of airspace, and 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5), which requires 
the Administrator to promulgate regulations and minimum standards for 
other practices, methods, and procedures necessary for safety in air 
commerce and national security.

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms Frequently Used in This Document

AC--Advisory circular
ADS-B--Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast
AFM--Airplane flight manual
AFMS--Airplane flight manual supplement
AIM--Aeronautical Information Manual
ALPA--Airline Pilots Association
APV--Approach (procedure) with vertical guidance
ASR--Airport surveillance radar
ATC--Air Traffic Control
AWO--All weather operations
AWOH ARC--All Weather Operations Harmonization Aviation Rulemaking 
Committee
CAA--Civil aviation authority
CVS--Combined Vision System
DA--Decision altitude
DH--Decision height
EASA--European Aviation Safety Agency
EFVS--Enhanced Flight Vision System
EVS--Enhanced Vision System
FAA--Federal Aviation Administration
FAF--Final approach fix
FFS--Full flight simulator
FPARC--Flight path angle reference cue
FPV--Flight path vector
FSB--Flight Standardization Board
GAMA--General Aviation Manufacturers Association
GPS--Global positioning system
HAI--Helicopter Association International
HGS--Head Up Guidance System
HMD--Head mounted display
HUD--Head up display
IAP--Instrument approach procedure
ICAO--International Civil Aviation Organization
ICAO HESC--International Civil Aviation Organization HUD, EVS, SVS, 
and CVS Subgroup
IFR--Instrument flight rules
ILS--Instrument landing system
IMC--Instrument meteorological conditions
IR--Infrared
LED--Light emitting diode
LIDAR--Laser imaging detection and ranging
LOA--Letter of authorization
LODA--Letter of deviation authority
LPV--Localizer performance with vertical guidance
MASPS--Minimum aviation system performance standards
MDA--Minimum descent altitude
MSpec--Management specifications
NextGen--Next Generation Air Transportation System
NPRM--Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NVG--Night vision goggle
OEM--Original equipment manufacturer
OpSpec--Operations specifications
PAR--Precision approach radar
PCG--Pilot/Controller Glossary
PIC--Pilot in Command
RNAV--Area navigation
RNP--Required navigation performance
RVR--Runway visual range
SNPRM--Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
TERPS--Terminal instrument procedures
TDZE--Touchdown Zone Elevation
VFR--Visual flight rules
VNAV--Vertical navigation
WAAS--Wide area augmentation system

Table of Contents

I. Overview of Final Rule
II. Background
    A. Statement of the Problem
    B. Related Actions
    C. Summary of the NPRM

[[Page 90127]]

    D. General Overview of Comments
III. Discussion of Final Rule and Public Comments
    A. Revise the Definition for EFVS and Add a Definition for EFVS 
Operation (Sec.  1.1)
    B. Consolidate EFVS Requirements in Part 91 in a New Section 
(Sec.  91.176)
    C. Equipment, Operating, and Visibility and Visual Reference 
Requirements for EFVS Operations to Touchdown and Rollout (Sec.  
91.176(a))
    1. Equipment Requirements
    a. Real-Time Imaging Sensors
    b. Head Up Presentation Requirement for EFVS Operations
    c. EFVS Terminology
    d. EFVS Equipment Requirements for Foreign-Registered Aircraft
    e. Line of Vision and Conformal Display
    f. Flight Path Angle Reference Cue (FPARC)
    g. Requirement to Display Height Above Ground Level
    h. Requirement to Display Flare Prompt or Flare Guidance
    i. Pilot Monitoring Display
    j. Applicability of EFVS Provisions to Rotorcraft Operations
    k. Requirement to Obtain a Certificate of Waiver When Conducting 
Certain EFVS Operations
    2. Operating Requirements
    a. Approaches Permitted for EFVS Operations
    b. Touchdown Zone
    c. Definition of ``EFVS Operation'' and Underlying Operational 
Concepts
    d. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and EFVS Operations
    e. LOA Requirement for Part 91 Operators To Conduct EFVS 
Operations to Touchdown and Rollout
    f. International EFVS Operations
    g. EFVS Authorizations
    h. EFVS for Takeoff Operations
    i. Combined Vision Systems
    j. Use of the Term ``EFVS'' in Rule Language
    k. Approach Plates and EFVS Operations
    l. References to EFVS-Specific Callouts
    m. Miscellaneous Revisions to EFVS Operating Requirements
    n. Opposing Comments on the FAA's Proposal
    3. Visibility and Visual Reference Requirements
    a. Visual References Below 100 Feet Above the TDZE During EFVS 
Operations to Touchdown and Rollout
    b. Enhanced Flight Visibility Requirement During EFVS Operations 
to 100 Feet Above the TDZE
    c. Visual References for Rollout
    d. Controlling Runway Visual Range (RVR) Values
    e. Emitter Technologies as Alternative Visual Aids
    f. Use of EFVS To Satisfy the Visibility Requirements of 
Sec. Sec.  91.155 and 91.157 During Rotorcraft Operations
    D. Revisions to Requirements for EFVS Operations to 100 Feet 
Above the TDZE (Sec.  91.176(b))
    1. Methods for Conducting Approaches During EFVS Operations to 
100 Feet Above the TDZE
    E. Training, Recent Flight Experience, and Refresher Training 
Requirements for Persons Conducting EFVS Operations (Sec.  61.66)
    1. Training Requirements for Persons Conducting EFVS Operations 
(Sec.  61.66(a), (b) and (c))
    a. Separate Training for EFVS Operations to 100 Feet Above the 
TDZE and EFVS Operations to Touchdown and Rollout
    b. EFVS and Aircraft-Specific Training
    c. Adaptation Period Prior to Using an EFVS in Flight Operations
    d. Revisions To Clarify Training Requirements in Sec.  61.66(a), 
(b) and (c)
    2. Recent Flight Experience and EFVS Refresher Training for 
Persons Conducting EFVS Operations (Sec.  61.66(d) and (e))
    3. EFVS Recent Flight Experience
    4. Persons Authorized to Conduct EFVS Refresher Training
    5. Revisions to Sec.  61.57
    6. Military Pilots and Former Military Pilots in the U.S. Armed 
Forces (Sec.  61.66(f))
    7. Use of Full Flight Simulators (Sec.  61.66(g))
    8. Exceptions (Sec.  61.66(h))
    a. Manipulating the Controls (Sec.  61.66(h)(1)(i), (ii), and 
(iii)
    b. Exception to Ground and Flight Training (Sec.  61.66(h)(2))
    c. Exception to Recent Flight Experience Requirements (Sec.  
61.66(h)(3))
    d. Grandfather Clause (Sec.  61.66(h)(4))
    F. Dispatching, Releasing, or Initiating a Flight Using EFVS-
Equipped Aircraft When the Reported or Forecast Visibility at the 
Destination Airport is Below Authorized Minimums (Sec. Sec.  
121.613, 125.361, 135.219) and Initiating or Continuing an Approach 
Using EFVS-Equipped Aircraft When the Destination Airport Visibility 
is Below Authorized Minimums (Sec. Sec.  121.651, 125.325, 125.381, 
135.225)
    G. Revisions to Category II and III General Operating Rules to 
Permit the Use of an EFVS (Sec.  91.189)
    H. Pilot Compartment View Rules and Airworthiness Standards for 
Vision Systems With Transparent Displays Located in the Pilot's 
Outside Field of View (Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 
29.773)
    1. Vision Systems and Display Methods Addressed by Sec. Sec.  
23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 29.773
    2. Pilot's Outside View--Terminology and Compensation for 
Interference
    3. Undistorted View Requirements
    4. Alignment of Vision System Cues and Head Mounted Display 
(HMD) Considerations
    5. Requirement To Provide a Means of Immediate Deactivation and 
Reactivation of Vision System Imagery
    6. Vision Systems and Requirements Applicable to Duties and 
Maneuvers
    7. Issue Papers for HUD, EFVS, EVS, SVS and CVS Installations
    8. Head Up Display (HUD) Installation and Bird Strike 
Requirements
    I. Related and Conforming Amendments (Sec. Sec.  91.175, 91.905, 
and 135.225)
    J. Implementation
    K. Miscellaneous Issues
    1. Minimum Crew Requirements
    2. Failure Modes
    3. EFVS Equipment and Operational Considerations
    4. Applicability of Previously Collected Data or Data Submitted 
on the Basis of Similarity
    5. Public Aircraft Operations
    6. Qualification Requirements for Persons Conducting EFVS 
Operations in the United States
    7. Economic Comments
IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses
    A. Regulatory Evaluation
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination
    C. International Trade Impact Assessment
    D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment
    E. Paperwork Reduction Act
    F. International Compatibility and Cooperation
    G. Environmental Analysis
    V. Executive Order Determinations
    A. Executive Order 13132. Federalism
    B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use
VI. How to Obtain Additional Information
    A. Rulemaking Documents
    B. Comments Submitted to the Docket
    C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

I. Overview of Final Rule

    This final rule modifies the requirements for EFVS operations. The 
FAA is revising the definition of an EFVS in Sec.  1.1 to describe the 
components of an EFVS and to specify that an EFVS is an ``installed 
aircraft system'' rather than an ``installed airborne system'' because 
some EFVS operations may be conducted on the surface as well as 
airborne. The FAA is also adding a new term, ``EFVS operation,'' to 
Sec.  1.1.
    The FAA is creating new Sec.  91.176, which contains the operating 
rules for EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout and for EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. The FAA is relocating to Sec.  
91.176(b) the regulations for EFVS operations to 100 feet above the 
TDZE, which were previously located in Sec.  91.175(l) and (m), and is 
revising and restructuring these regulations. Prior to this final rule, 
persons could only use EFVS in lieu of natural vision to descend below 
DA/DH or MDA down to 100 feet above the TDZE using certain straight-in 
landing IAPs. Section 91.176(a) now expands the existing operational 
capability by permitting persons to use an EFVS in lieu of natural 
vision to continue descending below 100 feet above the TDZE to landing 
and rollout. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of Sec.  91.176 are organized into 
three main areas--equipment requirements, operating requirements, and 
visibility and visual reference requirements. The equipment,

[[Page 90128]]

operating, and visibility requirements in paragraph (a) for conducting 
an EFVS operation to touchdown and rollout are different from the 
requirements in paragraph (b) for conducting an EFVS operation to 100 
feet above the TDZE. In addition, persons are permitted to use two new 
visual references for descent below 100 feet above the TDZE for EFVS 
operations conducted under both Sec.  91.176(a) and (b). The FAA is 
also amending the operating rules for Category II and Category III 
operations in Sec.  91.189 to permit the use of EFVS in lieu of natural 
vision during the performance of those operations.
    This final rule also establishes training and recent flight 
experience requirements for persons conducting EFVS operations.\1\ The 
ground and flight training requirements in Sec.  61.66(a), (b) and (c) 
apply to pilots conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE 
as well as to pilots conducting EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout. A pilot must comply with the training provisions of part 61 in 
addition to the training provisions of the part under which the 
operation is conducted, which may require additional ground and flight 
training appropriate to the particular assignment of the pilot 
flightcrew member. Recent flight experience and refresher training 
requirements for persons conducting EFVS operations are located in 
Sec.  61.66(d) and (e). Additionally, Sec.  61.66(f) contains the 
requirements applicable to military and former military pilots in the 
U.S. Armed Forces who wish to conduct EFVS operations under Sec.  
91.176.
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    \1\ As further discussed in section III.E of this preamble, the 
FAA has reorganized the training, recent flight experience, and 
proficiency requirements that were proposed in Sec. Sec.  61.31 and 
61.57 and consolidated them in new Sec.  61.66.
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    The FAA is revising Sec. Sec.  121.651, 125.325, 125.381, and 
135.225 to permit operators of EFVS-equipped aircraft to initiate or 
continue an approach when the destination airport visibility is below 
authorized minimums. The FAA is also revising Sec.  91.1039(e) to 
permit part 91 subpart K operators to conduct takeoff operations using 
EFVS when the visibility is less than 600 feet in accordance with the 
certificate holders' Management Specifications (MSpec) for EFVS 
operations, and to clarify that an EFVS operation is permitted when the 
landing weather minimums are less than those prescribed by the 
authority having jurisdiction over the airport.
    Section 91.176(a)(2)(viii) through (xi) requires operators 
conducting EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout under part 91, 121, 
125 (including part 125 Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) holders), 
129, or 135 to obtain FAA authorization to conduct those operations. 
Section 91.176(b)(2)(vii) through (ix) requires operators conducting 
EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE under part 91 subpart K, 
121, 125 (including part 125 LODA holders), or 135 to obtain FAA 
authorization to conduct those operations. Under Sec.  91.176(b)(2), 
part 91 operators, other than those operating under part 91 subpart K, 
are not required to obtain FAA authorization to conduct EFVS operations 
to 100 feet above the TDZE.
    The FAA now revises the pilot compartment view rules contained in 
Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 29.773 to establish 
airworthiness standards for vision systems with a transparent display 
surface located in the pilot's outside field of view, such as a head up 
display, head mounted display, or other equivalent display. This final 
rule eliminates the current need to issue special conditions for vision 
system video on a head up display. The FAA notes that its Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), ``Revision of Airworthiness Standards for 
Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes,'' 81 FR 
13452 (Mar. 14, 2016), contains proposals that significantly 
restructure part 23. Because the part 23 NPRM is pending, references to 
part 23 in this final rule refer to existing part 23, and revisions to 
the pilot compartment view rules contained in Sec. Sec.  23.773, 
25.773, 27.773, and 29.773 include the general requirements that were 
previously contained in special conditions. Revising Sec.  23.773 
establishes a requirement that could later be used as a means of 
compliance if the proposed part 23 rule becomes final.
    This final rule also makes related and conforming amendments to 
Sec. Sec.  91.175, 91.905 and 135.225. The FAA is updating regulatory 
cross references and terms in Sec.  91.175 to coincide with this final 
rule and with another FAA final rule, which was published after the 
NPRM.\2\ The FAA is amending Sec.  91.905 to include Sec.  91.176 as a 
regulation subject to waiver. Additionally, the FAA is revising Sec.  
135.225 to correct a drafting error that arose from another final rule, 
``Enhanced Flight Vision Systems,'' 69 FR 1620 (Jan. 9, 2004), and 
later identified in an FAA legal interpretation dated September 20, 
2013.\3\
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    \2\ Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and Aircraft 
Dispatchers, 78 FR 67800 (Nov. 12, 2013).
    \3\ Legal Interpretation, Letter to Mr. Phillip Kelsey from Mark 
W. Bury, Acting Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations (September 
20, 2013).
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II. Background

A. Statement of the Problem

    The FAA created regulations in 2004, Sec.  91.175(l) and (m), which 
permitted persons to use an EFVS in lieu of natural vision to descend 
an aircraft below DA/DH or MDA down to 100 feet above the TDZE. These 
regulations, however, did not provide operators with the ability to 
fully utilize the benefits of EFVS technology. The FAA believes it can 
better leverage EFVS capabilities by issuing performance-based 
requirements for current and future enhanced flight vision systems, 
which should increase access, efficiency, and throughput at many 
airports when low visibility is a factor.
    Under the 2004 EFVS regulations, the pilot of an aircraft operating 
under part 121, 125, or 135 could not begin an approach or continue an 
approach past the final approach fix (FAF), or, where a FAF was not 
used, begin the final approach segment of an instrument approach 
procedure, when the weather at the destination airport was reported to 
be below authorized minimums. These restrictions prevented persons 
conducting operations under parts 121, 125, or 135 from using EFVS for 
maximum operational benefit.
    Under Sec.  91.175(l), persons could use the enhanced flight 
visibility provided by an EFVS for operational benefit only in that 
portion of the visual segment of an approach that extended from DA/DH 
or MDA down to 100 feet above the TDZE. While that provided significant 
benefits, the requirement to transition to natural vision at 100 feet 
above the TDZE prevented operators from realizing the benefits of 
permitting EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout.
    Furthermore, the 2004 EFVS regulations did not specify any 
training, recent flight experience, or proficiency requirements in part 
61 for persons conducting EFVS operations. Since the 2004 final rule 
was enacted, the number of EFVS operations has significantly increased. 
The FAA believes this final rule will further increase the number of 
operators conducting EFVS operations to lower altitudes in low 
visibility conditions. Therefore, training, recent flight experience, 
and refresher training requirements in part 61 are needed to ensure an 
appropriate level of safety is maintained.
    Additionally, the 2004 EFVS regulations did not permit persons to 
use EFVS for operational benefit during Category II and Category III 
operations. The FAA believes an EFVS can provide operational and safety 
benefits during Category II and Category III operations,

[[Page 90129]]

especially as more advanced imaging sensor capabilities are developed, 
which function more effectively in lower visibility conditions.
    Finally, prior to this final rule, there were no airworthiness 
standards that specifically addressed vision systems, such as EFVS. 
Accordingly, the FAA used special conditions to certificate aircraft 
with vision systems, which imposed significant delays on the 
certification process.

B. Related Actions

    The FAA revised Advisory Circular (AC) 90-106, Enhanced Flight 
Vision Systems, and AC 20-167, Airworthiness Approval of Enhanced 
Vision System, Synthetic Vision System, Combined Vision System, and 
Enhanced Flight Vision System Equipment to incorporate the provisions 
of this final rule. AC 90-106A contains guidance for the operational 
approval of EFVS, and AC 20-167A specifies a means of compliance that 
may be used to obtain airworthiness approval for EFVS.

C. Summary of the NPRM

    On June 11, 2013, the FAA published an NPRM titled ``Revisions to 
Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems 
(EFVS) and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements for Vision Systems,'' 
78 FR 34935. The comment period was initially scheduled to close on 
September 9, 2013. Dassault Aviation submitted a request to extend the 
NPRM comment period to October 15, 2013, stating that it needed 
additional time to evaluate and prepare comments for the NPRM, draft AC 
90-106A, and draft AC 20-167A, all of which are directly related. On 
September 6, 2013, the FAA published a notice in the Federal Register 
extending the NPRM comment period to October 15, 2013, to coincide with 
the close of comment period for draft AC 90-106A and draft AC 20-167A. 
``Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced Flight 
Vision Systems (EFVS) and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements for 
Vision Systems; Extension of Comment Period,'' 78 FR 54790.
    The regulatory evaluation associated with the NPRM was not posted 
to the docket prior to the close of the comment period. Therefore, to 
ensure that the public had the opportunity to provide comments 
specifically on the regulatory evaluation posted in the docket, the FAA 
published a notice in the Federal Register on August 20, 2015, 
reopening the comment period for 30 days to allow for comments on the 
regulatory evaluation only. ``Revisions to Operational Requirements for 
the Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) and to Pilot 
Compartment View Requirements for Vision Systems; Reopening of Comment 
Period,'' 80 FR 50587.
    In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to--
     More fully define the components of an EFVS and provide a 
definition of the term ``EFVS operation'' in Sec.  1.1.
     Establish airworthiness standards for vision systems with 
a transparent display surface located in the pilot's outside field of 
view in Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 29.773.
     Require training and an endorsement for EFVS operations in 
Sec.  61.31(l).
     Require recent flight experience or a proficiency check 
for a person conducting an EFVS operation or acting as pilot in command 
(PIC) during an EFVS operation in Sec.  61.57(i).
     Re-designate Sec.  91.175(l) and (m) as Sec.  91.176(b). 
The FAA proposed to place all EFVS regulations contained in part 91, 
except those pertaining to Category II and Category III operations, in 
a single new section for organizational and regulatory clarity.
     Permit EFVS to be used in lieu of natural vision to 
continue descending below 100 feet above the touchdown zone provided 
certain equipment, operating, visibility, and visual reference 
requirements were met.
     Permit an EFVS to be used to identify the visual 
references required to continue an approach below the authorized DA/DH 
on Category II and Category III approaches conducted under Sec.  91.189 
that provide and require the use of a DA/DH.
     Add Sec.  91.176 to the list of rules subject to waiver in 
Sec.  91.905.
     Amend Sec. Sec.  121.613 and 121.615 to permit an EFVS-
equipped aircraft to be dispatched or released when the visibility was 
forecast or reported to be below authorized minimums for a destination 
airport.
     Permit a pilot conducting an EFVS operation in accordance 
with Sec.  121.651 to continue an approach past the FAF, or begin the 
final approach segment of an instrument approach procedure, when the 
weather was reported to be below authorized visibility minimums. 
Proposed Sec.  121.651 also would have permitted EFVS-equipped part 121 
operators to conduct EFVS operations in accordance with Sec.  91.176 
and their operations specifications issued for EFVS operations.
     Permit flight release under Sec. Sec.  125.361 and 125.363 
for EFVS-equipped aircraft when weather reports or forecasts indicated 
that arrival weather conditions at the destination airport would be 
below authorized minimums.
     Permit the pilot of an EFVS-equipped aircraft to execute 
an instrument approach procedure when the weather is reported below 
authorized visibility minimums under Sec. Sec.  125.325 and 125.381. 
Proposed Sec.  125.381 also would have permitted EFVS-equipped part 125 
operators to conduct EFVS operations in accordance with Sec.  91.176 
and their operations specifications.
     Permit flights in EFVS-equipped aircraft to be initiated 
under Sec.  135.219 when weather reports or forecasts indicated that 
arrival weather conditions at the destination airport would be below 
authorized minimums.
     Permit the pilot of an EFVS-equipped aircraft to initiate 
an instrument approach procedure under Sec.  135.225 when the reported 
visibility was below the authorized visibility minimums for the 
approach. Proposed Sec.  135.225 also would have permitted EFVS-
equipped part 135 operators to conduct EFVS operations in accordance 
with Sec.  91.176 and their operations specifications issued for EFVS 
operations.
     Make additional related and conforming amendments.
    In the NPRM, the FAA proposed performance-based requirements not 
limited to a specific sensor technology. The FAA intended to 
accommodate future developments in real-time sensor technologies and 
maximize the benefits of advanced flight deck systems. The final rule 
is consistent with the agency's Next Generation Air Transportation 
System (NextGen) goals of increasing access and throughput during low 
visibility operations.
    The operating requirements of the proposal only addressed enhanced 
flight vision systems that utilize a real-time image of the external 
scene topography. The proposed operating requirements did not address 
synthetic vision, which uses a computer-generated image of the external 
scene topography from the perspective of the flight deck, derived from 
aircraft attitude, a high precision navigation solution, and a database 
of terrain, obstacles and relevant cultural features. The airworthiness 
standards proposed in Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 29.773, 
however, addressed synthetic vision systems (SVS) with a transparent 
display surface located in the pilot's outside field of view because 
the airworthiness standards apply to more than enhanced flight vision 
systems; they apply to all transparent display surfaces located in the 
pilot's outside field of view.

[[Page 90130]]

    Finally, the NPRM did not address the use of EFVS for takeoff 
because the FAA can authorize these operations through existing 
processes. Section 91.175(f) already provides a means for persons 
conducting operations under parts 121, 125, 129, or 135 to obtain 
authorization for lower than standard takeoff minimums, which could 
include the use of EFVS. Additionally, the regulations do not prescribe 
civil airport takeoff minimums for part 91 operators (other than part 
91subpart K operators) as discussed in section III.C.2.h of this 
preamble.

D. General Overview of Comments

    The FAA received comments from 34 commenters. The commenters 
consisted of 16 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), five industry 
associations, several operators, an aircraft management service, an 
aerospace consulting company, a standards organization, and several 
individuals. All but one commenter generally supported the proposed 
changes. Three commenters supported the proposal with no changes, and 
the remaining 30 commenters generally supported the proposal with 171 
comments containing questions, concerns, and suggested changes.
    A number of commenters stated that they support the FAA's intent to 
better leverage EFVS capabilities by providing a performance-based 
regulation for existing and evolving EFVS technology. One commenter 
stated that future improvements in EFVS sensor technologies may enable 
additional performance-based operations under the FAA's proposal, and 
others commented that they believe EFVS technology has tremendous 
potential for increasing safety and enhancing airspace utilization 
within the NAS while creating economic benefits to the public. Several 
industry associations said they strongly support the FAA creating and 
supporting a flexible regulatory structure that encourages innovation 
and improves operational efficiencies. Several OEMs specifically 
supported the FAA's proposal to eliminate the need to issue special 
conditions by revising the pilot compartment view certification 
requirements in the airworthiness standards of parts 23, 25, 27, and 
29.
    Specific changes recommended by the commenters as well as the 
concerns expressed by one individual who opposed the FAA's proposal are 
discussed in detail in ``Section III. Discussion of Final Rule and 
Public Comments.''

III. Discussion of Final Rule and Public Comments

A. Revise the Definition for EFVS and Add a Definition for EFVS 
Operation (Sec.  1.1)

    Section 1.1 defines enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) to mean 
``an installed aircraft system which uses an electronic means to 
provide a display of the forward external scene topography (the natural 
or manmade features of a place or region especially in a way to show 
their relative positions and elevation) through the use of imaging 
sensors, such as forward-looking infrared, millimeter wave radiometry, 
millimeter wave radar, or low-light level image intensification. An 
EFVS includes the display element, sensors, computers and power 
supplies, indications, and controls.'' This definition differs from 
what was proposed in the NPRM, because the FAA is not including the 
equipment requirements in the definition, which proposed ``The EFVS 
sensor imagery and required aircraft flight information and flight 
symbology are displayed on a head up display, or an equivalent display, 
so that they are clearly visible to the pilot flying in his or her 
normal position with the line of vision looking forward along the 
flight path.'' The proposed definition would have inappropriately 
embedded requirements.
    The definition of EFVS also differs from what was proposed in the 
NPRM because the FAA is not using the word ``applicable'' to describe 
the natural or manmade features that an EFVS may display. Upon further 
reflection, the FAA has decided that the word ``applicable'' could 
generate confusion because an EFVS cannot differentiate between 
applicable and non-applicable items. An EFVS simply senses and displays 
items. The FAA is, however, adopting the proposed relocation to Sec.  
1.1 of the descriptive material from Sec.  91.175(m)(3).
    Garmin International suggested that the FAA revise the definition 
of EFVS by replacing ``EFVS sensor imagery'' with ``EFVS image'' or 
``EFVS sensor imagery and aircraft flight symbology.'' In other words, 
Garmin was concerned that the term ``sensor imagery,'' as used in the 
definition, might be misinterpreted to mean only the image from the 
imaging sensor without encompassing the remaining EFVS elements. Garmin 
also believed its suggested revision would make the proposed definition 
in Sec.  1.1 more consistent with proposed Sec. Sec.  
91.176(a)(1)(i)(B), 91.176(a)(1)(i)(E), and 91.176(a)(1)(ii).
    The FAA is not adopting the proposed equipment requirements in the 
definition of EFVS, because Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) already contains 
these requirements.\4\ This decision is not intended to be a 
substantive change as the FAA is relying on the equipment requirements 
in Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) to replace the requirements it had proposed 
in the definition of EFVS. Definitions only describe what something is, 
not what it must do. Accordingly, definitions should not contain 
substantive regulatory provisions, such as regulatory requirements. If 
the FAA were to adopt requirements in the definition of EFVS, the FAA 
would not be able to grant an exemption from those requirements in the 
future because the FAA's regulations describe an exemption as a request 
for relief from the requirements of a regulation.\5\ Nor would the FAA 
be able to grant a waiver from those requirements, if they were in the 
definition, because Sec.  91.903 permits the FAA to grant a waiver from 
any rule listed in Sec.  91.905 and a definition is not a rule. 
Therefore, Sec.  1.1 defines the EFVS to which Sec.  91.176 applies and 
Sec.  91.176 contains the regulatory requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Section 91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) requires an EFVS to present EFVS 
sensor imagery, aircraft flight information, and flight symbology on 
a head up display, or an equivalent display, so that they are 
clearly visible to the pilot flying in his or her normal position 
with the line of vision looking forward along the flight path.
    \5\ 14 CFR 11.15
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This change obviates addressing Garmin's concern because the 
definition no longer contains the terminology Garmin sought to revise. 
However, as a result of Garmin's comment, the FAA discovered that Sec.  
91.176(a) and (b), as proposed, did not contain specific references to 
``aircraft flight information,'' as had been proposed in the definition 
of EFVS in Sec.  1.1. Accordingly, the FAA is revising paragraphs (a) 
and (b) of Sec.  91.176 to include ``aircraft flight information'' 
where appropriate.
    Section 1.1 defines an ``EFVS operation'' as an operation in which 
visibility conditions require an EFVS to be used in lieu of natural 
vision to perform an approach or landing, determine enhanced flight 
visibility, identify required visual references, or conduct the 
rollout. This definition differs slightly from the NPRM, where the FAA 
proposed to define ``EFVS operation'' as an operation in which an EFVS 
is required to be used to perform such tasks. This change clarifies 
that not all operations in which a pilot uses an EFVS constitute an 
EFVS operation under the definition. Rather, an EFVS

[[Page 90131]]

operation is an operation that a pilot would not be permitted to 
perform without the use of an EFVS. For example, a person may not 
descend below the DA/DH using natural vision if the flight visibility 
using natural vision is less than what is required by the instrument 
approach procedure being flown. That person may, however, use an EFVS 
in lieu of natural vision to descend below the DA/DH if the enhanced 
flight visibility is not less than what is required by the instrument 
approach procedure.
    Boeing commented that the FAA stated in the preamble that while an 
EFVS can provide situation awareness in any phase of flight, such use 
would not constitute an EFVS operation unless an EFVS was required in 
lieu of natural vision to perform any visual task associated with 
approach, landing, and rollout. Boeing recommended that the FAA 
consider not just approach, landing, and rollout as part of an EFVS 
operation but approach, landing, and/or rollout to clarify that EFVS 
might be used for one segment of the terminal operation, but not other 
segments.
    The FAA agrees but Boeing's concern is addressed in the definition 
of ``EFVS operation'' in Sec.  1.1.

B. Consolidate EFVS Requirements in Part 91 in a New Section (Sec.  
91.176)

    The FAA created a new section, Sec.  91.176, for the EFVS 
regulations to ensure organizational and regulatory clarity. As the FAA 
originally proposed in the NPRM, Sec.  91.176(a) contains the 
requirements for EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout, and Sec.  
91.176(b) contains the requirements, which were previously located in 
Sec.  91.175(l) and (m), for EFVS operations to 100 feet above the 
TDZE. Boeing recommended that the FAA move the regulations for EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE from Sec.  91.176(b) to Sec.  
91.176(a), and move the regulations for EFVS operations to touchdown 
and rollout from Sec.  91.176(a) to Sec.  91.176(b). Boeing believed 
this format would facilitate reading and understanding the changes, 
because the existing EFVS rules, which were previously located in Sec.  
91.175(l) and (m), would be placed first.
    The FAA disagrees with Boeing and is retaining the format as 
originally proposed. The FAA placed the new rules for EFVS operations 
to touchdown and rollout in Sec.  91.176(a) because it believes that 
operators will eventually conduct the majority of EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout. Placing these regulations in Sec.  91.176(a) 
facilitates quick reference. The FAA placed the rules for EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE, which were previously located in 
Sec.  91.175(l) and (m), in Sec.  91.176(b) because it expects 
operators will use these rules less frequently in the future. 
Furthermore, the regulations for EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout are more extensive than the regulations for EFVS operations to 
100 feet above the TDZE. By placing the more extensive rules in Sec.  
91.176(a), the FAA is able to cross reference the equipment 
requirements of Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(A)-(a)(1)(i)(F) in Sec.  
91.176(b)(1)(ii), thereby eliminating significant redundancy.

C. Equipment, Operating, and Visibility and Visual Reference 
Requirements for EFVS Operations to Touchdown and Rollout (Sec.  
91.176(a))

1. Equipment Requirements
a. Real-Time Imaging Sensors
    Section 91.176(a)(1)(i)(A) requires, as originally proposed in the 
NPRM, that an EFVS have an electronic means to provide a display of the 
forward external scene topography, which consists of the applicable 
natural or manmade features of a place or region, especially in a way 
to show their relative positions and elevation, through the use of 
imaging sensors, such as forward-looking infrared, millimeter wave 
radiometry, millimeter wave radar, or low-light level image 
intensification. Airbus and Thales commented on the list of imaging 
sensors. Airbus suggested that the FAA use an ellipsis at the end of 
the list to emphasize that it is not exhaustive, and Thales proposed 
that the FAA add laser imaging detection and ranging (LIDAR) to the 
list.
    The FAA finds that the use of the term ``such as'' after the 
reference to imaging sensors indicates the list of examples is non-
exhaustive. However, based on the concerns raised by the commenters, 
the FAA has revised the definition to clarify that imaging sensors 
includes but is not limited to the list of examples in Sec. Sec.  1.1 
and 91.176(a)(1)(i)(A).
b. Head Up Presentation Requirement for EFVS Operations
    As originally proposed, Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) requires that an 
EFVS present the sensor imagery, aircraft flight information, and 
flight symbology on a head up display, or an equivalent display, so 
that the imagery, information and symbology are clearly visible to the 
pilot flying in his or her normal position with the line of vision 
looking forward along the flight path.\6\ This requirement applies to 
both EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout and EFVS operations to 
100 feet above the TDZE.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Section 91.175(m) previously contained this requirement.
    \7\ Section 91.176(b)(1)(ii) requires the EFVS to meet the 
requirements of Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i) with the exception of the 
flare prompt, flare guidance, and height above ground level 
requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several commenters expressed concerns about the requirement to 
present sensor imagery, aircraft flight information, and flight 
symbology on a head up display (HUD). Honeywell commented that the FAA 
is unnecessarily restricting the goals of increased access, efficiency, 
and throughput in low visibility conditions by this requirement. 
Honeywell agreed that there is value in requiring EFVS information to 
be displayed on a HUD for EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout but 
believes EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE should allow for 
head down presentations.\8\ FedEx Express, Gulfstream Aerospace 
Corporation (Gulfstream), Honeywell, and General Aviation Manufacturers 
Association (GAMA) commented that the FAA should not limit an 
equivalent display to a head up presentation. Instead, it should 
consider all vision systems containing the required sensor imagery and 
flight symbology that meet an acceptable level of performance and 
safety for the intended operation. One commenter suggested that an 
acceptable location for an EFVS display, or an equivalent display, was 
in the normal line-of-sight established at 15 degrees below the 
horizontal plane, +/-15 degrees for the vertical field-of-view, or +40 
degrees up and -20 degrees down as a maximum deviation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Honeywell asserted that Sec.  91.176(a) and (b) describe two 
different operations that do not necessarily require the same 
equipment. Honeywell explained that operators may currently perform 
Category II ILS approaches down to 100 feet above the TDZE using 
head down primary displays. Honeywell's comments are out of scope as 
the FAA did not propose to change the existing head-up display, or 
equivalent display, requirements. Furthermore, the FAA notes that 
EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE and Category II ILS 
approaches down to 100 feet above the TDZE are two distinct 
operations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Commenters were also concerned that the head up presentation 
requirement might have limiting effects on future technology. Honeywell 
contended that the FAA's HUD requirement for EFVS does not allow for 
new technologies and new ways of presenting information that could be 
developed in the future. It also believed that alternative means for 
displaying the sensor imagery and flight information have already been 
shown to satisfy the necessary performance criteria. Additionally, 
several commenters stated that the FAA is unnecessarily limiting future 
aircraft or

[[Page 90132]]

systems that may be capable of meeting performance-based criteria 
appropriate for EFVS operations, such as vision systems that use head 
down displays, high-speed aircraft that have reduced or limited front 
window designs, or unmanned aerial systems (UASs). GAMA recommended 
that the FAA create a performance-based framework rather than making 
EFVS dependent only on HUD technology. It believes this would not only 
permit different technology solutions but would allow manufacturers to 
design an EFVS that enables operations to different performance minima.
    The FAA is not adopting these recommendations because they are 
outside the scope of this rulemaking. The FAA did not propose to change 
the existing head-up display, or equivalent display, requirements under 
Sec.  91.175(m).\9\ Rather, the FAA proposed to expand EFVS operations 
to touchdown and rollout using the existing operational construct in 
Sec.  91.175(l) and (m). More specifically, the FAA proposed to apply 
all the equipment requirements of the EFVS regulations found in Sec.  
91.175(m), including the head-up presentation requirement, to EFVS 
operations conducted to touchdown and rollout. As a result, others have 
not had an opportunity to comment on the use of HDDs to conduct EFVS 
operations. While the FAA is not issuing an SNPRM at this time to 
propose the use of HDDs under Sec.  91.176, the FAA notes that it may 
grant waivers to OEMs from the applicable sections of Sec.  91.176 to 
enable OEMs to use HDDs during EFVS operations for the purpose of 
research and development. After the FAA has had sufficient time to 
gather information and analyze the safety of HDDs used to conduct EFVS 
operations in the national airspace system, the FAA may contemplate 
future rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ The FAA notes that commenters raised these issues in 2004. 
The FAA disagreed that it should permit the presentation of EFVS 
information on head down displays, and noted that EFVS information 
must be presented on a head up display, or an equivalent display, so 
that the imagery, aircraft flight information, and flight symbology 
are clearly visible to the pilot flying in his or her normal 
position with the line of vision looking forward along the flight 
path. Please see the previous disposition of comments in ``Enhanced 
Flight Vision Systems,'' 69 FR 1620 (Jan. 9, 2004).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. EFVS Terminology
    A couple of commenters sought clarification and alignment of the 
EFVS terminology used in Sec.  91.176.
    Under Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i), a U.S.-registered aircraft must have 
an operable EFVS that meets the applicable airworthiness 
requirements.\10\ The terminology in this requirement differs slightly 
from the NPRM, which would have required an operable EFVS that had an 
FAA type design approval certified for EFVS operations. Dassault 
Aviation requested that the FAA clarify the terms ``approved EFVS,'' 
``certified EFVS,'' and ``EFVS-equipped operator.'' The FAA finds it 
unnecessary to clarify the terms ``approved EFVS'' and ``EFVS-equipped 
operator'' because it did not specifically use these terms in the 
proposed regulations. Nor is the FAA using these terms in this final 
rule. The FAA also finds it unnecessary to clarify the term ``certified 
EFVS'' because it has deleted the word ``certified'' from proposed 
Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i), (a)(3)(i), and (b)(3)(i). Instead, the FAA is 
using the phrase ``meets the applicable airworthiness requirements.'' 
\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ See AC No. 20-167A, Airworthiness Approval of Enhanced 
Vision System, Synthetic Vision System, Combined Vision System, and 
Enhanced Flight Vision System Equipment (providing guidance for 
obtaining airworthiness approval for enhanced and synthetic vision 
systems in aircraft).
    \11\ The disposition of Thales' comment in the next section of 
the preamble explains why the FAA is using the phrase ``meets the 
applicable airworthiness requirements.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

d. EFVS Equipment Requirements for Foreign-Registered Aircraft
    Under Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(i), an aircraft must be 
equipped with an operable EFVS that meets the applicable airworthiness 
requirements. The requirements in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(i) 
differ from the NPRM based on a comment from Thales and the ICAO 
standards that were adopted after the NPRM was published. Additionally, 
the NPRM proposed Sec.  91.176(b)(1)(i) as Sec.  91.176(b)(1)(iii).\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ The FAA restructured the requirements in proposed Sec.  
91.176(b)(1)(i)-(iii) to be more consistent with Sec.  
91.176(a)(1)(i) for organizational clarity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thales commented that an EFVS-equipped foreign-registered aircraft 
that does not have an FAA type design approval, but has been certified 
by its own Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to operate with an EFVS, 
should not have to demonstrate compliance to the FAA regulations. 
Thales stated that this requirement is not always feasible as a foreign 
CAA may not be able to correctly interpret the FAA regulations. In 
addition, it stated that this requirement is not consistent with 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards without 
citing the specific standards at issue.\13\ Thales asserted that a 
foreign operator operating in the United States should only have to 
demonstrate that it has been authorized to operate the EFVS in 
accordance with the rules of its own CAA and that the FAA should 
recognize them as being compliant with FAA rules without requesting a 
specific compliance demonstration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ The FAA believes that Thales is referring to ICAO Annex 6, 
Part I, 6.23.2 and ICAO Annex 6, Part II, 2.4.15.2, which are 
discussed in the following paragraph. The FAA notes that ICAO 
adopted these standards after the NPRM was published on June 11, 
2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA agrees that it should not require an EFVS-equipped foreign-
registered aircraft to have an EFVS that meets the FAA's certification 
requirements if that EFVS has been certified by the foreign-registered 
aircraft's own CAA in accordance with ICAO Annex 6. ICAO Annex 6 
defines an enhanced vision system (EVS) as a ``system to display 
electronic real-time images of the external scene achieved through the 
use of image sensors.'' ICAO's definition of EVS encompasses the FAA's 
definition of EFVS. Accordingly, the ICAO Annex 6 standards on EVS 
apply to EFVS.
    Annex 6, Part I, Standard 6.23.2 requires the State of the 
Operator, in approving the operational use of EVS, to ensure that the 
equipment meets the appropriate airworthiness certification 
requirements. Annex 6, Part II, Standard 2.4.15.2 requires the State of 
Registry, in approving the operational use of EVS, to ensure that the 
equipment meets the appropriate airworthiness certification 
requirements.\14\ Based on the FAA's interpretation of these standards, 
if an EFVS-equipped foreign-registered aircraft has an EFVS that has 
been approved by the State of the Operator or the State of Registry to 
meet the CAA's airworthiness certification requirements, the FAA cannot 
subsequently require that foreign-registered aircraft's EFVS to meet 
U.S. certification requirements.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ ICAO adopted Annex 6, Part I, Standard 6.23.2 and Annex 6, 
Part II, Standard 2.4.15.2 after the FAA issued the NPRM on June 11, 
2013,
    \15\ The FAA could have required this prior to the adoption of 
Annex 6, Part I, Standard 6.23.2 and Annex 6, Part II, Standard 
2.4.15.2, which explains why Sec.  91.175(l)(7) previously required 
a foreign-registered aircraft to have an EFVS that complies with all 
of the EFVS requirements of 14 CFR and why the FAA proposed to 
retain the requirement in the NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Accordingly, paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(i) now require an 
aircraft to be equipped with an operable EFVS that meets the applicable 
airworthiness requirements. By using the phrase ``meets the applicable 
airworthiness requirements,'' the requirement applies to both U.S.-
registered aircraft and foreign-registered aircraft. The U.S.-
registered aircraft must be equipped with an EFVS that has demonstrated

[[Page 90133]]

compliance with the applicable airworthiness requirements by issuance 
of a design approval through the type certification process (i.e., type 
certificate, amended type certificate, or supplemental type 
certificate).\16\ The foreign-registered aircraft must be equipped with 
an EFVS that has been approved by either the State of the Operator or 
the State of Registry to meet the appropriate airworthiness 
certification requirements in accordance with ICAO Annex 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Section 91.175(l)(7) previously required an EFVS to have an 
FAA type design approval.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While a foreign-registered aircraft with an EFVS certified to a 
foreign airworthiness standard may operate within the United States 
without obtaining an FAA type design approval and without meeting the 
FAA's certification requirements, that EFVS-equipped foreign-registered 
aircraft must meet all of the requirements in Sec.  91.176, including 
the equipment requirements, in order to be used in EFVS operations in 
the United States. This requirement is consistent with ICAO standards. 
Article 11 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation requires 
aircraft subject to its provisions and operating within the territory 
of a contracting State to comply with the applicable laws and 
regulations enacted by that State. ICAO Annex 6, Part I, Chapter 3 
states that an operator shall meet and maintain the requirements of the 
States in which the operations are conducted and that an operator shall 
ensure that all pilots are familiar with the laws, regulations and 
procedures pertinent to the performance of their duties prescribed for 
the areas to be traversed.\17\ Similarly, ICAO Annex 6, Part II, 
Chapter 2.1 requires the PIC to comply with the laws, regulations, and 
procedures of those States in which operations are conducted and to be 
familiar with the laws, regulations, and procedures pertinent to the 
performance of his or her duties prescribed for the areas to be 
traversed.\18\ ICAO Annex 2, Standard 2.1.1 states that the rules of 
the air apply to aircraft of a contracting State to the extent they do 
not conflict with the rules published by the State having jurisdiction 
over the territory flown. The FAA also notes that certain foreign 
authorities have imposed requirements on operators of U.S.-registered 
aircraft in their airspace that are in addition to those established by 
the FAA to permit the conduct of EFVS operations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ ICAO Annex 6, Part I, Standards 3.1.1 and 3.1.2.
    \18\ ICAO Annex 6, Part II, Standards 2.1.1.1 and 2.1.1.2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

e. Line of Vision and Conformal Display
    Section 91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) states, as originally proposed, that an 
EFVS must present EFVS sensor imagery, aircraft flight information, and 
flight symbology on a head up display, or an equivalent display, so 
that the imagery, information and symbology are clearly visible to the 
pilot flying in his or her normal position with the pilot's line of 
vision looking forward along the flight path.
    Boeing commented that a sensor will likely be hard-mounted to the 
airframe such that it is pointing straight along the longitudinal axis. 
It also noted that a HUD is aligned with the longitudinal axis of the 
aircraft, and when someone flies a ``crabbed'' approach the flight path 
does not coincide with the longitudinal axis. Therefore, Boeing 
recommended that the FAA revise the rule from ``looking forward along 
the flight path'' to ``looking forward along the aircraft longitudinal 
axis with adequate downward field of view to accommodate sight along 
the normal flight path vector.'' Boeing noted that it is currently 
allowed to ``ghost'' symbology on the HUD that appears outside the HUD 
field of view, and that this capability should be preserved.
    The FAA is not adopting Boeing's recommendation because it could 
unnecessarily restrict new technology that becomes available in the 
future. The EFVS requirements are performance-based, with means of 
compliance contained and updated as necessary in advisory circular 
documents. While the FAA recognizes that the aircraft's flight path may 
not necessarily coincide with the aircraft's longitudinal axis, the 
phrase ``clearly visible to the pilot flying in his or her normal 
position with the line of vision looking forward along the flight 
path'' is intended to ensure that the EFVS provides a head up 
presentation and will accommodate Boeing's recommendation.
    As proposed in the NPRM, Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(C) requires an EFVS 
to present the displayed EFVS sensor imagery, attitude symbology, 
flight path vector (FPV), and flight path angle reference cue (FPARC), 
and other cues, which are referenced to the EFVS sensor imagery and 
external scene topography, so that they are aligned with, and scaled 
to, the external view. The term ``referenced to'' is used to reflect 
the FAA's expectation that the vision system imagery and certain 
symbology use the same coordinate reference system as the pilot's 
perspective outside view of the world. This is because the pilot uses 
the vision system imagery and symbology in coordination with, and 
sometimes in very low visibility as a substitute for, the outside view 
of the world, including the terrain, features of the runway 
environment, and topology in general.
    Rockwell Collins asked whether it could conduct EFVS operations 
under the rule if the ``Flight Path Symbol'' became limited, and 
therefore nonconformal, to the EFVS image due to severe crosswinds or 
blowing snow conditions.
    The ability to perform an EFVS operation with a nonconformal FPV 
depends on a variety of factors, such as the particular EFVS and the 
type and severity of the limiting conditions. Because the EFVS is the 
primary means by which the pilot will maneuver the airplane to land, 
conditions that cause the FPV to become field-of-view limited, and 
therefore nonconformal, could make the display unacceptable for 
landing. An applicant should demonstrate EFVS operations on a variety 
of instrument approach procedures and in various wind conditions with 
pilot-in-the-loop simulation and a flight test, if possible, to 
establish the operational effects that limiting conditions might have 
on landing with an EFVS. The FAA may impose limitations in the Airplane 
Flight Manual (AFM) or Airplane Flight Manual Supplement (AFMS) for 
conditions where the required level of performance is not 
satisfactorily demonstrated.
f. Flight Path Angle Reference Cue (FPARC)
    Pursuant to Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(D), the EFVS must display the 
FPARC with a pitch scale, and the FPARC must be selectable by the pilot 
to the desired descent angle for the approach and be suitable for 
monitoring the vertical flight path of the aircraft. The FAA made 
changes to this paragraph from what it originally proposed based on 
concerns raised by Boeing.
    Boeing asserted that the proposed requirement implied that the 
pitch scale was selectable, not the FPARC. Boeing commented that the 
FAA should revise Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(D) to clarify that the FPARC 
must be selectable by the pilot to the desired descent angle for the 
approach being flown. Boeing also recommended that the provision 
indicate that the appropriate descent angle associated with the 
approach be selectable either by the pilot or automatically by the 
flight management computer.
    The FAA agrees and is revising Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(D) 
accordingly. However, the FAA does not consider it necessary to specify 
whether the

[[Page 90134]]

descent angle selected is accomplished manually or automatically. The 
rule does not prohibit the automatic setting of the flight path angle; 
however, the pilot must have the ability to either manually select the 
flight path angle or to manually override the automatic setting.
g. Requirement To Display Height Above Ground Level
    Section 91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) specifies an equipment requirement for 
EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout, which requires an EFVS to 
display height above ground level, such as that provided by a radio 
altimeter or other device capable of providing equivalent performance. 
Dassault Aviation asked whether the FAA could provide an example of 
such a device.
    The FAA is not providing an example of an equivalent device, 
because it intends this rule to be a performance based requirement that 
is not limited to one device and that could accommodate future advances 
in technology. The FAA notes, however, that such a device must be 
capable of equivalently performing the function of a radio altimeter, 
which is to provide an accurate and reliable indication of aircraft 
height above the ground.
h. Requirement To Display Flare Prompt or Flare Guidance
    For EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout in aircraft other than 
rotorcraft, Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) requires the EFVS to display flare 
prompt or flare guidance. This requirement reflects a slight change 
from what was proposed in the NPRM, where the FAA would have required 
the display of flare prompt or flare guidance for all aircraft, for 
achieving acceptable touchdown performance.
    Helicopter Association International (HAI) commented that 
rotorcraft certificated under parts 27 and 29 should be excluded from 
the requirement to display flare prompt or flare guidance, because 
parts 27 and 29 do not require flare prompt or flare guidance based on 
lower operating speed and maneuverability. The FAA agrees for the 
reasons the commenter provided. Accordingly, Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) 
now excepts rotorcraft from the requirement.
    Boeing and Airbus also raised concerns about the definition of 
acceptable touchdown performance. Boeing stated that the FAA should 
define acceptable touchdown performance in guidance material, because 
it was unsure whether the term meant landing in the touchdown zone, 
compliance with landing performance specified in AC 120-28D, 
equivalency to the AIII mode of a head up guidance system, or 
compliance with some other performance standard. Boeing also suggested 
that the FAA address quantitative standards in guidance material to 
ensure an applicant or designer can demonstrate compliance with the 
regulatory requirement. Airbus provided a similar comment, suggesting 
that the FAA provide pass/fail criteria for acceptable touchdown 
performance during an EFVS operation using flare prompt or flare 
guidance.
    The FAA is not adopting a requirement ``as appropriate, for 
acceptable touchdown performance'' under Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) 
because the term ``acceptable touchdown performance'' is both vague, as 
identified by the commenters, and extraneous. ``Acceptable touchdown 
performance'' is not a regulatory term to date. Nor is it defined in 
the regulations. Furthermore, Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(F) already requires 
an EFVS to display characteristics, dynamics, and cues that are 
suitable for manual control of the aircraft to touchdown in the 
touchdown zone of the runway of intended landing. Because paragraph 
(a)(1)(i)(F) requires the flare cue, i.e. flare prompt or flare 
guidance, to be suitable for manual control of the aircraft to 
touchdown in the touchdown zone of the runway of intended landing, it 
is therefore unnecessary to require an EFVS to display flare prompt or 
flare guidance for achieving ``acceptable touchdown performance'' in 
paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B). Each applicant for a type design approval must 
demonstrate touchdown performance for their particular EFVS 
implementation using either flare prompt or flare guidance. AC 20-167, 
paragraph 6-2(f)(4) specifically discusses landing performance 
demonstrations for EFVS operations conducted to touchdown and rollout 
and provides a means of demonstrating compliance for applicants or 
designers.
    Boeing further commented that the FAA should provide touchdown 
requirements that are strictly performance-based and asserted that the 
FAA should not require flare guidance or flare cue for a particular 
EFVS implementation if the pilot can achieve acceptable sink rate and 
position without them. The FAA disagrees. The FAA finds it necessary to 
provide the pilot with additional information to conduct a flare 
maneuver during conditions of low visibility typically encountered 
during EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout. The FAA based the 
requirement in Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) on RTCA DO-315A and 
incorporated it in the interest of safety to ensure continued safe 
approaches and landings in low visibility conditions.\19\ The FAA notes 
that by requiring flare prompt or flare guidance for EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout, it provides manufacturers flexibility to use 
either means to achieve acceptable touchdown performance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ RTCA is a private, not-for-profit association. It was 
founded in 1935 as the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics to 
advance the art and science of aviation and aviation electronic 
systems for the benefit of the public. The organization functions as 
a Federal Advisory Committee and develops consensus-based 
recommendations on contemporary aviation issues. The organization's 
recommendations are often used as the basis for government and 
private sector decisions as well as the foundation for many FAA 
documents. For more information, see http://www.rtca.org.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Airbus and Thales raised concerns about the requirement to display 
flare prompt or flare guidance when using autoland during EFVS 
operations. Airbus commented that EFVS operations using autoland should 
be possible, but the requirement to display flare prompt or flare 
guidance is not relevant when using it. Thales stated that the FAA 
should mandate flare prompt or flare guidance for manual operations 
using the EFVS to achieve acceptable touchdown performance, but it 
should not require an EFVS to display flare prompt or flare guidance 
during an approach using EFVS that is performed with a certified 
autoland function.
    The FAA disagrees with the commenters. All autoland systems to date 
have been approved based on performance demonstrations at runways with 
Category III approach infrastructure. If conducting an autoland 
approach with any other kind of runway infrastructure (i.e., less than 
Category III), the visual conditions must be sufficient for the pilot 
to monitor the operation and, if necessary, take immediate manual 
control. EFVS provides enhanced flight visibility to compensate for 
what the pilot cannot see unaided. In the case of an EFVS landing, the 
EFVS must be equipped with an approved flare prompt or flare guidance 
as part of the required visual information to be eligible for EFVS 
operational approval to land. For this reason, even if the crew is 
approved to use autoland during an EFVS operation, the EFVS must be 
equipped with and must display all of the required features.
i. Pilot Monitoring Display
    When a minimum flightcrew of more than one pilot is required, Sec.  
91.176(a)(1)(ii) requires the aircraft to be equipped with a display 
that provides the pilot monitoring \20\ with

[[Page 90135]]

EFVS sensor imagery Also, as proposed, the pilot monitoring display may 
provide symbology but any symbology displayed may not adversely obscure 
the sensor imagery of the runway environment. However, the FAA is not 
adopting the requirement for the pilot monitoring display to be located 
within the maximum primary field of view \21\ of the pilot monitoring. 
This departure from what the FAA originally proposed arose as a result 
of the FAA's own continued review of the proposal. The FAA is also not 
adopting the requirement for the EFVS sensor imagery and aircraft 
flight symbology to be displayed to the pilot monitoring on a HUD or an 
equivalent display for certain future EFVS operations at the 
Administrator's discretion. This departure from what the FAA originally 
proposed arose out of comments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ The term ``pilot monitoring'' refers to the individual who 
is sitting at the pilot controls and monitoring the operation of the 
aircraft. Historically, the FAA has referred to this individual as 
the pilot not flying. In 2003, the FAA amended AC 120-71A, Standard 
Operating Procedures for Flight Deck Crewmembers, and replaced the 
term ``pilot not flying'' with ``pilot monitoring'' to convey that 
the pilot not flying should be actively engaged in the safe 
operation of the aircraft and, as such, should be trained and 
evaluated in performing active pilot monitoring skills. See 
Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and Aircraft 
Dispatchers, 78 FR 67800, 67812 (Nov. 12, 2013) (discussing pilot 
monitoring duties and training).
    \21\ Maximum primary field of view is based on the maximum 
vertical and horizontal visual fields from the design eye reference 
point. The values for the maximum vertical visual field (relative to 
normal line-of-sight forward of the airplane) are +40 degrees up and 
-20 degrees down. The values for the maximum horizontal visual field 
are +35 degrees left and +35 degrees right. AC 25-11B and AC 20-
167A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upon further reflection, the FAA is not adopting the requirement 
for the PM display to be located in the ``maximum primary field of 
view'' because the term ``maximum primary field of view'' is not used 
or defined in the regulations to-date and the proposed location 
requirement is unnecessary. When a PM display is installed on an 
aircraft, it must meet the arrangement and visibility requirements in 
Sec. Sec.  23.1321, 25.1321, 27.1321, and 29.1321, which will achieve 
the same objective as the proposed requirement by requiring the PM 
display to be located so that any pilot seated at the controls can 
monitor the airplane's flight path and the instruments with minimum 
head and eye movement. The FAA will also require aircraft that pre-date 
Sec. Sec.  23.1321, 25.1321, 27.1321, and 29.1321 to meet the 
arrangement and visibility requirements in those sections for the 
installation of PM displays. Because the airworthiness requirements of 
Sec. Sec.  23.1321, 25.1321, 27.1321, and 29.1321 will already ensure 
the proper placement of a PM display, the FAA finds it unnecessary to 
adopt a location requirement in the operating rule.
    Several commenters shared concerns about the provision in proposed 
Sec.  91.176(a)(1)(ii) that would have allowed the Administrator to 
require a head up display, or equivalent display, for the pilot 
monitoring based upon the EFVS operation to be conducted. Boeing noted 
that designers and operators needed to know the conditions under which 
the FAA might require a head up display for the pilot monitoring. 
Similarly, Airbus asked the FAA for clarification, and Thales suggested 
that the FAA develop criteria to define when a pilot monitoring had to 
have a head up display. Additionally, Bombardier Aerospace was 
concerned that, while the FAA intended the language to provide for 
future technological advancements, the agency could immediately apply 
the requirement to current installations where it would be impractical 
to implement.
    The FAA agrees with the commenters that the proposal was unclear. 
The FAA intended to address future EFVS operations and technological 
advancements; however, based on the confusion surrounding the 
provision, the FAA has decided not to adopt it. Instead, to facilitate 
the performance of future EFVS operations, the FAA is adding new Sec.  
91.176(a)(4) that states that the Administrator may prescribe 
additional equipment, operational, and visibility and visual reference 
requirements to account for specific equipment characteristics, 
operational procedures, or approach characteristics. These requirements 
will be specified in an operator's operations specifications, 
management specifications, or letter of authorization authorizing the 
use of EFVS. This provision will better facilitate the FAA's ability to 
respond to future technological developments without causing confusion 
around the pilot monitoring requirement.
    Boeing also commented that the pilot monitoring display 
requirements should include a horizon line, flight path vector cue, and 
FPARC in addition to the EFVS sensor imagery. Boeing contended that 
without this aircraft flight symbology, the pilot monitoring would have 
no cues with which to judge performance and noted that RTCA DO-315A 
specifies the additional cues.
    During EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout, when a minimum 
flightcrew of more than one pilot is required, the aircraft must be 
equipped with a display that provides the pilot monitoring with EFVS 
sensor imagery. The FAA finds it unnecessary to require additional 
features on the pilot monitoring display, such as an artificial horizon 
line, a flight path vector cue, and a FPARC, because the pilot 
monitoring display requirements are intended only to enable that pilot 
to see a real time sensor image of the required visual references. 
Section 91.176(a)(1)(ii) is a minimum requirement, however. 
Accordingly, it does not preclude OEMs and operators from including 
additional features, such as those described by the commenters. The FAA 
notes that any additional features that are displayed on the pilot 
monitoring display may not interfere with the EFVS image of the 
required visual references.
    Boeing further stated that it was unclear whether the pilot 
monitoring display had to be a repeater of the display provided to the 
flying pilot, or an independent system. Sierra Nevada Corporation 
submitted a similar comment asking the FAA to clarify whether the EFVS 
sensor imagery required to be provided to the pilot monitoring had to 
be identical to that provided to the pilot flying on the HUD, or 
whether the pilot monitoring display could utilize imagery that was 
augmented by color, symbolic representation of features and obstacles, 
a synthetic database of features and obstacles, an alternate 
perspective view such as a top-down view, an alternate EFVS sensor 
source, or blending.
    The FAA intends the regulatory requirement for the pilot monitoring 
display to be performance based. Accordingly, the provision does not 
specifically require a repeater display or an independent system. Nor 
does it preclude the display of imagery that is augmented by features 
such as those described by Sierra Nevada Corporation. Whether the pilot 
monitoring display should be a repeater display or an independent 
system will depend on the operation to be conducted. AC 20-167A 
contains means of compliance for the pilot monitoring display. The FAA 
also notes that, as display technology continues to improve, it will 
evaluate additional display capabilities and features that become 
available provided the display meets applicable airworthiness 
requirements.
    Rockwell Collins also submitted comments on the pilot monitoring 
display. It asserted that the FAA should take into account other 
monitoring methods, such as those used by a pilot monitoring the safe 
conduct of a Head up Guidance System (HGS)-flown Category III approach, 
landing, and rollout. Such monitoring methods would not require a 
second HUD, nor would they require the pilot monitoring display to 
repeat the HUD symbology.

[[Page 90136]]

For example, a person could use expanded deviation scales based on 
global positioning system (GPS) to verify alignment with the runway, 
and ADS-B information to monitor other aircraft and vehicles on the 
runway. Rockwell Collins also proposed that the requirement identify 
the items that the pilot monitoring must monitor and assess, rather 
than indicating the actual equipment the pilot monitoring must use to 
perform the monitoring tasks, such as a display of EFVS imagery.
    The FAA is not adopting Rockwell Collins' recommendations. When a 
minimum flightcrew of more than one pilot is required, the pilot 
monitoring must have a display that provides him or her with EFVS 
sensor imagery. This requirement is necessary because, when the pilot 
flying relies on EFVS from DA/DH to touchdown and rollout, it cannot be 
assumed that the pilot monitoring sees anything of the outside 
environment using natural vision. Providing the pilot monitoring with 
EFVS sensor imagery supports his or her view of the outside 
environment, enables confirmation of the required visual references and 
safe conduct of the approach and landing, and provides common 
situational awareness between the pilot flying and the pilot 
monitoring. The FAA notes, however, that the pilot monitoring display 
is not the only source of flight path information available to the 
pilot monitoring. The pilot monitoring may use GPS and ADS-B 
information, as Rockwell Collins suggested, in addition to the EFVS 
sensor imagery. The FAA further notes that the pilot monitoring should 
monitor sources of information that he or she would normally monitor 
during an approach and landing.
j. Applicability of EFVS Provisions to Rotorcraft Operations
    The GAMA, HAI, and Eurocopter and American Eurocopter commented 
that the scope of the NPRM appeared to apply to both fixed-wing 
airplanes and rotorcraft; however, the technical requirements appear to 
apply only to fixed wing airplanes. GAMA and Eurocopter and American 
Eurocopter recommended that the FAA modify Sec.  91.176(a)(1), as 
proposed in the NPRM, to ensure the equipment requirements accommodated 
the differences between airplanes and rotorcraft. They also recommended 
that the FAA consider permitting the use of EFVS in rotorcraft IFR 
operations, such as wide area augmentation system/localizer performance 
with vertical guidance (WAAS/LPV) approaches, published instrument 
approach procedures to heliports, offshore helicopter operations, and 
point in space instrument approaches.
    The FAA notes that this rule does not preclude persons from 
conducting EFVS operations under IFR in rotorcraft. Section 91.176(a) 
limits EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout to approaches with a 
DA/DH and prohibits the pilot from using circling minimums. Currently, 
there are no instrument approach criteria or procedures that have been 
developed for straight-in landing operations below DA/DH under IFR to 
heliports or platforms. If such approach procedures were developed in 
the future for heliports or platforms, along with appropriate visual 
reference requirements for rotorcraft operations,\22\ persons could 
conduct EFVS operations to a landing in rotorcraft on these approaches. 
However, EFVS operations may not be conducted on approaches to a point-
in-space followed by a ``proceed VFR'' visual segment, or on approaches 
designed to a specific landing site using a ``proceed visually'' visual 
segment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ The visual reference requirements under Sec.  91.176(a)(3) 
and (b)(3) were derived from the visual reference requirements under 
Sec.  91.175(c)(3), which were established for runways.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    HAI also commented that the FAA should expand its references to 
landing and rollout to address the maneuverability of aircraft 
certificated under parts 27 and 29 and that it should specify 
``approach to hover'' and ``hover taxiing.'' The FAA disagrees with the 
commenter. The FAA finds it unnecessary to expand the terminology in 
the EFVS regulations to specifically encompass the maneuverability of 
rotorcraft because it did not intend the terms landing and rollout to 
restrict persons from conducting EFVS operations in rotorcraft. The FAA 
also notes that this rule does not address taxi operations. 
Accordingly, this rule does not apply to hover taxiing.
k. Requirement To Obtain a Certificate of Waiver When Conducting 
Certain EFVS Operations
    Section 91.176(d) states that the requirement to have an EFVS that 
meets the applicable airworthiness requirements specified in Sec.  
91.176(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(iii), (b)(1)(i), and (b)(2)(iii) does not apply 
to operations conducted in an aircraft issued an experimental 
certificate under Sec.  21.191 for the purpose of research and 
development or showing compliance with regulations provided the 
Administrator has determined that the operations can be conducted 
safely in accordance with operating limitations issued for that 
purpose. This paragraph was added as a result of comments.
    The 2004 EFVS regulations, specifically Sec.  91.175(l)(2), 
required a person to have a certified EFVS in order to use the EFVS in 
lieu of natural vision to descend below the authorized DA/DH or MDA. 
Proposed Sec.  91.176 would have required the same. The FAA recognizes, 
however, that an EFVS used to obtain an FAA type design approval may 
not yet be certified. To date, a person obtaining an FAA type design 
approval with an EFVS that has not yet been certified has been required 
to obtain a certificate of waiver \23\ in order to use the EFVS in lieu 
of natural vision to descend below the DA/DH or MDA during flights 
prior to type design approval.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Section 91.175(l) was a rule subject to waiver under Sec.  
91.905.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FedEx Express, Gulfstream, Elbit Systems of America, Sierra Nevada 
Corporation, and GAMA commented that the FAA should eliminate the 
requirement to obtain a certificate of waiver from the EFVS rules in 
order to demonstrate compliance during EFVS certification flights. 
Several of these commenters further stated that the FAA should remove 
the term ``certified'' because the operating rules assume the equipment 
is certified. Additionally, many commenters felt that the FAA should 
not require waivers for certification flight tests that are conducted 
with aircraft in the experimental category.
    The FAA acknowledges the commenters' concerns and is revising the 
EFVS regulations by adding Sec.  91.176(d), which enables persons to 
conduct EFVS certification flights without obtaining a waiver, provided 
the Administrator has determined that the operations can be conducted 
safely in accordance with operating limitations issued for that 
purpose. The FAA will issue operating limitations when it approves an 
applicant's program letter describing the flight operations to be 
conducted and issues the experimental certificate for the purpose of 
research and development or showing compliance with regulations. The 
FAA is also adding the exception and a reference to Sec.  91.176(d) to 
the introductions in Sec.  91.176(a) and (b). The FAA finds that 
eliminating the waiver requirement, which resulted from the 
promulgation of Sec.  91.175(l) and (m) in 2004, will streamline the 
process both for the FAA and for applicants seeking to certify an EFVS. 
This will be accomplished without a reduction in FAA oversight. The FAA 
notes, however, that an operator is not relieved from complying with 
the EFVS operating rules when it places an aircraft in the experimental 
category; it

[[Page 90137]]

is only relieved from the requirement to have an EFVS with an FAA type 
design approval for the purpose of research and development or showing 
compliance with the regulations. AC 90-106A and AC 20-167A contain 
guidance material pertaining to the Sec.  91.176(d) exception.
2. Operating Requirements
a. Approaches Permitted for EFVS Operations
    Under Sec.  91.176(a), a person conducting an EFVS operation in an 
aircraft below the authorized DA/DH to touchdown and rollout must 
conduct the operation on an approach with minimums \24\ that include a 
DA/DH. In the NPRM, the FAA had proposed to permit an EFVS operation 
below the authorized DA/DH to touchdown and rollout only using a 
straight-in precision instrument approach procedure or an approach 
procedure with approved vertical guidance. This change in the final 
rule arises out of comments asking the FAA to clarify what instrument 
approach procedures can be used for EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout. This change in language does not constitute a change in 
operational concept.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ See Instrument Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-15B (2012) 
(stating that the term ``minimums'' refers to the landing section of 
an instrument approach chart, which sets forth the lowest altitude 
and visibility approved for the instrument approach procedure).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Boeing and the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) objected to 
proposed Sec.  91.176(a) because it was unclear which approach 
procedures they could use to conduct EFVS operations. For the reasons 
discussed in greater detail below, Sec.  91.176(a) no longer states 
that EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout may be conducted using 
only straight-in precision instrument approach procedures or approach 
procedures with approved vertical guidance.
    Boeing objected to limiting EFVS operations to ``straight-in'' 
approaches as defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary (PCG). Relying 
on the PCG, Boeing asserted that a straight-in approach applies to an 
approach with no procedure turn, and a straight-in landing refers to a 
landing made on a runway aligned within 30 degrees of the final 
approach course following completion of an instrument approach. Boeing 
contended that flying a procedure turn should not affect whether 
someone could conduct EFVS operations. Boeing recommended that EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout be permitted using a ``straight-in 
landing'' from a precision approach or an approach with approved 
vertical guidance. Boeing recommended similar revisions to Sec.  
91.176(b).
    The FAA agrees with Boeing that operators could have concluded from 
the proposal that a ``straight-in'' instrument approach procedure 
refers to an approach with no procedure turn. This is because the term 
``straight-in approach'' is used differently in the Aeronautical 
Information Manual (AIM), the PCG, and the United States Standard for 
Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS).\25\ The FAA did not intend to 
limit EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout to instrument approaches 
where the final approach was begun without first having executed a 
procedure turn. Therefore, Sec.  91.176(a) now requires that a person 
must conduct an EFVS operation to touchdown and rollout on an approach 
with minimums that include a DA/DH. This revision ensures that a person 
may conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout using precision 
approaches or approaches with approved vertical guidance regardless of 
whether the pilot first executes a procedure turn. Furthermore, 
paragraph (a)(2)(i) clarifies that EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout are not permitted on circling approaches. Adding paragraph 
(a)(2)(i) eliminates the confusion surrounding the terms straight-in 
approach and straight-in landing, while achieving the same objective--
prohibiting EFVS operations using circling minimums. The FAA made 
similar revisions to Sec.  91.176(b)(2)(i) as suggested by Boeing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ The AIM provides the aviation community with basic flight 
information and Air Traffic Control (ATC) procedures. The PCG 
promotes a common understanding of terms used in the ATC system, 
including terms which are intended for pilot/controller 
communications. The TERPS consists of criteria for constructing 
terminal instrument procedures. In the AIM, ``straight-in approach'' 
describes a procedure with straight-in landing minimums, without 
regard to whether or not a procedure turn is required. In the PCG, 
``straight-in approach'' means an instrument approach where the 
final approach is begun without first having executed a procedure 
turn, but not necessarily completed with a straight-in landing or 
made to straight-in landing minimums. The PCG defines a ``straight-
in landing'' as ``a landing made on a runway aligned within 30 
degrees of the final approach course following completion of an 
instrument approach.'' The use of ``straight-in approach'' in TERPS 
criteria generally refers to an approach that is aligned with a 
runway--not necessarily within 30 degrees--and for which straight-in 
landing minimums are authorized.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Boeing also recommended that the FAA permit EFVS operations on 
curved required navigation performance (RNP) approaches, which may have 
a straight-in landing segment. Boeing stated that the use of curved RNP 
approaches is increasing, that they are often used in mountainous 
terrain where go-arounds could be more of an issue, and that EFVS could 
improve safety and efficiency in such situations.
    The FAA agrees that Sec.  91.176(a) and (b) should not prohibit 
persons from conducting EFVS operations on curved RNP approaches that 
have a straight-in landing segment. RNP approaches are approved, 
vertically guided instrument approach procedures that are designed to 
align with a specific runway and terminate with a DA. While their line 
of minima is charted somewhat differently than other approaches with 
straight-in ``S'' line of minima, the curved RNP line of minima 
specifies a DA. Accordingly, Sec.  91.176(a) and (b) permit RNP 
approaches. However, because EFVS performance may affect the specific 
approaches that an operator may conduct, the FAA may define applicable 
limitations in an operator's Operations Specifications (OpSpec), 
Management Specifications (MSpec), or Letter of Authorization (LOA) 
accordingly.
    ALPA stated that the proposal would permit an EFVS operation to 
touchdown and rollout on a ``straight-in precision instrument approach 
procedure or an approach with approved vertical guidance,'' which would 
seem to encompass an approach procedure with vertical guidance (APV). 
However, APV describes a class of approach procedures defined in ICAO 
Annex 6 as an approach procedure ``which utilizes lateral and vertical 
guidance but does not meet the requirements established for precision 
approach and landing operations.'' Based on this definition, a person 
could conclude that an APV approach is a non-precision approach 
procedure. The proposal indicated that EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout would not be permitted on non-precision approaches. ALPA noted 
that this could cause confusion and recommended that the FAA clarify 
what it meant by ``approved vertical guidance.''
    The FAA agrees with ALPA that the phrase ``straight-in precision 
approach procedure or an approach with approved vertical guidance'' is 
confusing because persons could conclude that APV approaches are non-
precision approaches, which are not permitted under Sec.  91.176(a). 
The FAA did not intend to prohibit persons from conducting EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout on APV approaches, which will have 
a charted DA/DH. Therefore, for this reason and in addition to the 
reasons Boeing raised, Sec.  91.176(a) now permits EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout on approaches with minimums that include a DA/DH. 
Additionally, as mentioned previously, Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(i)

[[Page 90138]]

specifies that persons conducting EFVS operations may not use circling 
minimums. The FAA believes these revisions clarify that EFVS operations 
to touchdown and rollout may be conducted on APV approaches.
    Sierra Nevada Corporation suggested editorial changes to proposed 
Sec.  91.176(a) to clarify that persons must follow the requirements 
specified in paragraph (a). The commenter recommended similar revisions 
to Sec.  91.176(b). The FAA agrees with the commenter and adopted the 
editorial changes in Sec.  91.176(a), which more clearly articulate the 
regulatory requirements. The FAA did not, however, adopt the editorial 
changes in Sec.  91.176(b) because they did not coincide with the 
revised language in that paragraph.
    Dassault Aviation asked whether the FAA would take into account the 
new approach classifications described in the revised draft ICAO All 
Weather Operations (AWO) Manual in the EFVS regulations. Dassault 
Aviation stated that the draft AWO Manual describes 2D and 3D 
approaches rather than ``precision approaches'' and ``approaches with 
vertical guidance.'' The FAA is not including the ICAO terms or 
definitions in this final rule as they are outside the scope of the 
NPRM. The necessary references and descriptions in U.S. guidance 
material have not been updated at this time, but the FAA notes that the 
agency continues to work with ICAO on this subject.
    Rockwell Collins commented that the FAA's statement in the proposal 
about not permitting EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout on non-
precision approaches implies that non-precision approaches are no 
longer an approved EFVS operation. The FAA disagrees. Section 91.176 
contains two distinct types of EFVS operations. Section 91.176(a) 
contains the new regulations, which enable EFVS operations to touchdown 
and rollout. Section 91.176(b) contains the regulations originally 
found in Sec.  91.175(l) and (m), which enable EFVS operations to 100 
feet above the TDZE. Section 91.176(a) permits EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout only on approaches that have a DA/DH. However, 
Sec.  91.176(b) continues to permit EFVS operations down to 100 feet 
above the TDZE on non-precision approaches, just as Sec.  91.175(l) has 
allowed these operations since 2004.
    Finally, Gulfstream commented that Sec.  91.176(a) should allow 
EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout on the same instrument 
approach procedures for which EFVS to 100 feet operations are 
permitted, which would include approaches without published vertical 
guidance. The FAA does not agree. The intent of Sec.  91.176(a) is to 
provide for a stabilized descent and to ensure the aircraft is oriented 
toward the runway of intended landing while conducting an EFVS 
operation to touchdown and rollout. A stabilized descent reduces the 
need to maneuver at low altitudes, thereby minimizing risk. Therefore, 
the pilot must conduct the EFVS operation to touchdown and rollout on 
an approach to a DA or DH using vertical guidance that is part of the 
approach design.
    The FAA notes, however, that operators who have been issued OpSpec/
MSpec/LOA C073, ``Vertical Navigation (VNAV) Instrument Approach 
Procedures (IAP) Using Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) as a Decision 
Altitude (DA)/Decision Height (DH),'' may conduct EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout on certain non-precision approaches that use an 
MDA as a DA/DH in accordance with the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA.
    OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C073 authorizes operators to use an MDA as a DA/DH 
using vertical navigation (VNAV) on certain instrument approach 
procedures, which are listed in OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052, ``Straight-In 
Non-Precision, APV, and Category I Precision Approach and Landing 
Minima--All Airports.'' It has always been the FAA's intent to allow 
EFVS operations on certain non-precision approaches in accordance with 
OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C073. However, as discussed above, we made changes to 
proposed Sec.  91.176(a) as a result of comments. In making these 
changes, Sec.  91.176(a) would have prohibited EFVS operations on 
certain non-precision approaches conducted in accordance with OpSpec/
MSpec/LOA C073 because paragraph (a) would have restricted EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout to approach procedures with 
minimums that included a DA or DH. Accordingly, the FAA is adding 
language to Sec.  91.176(a) that allows an operator who is otherwise 
authorized by the Administrator, such as through OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA 
C073, to use an MDA as a DA/DH with vertical navigation on an 
instrument approach procedure, to conduct an EFVS operation to 
touchdown and rollout in an aircraft below the authorized MDA in 
accordance with that authorization. When an operator is conducting an 
EFVS operation in accordance with OpSpec/MSpec//LOA C073, that operator 
must still meet the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(4) of 
Sec.  91.176.
    The FAA notes that it is revising the regulatory language to be 
performance based and allow for new technologies and approaches that 
ensure a stabilized visual segment. Accordingly, this final rule allows 
EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout on all approach procedures 
with an authorized DA or DH, and it omits direct reference to the types 
of approach procedures permitted and eliminates the term ``approved 
vertical guidance.'' The FAA recognizes that many factors may affect an 
operator's ability to conduct an EFVS operation. As stated in Sec.  
91.176(a)(4), the FAA may prescribe additional limitations through an 
OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA to ensure the safe conduct of EFVS operations.
b. Touchdown Zone
    As proposed in the NPRM, for EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout, Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(v) requires the aircraft to continuously be 
in a position from which a descent to a landing on the intended runway 
can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvers, and 
Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(vi) requires the descent rate to allow touchdown to 
occur within the touchdown zone of the runway of intended landing.
    Several commenters raised concerns about the term ``touchdown 
zone'' in Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(vi). Boeing commented that the FAA needs 
to define the term ``touchdown zone'' for purposes of EFVS operations 
and pointed out that it is defined differently in different documents. 
For example, the AIM defines the touchdown zone as the first 3,000 feet 
of the runway beginning at the threshold, but RTCA DO-315A and its 
revision, RTCA DO-315B, define the touchdown zone as the first 3,000 
feet or first one-third of the runway, whichever is shorter. Boeing 
asked the FAA for clarification because applicants and EFVS equipment 
designers need to know what the performance expectations are for the 
EFVS equipment. Dassault Aviation recommended that the FAA specify that 
the touchdown zone is the first 3,000 feet or the first one-third of 
the runway because the 3,000-foot metric may not be adequate for short 
runways. An individual commenter expressed similar concerns and added 
that ICAO defines touchdown zone as the portion of a runway, beyond the 
threshold, where it is intended that a landing aircraft first contact 
the runway. He also noted that other FAA documents contain guidance to 
land in the first one-third of a runway. Given the operational 
implications of EFVS operations, he recommended that the FAA revise the 
EFVS rule and the AIM to emphasize that landing in the first third of 
the

[[Page 90139]]

runway or the first 3,000 feet, whichever is less, should suffice for 
almost all landing operations by fixed wing aircraft.
    The FAA agrees with the commenters that, for the purpose of EFVS 
operations, pilots should touch down in the first 3,000 feet or the 
first one-third of the runway, whichever is shorter. However, the FAA 
will not amend the definition of ``touchdown zone'' in the AIM, nor 
define ``touchdown zone'' in the EFVS rule because the term has a 
broader application than EFVS operations. The AIM contains the ICAO 
definition of touchdown zone but also defines it as the first 3,000 
feet of the runway beginning at the threshold. This definition is used 
to determine TDZE in the development of straight-in landing minimums 
for instrument approaches. The subject of landing performance is 
complex and is affected by many variables such as available landing 
runway, surface conditions, aircraft performance, operating procedures, 
and many other factors. Furthermore, the use of the term touchdown zone 
in Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(vi) is similar to its use in other sections of 
the regulations that address both EFVS and other operations, such as 
Sec. Sec.  91.175(c)(1), 121.651(c)(1), 121.651(d)(1), and 
91.175(l)(1), the latter of which is being moved to Sec.  
91.176(b)(2)(v) in this final rule.
    Accordingly, although the FAA does not consider it appropriate to 
amend the definition of ``touchdown zone'' in this rule, the FAA notes 
that AC 20-167A specifies a relevant means of compliance to obtain 
airworthiness approval for EFVS. AC 20-167A, paragraph 6-2(f)(4) states 
that, during airworthiness performance demonstrations, persons should 
demonstrate longitudinal touchdown performance within the first one-
third, or the first 3,000 feet of the runway, whichever is more 
restrictive, and touchdown performance should be equivalent to or 
better than that achieved in visual operations for the specific 
aircraft.
c. Definition of ``EFVS Operation'' and Underlying Operational Concepts
    Section 1.1 defines ``EFVS operation'' as an operation in which 
visibility conditions require an EFVS to be used in lieu of natural 
vision to perform an approach or landing, determine enhanced flight 
visibility, identify required visual references, or conduct the 
rollout.
    Dassault Aviation asked the FAA to clarify why the definition of an 
EFVS operation includes determining enhanced flight visibility, 
identifying required visual references, and conducting the rollout, 
whereas the EFVS I and EFVS II operations referred to in AC 90-106A 
only appear to address approaches below DA/DH and approaches to 
touchdown.
    The definition of an EFVS operation is consistent with the 
operational descriptions in proposed AC 90-106A. While an EFVS can 
provide situational awareness in any phase of flight, such use does not 
constitute an EFVS operation unless visibility conditions require the 
use of an EFVS in lieu of natural vision to perform an approach or 
landing, determine enhanced flight visibility, identify required visual 
references, or conduct the rollout. When flight visibility using 
natural vision is less than what is required by the instrument approach 
procedure being flown, a person may perform an EFVS operation. It would 
be an EFVS operation in this scenario because the visibility conditions 
require the person to use the EFVS in lieu of natural vision to descend 
below DA/DH. More specifically, the person must use the EFVS to assess 
that the enhanced flight visibility is not less than what is required 
by the instrument approach procedure and to identify the required 
visual references. The EFVS I and EFVS II operations referred to in 
proposed AC 90-106A are consistent with the definition of an EFVS 
operation, because they address operations where the visibility 
conditions require the use of an EFVS for descent, namely, EFVS 
operations. The FAA notes, however, that AC 90-106A no longer contains 
the terms EFVS I and EFVS II. Instead, that AC uses terminology 
consistent with Sec.  91.176.
d. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and EFVS Operations
    The Aerospace Medical Association commented that many airports are 
installing new position, taxi, and obstruction lights that use LED 
lights. It stated that night vision goggles (NVGs) and current EFVS 
systems are unable to sense LED lights. As a result, aircrew using EFVS 
to descend through the weather may not acquire visual aids or 
obstruction lights that use LEDs. Central Management Services (CMS) 
submitted a similar comment noting that EFVS is designed to sense 
incandescent lights, not LED lights, and that as airports install LED 
lighting to save money, the new lighting will eliminate the benefits of 
EFVS. The commenter also stated that the FAA should require airports to 
install Infrared (IR) emitters in all new LED airport lighting systems 
and retrofit existing LED installations. Additionally, the commenter 
stated that airports will not spend the money to install IR emitters on 
their own, and it is only a matter of time before LEDs appear in 
approach lighting and runway lighting systems.
    The FAA acknowledges the commenters' concerns regarding LED 
lighting; however, the FAA disagrees that the installation of LED 
lights will eliminate the benefits of EFVS and it does not mandate the 
installation of specific lighting technologies. On January 4, 2007, 
Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which 
mandates phasing out certain incandescent lights for energy 
conservation purposes. As a result, LED lighting is becoming more 
prevalent in the NAS. While currently approved IR-based EFVS cannot 
sense LED lighting, LEDs do not completely eliminate the benefits of 
EFVS. The EFVS regulations provide for required visual references other 
than lighting, such as markings, the runway threshold, and the runway 
touchdown zone landing surface. Therefore, as long as a pilot can see 
the required visual references using an EFVS, he or she may conduct an 
EFVS operation. The FAA also notes that the presence of LEDs does not 
make an EFVS operation unsafe. If the required visual references are 
not distinctly visible and identifiable by the pilot, then the pilot 
must execute a missed approach just as he or she would if the approach 
were being conducted with natural vision instead of EFVS. The FAA has 
addressed operational considerations associated with LED lighting in AC 
90-106A and Information for Operators (InFO) 11004, Enhanced Flight 
Vision System (EFVS), Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS), and Night Vision 
Goggles (NVG) Compatibility with Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) at 
Airports and on Obstacles. Also, EFVS sensors based on other 
technologies might be developed and approved in the future, and thus 
would be unaffected by the installation of LED airport and runway 
lighting.\26\
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    \26\ The FAA and industry are currently working together to 
address EFVS and LED interoperability through the SAE G-20 Airport 
Lighting Committee. This committee was tasked by the FAA to evaluate 
and recommend potential solutions. To date, several prototype IR/LED 
light fixtures have been developed and are currently being tested at 
the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center. Additionally, in 
October 2014, the FAA conducted an LED Symposium comprised of FAA, 
other government agencies, SAE G-20, and industry participants. One 
of the action items from the LED Symposium was to develop a 
comprehensive operational test plan and conduct operational flights 
and evaluations using EFVS, the LED approach lighting system at the 
FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center, and prototype infrared 
emitters.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 90140]]

    Furthermore, the FAA does not mandate installation of specific 
lighting technologies. Airport operators decide what approved lighting 
technologies they will install at their airport location, and 
incandescent and LED airport lighting technologies both meet the 
requirements of Sec.  139.311, ``Marking, signs, and lighting.'' 
Lighting technology manufacturers have significantly reduced the 
availability of traditional incandescent lighting technology for 
airport applications as a result of the Energy Independence and 
Security Act.
e. LOA Requirement for Part 91 Operators To Conduct EFVS Operations to 
Touchdown and Rollout
    Section 91.176(a)(2)(viii) requires a person conducting EFVS 
operations under part 91 to conduct the operation in accordance with an 
LOA unless the operation is conducted under subpart K of part 91, or 
conducted in an aircraft that has been issued an experimental 
certificate under Sec.  21.191 for the purpose of research and 
development or showing compliance with regulations.\27\ This slightly 
differs from what was proposed in the NPRM, in that the FAA did not 
propose to provide an exception from the LOA requirement for EFVS 
operations conducted under part 91 in aircraft issued an experimental 
certificate under Sec.  21.191 for the purpose of research and 
development or showing compliance with regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ The FAA also added language to Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(viii) so 
persons who are otherwise authorized to conduct EFVS operations 
under other operating rules (i.e. subpart K of part 91 and parts 
121, 125, 129, and 135) do not have to obtain an LOA to conduct part 
91 operations such as ferry flights.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Three commenters expressed concerns about requiring an LOA for part 
91 operators to conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout. An 
individual commented that requiring part 91 operators to obtain an LOA 
is an unnecessary regulatory requirement; however, he supported the 
FAA's proposal to require training and recent flight experience for 
EFVS operations. Central Management Services and an individual 
commented that pilots with a demonstrated history of EFVS training and 
currency should not be required to obtain an LOA and should be 
``grandfathered'' under the new EFVS regulation. Central Management 
Services further stated that only pilots new to EFVS technology and 
equipment should be required to obtain an LOA. Central Management 
Services and an individual contended that there is precedence for 
``grandfathering'' pilots with previous experience and pointed to those 
paragraphs in Sec.  61.31 pertaining to pilots who had previous 
experience operating pressurized aircraft above 25,000 feet and pilots 
who had previous tailwheel experience. HAI, Central Management 
Services, and an individual expressed concern about the length of time 
it generally takes the FAA to issue an LOA.
    Because of the performance-based structure of the EFVS regulations 
under Sec.  91.176(a), the FAA finds it necessary to require part 91 
operators, other than those conducting operations under part 91 subpart 
K or in an aircraft that has been issued an experimental certificate 
under Sec.  21.191 for the purpose of research and development or 
showing compliance with regulations, to obtain an LOA to conduct EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout. The FAA has written Sec.  
91.176(a) in a way that is performance-based rather than explicitly 
specifying visibilities or other EFVS operating conditions and 
limitations in rule language. The FAA has structured the regulations so 
that it can manage the operating conditions and limitations for EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout through an operator's OpSpec, 
MSpec, or LOA. The FAA specifically structured the EFVS regulations 
this way to provide flexibility and to enable the FAA to structure an 
operator's authorization in a way that links equipage and system 
performance to specific operational capabilities. This structure also 
enables the FAA to respond more rapidly to new technology. Rather than 
restricting the use of all EFVS to a rigid and limiting set of 
visibility values and operating conditions and limitations, the FAA can 
permit a range of EFVS operations as vision system technologies and 
appropriate equipment certification guidance are developed. The FAA 
believes this structure best accommodates future growth while 
eliminating the need for additional rulemaking. Lastly, the FAA 
acknowledges the commenters' concerns about the length of time it 
generally takes to issue an LOA. The FAA notes that every effort is 
made to process applications in a timely manner.
    The FAA notes that Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(viii) now excepts EFVS 
operations conducted under part 91 in aircraft issued an experimental 
certificate under Sec.  21.191 for the purpose of research and 
development or showing compliance with regulations from the requirement 
to obtain an LOA. These operations typically consist of a series of 
flights conducted to collect data or show compliance with regulations 
during EFVS certification activities using aircraft that have been 
placed in the experimental category. The flights are authorized when 
the FAA approves the program letter \28\ describing the flight 
operations to be conducted and issues the experimental certificate with 
operating limitations. The FAA authorization is time-limited and 
carries an expiration date. Because these operations require FAA-
approval, are time-limited, and carry operating limitations specific to 
the flights to be conducted, an LOA to conduct these operations is not 
required.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ For an aircraft to be eligible for an experimental 
certificate the aircraft must be registered and the applicant must 
satisfy one or more of the purposes stated in 14 CFR 21.191. 
Pursuant to Sec.  21.193, applicants for experimental certificates 
must submit certain information with an application for 
airworthiness certification. This information is referred to as the 
``program letter.'' The FAA uses the program letter to assist in 
establishing eligibility for an experimental certificate. The 
program letter must contain the required items listed in Sec.  
21.193 and be detailed enough to permit the FAA to prescribe the 
conditions and limitations necessary to ensure safe operation of the 
aircraft. ``Airworthiness Certification of Products and Articles,'' 
Order 8130.2H (Feb. 4, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

f. EFVS Operations Outside the U.S.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ A person serving as a required flightcrew member of a 
foreign registered aircraft conducting operations under part 91 is 
not required to obtain an LOA in order to conduct EFVS operations to 
100 feet above the TDZE because Sec.  91.176(b)(2) does not require 
part 91 operators, other than those operating under part 91 subpart 
K, to obtain FAA authorization to conduct EFVS operations to 100 
feet above the TDZE.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(x) and (b)(2)(viii), any person 
serving as a required flightcrew member for a foreign air carrier 
subject to part 129 must conduct both EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout and EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE in accordance 
with OpSpecs authorizing the use of EFVS. The appropriate International 
Field Office (IFO) is responsible for authorizing part 129 foreign air 
carriers for EFVS operations. AC 90-106A contains additional 
information for EFVS operations conducted by foreign air carriers in 
the United States.
    Part 91 operators (other than part 91, subpart K operators, who are 
required to obtain an MSpec under Sec.  91.176(b)(2)(vii)) are not 
required to obtain an LOA in order to conduct EFVS operations to 100 
feet above the TDZE under Sec.  91.176(b). Verizon conducts EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE under part 91 in the United 
States and pointed out that the rules for EFVS operations to 100 feet 
already in effect do not contain a provision for issuing an LOA to a 
part 91 operator. Verizon commented that, because it does not have an 
LOA, it has been unable to obtain approval from a foreign CAA to 
conduct EFVS operations to 100 feet

[[Page 90141]]

above the TDZE in the foreign country. As a result, it has been unable 
to use EFVS on its Gulfstream fleet for operational benefit outside of 
the United States. Verizon requested that the FAA revise Sec.  
91.176(b) to make provision for issuing an LOA to part 91 operators to 
facilitate approval by foreign CAAs.
    The FAA is not revising Sec.  91.176(b) as the commenter suggested. 
Part 91 operators have been authorized to conduct EFVS operations to 
100 feet above the TDZE in the United States without an LOA for over 12 
years. However, the FAA is aware that certain foreign CAAs require an 
authorization from the State of the operator in order to obtain 
approval to conduct EFVS operations in that country. The FAA is 
developing a process to facilitate foreign CAA approval for part 91 
operators. AC 90-106A contains additional information about 
international EFVS operations.
g. EFVS Authorizations
    Section 91.176(a) contains the regulations for EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout, and Sec.  91.176(b) contains the regulations for 
EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. Under Sec.  
91.176(a)(2)(viii)-(xii), operators must obtain an LOA, MSpec, or 
OpSpec authorizing the use of EFVS in order to conduct EFVS operations 
to touchdown and rollout. Similarly, under Sec.  91.176(b)(2)(vii)-(x), 
operators, except for part 91 operators (other than part 91, subpart K 
operators) must obtain an LOA, MSpec, or OpSpec authorizing the use of 
EFVS in order to conduct EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. 
Thales asked the FAA to clarify whether it will issue authorizations 
for EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout separately from 
authorizations for EFVS to 100 feet above the TDZE. Thales also asked 
whether authorizations for EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout 
will include EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. Lastly, Thales 
asked if operators who are currently authorized to conduct operations 
under Sec.  91.175(l) and (m) will have to reapply for authorization to 
conduct EFVS operations under new Sec.  91.176.
    The FAA will issue separate authorizations for EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout and EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. 
Operators who are currently authorized to conduct EFVS operations to 
100 feet above the TDZE, who wish to conduct additional operations now 
permitted under this rule, may do so only if those operations are 
authorized by their OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA for EFVS operations.
    Operators currently conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above 
the TDZE may continue to conduct those operations under their existing 
authorization until the FAA revises the operator's authorization to 
conform to the applicable provisions of the EFVS final rule. Lastly, AC 
90-106A, Section 10, ``Operational Approval Process for EFVS 
Operations,'' provides guidance on the operational approval process and 
obtaining authorizations for EFVS operations.
h. EFVS for Takeoff Operations
    FedEx Express, Gulfstream, Dassault Aviation, Elbit Systems of 
America, and Sierra Nevada Corporation commented that the FAA's notice 
did not address takeoff credit for EFVS. They noted that the FAA 
referenced existing processes through which takeoff credit for EFVS 
could be approved and requested that the FAA clarify those processes. 
In addition, Dassault Aviation requested that the FAA address when it 
plans to develop operational requirements and associated guidance 
material for takeoff using EFVS.
    The FAA did not propose to enable the use of EFVS during takeoff 
operations because it may already authorize these operations through 
existing processes under Sec.  91.175(f), which prescribes civil 
airport takeoff minimums for persons conducting operations under part 
121, 125, 129, or 135. Under Sec.  91.175(f), a person conducting 
operations under part 121, 125, 129, or 135 may obtain an authorization 
from the FAA, such as an OpSpec or LOA, authorizing lower than standard 
takeoff minimums, which may include the use of EFVS. The regulations, 
however, do not prescribe any takeoff minimums for part 91 operators 
(other than part 91, subpart K operators which under Sec.  91.1039(e) 
have a minimum takeoff visibility of 600 feet). Therefore, part 91 
operators (other than part 91, subpart K operators) may conduct takeoff 
operations using EFVS without obtaining an authorization from the FAA 
to conduct such operations.
    It has come to the FAA's attention, however, that there is no 
existing process under the regulations for part 91, subpart K operators 
to obtain an authorization from the FAA to conduct takeoff operations 
using EFVS when the visibility is less than 600 feet. The FAA is 
therefore amending Sec.  91.1039(e) to permit part 91, subpart K 
operators to conduct takeoff operations using EFVS when the visibility 
is less than 600 feet, provided these operations are conducted in 
accordance with the certificate holder's MSpec for EFVS operations.
    The FAA is aware of the need for operational guidance regarding the 
use of EFVS during takeoff operations and is currently working to 
develop it.
i. Combined Vision Systems
    A couple of commenters raised concerns about the use of synthetic 
vision. The HAI commented that Sec.  91.176 and AC 90-106A should 
address the use of synthetic vision, when combined with an EVS that 
uses a real-time sensor image and appropriate flight information. 
Rockwell Collins commented that there are future technologies that 
could provide a real-time image of the external scene topography, which 
may be based on a database or communicated position information. It 
further commented that while these technologies may be considered 
combined vision system (CVS) applications,\30\ the lines between 
enhanced vision, synthetic vision, and combined vision may become even 
less defined over time. Rockwell Collins suggested that only synthetic 
vision systems which exclusively use a computer-generated image of the 
external scene topography should not be addressed by the operational 
requirements in this rule. Furthermore, Eurocopter and American 
Eurocopter commented that the FAA should clarify whether a person could 
use CVS as an EFVS provided the CVS satisfied part 91's requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ A combined vision system involves a combination of SVS and 
EVS or EFVS. See AC No. 20-167A, Airworthiness Approval of Enhanced 
Vision System, Synthetic Vision System, Combined Vision System, and 
Enhanced Flight Vision System Equipment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA disagrees that Sec.  91.176 should address the use of 
synthetic vision. The amendments to part 91 address new operational 
benefits and requirements for EFVS only. However, a CVS consisting of 
an enhanced flight vision system and synthetic vision could be approved 
for EFVS operations if it met all of the requirements of the EFVS 
regulations.
j. Use of the Term ``EFVS'' in Rule Language
    Garmin International commented that the proposed rule language 
unnecessarily references EFVS. It pointed out that in the future, part 
91 might be updated to include additional technologies. Removing 
references to EFVS, and using only references to Sec.  91.176, would 
eliminate the necessity for future revisions of the regulations.
    The FAA disagrees with Garmin. The FAA is retaining the references 
to EFVS in the rule language because the rule is intended to address 
new operational

[[Page 90142]]

benefits and requirements for EFVS; it is not intended to address other 
systems that do not meet requirements applicable to EFVS.
k. Approach Plates and EFVS Operations
    Under Sec.  91.176(a), EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout may 
be conducted at any airport below the authorized DA/DH. Under Sec.  
91.176(b), EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE may be conducted 
at any airport below the authorized DA/DH or MDA to 100 feet above the 
TDZE. Additionally, EFVS operations using circling minimums are not 
authorized pursuant to Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(i) and (b)(2)(i).
    The Aerospace Medical Association commented that an EFVS approach 
plate should be developed that specifies the procedure, equipment 
requirements, and visibility required to conduct EFVS operations. The 
FAA disagrees because persons may conduct EFVS operations on any 
instrument approach procedure that meets the criteria specified above. 
Therefore, an approach plate specifically for EFVS operations is not 
necessary.
    The Aerospace Medical Association also asked whether the FAA will 
issue a special rating for pilots who conduct EFVS operations. The 
commenter stated that minimum qualification and experience should be 
required for pilots to perform EFVS operations. It pointed out that 
most airlines only permit captains to fly very low visibility takeoffs 
and instrument landing system (ILS) Category IIIB landings and that 
first officers must also have the same training.
    The FAA will not issue a special rating to pilots for EFVS 
operations. Instead, the FAA is establishing ground and flight training 
requirements for EFVS operations in Sec.  61.66(a), (b), and (c), and 
recent flight experience and refresher training requirements for EFVS 
operations in Sec.  61.66(d) and (e). The FAA believes that the 
training, recent flight experience, and refresher training requirements 
of Sec.  61.66 are sufficient to ensure safe operations and that a 
special rating for pilots who conduct EFVS operations is unnecessary. 
Furthermore, Flight Standardization Board (FSB) reports pertaining to 
specific EFVS and aircraft installations have not specified that pilot 
ratings for EFVS operations are necessary.\31\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ FSBs make findings of operational suitability and recommend 
master training, checking, and currency requirements applicable to 
aircraft and equipment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

l. References to EFVS-Specific Callouts
    Airbus noted that the NPRM makes reference to ``EFVS-specific 
callouts'' but does not provide a precise definition of the term. 
Airbus requested that the FAA clarify where this term is defined in the 
proposed rule.
    The FAA does not define the term ``EFVS-specific callouts.'' The 
FAA used this term twice in the NPRM to describe callouts, such as 
``EFVS lights,'' which are unique to EFVS operations. Operators may 
develop other EFVS-specific callouts related to crew coordination 
activities during EFVS operations.
m. Miscellaneous Revisions to EFVS Operating Requirements
    Sierra Nevada Corporation commented that proposed Sec.  
91.176(a)(3), which stated, ``No pilot operating under this section or 
Sec. Sec.  121.651, 125.381, and 135.225 . . .'' should be changed to 
state, ``No pilot operating under this section or Sec. Sec.  121.651, 
125.381, or 135.225 . . .'' It also commented that the FAA should make 
a similar change to proposed Sec.  91.176(b)(3) and that the FAA should 
delete the words ``and land'' from Sec.  91.176(b)(3) because, under 
Sec.  91.176(b), a pilot must land using natural vision and is not 
permitted to rely on EFVS to land.
    The FAA agrees with the commenter, and has revised ``and'' to 
``or'' in Sec.  91.176(a)(3) and (b)(3) accordingly. However, the FAA 
disagrees with the commenter that it should remove ``and land'' from 
Sec.  91.176(b)(3) because that section contains the visibility and 
visual reference requirements for using an EFVS to descend below DA/DH 
or MDA down to 100 feet above the TDZE and for using natural vision to 
descend below 100 feet above the TDZE to touchdown.
n. Opposing Comments on the FAA's Proposal
    One commenter opposed the proposal. A private individual commented 
that the notice proposes a set of rules that are technically ambiguous, 
does not provide adequate safety for air carrier operations, favors one 
technology over other methods and technologies the commenter considers 
to be better and safer, and is unnecessary to achieve the intended 
benefits. The commenter believes that if these provisions are 
implemented they will not enhance safety or operability over competing 
and currently available technologies, and that the proposal could 
result in additional and unnecessary safety vulnerability.
    The commenter stated that IR-based systems cannot penetrate certain 
fog conditions necessary for safe flight below a 100-foot height above 
touchdown (HAT) and that certain radar systems, while potentially able 
to marginally penetrate fog, have other severe resolution limitations. 
The commenter believes that picture based systems can provide little 
more than situational awareness and do not provide adequate closed loop 
flight control capability for missions requiring air carrier levels of 
accuracy, integrity, and availability. The commenter asserted that this 
is why UAVs still routinely crash when flying based on visual control, 
even with high quality visibility systems. The commenter further 
asserted that if path definition and flight guidance are available, the 
visual scene becomes unnecessary and is only an aid to situational 
awareness.
    The FAA disagrees with the commenter and believes that this final 
rule provides an adequate level of safety for EFVS operations. EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE have been conducted for over 12 
years. The FAA is not aware of any accidents over this time period in 
which EFVS was a factor. This final rule extends these operations to 
include EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout and to permit 
operators using EFVS-equipped aircraft to dispatch, release, or takeoff 
under IFR, and to initiate and continue an approach, when the 
destination airport weather is below authorized visibility minimums for 
the runway of intended landing. This final rule also provides specific 
equipment, operational, and visibility and visual reference 
requirements for the conduct of EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout and EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. Additionally, 
this final rule includes detailed and specific ground and flight 
training requirements, and recent flight experience and proficiency 
requirements for pilots intending to conduct EFVS operations. It also 
provides updated requirements for pilot compartment view and equipment 
for EFVS. Authorizations to conduct EFVS operations will contain 
operating conditions and limitations appropriate to the EFVS operations 
to be conducted and may prescribe additional equipment, operational, 
and visibility and visual reference requirements to account for 
specific equipment characteristics, operational procedures, or approach 
characteristics. The authorizations to conduct the additional EFVS 
operations as well as the new training, recent flight experience, and 
proficiency requirements are

[[Page 90143]]

specifically intended to address the operating conditions and 
limitations necessary to ensure the safe conduct of all EFVS 
operations. The FAA's disposition of Boeing's comment in Section III.F 
further discusses this matter.
    The commenter also contended that the notice was unfair and 
prejudiced and showed unjustified favoritism for one technology (EFVS, 
EVS, or SVS) over better and safer competing technologies, such as 
Autoland, Flight Guidance based HDDs, or Flight Guidance based HUDs, 
that are already adequately and fairly treated by current regulations 
and guidance. As an example, the commenter stated there is no safety 
case justification for crediting EFVS, without also crediting the far 
safer AUTOLAND LAND III and LAND II Modes, as well as HUD AIII modes, 
for flight release or dispatch credit, as well as for approach 
initiation or alternate minimums credit. The commenter believes that 
this rule will expose the FAA to significant legal challenges by OEMs 
and operators with far better and safer systems that are not being 
offered equivalent or better benefits.
    It is not the intent of the FAA to provide an unfair advantage to 
one specific technology, but rather to address the conduct of EFVS 
operations in this rule. Other operations were not the subject of the 
proposal. The FAA notes, however, that the regulations have permitted 
operators to conduct Category III operations to dispatch, flight 
release, or takeoff under IFR and initiate and continue an approach in 
lower than standard visibility conditions for many years. The FAA is 
structuring similar dispatch, flight release, and approach initiation 
benefits for EFVS operations in lower than standard visibility 
conditions within the performance limitations of the EFVS equipment to 
be used.
3. Visibility and Visual Reference Requirements
a. Visual References Below 100 Feet Above the TDZE During EFVS 
Operations to Touchdown and Rollout
    Under Sec.  91.176(a)(3)(i), a pilot conducting an EFVS operation 
to touchdown and rollout may not operate an aircraft below the 
authorized DA/DH and land unless that pilot determines that the 
enhanced flight visibility provided by an EFVS is not less than the 
visibility prescribed in the instrument approach procedure being used. 
Additionally, Sec.  91.176(a)(3)(iii) permits a pilot to continue 
descending below 100 feet above the TDZE and land using the enhanced 
flight visibility provided by an EFVS, provided one of the following 
visual references is distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot: 
The runway threshold, the lights or markings of the threshold, the 
runway touchdown zone landing surface, or the lights or markings of the 
touchdown zone. The requirement remains unchanged from the NPRM.
    Thales commented that Sec.  91.176(a)(3)(iii) as proposed would 
have permitted a pilot to use only enhanced flight visibility provided 
by an EFVS to identify the required visual references at and below 100 
feet above the TDZE. Thales stated that it is possible a pilot could 
see the required visual references with natural vision, but not with 
enhanced flight visibility. Thales recommended that Sec.  
91.176(a)(3)(iii) permit a pilot to use either enhanced flight 
visibility provided by an EFVS or natural vision to identify the 
required visual references to descend below 100 feet above the TDZE. It 
asserted that conducting a missed approach when a pilot sees the 
required visual references with natural vision, but not with enhanced 
flight visibility provided by an EFVS, would be unnecessary and 
counterproductive.
    The FAA disagrees with Thales that Sec.  91.176(a)(3)(iii) should 
also allow the use of natural vision to identify the required visual 
references to descend below 100 feet above the TDZE. If visibility 
conditions improve after a pilot begins an EFVS operation, whether it 
is conducted under Sec.  91.176(a) or (b), that pilot may continue 
descending to a landing using natural vision provided he or she 
continues the flight in accordance with existing flight rules based on 
natural vision, with existing requirements under Sec.  91.175(c) for 
operation below DA/DH or MDA, or with existing requirements under Sec.  
91.176(b) for descending below 100 feet above the TDZE. Accordingly, if 
an operator were conducting an EFVS operation to touchdown and rollout 
under Sec.  91.176(a), and could acquire the visual references with 
natural vision at 100 feet above the TDZE, that operator would not have 
to conduct a missed approach as Thales suggested so long as the 
operator complies with the flight rules based on natural vision, Sec.  
91.175(c), or Sec.  91.176(b).\32\ In order to continue descending 
below 100 feet above the TDZE under Sec.  91.176(b)(3)(iii), however, 
the pilot conducting the EFVS operation must meet the training 
requirements to conduct operations under Sec.  91.176(b). The FAA 
anticipates that the majority of operators conducting EFVS operations 
will be authorized to conduct EFVS operations under both Sec.  
91.176(a) and (b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ Regardless of whether an operator is conducting an EFVS 
operation under Sec.  91.176(a) or (b), the pilot must determine 
that the enhanced flight visibility observed by use of the EFVS is 
not less than the visibility prescribed in the instrument approach 
procedure. 14 CFR 91.176(a)(3)(i) and (b)(3)(i).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    During an EFVS operation to touchdown and rollout, the pilot must 
comply with both paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (a)(3)(iii) at 100 feet above 
the TDZE of the runway of intended landing and below that altitude. 
Therefore, at 100 feet above the TDZE and below that altitude, the 
enhanced flight visibility provided by an EFVS may not be less than the 
visibility prescribed in the IAP being used. Additionally, the enhanced 
flight visibility using EFVS must be sufficient for one of the visual 
references in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) to be distinctly visible and 
identifiable to the pilot. The only exceptions to these requirements 
would be when visibility improves such that a pilot could continue 
descending to a landing under the conditions described in the previous 
paragraph.
b. Enhanced Flight Visibility Requirement During EFVS Operations to 100 
Feet Above the TDZE
    Under Sec.  91.176(b)(3)(i), in order for a pilot to continue an 
approach below the authorized MDA or DA/DH and land, the pilot must 
determine that the enhanced flight visibility observed by use of an 
EFVS is not less than the visibility prescribed in the instrument 
approach procedure being used. This requirement differs from what the 
FAA proposed because it applies from descent below MDA or DA/DH until 
touchdown,\33\ rather than to the portion of the approach from the 
authorized MDA or DA/DH to 100 feet above the TDZE, as proposed. This 
change resulted from our own continued review of the NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Section 91.175(l)(2) previously contained this requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPRM, the FAA explained that the requirements of Sec.  
91.176(b)(3)(iii) would be structured to conform to the original intent 
of Sec.  91.175(l)(4). However, in clarifying the requirements of Sec.  
91.175(l)(2) and (l)(4), the FAA inadvertently proposed a requirement 
in Sec.  91.176(b)(3)(i) that was contrary to the original intent of 
Sec.  91.175(l)(2) and (l)(4). In the 2004 EFVS rule, the FAA intended 
Sec.  91.175(l)(2) to provide an enhanced flight visibility requirement 
equivalent to Sec.  91.175(c)(2), except that the pilot could use an 
EFVS to determine ``enhanced flight visibility''

[[Page 90144]]

as compared to ``flight visibility'' with natural vision.\34\ 
Additionally, the FAA intended Sec.  91.175(l)(4) to require that, in 
addition to determining that the enhanced flight visibility is not less 
than that prescribed in the instrument approach procedure being used, 
at 100 feet above the TDZE and below, one of the required visual 
references would have to be distinctly visible and identifiable without 
relying on the EFVS for the pilot to continue to a landing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ Enhanced Flight Vision Systems, NPRM, 68 FR 6802, 6805 
(Feb. 10, 2003).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As evidenced from a legal interpretation dated September 10, 2010, 
the pilot must maintain the flight visibility required in Sec.  
91.175(c)(2) from descent below MDA or DA/DH until touchdown.\35\ 
Because the FAA intended the requirements of Sec.  91.176(b)(3)(i) and 
(b)(3)(iii) to conform to the original intent of Sec.  91.175(l)(2) and 
(l)(4), and the original intent of Sec.  91.175(l)(2) was to provide a 
requirement equivalent to Sec.  91.175(c)(2), Sec.  91.176(b)(3)(i) now 
requires the pilot to maintain the enhanced flight visibility from 
descent below MDA or DA/DH until touchdown. Therefore, at 100 feet 
above the TDZE and below, a pilot must meet the requirements of Sec.  
91.176(b)(3)(i) and (iii) in order to continue to a landing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ Legal Interpretation to Mr. Gary Thomey (Sept. 10, 2010); 
see Takeoff and Landing Minimums, 46 FR 2280, 2282 (Jan. 8 1981) 
(revising the requirement, then codified as Sec.  91.116, to ``make 
it clear that the pilot must have this flight visibility from 
descent below MDA or DH until touchdown'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Visual References for Rollout
    As proposed in the NPRM, Sec.  91.176(a)(3) specifies visibility 
and visual reference requirements for EFVS operations below the 
authorized DA/DH and for EFVS operations below 100 feet above the TDZE. 
A couple of commenters raised concerns regarding the lack of visibility 
and visual reference requirements for rollout during an EFVS operation. 
Thales proposed that the FAA either clarify the rollout requirements or 
add visibility and visual reference requirements to the regulations. 
Sierra Nevada Corporation contended that the required visual references 
specified in Sec.  91.176(a)(3)(iii) are typically behind the aircraft 
by the time the aircraft slows to a safe taxi speed. It asserted that 
the FAA should specify an additional set of visual references for 
rollout, such as those in RTCA DO-341, Section 3.1.3.4, which includes 
visual references for rollout, such as the centerline lights or 
markings and the runway edge lights or markings, if installed and 
serviceable, or other visual references which accurately indicate the 
runway edges and the runway centerline.
    The FAA finds it unnecessary to specify visual references for 
rollout by regulation because the operating rules require sufficient 
forward visibility in order to conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout, and an applicant must demonstrate that the EFVS can safely 
perform the rollout task during the equipment certification process. 
Under Sec.  91.176(a), a pilot must determine that the enhanced flight 
visibility observed by using an EFVS is not less than what is 
prescribed in the IAP before descending below DA/DH to touchdown. This 
requirement in addition to the visibility and visual reference 
requirements specified in Sec.  91.176(a)(3) ensures that sufficient 
forward visibility exists for the pilot to safely conduct the approach, 
landing, and rollout. Furthermore, during the certification flight 
test, an applicant will have to demonstrate that he or she can use the 
EFVS to safely perform rollout tasks. Additionally, the FAA may include 
visibility and visual reference requirements for rollout in an 
operator's authorization to conduct EFVS operations, if necessary. The 
FAA notes that AC 20-167A provides a means of compliance for an EFVS to 
obtain airworthiness approval and contains guidance applicable to the 
evaluation of EFVS performance during rollout to a safe taxi speed.
d. Controlling Runway Visual Range (RVR) Values
    Section 91.176 does not specify which runway visual range (RVR) 
values are controlling for operational purposes. Therefore, Dassault 
Aviation asked the FAA to clarify whether the touchdown zone, mid, or 
rollout RVR is controlling when more than one RVR value is provided for 
the runway of intended landing. The FAA will specify which RVR values 
are controlling for operational purposes in an operator's OpSpec, 
MSpec, or LOA for EFVS operations. The FAA is also providing guidance 
on this topic in AC 90-106A.
e. Emitter Technologies as Alternative Visual Aids
    An individual commented that the NPRM addresses EFVS operations in 
a performance-based manner but provides no performance-based equivalent 
for light components. The commenter stated that emitters of various 
types that might be interoperable with EFVS sensor technologies could 
be implemented as an alternative or supplement to traditional lighting 
systems or visual aid components. The commenter further stated that 
emitters of this type could be useful in conditions of below Category 
II weather or used in locations where approach lighting systems are not 
possible, such as when an airport is surrounded by water. The commenter 
recommended that the FAA revise the visual reference language in Sec.  
91.176 to permit the use of emitter technologies in addition to the 
visual references currently specified.
    While emitters that might be interoperable with EFVS sensor 
technologies could be implemented as an alternative or supplement to 
traditional lighting systems or visual aid components, specifying a 
performance based equivalent for light components is outside the scope 
of this rulemaking. The FAA notes, however, that Sec. Sec.  
91.176(a)(3) and (b)(3) do not prohibit the use of emitter technologies 
to facilitate the identification of the required visual references.
f. Use of EFVS To Satisfy the Visibility Requirements of Sec. Sec.  
91.155 and 91.157 During Rotorcraft Operations
    HAI commented that the FAA should permit rotorcraft to use EFVS to 
provide the required visibility necessary to operate under Sec. Sec.  
91.155 and 91.157. The FAA is not adopting this suggestion because it 
is outside the scope of this rulemaking. The FAA did not propose to 
permit such operations and others have not had an opportunity to 
comment.

D. Revisions to Requirements for EFVS Operations to 100 Feet Above the 
TDZE (Sec.  91.176(b))

1. Methods for Conducting Approaches During EFVS Operations to 100 Feet 
Above the TDZE
    Section 91.176(b) contains the regulations for EFVS operations to 
100 feet above the TDZE. These requirements were previously located in 
Sec.  91.175(l) and (m). A commenter noted that Sec.  91.176(b) does 
not contain a regulatory requirement to use vertical guidance to fly a 
non-precision approach and that, upon meeting the visual reference 
requirements, a pilot could descend immediately and as rapidly as 
desired to 100 feet above the TDZE rather than descend along a 
vertically guided continuous descent profile. The commenter, therefore, 
recommended that Sec.  91.176(b) restrict EFVS operations to 100 feet 
above the TDZE to approaches that have approved vertical guidance. The 
commenter also noted that Sec.  91.176 does not require descent along 
an obstacle-free path and that EFVS was not designed to detect 
obstacles, but it is important for a pilot to ensure that a descent is 
accomplished

[[Page 90145]]

along a path known to be obstacle-free, such as by using another 
approach to the same runway that has a DA, or by using a VASI, PAPI, or 
other information. The commenter therefore recommended that proposed 
Sec.  91.176(b)(2)(iii) require the aircraft to be continuously in a 
position from which a descent to a landing on the intended runway can 
be made along an obstacle-free path at a normal rate of descent using 
normal maneuvers.
    Central Management Services shared similar concerns. It noted that, 
while it doubted any Part 141 or Part 142 facility advocated the ``dive 
and drive'' method for conducting straight-in, non-precision 
approaches, the EFVS rule does not prohibit it, and therefore 
recommended that the FAA do so in Sec.  91.176.
    The FAA finds that these comments are outside the scope of this 
rulemaking. The FAA did not propose these restrictions to Sec.  
91.176(b); therefore, other persons did not have an opportunity to 
comment. Additionally, persons have been conducting EFVS operations to 
100 feet above the TDZE safely for over 12 years under Sec.  91.175(l) 
and (m), which did not contain such restrictions.\36\ AC 90-106A 
provides guidance on how to safely conduct EFVS operations on 
approaches with an MDA using straight-in landing minimums.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ In the 2004 EFVS final rule, ``Enhanced Flight Vision 
Systems,'' 69 FR at 1625 (Jan. 9, 2004), the FAA explained that the 
obstacle risk for a non-precision approach using EFVS is 
significantly mitigated by only permitting EFVS operations on 
straight-in approaches. The FAA further noted that a pilot could 
maintain obstacle clearance by using the recommended procedures to 
fly a straight-in instrument approach procedure with an MDA, and by 
using the FPV cue and FPARC displayed by the EFVS to monitor and 
maintain the desired vertical path when operating below the MDA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Training, Recent Flight Experience, and Refresher Training 
Requirements for Persons Conducting EFVS Operations (Sec.  61.66)

    The FAA has reorganized the pilot requirements proposed in 
Sec. Sec.  61.31 and 61.57 and consolidated them in new Sec.  61.66. 
Section 61.66 contains the EFVS ground and flight training 
requirements, which were proposed as Sec.  61.31(l), and the EFVS 
recent flight experience requirements, which were proposed as Sec.  
61.57(h) and (i).\37\ The FAA is consolidating the EFVS training 
requirements with the EFVS recent flight experience requirements into a 
single section for organizational clarity. The FAA believes that 
consolidating these requirements into a single new section in part 61, 
which is comprised solely of the EFVS pilot requirements, will help 
facilitate compliance with the regulations by making them more 
accessible and comprehensible to pilots. The FAA has also made 
modifications to these requirements as a result of comments and as a 
result of the FAA's own continued review of the proposal, which this 
section will discuss in detail below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ As discussed in section III.E.2, Sec.  61.66(e) clarifies 
the proficiency check requirements that were proposed in Sec.  
61.57(i).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The following table outlines each requirement, its previously 
proposed section in the NPRM, its corresponding section in new Sec.  
61.66, and a summary of the significant changes from the proposal.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Requirement                       NPRM                 Final rule              Change from NPRM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ground Training....................  Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(a)(1)....  Clarifies that a person
                                      61.31(l)(1).                                    must receive the ground
                                                                                      training from an
                                                                                      authorized training
                                                                                      provider under an FAA
                                                                                      approved training program.
                                                                                     Clarifies that the EFVS
                                                                                      ground training must be
                                                                                      appropriate to the
                                                                                      category of aircraft for
                                                                                      which the person is
                                                                                      seeking the EFVS
                                                                                      privilege.
Ground Training Subjects...........  Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(a)(2)(i)-  Adds the following ground
                                      61.31(l)(2)(i)-(vii).   (viii).                 training subject: EFVS
                                                                                      sensor imagery and
                                                                                      required aircraft flight
                                                                                      information and flight
                                                                                      symbology.
Flight Training....................  Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(b)(1)....  Clarifies that a person
                                      61.31(l)(3).                                    must receive the flight
                                                                                      training from an
                                                                                      authorized training
                                                                                      provider under an FAA
                                                                                      approved training program.
                                                                                     Clarifies that the EFVS
                                                                                      flight training must be
                                                                                      provided in the category
                                                                                      of aircraft for the EFVS
                                                                                      operation to be conducted.
Flight Training Tasks..............  Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(b)(2)(i)-  No significant changes from
                                      61.31(l)(4)(i)-(viii).  (viii).                 NPRM.
Supplementary EFVS Training........  Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(c).......  Clarifies that
                                      61.31(l)(6).                                    supplementary EFVS
                                                                                      training, previously
                                                                                      proposed as differences
                                                                                      training, consists of both
                                                                                      ground and flight
                                                                                      training.
                                                                                     Clarifies that a person
                                                                                      must receive supplemental
                                                                                      EFVS training in the
                                                                                      category of aircraft for
                                                                                      the EFVS operation to be
                                                                                      conducted.
                                                                                     No longer permits a pilot
                                                                                      to receive a proficiency
                                                                                      check in lieu of
                                                                                      supplementary EFVS
                                                                                      training.
Recent Flight Experience: EFVS.....  Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(d).......  Clarifies that the EFVS
                                      61.57(h).                                       recent flight experience
                                                                                      requirements must be
                                                                                      obtained in the category
                                                                                      of aircraft for which the
                                                                                      person is seeking the EFVS
                                                                                      privilege.
EFVS Refresher Training............  Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(e)(1)....  Calls the mechanism by
                                      61.57(i).                                       which a person
                                                                                      reestablishes EFVS
                                                                                      currency a ``refresher
                                                                                      course'' rather than a
                                                                                      ``proficiency check.''
                                                                                     Provides pilots with an
                                                                                      additional 6 months to
                                                                                      satisfy the EFVS recent
                                                                                      flight experience
                                                                                      requirements.
Individuals who may conduct EFVS     Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(e)(2)....  Requires EFVS refresher
 Refresher Training.                  61.57(i)(2).                                    training to be conducted
                                                                                      by an authorized training
                                                                                      provider.
Military Pilots and Former Military  ......................  Sec.   61.66(f).......  Adds a new paragraph that
 Pilots in the U.S. Armed Forces.                                                     specifically addresses
                                                                                      military pilots and former
                                                                                      military pilots in the
                                                                                      U.S. Armed Forces.

[[Page 90146]]

 
Use of Full Flight Simulators (FFS)  Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(g).......  Creates a new paragraph,
                                      61.31(l)(5).                                    which contains the
                                     Proposed Sec.                                    requirements for using a
                                      61.57(h)(2).                                    FFS to meet the flight
                                     Proposed Sec.                                    training, recent flight
                                      61.57(i).                                       experience, and refresher
                                                                                      training requirements.
                                                                                     Clarifies that each FFS
                                                                                      must be qualified and
                                                                                      maintained in accordance
                                                                                      with part 60, or be a
                                                                                      previously qualified
                                                                                      device, as permitted in
                                                                                      accordance with Sec.
                                                                                      60.17.
                                                                                     Clarifies that each FFS
                                                                                      must be approved by the
                                                                                      Administrator for the
                                                                                      tasks and maneuvers.
Grandfather clause and compliance    Proposed Sec.           Sec.   61.66(h)(4)      Creates two provisions for
 date for persons conducting EFVS     61.31(l)(7)(ii).        Sec.   91.176(b)(4).    clarity. Section
 operations to 100 feet above the                                                     61.66(h)(4) contains the
 TDZE.                                                                                grandfather clause, and
                                                                                      Sec.   91.176(b)(4)
                                                                                      contains the compliance
                                                                                      date.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Training Requirements for Persons Conducting EFVS Operations (Sec.  
61.66(a), (b) and (c))
    Under Sec.  61.66(a) and (b), no person may manipulate the controls 
of an aircraft or act as pilot in command of an aircraft during an EFVS 
operation as specified in Sec.  91.176(a) or (b) unless that person has 
received and logged ground and flight training for the EFVS operation 
under a training program \38\ approved by the Administrator and 
obtained a logbook or training record endorsement from an authorized 
training provider certifying that the person has satisfactorily 
completed the ground and flight training. Section 61.66(a) also 
requires a person serving as a required pilot flightcrew member (who 
does not manipulate the controls) during an EFVS operation to touchdown 
and rollout to comply with the ground training requirements in 
paragraph (a). EFVS training must include ground training on the 
subjects set forth in Sec.  61.66(a)(2) and flight training on the 
tasks set forth in Sec.  61.66(b)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ Under part 121 and part 135, the term ``training program'' 
is a broad term that encompasses all curriculums in the air 
carrier's approved training program. Therefore, part 119 certificate 
holders operating under part 121 or part 135 would not have an EFVS 
training program; they would have an EFVS training curriculum as 
part of their approved training program. For purposes of part 119 
certificate holders operating under part 121 or part 135, the term 
``training program'' in Sec.  61.66 means training curriculum.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Consistent with the proposal, under the final rule, the 
Administrator may approve a training program that includes ground and 
flight training for one EFVS operation (e.g., Sec.  91.176(a) or (b)) 
or both EFVS operations (Sec.  91.176(a) and (b)). If a person receives 
training and an endorsement for only one EFVS operation in Sec.  
91.176, then seeks to conduct an additional EFVS operation for which 
that person has not received training, Sec.  61.66(c) requires that 
person to receive ground and flight training and an endorsement 
appropriate to the additional EFVS operation to be conducted. AC 61-65 
will contain sample endorsements for use by authorized training 
providers when endorsing logbooks or training records pursuant to Sec.  
61.66(a)(1), (b)(1) and (c)(2).
    The training requirements in new Sec.  61.66(a), (b), and (c) 
differ slightly from what was proposed in the NPRM as a result of 
comments and revisions, which are discussed in more detail below.
a. Separate Training for EFVS Operations to 100 Feet Above the TDZE and 
EFVS Operations to Touchdown and Rollout
    Dassault Aviation commented that it favors separate training for 
EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE and for EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout. It also commented that training for EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout should automatically include 
training for EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE.
    The FAA will not require separate training programs for the two 
types of EFVS operations, nor will it require training for EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout to automatically include training 
for EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. The FAA has adopted 
ground and flight training requirements with sufficient flexibility to 
achieve both the desired safety benefits and training efficiencies. 
While the rule does not require separate training for the two types of 
EFVS operations, the FAA notes that the training must address the 
operations the EFVS operator is authorized to conduct. Under certain 
circumstances, an operator authorized to conduct EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout might find it necessary to conduct EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. For example, if the pilot 
monitoring display is inoperative, the flightcrew may not conduct an 
EFVS operation to touchdown and rollout, but they may conduct an EFVS 
operation to 100 feet above the TDZE provided they meet all applicable 
regulatory requirements, including training to conduct EFVS operations 
to 100 feet above the TDZE. Accordingly, an operator may elect for its 
pilots to receive training for both types of EFVS operations.
b. EFVS and Aircraft-Specific Training
    A couple of commenters raised concerns about aircraft-specific EFVS 
training. GAMA commented that proposed Sec.  61.31 should specifically 
enable a pilot who is trained in EFVS operations on one airplane model 
to be EFVS-qualified on multiple airplane types. GAMA noted that FAA 
FSBs have authorized pilots trained on one airplane model for EFVS to 
be EFVS-qualified on another airplane, such as on the Falcon 900 and 
Falcon 2000. GAMA further noted that proposed Sec.  61.31 did not 
recognize the FSB credit that currently exists.
    Rockwell Collins commented that it assumed the training proposed by 
the FAA could be performed during ground/simulator training using a 
``generic'' aircraft type, given that initial EFVS training includes an 
introduction to EFVS image characteristics, such as infrared-based 
sensor imagery, determining EFVS-equivalent visibility, image 
artifacts, and other items. It asked whether training could carry over 
to multiple aircraft types with similar EFVS installations and noted 
that this could allow training companies to provide generic training 
packages.
    Section 61.66, proposed as Sec.  61.31, does not reflect GAMA's 
request because Sec.  61.66(a) and (b) do not require a pilot to 
receive training on each specific combination of EFVS and aircraft 
model for which the pilot is qualified to fly. Accordingly, as Rockwell 
Collins requested, training obtained pursuant to Sec.  61.66 may carry

[[Page 90147]]

over to multiple aircraft types with similar EFVS installations. The 
intent of Sec.  61.66 is to establish minimum standards for a broad 
range of operators who may be operating various types of aircraft and 
EFVS equipment. The FAA has revised the language in Sec.  61.66, 
however, to make clear that the training and endorsements for EFVS 
operations must be specific to category of aircraft. This requirement 
is consistent with the language proposed in Sec.  61.57(i) requiring an 
EFVS proficiency check to be accomplished in the category of aircraft 
for the EFVS privilege sought.
    In addition to the training requirements of part 61, an operator 
must comply with any training requirements specified in the part under 
which the operator conducts operations. Additionally, an operator's 
OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA for EFVS operations may contain specific training 
requirements. The FAA notes that this rule provides operators with the 
flexibility to develop training programs that address their specific 
operational requirements. Furthermore, for part 121, 135, and 91 
subpart K operators, the FAA requires that a pilot obtain training in 
the EFVS-equipped aircraft in which the pilot expects to conduct 
operations, and that an operator's approved training program address 
training and proficiency for each specific combination of EFVS and 
aircraft model applicable to that operator and its EFVS operations. FSB 
reports also provide recommendations for training, checking, currency, 
recent flight experience, and special emphasis areas.
c. Adaptation Period Prior to Using an EFVS in Flight Operations
    The Aerospace Medical Association commented that during B-787 
training, one of their members experienced a habituation period when 
utilizing the HUD as a primary flight display and the instrument panel 
as secondary information. It believes the FAA should consider a similar 
habituation period for EFVS. The commenter stated that the habituation 
period should provide pilots with enough time to become accustomed to 
EFVS prior to flying solo or during actual instrument meteorological 
conditions (IMC). It asserted that use of simulators should also be 
considered for training.
    The FAA believes that the time necessary to meet the EFVS training 
requirements will provide pilots with the necessary habituation period. 
Furthermore, Sec.  61.66(g) already states that a pilot may use a level 
C or higher full flight simulator (FFS) equipped with a daylight visual 
display and an EFVS to meet the flight training requirements of Sec.  
61.66(b).
    Boeing commented that Sec.  61.31(l) already exists and contains 
the exceptions to the requirement for a type rating. Boeing recommended 
that the FAA move the existing regulations in Sec.  61.31(l) to Sec.  
61.31(m) and use Sec.  61.31(l) for the proposed additional training 
required for EFVS operations. Boeing further stated that this will 
prevent having two different sections with the same number. This 
revision is unnecessary because the FAA is adopting new Sec.  61.66 
instead of proposed Sec.  61.31.
d. Revisions To Clarify Training Requirements in Sec.  61.66(a), (b) 
and (c)
    Section 61.66(a), (b), and (c) now require pilots to receive EFVS 
ground, flight, and supplementary training from an ``authorized 
training provider'' under an FAA approved training program.\39\ The FAA 
is using the term ``authorized training provider,'' rather than 
``authorized instructor'' as proposed in the NPRM, to underscore that 
all EFVS training must be accomplished in accordance with an FAA 
approved training program under 14 CFR parts 91, 91 subpart K, 121, 
125, 135, 141, or 142. This revision is consistent with the NPRM, which 
explained that the FAA would require persons to receive EFVS training 
under an FAA approved training program to ensure that pilots are 
trained and tested to a specific standard and that the training program 
content supports the EFVS operation to be conducted. Because the 
proposed rule always intended for EFVS training to take place under an 
approved training program, the only authorized instructors would be 
those instructors working for training providers with approved training 
programs, such as instructors employed by part 141 pilot schools, part 
142 training centers, and part 119 certificate holders.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ Unless otherwise excepted in Sec.  61.66(h), the training 
requirements in Sec.  61.66(a), (b), and (c) apply to any pilot 
conducting EFVS operations under 14 CFR 91.176, including pilots 
conducting operations under part 91, part 91 subpart K, part 121, 
part 125, or part 135.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While an FAA approved training program is not required under part 
125, Sec.  61.66 requires a part 125 operator to accomplish EFVS 
training in accordance with an FAA approved training program. A part 
125 operator may accomplish Sec.  61.66 EFVS training in accordance 
with an FAA approved training program offered at a part 141 pilot 
school or a part 142 training center.\40\ Alternatively, a part 125 
operator may submit an EFVS training program to the FAA for approval.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ However, based on the special rules in Sec.  125.296, a 
part 125 operator may not use a part 141 pilot school to meet 
training, testing, or checking requirements under part 125.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under part 141, the FAA may approve an EFVS training course in 
accordance with Sec.  141.11 and appendix K to part 141, paragraph 9, 
Special Operations Course, which contains the minimum curriculum 
requirements for both aeronautical knowledge and flight training 
pertaining to special operations courses. A special operations course 
for EFVS must also meet the applicable parts of FAA regulations that 
pertain to that special operations course. Accordingly, an EFVS 
training course must meet the requirements of Sec.  61.66 in addition 
to the minimum curriculum requirements in appendix K to part 141.
    Because training programs already exist for persons conducting EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE, there is already a cadre of 
training instructors qualified to administer training on the subjects 
and tasks set forth in Sec.  61.66(a)(2) and (b)(2) that are applicable 
to EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE.
    As a result of this final rule, new training programs for EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout will be developed. Section 61.66 
requires persons to obtain EFVS training from an authorized training 
provider under an FAA approved training program. However, before 
persons can receive training on EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout from an authorized training provider, there must first be a 
cadre of training instructors qualified and authorized to administer 
the training. The FAA recognizes that there will be an initial period 
when training providers may provide training and evaluation without 
meeting certain qualification requirements in order to establish an 
initial cadre of instructors. AC 90-106A contains the FAA's policy for 
initiating and building a cadre of authorized training instructors 
qualified to administer training on EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout.
    The FAA added language to Sec.  61.66(a)(1) and (b)(1) to make 
clear that the ground and flight training for EFVS operations, and the 
respective endorsements, must be specific to the category of aircraft 
for which the person is seeking the EFVS privilege. It has always been 
the FAA's intent to require the EFVS training to be category specific. 
This requirement is consistent with the language proposed in Sec.  
61.57(i) requiring an EFVS proficiency check to be accomplished in the 
category of aircraft for the EFVS privilege sought.

[[Page 90148]]

    The FAA is reorganizing the supplementary EFVS training 
requirements in Sec.  61.66(c) (proposed as differences training) to be 
more consistent with Sec.  61.66(a) and (b).\41\ Accordingly, Sec.  
61.66(c)(1) requires a person to receive and log the ground and flight 
training specified in Sec.  61.66(a) and (b) under an FAA approved 
training program appropriate to the EFVS operation to be conducted, and 
Sec.  61.66(c)(2) requires that person to obtain a logbook or training 
record endorsement from an authorized training provider certifying the 
person is proficient in the use of EFVS for the EFVS operations to be 
conducted. These revisions are consistent with proposed Sec.  
61.31(l)(6)(i), which would have required the person to obtain the 
flight training and endorsement specified in Sec.  61.66(b) appropriate 
to the additional EFVS operations to be conducted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \41\ In the NPRM, the FAA described the additional EFVS training 
requirements in proposed Sec.  61.31(l)(6) as differences training. 
Upon further reflection, the FAA has decided not to use the term 
``differences training'' because it is a term of art used by air 
carriers, which may cause confusion in the context of additional 
EFVS training. Under part 121 subpart N and part 135 subpart H, 
differences training is required if a flightcrew member will serve 
on a variation of a particular aircraft type that has pertinent 
differences from the base aircraft type. To avoid confusion, the FAA 
is describing the additional EFVS training requirements as 
``supplementary EFVS training.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA is requiring the supplemental EFVS training in Sec.  
61.66(c) to consist of ground and flight training on the subjects and 
tasks specified in (a)(2) and (b)(2) appropriate to the additional EFVS 
operation to be conducted, as opposed to only flight training which was 
what the NPRM proposed in Sec.  61.31(l)(6). This change to the 
regulatory text is consistent with the discussion in the NPRM,\42\ 
where the FAA explained that a pilot trained to conduct EFVS operations 
to 100 feet above the TDZE would not be required to complete the full 
training program applicable to EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout 
if he or she later decided to conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout. Instead, he or she would be required to complete only that 
portion of the full training program addressing the differences between 
the two operations. A full training program consists of both ground and 
flight training. The FAA therefore intended the supplemental EFVS 
training to consist of both ground and flight training. The FAA 
inadvertently omitted ground training, however, in its proposed 
regulatory text. The FAA is adding ground training to Sec.  61.66(c) to 
clarify that supplemental EFVS training includes ground training on the 
subjects specified in Sec.  61.66(a)(2) in addition to flight training 
on the tasks specified in Sec.  61.66(b)(2) appropriate to the 
additional EFVS operation to be conducted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ ``Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of 
Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) and to Pilot Compartment View 
Requirements for Vision Systems.'' 78 FR at 34943 (June 11, 2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA is also requiring the supplemental EFVS training to be 
specific to the category of aircraft for which the person is seeking 
the EFVS privilege, which is consistent with the training requirements 
in Sec.  61.66(a) and (b) and with the recent flight experience and 
refresher training requirements in Sec.  61.66(d) and (e).
    The FAA is not permitting a person to receive a proficiency check 
in lieu of the supplemental EFVS training, as originally proposed in 
Sec.  61.31(l)(6)(ii). Nor is the FAA permitting a person to receive a 
proficiency check in lieu of the initial ground and flight training, as 
originally proposed in Sec.  61.31(l)(7). The FAA is not adopting these 
proposed proficiency checks because they cannot be applied as a 
practical matter and they are inconsistent with the FAA's reasons for 
establishing EFVS training requirements. During a proficiency check, a 
pilot must satisfactorily perform certain flight tasks. Prior to being 
checked on the flight tasks, a pilot must first receive training on the 
flight tasks. It is therefore impractical to permit a proficiency check 
on the tasks listed in Sec.  61.66(b)(2) in lieu of initial training on 
those tasks. Furthermore, as explained in the NPRM, the FAA, EFVS 
manufacturers, and operators of EFVS-equipped aircraft have all 
recognized the need for specialized training in the use of EFVS. The 
FAA proposed to establish EFVS training requirements to ensure that 
pilots meet minimum requirements to operate EFVS equipment, that they 
are trained and tested to a standard, and that an appropriate level of 
public safety is maintained. The FAA now recognizes that proposed Sec.  
61.31(l)(6) and (l)(7) would have permitted a pilot who is untrained 
and inexperienced with the use of EFVS to receive a proficiency check 
on the tasks set forth in Sec.  61.66(b)(2) in lieu of receiving the 
initial training on those tasks. This was not the FAA's intent as such 
a requirement would contravene the FAA's reasons for establishing EFVS 
training requirements. The FAA notes, however, that pilots who have 
satisfactorily completed training on EFVS operations to 100 feet above 
the TDZE prior to this final rule will not be required to receive 
duplicative training under Sec.  61.66(a) and (b). Instead, those 
pilots will be given credit for their previously obtained training 
pursuant to Sec.  61.66(h)(4), which is discussed in more detail below.
    The FAA is also revising Sec.  61.66(a)(2) and (b)(2)(vii) as a 
result of a comment raised by GAMA. GAMA recommended that the FAA align 
the terminology in proposed Sec.  61.31(l)(4)(vii) with the terminology 
``EFVS image,'' ``EFVS sensor imagery,'' and ``flight information and 
flight symbology,'' used in Sec.  91.176. Sections 91.176(a)(1)(i)(B) 
and (a)(1)(i)(E) now use the phrase ``aircraft flight information and 
flight symbology,'' rather than ``aircraft flight symbology.'' The FAA 
agrees with GAMA that the terminology should be consistent in part 61. 
The FAA is therefore revising Sec.  61.66(b)(2)(vii), previously 
proposed as Sec.  61.31(l)(4)(vii), to include a reference to required 
aircraft flight information and flight symbology, as used in Sec.  
91.176. For consistency, the FAA is also revising Sec.  61.66(a)(2), 
previously proposed as Sec.  61.31(l)(2), by adding new paragraph (ii) 
to include EFVS sensor imagery and required aircraft flight information 
and flight symbology as subjects of ground training for EFVS 
operations.
    Additionally, the FAA is revising Sec.  61.66(a)(2)(i) to read 
``Airplane Flight Manual or Rotorcraft Flight Manual limitations'' 
instead of ``AFM limitations'' because EFVS operations apply to both 
airplanes and rotorcraft. The reference to ``Airplane Flight Manual or 
Rotorcraft Flight Manual limitations'' includes the limitations found 
in the Airplane Flight Manual Supplement or Rotorcraft Flight Manual 
Supplement as well as those found in the AFM or RFM.
    The FAA is also revising certain terms and concepts in Sec.  61.66 
to be consistent with current regulations, including revisions 
resulting from several rulemaking actions that were published after the 
EFVS proposal was published.\43\ The FAA is replacing the terminology 
``other endorsement'' with ``training record endorsement'' in Sec.  
61.66(a)(1)(ii), (b)(1)(ii), and (c)(2) for consistency with 
terminology used in other sections of part 61.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ These rulemaking actions include the final rules ``Pilot 
Certification and Qualification Requirements for Air Carrier 
Operations,'' 78 FR 42374 (Jul. 15, 2013), ``Certified Flight 
Instructor Flight Reviews; Recent Pilot in Command Experience; 
Airmen Online Services,'' 78 FR 56828 (Sept. 16, 2013), and 
``Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and Aircraft 
Dispatchers,'' 78 FR 67800 (Nov. 12, 2013).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 90149]]

2. Recent Flight Experience and EFVS Refresher Training for Persons 
Conducting EFVS Operations (Sec.  61.66(d) and (e))
    Section 61.66(d) requires a person to perform and log six 
instrument approaches as the sole manipulator of the controls using an 
EFVS under any weather conditions in the category of aircraft for which 
the person is seeking the EFVS privilege. In order to manipulate the 
controls of an aircraft or act as pilot in command of an aircraft 
during an EFVS operation, these six instrument approaches must be 
accomplished within six calendar months preceding the month of the 
flight. These instrument approaches may be performed in either day or 
night conditions. One approach must terminate in a full stop landing. 
For a person authorized to conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout, that person must conduct the full stop landing using the EFVS. 
These requirements were previously proposed in Sec.  61.57(h). The FAA 
is adopting these requirements in new Sec.  61.66(d) with two 
substantive changes. First, the FAA is clarifying that recent flight 
experience may be performed in either day or night conditions. Second, 
to be consistent with the requirement originally proposed for 
proficiency checks in Sec.  61.57(i), the FAA is clarifying that recent 
flight experience must be performed in the same category of aircraft 
for which the pilot holds EFVS privileges under Sec.  61.66(a) and (b).
    Section 61.66(e) requires a person who has failed to meet the 
recent flight experience requirements of paragraph (d) for more than 
six calendar months to reestablish EFVS currency only by satisfactorily 
completing an approved EFVS refresher course in the category of 
aircraft for which the person is seeking the EFVS privilege. The EFVS 
refresher course must consist of the subjects and tasks specified in 
Sec.  61.66(a)(2) and (b)(2) applicable to the EFVS operations to be 
conducted. Section 61.66(e) differs from the proposal in the NPRM in 
that it more closely resembles the instrument proficiency check 
requirements in Sec.  61.57(d) and rather than calling the mechanism by 
which a person reestablishes EFVS currency a proficiency check, the FAA 
is calling it a refresher course.
    In the NPRM, proposed Sec.  61.57(i) would have required a person 
who did not meet the recent flight experience requirements in proposed 
Sec.  61.57(h) to pass an EFVS proficiency check to act as PIC in an 
EFVS operation or to manipulate the controls of an aircraft during an 
EFVS operation. However, the discussion of proposed Sec.  61.57(i) in 
the NPRM obscured the proposed requirement by stating that a person 
acting as PIC or a person manipulating the controls of an aircraft in 
an EFVS operation would either have been required to meet the proposed 
EFVS recent flight experience requirements or pass an EFVS proficiency 
check. Because of the statement in the NPRM, proposed Sec.  61.57(i) 
could have been interpreted one of two ways. Proposed Sec.  61.57(i) 
could have meant that a pilot who did not meet the recent flight 
experience requirements of proposed Sec.  61.57(h) could have 
reestablished EFVS currency only by completing an EFVS proficiency 
check. Alternatively, proposed Sec.  61.57(i) could have meant that a 
pilot who did not meet the recent flight experience requirements in 
Sec.  61.57(h) could have reestablished EFVS currency by either: (1) 
Satisfying the EFVS recent flight experience requirements in proposed 
Sec.  61.57(h); or (2) completing an EFVS proficiency check pursuant to 
Sec.  61.57(i).
    The FAA's intent was to require a person who did not meet the 
recent flight experience requirements to reestablish EFVS currency only 
by completing an EFVS proficiency check, similar to the instrument 
proficiency check requirements in Sec.  61.57(d). Upon further 
reflection, the FAA has decided that the term proficiency check is 
inappropriate in the context of reestablishing EFVS currency. Unlike an 
instrument proficiency check, which is based on the instrument 
practical test standards, an EFVS proficiency check would not have been 
based on any standards. Rather, an EFVS proficiency check would have 
consisted of the training tasks specified in proposed Sec.  61.31(l). 
Because proposed Sec.  61.57(h) would have resulted in a person 
receiving additional training rather than a proficiency check based on 
performance standards, the FAA has decided to call it an EFVS refresher 
course. Additionally, because proposed Sec.  61.57(h) would have 
required the additional training to consist of the tasks in proposed 
Sec.  61.31(l), which proposed both ground and flight training, the FAA 
is requiring the EFVS refresher course to consist of the ground 
subjects and the flight tasks specified in paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(2) 
as applicable to the EFVS operation to be conducted.
    To avoid ambiguity, the FAA is restructuring Sec.  61.66(e) to more 
closely resemble the language for instrument recent flight experience 
in Sec.  61.57(d) with respect to the six calendar month timeframe. The 
FAA believes that using language from Sec.  61.57(d), which pilots are 
already familiar with, will better inform pilots on how to remain 
current for EFVS operations under Sec.  61.66. Accordingly, under new 
Sec.  61.66(e), if a person has failed to meet the EFVS experience 
requirements of Sec.  61.66(d) for more than six calendar months--
meaning it has been more than six months since the person was last 
current to perform an EFVS operation, that person may reestablish EFVS 
currency only by satisfactorily completing an EFVS refresher course 
pursuant to Sec.  61.66(e). The FAA notes that the six calendar month 
period described in Sec.  61.66(d) begins when a pilot satisfactorily 
completes the ground and flight training and obtains the necessary 
endorsements under Sec.  61.66(a) and (b).\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ See Legal Interpretation, Letter to Mr. Joshua Wynne from 
Rebecca B. MacPherson, Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations (Aug. 
1, 2008) (explaining that the six calendar month period described in 
Sec.  61.57(c) begins when a pilot successfully completes his or her 
practical test). ``By passing the practical test, the pilot has 
demonstrated his or her instrument proficiency.'' Id. Similarly, the 
six calendar month period described in Sec.  61.66(d) begins when a 
pilot successfully completes the EFVS training and obtains the 
necessary endorsements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 61.66(e) contains a substantive change from what was 
proposed in that it provides a six-month grace period for pilots who 
have failed to maintain the EFVS recent flight experience requirements 
of Sec.  61.66(d). The proposed regulatory text would have required a 
pilot to receive an EFVS proficiency check if he or she had not 
performed and logged the tasks specified in Sec.  61.66(d) within the 6 
calendar months preceding the month of the flight. Under new Sec.  
61.66(e), however, a pilot may fail to maintain EFVS currency for up to 
6 calendar months without having to obtain refresher training. As with 
instrument recent flight experience, a pilot has an additional 6 
calendar months to complete the recent EFVS flight experience tasks 
specified in Sec.  61.66(d) without having to take an EFVS refresher 
course to reestablish his or her EFVS privileges.\45\ In other words, a 
pilot has six months from the date that he or she was last current to 
conduct EFVS operations to perform the EFVS

[[Page 90150]]

recent flight experience required by Sec.  61.66(d), which may be 
accomplished in any weather conditions.\46\ If a pilot fails to 
maintain EFVS currency for more than 6 calendar months, however, that 
pilot may not manipulate the controls or act as PIC of an aircraft 
during an EFVS operation until he or she completes an EFVS refresher 
course.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ See ``Pilot, Flight Instructor, and Pilot School 
Certification; Technical Amendment,'' 76 FR 78141, 78142 (Dec. 16, 
2011) (``[A] pilot who has failed to maintain instrument currency 
for more than six calendar months may not serve as pilot in command 
under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed 
for visual flight rules (VFR) until completing an instrument 
proficiency check. A pilot whose instrument currency has been lapsed 
for less than six months may continue to reestablish instrument 
currency by performing the tasks and maneuvers required in [Sec.  
61.57(c)].'')
    \46\ During this six-month grace period, a person may not act as 
PIC of an EFVS operation but may manipulate the controls under the 
supervision of a PIC properly qualified and current for the purpose 
of reestablishing currency. See Legal Interpretation, Letter to 
Joseph P. Carr from John H. Cassady, Assistant Chief Counsel for 
Regulations (Nov. 7, 1984) (discussing the second six-month period 
as it pertains to a pilot regaining his or her instrument currency 
and noting that, during this second six-month period, a pilot is 
prohibited from acting as PIC under IFR or below VFR minimums).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA never intended the requirements of Sec.  61.66(d) to 
replace the instrument experience requirements of Sec.  61.57(c). In 
fact, the instrument experience requirements specified in Sec.  
61.57(c) lay the foundation for conducting safe EFVS operations by 
ensuring pilots are proficient in conducting instrument approach 
procedures. The FAA structured Sec.  61.66(d) to enable pilots to 
satisfy both the instrument experience requirements and the EFVS 
operating experience requirements during the same flight or series of 
flights. For example, a person performing an EFVS operation on an 
instrument approach under IMC may be able to log that instrument 
approach under Sec.  61.57(c) provided he or she is operating the 
aircraft solely by reference to the instruments. Under certain 
conditions, the pilot may have to remove the EFVS sensor image for a 
portion of the approach in order to operate the aircraft solely by 
reference to the instruments. In weather conditions that exceed the 
sensor's capabilities, such as clouds, dense fog, or heavy rain, the 
pilot may not have to remove the EFVS sensor image if it provides no 
visual advantage over that of natural vision. However, a person 
performing an instrument approach using EFVS under VMC would not be 
able to log that approach under Sec.  61.57(c), unless that person were 
using a HUD-compatible view limiting device, which enabled the person 
to perform the approach solely by reference to the instruments. A 
person would be required to comply with the safety pilot requirements 
in Sec.  91.109(c) if that person performs an instrument approach with 
an EFVS in simulated weather conditions using a view limiting device.
3. EFVS Recent Flight Experience
    Boeing commented that proposed Sec.  61.57(h)(1) and (h)(2)(i) 
should specify that persons should obtain recent flight experience and 
proficiency checks using the same type of EFVS and in the same category 
and type of aircraft, if appropriate. Boeing stated that 
characteristics and controls may be different among different EFVS 
installations, and that there may be differences in the sensor position 
and out-the-window view among different airplanes of the same category, 
such as an ERJ-170 and a Boeing B747.
    While it is unclear whether Boeing is referring to category, class, 
and type as defined in Sec.  1.1, the FAA has decided against requiring 
persons to obtain recent flight experience using the same type of EFVS 
in the same category, class, and type of aircraft. It believes that 
imposing such requirements would be unreasonable. The FAA has decided, 
however, to require persons to obtain recent flight experience using an 
EFVS in the same category of aircraft because the characteristics and 
controls of different categories of aircraft, such as rotorcraft and 
airplane, may be significantly different. From a practical perspective, 
operators train pilots on the specific equipment they will fly in 
accordance with their approved training programs. The FAA has decided 
to establish minimum standards in Sec.  61.66(d) and (e), which apply 
to operators who may be operating a broad range of aircraft and EFVS 
equipment. The FAA recommends, however, that persons obtain recent 
flight experience using EFVS-equipped aircraft in which the pilot 
expects to conduct operations. The FAA also recommends that operators 
address training and proficiency for each specific combination of EFVS 
and aircraft model in their approved training programs. FSB reports 
also provide recommendations for training, checking, currency, recent 
flight experience, and special emphasis areas.
    Boeing also asked the FAA for clarification about whether contact 
and visual approaches under IFR can satisfy the requirement for recent 
flight experience using EFVS. The FAA notes that although persons may 
conduct contact approaches and visual approaches under instrument 
flight rules, these approaches are not instrument approach procedures, 
as defined in Sec.  1.1. Therefore, persons cannot use these approaches 
to meet the EFVS recent flight experience requirements of Sec.  
61.66(d).
4. Persons Authorized To Conduct EFVS Refresher Training
    Section 61.66(e)(2) lists the persons authorized to conduct EFVS 
refresher training. This list differs from the proposed list of persons 
authorized to conduct EFVS proficiency checks in Sec.  61.57(i) based 
on comments from Boeing and based on the FAA's own review of the 
proposal. More specifically, the FAA is using the term ``authorized 
training provider'' in paragraph (e)(2) rather than the proposed term 
``authorized instructor'' as a result of Boeing's comment, and the FAA 
is not adopting proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(1), (i)(2), (i)(3), or (i)(5).
    Section 61.66(e)(2) requires an EFVS refresher course to be 
conducted by an authorized training provider who meets the training and 
recent flight experience requirements in Sec.  61.66. This requirement 
differs from what was proposed in Sec.  61.57(i)(4), which would have 
allowed authorized instructors to perform EFVS proficiency checks.\47\ 
The FAA's description of authorized instructor in proposed Sec.  
61.57(i)(4) was confusing as evident from Boeing's comment. Boeing 
commented that the FAA uses different descriptions for instructors who 
provide initial training under proposed Sec.  61.31(l) and those who 
provide proficiency checks under proposed Sec.  61.57(i). It 
recommended that the FAA revise proposed Sec.  61.57(i) to make it 
parallel proposed Sec.  61.31(l), which uses the term ``authorized 
instructor'' to describe those who are qualified to provide initial 
training. As previously discussed, the FAA is using the term 
``authorized training provider,'' rather than the proposed term 
``authorized instructor,'' in Sec.  61.66(a) and (b) to clarify that 
all EFVS training must be accomplished in accordance with an FAA 
approved training program under 14 CFR parts 91, 91 subpart K, 121, 
125, 135, 141, or 142. The FAA agrees with Boeing that the FAA should 
use the same description for instructors who provide initial training 
under Sec.  61.66(a) and (b) and for instructors who provide EFVS 
refresher training under Sec.  61.66(e). Accordingly, the FAA is using 
the term ``authorized training provider'' in Sec.  61.66(e)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ As explained above, the proposed EFVS proficiency check is 
now called EFVS refresher training.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 61.66(e)(2) requires an authorized training provider to 
meet the training requirements of Sec.  61.66 and, if conducting EFVS 
operations in an aircraft during the course of refresher training, the 
recent flight experience

[[Page 90151]]

requirements of Sec.  61.66.\48\ This requirement is consistent with 
the NPRM because proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(4) would have required the 
authorized instructor to meet the training requirements for EFVS 
operations specified in proposed Sec.  61.31(l) and, if conducting EFVS 
operations in an aircraft, meet the recent flight experience 
requirements of proposed Sec.  61.57.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ An EFVS operation is defined as an operation in which 
visibility conditions require the use of EFVS. If an authorized 
training provider will be conducting an EFVS operation in an 
aircraft during the course of EFVS refresher training, that 
authorized training provider must be EFVS current in accordance with 
Sec.  61.66(d) and (e).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A person may receive an EFVS refresher course from an authorized 
training provider under 14 CFR parts 141 or 142.\49\ Therefore, Sec.  
61.66(e)(2) encompasses instructors under parts 141 and 142.\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ Section 61.66(e) does not apply to operators under parts 91 
subpart K, 121, 125, and 135 because Sec.  61.66(h)(3) excepts these 
operators from the recent flight experience requirements of Sec.  
61.66(d).
    \50\ Section 61.66(e) also enables a person to receive an EFVS 
refresher course from an authorized training provider under part 61. 
The FAA is in the process of developing guidance to approve training 
programs conducted under part 61.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA finds it unnecessary to adopt proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(1), 
(i)(2), (i)(3), or (i)(5).
    The FAA is not adopting proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(1), which would 
have allowed FAA inspectors or designated examiners to conduct EFVS 
proficiency checks, because a person cannot obtain EFVS refresher 
training from an FAA inspector or designated examiner.
    The FAA is not adopting proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(2), which would 
have allowed persons who are authorized by the U.S. Armed Forces to 
perform EFVS proficiency checks to conduct EFVS proficiency checks 
under Sec.  61.66(e), previously proposed as Sec.  61.57(i), provided 
the person being administered the check was also a member of the U.S. 
Armed Forces. Instead, the FAA has decided to create a new paragraph, 
Sec.  61.66(f), which solely addresses U.S. military pilots and former 
U.S. military pilots and which clarifies that EFVS proficiency checks 
administered in the U.S. Armed Forces may satisfy the recent flight 
experience requirements in Sec.  61.66(d). This paragraph is discussed 
in more detail below.
    The FAA is not adopting proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(3), which would 
have permitted company check pilots who are authorized to perform EFVS 
proficiency checks under parts 121, 125, or 135, or subpart K of part 
91, to administer EFVS proficiency checks to pilots who are employed by 
the operator or fractional ownership program manager. The FAA finds it 
impractical to include company check pilots in the list of persons 
authorized to administer EFVS refresher training. The FAA also finds it 
unnecessary to include persons authorized to administer EFVS training 
under parts 121, 125, 135, or part 91 subpart K in the list of persons 
authorized to administer EFVS refresher training because, as explained 
in section III.E.8.c.of this preamble, Sec.  61.66(h)(3) excepts parts 
121, 125 (including part 125 LODA holders), 135, and 91 subpart K 
pilots from the EFVS recent flight experience requirements of Sec.  
61.66(d). Rather than meeting recent flight experience requirements of 
Sec.  61.66(d), or reestablishing EFVS currency under Sec.  61.66(e), 
pilots conducting EFVS operations for part 91 subpart K, part 121, part 
125, and part 135 operators will be checked on EFVS tasks and maneuvers 
under their respective parts.
    Boeing commented that proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(3) should have 
included contract pilots of an operator or fractional ownership program 
manager because some operators use contract pilots and instructors for 
training. While the FAA agrees with Boeing's comment, the FAA's 
decision to no longer adopt proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(3) obviates 
addressing Boeing's concern.
    The FAA is not adopting proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(5), which would 
have permitted persons to perform EFVS proficiency checks if they were 
approved by the FAA to perform EFVS proficiency checks, as unnecessary 
because Sec.  61.66(e)(2) already allows persons to provide EFVS 
refresher training if they are authorized by the Administrator to do 
so.
5. Revisions to Sec.  61.57
    The FAA is revising certain terms and concepts in Sec.  61.57. The 
FAA is revising Sec.  61.57(e)(2) and (e)(3) to correct drafting errors 
that occurred in a previous rulemaking. A drafting error occurred in 
paragraph (e)(2), which stated ``when the pilot is engaged in a flight 
operation under parts 91 and 121 for that certificate holder.'' A 
drafting error also occurred in paragraph (e)(3), which said ``when the 
pilot is engaged in a flight operation under parts 91 and 135 for that 
certificate holder.'' The FAA is revising ``and'' to ``or'' to state 
``parts 91 or 121'' and ``parts 91 or 135,'' respectively.
    The FAA is also revising Sec.  61.57(e)(2) to remove a reference to 
Sec.  121.435, which is currently a reserved section and has contained 
no requirements since March 12, 2014.\51\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and Aircraft 
Dispatchers, 78 FR 67841 (Nov. 12, 2013). Boeing commented that 
Sec.  121.437 no longer exists and that the FAA should replace the 
regulatory reference with Sec. Sec.  121.435 or 121.436. The FAA 
agrees with Boeing and is replacing the regulatory reference with 
Sec.  121.436. A rulemaking action entitled ``Pilot Certification 
and Qualification Requirements for Air Carrier Operations'' (78 FR 
42374) removed Sec.  121.437 from the regulations on July 15, 2013, 
and added new Sec. Sec.  121.435 and 121.436. Section 121.435 
contained the existing certificate requirements for part 121 pilots 
that were in effect until July 31, 2013. After that date, the 
requirements of Sec.  121.436 began to apply. The FAA notes that 
Sec.  121.435 is currently reserved. Therefore, the correct 
regulatory reference is Sec.  121.436. The EFVS NPRM did not reflect 
these changes because it was published prior to the July 15, 2013 
rulemaking action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Military Pilots and Former Military Pilots in the U.S. Armed Forces 
(Sec.  61.66(f))
    The FAA is creating a new paragraph, Sec.  61.66(f), which solely 
addresses military pilots and former military pilots in the U.S. Armed 
Forces. This new paragraph clarifies the regulations applicable to 
these pilots.
    Under Sec.  61.66(f), a military pilot or former military pilot in 
the U.S. Armed Forces is excepted from the ground and flight training 
requirements in Sec.  61.66(a) and (b) if he or she can document 
satisfactory completion of ground and flight training in EFVS 
operations by the U.S. Armed Forces. This requirement differs from the 
NPRM, where the FAA proposed to permit EFVS proficiency checks 
administered in the U.S. Armed Forces in lieu of the EFVS ground and 
flight training requirements in paragraphs (a) and (b). A pilot obtains 
a proficiency check in the U.S. Armed Forces after receiving the 
required ground and flight training. Therefore, the FAA has decided to 
accept documentation of EFVS ground and flight training by the U.S. 
Armed Forces, rather than an EFVS proficiency check, in lieu of the 
ground and flight training requirements in Sec.  61.66(a) and (b). 
Accordingly, the training requirements in (a) and (b) do not apply to a 
military or former military pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces if that 
person can document satisfactory completion of ground and flight 
training in EFVS operations by the U.S. Armed Forces. The FAA believes 
this change provides clarity and consistency for military pilots and 
former military pilots in the U.S. Armed Forces.
    Under Sec.  61.66(f)(3), a military pilot or former military pilot 
in the U.S. Armed Forces may satisfy the recent flight experience 
requirements in paragraph (d) if he or she documents satisfactory 
completion of an EFVS proficiency

[[Page 90152]]

check in the U.S. Armed Forces within 6 calendar months preceding the 
month of the flight. The check must be conducted by a person authorized 
by the U.S. Armed Forces to administer the check and the person 
receiving the check must have been a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at 
the time the check was administered. This requirement stems from 
proposed Sec.  61.57(i)(2), which would have permitted EFVS proficiency 
checks received in the U.S. Armed Forces as a means of satisfying the 
recent flight experience requirements of Sec.  61.66(d). Proposed Sec.  
61.57(i)(2) was confusing, however, because a pilot operating under 
part 61 would not have the option of going to a person authorized by 
the U.S. Armed Forces to perform EFVS proficiency checks, and a 
military pilot receiving an EFVS proficiency check in the U.S. Armed 
Forces would be receiving the check for military purposes--not for the 
purpose of satisfying the EFVS recent flight experience requirements of 
Sec.  61.66(d). The FAA is therefore adopting new Sec.  61.66(f)(3) to 
clarify that EFVS proficiency checks administered in the U.S. Armed 
Forces may satisfy the recent flight experience requirements in Sec.  
61.66(d).
7. Use of Full Flight Simulators (Sec.  61.66(g))
    Section 61.66(g) states that a person may use a level C or higher 
full flight simulator (FFS) equipped with an EFVS to meet the flight 
training, recent flight experience, and refresher training requirements 
of Sec.  61.66. Section 61.66(g) is consistent with the NPRM, where 
proposed Sec.  61.31(l)(5), Sec.  61.57(h)(2), and Sec.  61.57(i) would 
have permitted the use of FFS to meet the flight training, recent 
flight experience, and proficiency check requirements of proposed Sec.  
61.31 and Sec.  61.57. The FAA has decided to consolidate these 
proposed requirements into one section for clarity. Accordingly, Sec.  
61.66(g) now contains the FFS requirements for meeting the flight 
training, recent flight experience, and refresher training requirements 
of Sec.  61.66.
    The FAA is using the term ``full flight simulator'' in Sec.  
61.66(g), rather than ``simulator'' as proposed, because the term 
``simulator'' in Sec.  1.1 has been replaced with the term full flight 
simulator (FFS). Additionally, Sec.  61.66(g) clarifies that the FFS 
must be evaluated and qualified by the National Simulator Program for 
EFVS operations, be qualified and maintained in accordance with part 
60, or be a previously qualified device in accordance with Sec.  60.17, 
and be approved by the FAA for the tasks and maneuvers that will be 
performed in the FFS.
    If a pilot is using a level C or higher FFS to meet the flight 
training requirements of Sec.  61.66, the FFS must be equipped with a 
daylight visual display, as proposed in Sec.  61.31(l)(5), because 
Sec.  61.66(b)(2) requires certain flight training tasks to be 
conducted under both day and night conditions.\52\ However, the FAA is 
not adopting the proposed requirement that a level C or higher FFS be 
equipped with a daylight visual display if being used to meet the EFVS 
recent flight experience requirements because Sec.  61.66(d) authorizes 
a pilot to complete the recent flight experience in either day or night 
conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ Part 60 requires level C and level D simulators to have 
daylight visual scenes. See Part 60, Table A1A Minimum Simulator 
Requirements. However, before the FAA adopted part 60 on May 9, 
2008, the FAA required only level D simulators to have daylight 
visual scenes. Section 61.66(g)(1) permits persons to use previously 
qualified devices in accordance with Sec.  60.17. Thus, Sec.  
61.66(g)(3) expressly requires a level C or higher FFS to be 
equipped with a daylight visual display if being used to meet the 
flight training requirements of Sec.  61.66(b). This equipment 
requirement is necessary because some level C simulators qualified 
prior to the establishment of part 60 were not required to have 
daylight visual scenes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

8. Exceptions (Sec.  61.66(h))
    The FAA is adopting several exceptions to the flight training, 
recent flight experience, and refresher training requirements in Sec.  
61.66.
a. Manipulating the Controls (Sec.  61.66(h)(1)(i), (ii), and (iii)
    Under Sec.  61.66(b), no person may manipulate the controls of an 
aircraft during an EFVS operation as specified in Sec.  91.176(a) or 
(b) unless that person has received and logged flight training for the 
EFVS operation under a training program approved by the Administrator 
and obtained a logbook or training record endorsement from an 
authorized training provider certifying that the person has 
satisfactorily completed the flight training. The FAA now recognizes 
that, without an exception, Sec.  61.66(b) would prohibit a person from 
manipulating the controls of an aircraft during an EFVS operation while 
he or she was receiving flight training in EFVS operations under an FAA 
approved training program. Immediately after the pilot received the 
required flight training and endorsement, however, he or she would be 
authorized to manipulate the controls of an aircraft during EFVS 
operations performed on his or her own.
    A pilot should be permitted to manipulate the controls of an 
aircraft during an EFVS operation when that pilot is receiving flight 
training on EFVS operations under an FAA approved training program, 
provided the training provider's instructor is qualified under Sec.  
61.66 to perform the EFVS operation in the category of aircraft in 
which the training is being conducted. Accordingly, the FAA is adding 
new Sec.  61.66(h)(1)(i) to allow manipulation of the controls during 
flight training.
    The FAA also now recognizes that, without an exception, Sec.  
61.66(d) would prohibit a person from manipulating the controls of an 
aircraft during an EFVS operation conducted in the course of satisfying 
the recent flight experience requirements specified in paragraph (d). 
Similarly, without an exception, Sec.  61.66(d) and (e) would prohibit 
a person from manipulating the controls of an aircraft during an EFVS 
operation conducted during an refresher course. Accordingly, the FAA is 
adding exceptions in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii) and (h)(1)(iii) to permit a 
person to manipulate the controls of an aircraft during an EFVS 
operation conducted in the course of satisfying the recent flight 
experience requirements and in the course of completing EFVS refresher 
training.
    If a person whose currency had lapsed were to manipulate the 
controls of an aircraft during an EFVS operation performed in the 
course of satisfying the recent flight experience requirements, another 
individual would have to serve as PIC of the aircraft during that EFVS 
operation because a person may not act as PIC during an EFVS operation 
unless he or she meets the recent flight experience requirements 
specified in paragraph (d).\53\ The individual serving as PIC during 
the EFVS operation must be qualified under Sec.  61.66 to perform the 
EFVS operation in the category of aircraft in which the flight is being 
conducted. Similarly, if a person were to manipulate the controls of an 
aircraft during an EFVS operation performed in the course of completing 
an EFVS refresher course, the person administering the training would 
have to be qualified under Sec.  61.66 to perform the EFVS operation in 
the category of aircraft in which the training was being conducted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ The FAA notes that, under Sec.  61.66(d), recent flight 
experience may be accomplished in any weather conditions not just 
conditions that require the use of an EFVS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. Exception to Ground and Flight Training (Sec.  61.66(h)(2))
    The FAA is adding new Sec.  61.66(h)(2) to provide personnel 
involved in certain research and development, EFVS certification, and 
operational suitability

[[Page 90153]]

determination activities an alternate means of meeting the training 
requirements of Sec.  61.66(a) and (b). The FAA finds the addition is 
necessary because personnel involved in such activities, all of which 
may be conducted in aircraft issued an experimental certificate under 
Sec.  21.191, may be otherwise unable to obtain training under an FAA-
approved training program, as required by Sec.  61.66(a) and (b).\54\ 
For example, FAA personnel involved in EFVS certification and 
operational suitability determination activities receive training 
through other processes that are provided for and specified in internal 
FAA Orders. These processes may differ from those specified in Sec.  
61.66(a) and (b), but are approved and used by the FAA. Another example 
is an applicant who seeks to certify an EFVS based on new sensor 
technology for which an FAA-approved training course does not yet exist 
and an authorized instructor who can give the training is not yet 
available.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ An FAA-approved training program means training acquired 
under part 141 or part 142, an FAA-approved training program under 
part 125 or part 91 subpart K, or an FAA-approved air carrier 
training program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Accordingly, new Sec.  61.66(h)(2) provides that the requirements 
specified in Sec.  61.66(a) and (b) do not apply if a person is 
conducting a flight or series of flights in an aircraft issued an 
experimental airworthiness certificate for the purpose of research and 
development or showing compliance with regulations provided the person 
has knowledge of the subjects specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this 
section and has experience with the tasks specified in paragraph (b)(2) 
of this section applicable to the EFVS operations to be conducted. This 
provides some flexibility for tasks that might be specified in Sec.  
61.66(b)(2) but are not applicable to a particular research and 
development or show-compliance project.
    In order to qualify under the exception in Sec.  61.66(h)(2), an 
applicant must submit evidence to the FAA showing that he or she 
complies with Sec.  61.66(h)(2), along with his or her program letter 
and application for an experimental certificate. The guidance material 
will address circumstances in which it is appropriate for an applicant 
to use this alternate means of meeting the additional training required 
for EFVS operations under Sec.  61.66(a) and (b), the process an 
applicant may follow, and other related regulatory requirements.
c. Exception to Recent Flight Experience Requirements (Sec.  
61.66(h)(3))
    As noted in the NPRM, parts 121, 125, 135, and 91 subpart K 
operators currently authorized to conduct EFVS operations must train, 
check, and qualify their pilots on EFVS in accordance with their OpSpec 
or MSpec. Existing regulations in parts 121, 135, and 91 subpart K 
require operators to provide training that ensures each crewmember is 
qualified on new equipment, facilities, procedures, and techniques, 
including modifications to aircraft.\55\ Part 125 does not contain 
training requirements for pilots; \56\ however, at a minimum, any 
person serving as a required flightcrew member for a part 125 operator 
must meet the EFVS training requirements in Sec.  61.66.\57\ The 
regulatory requirements to train crewmembers on EFVS are transparent 
within the relevant operating rules in 14 CFR. However, the requirement 
to be qualified for EFVS operations by one of the certificate holder's 
check airmen is not as clearly set forth in part 121, 125, 135, or 91 
subpart K. The FAA is therefore revising Sec. Sec.  91.1065, 125.287, 
135.293, and appendix F to part 121 \58\ to provide greater clarity on 
the checking requirements for EFVS operations. Operators authorized to 
conduct EFVS operations will incorporate EFVS into existing recurrent 
training and checking to ensure pilots remain proficient on EFVS tasks 
and maneuvers. Because pilots will be checked on EFVS tasks and 
maneuvers under part 91 subpart K, part 121, part 125, and part 135, 
the FAA is adding Sec.  61.66(h)(3), which excepts parts 121, 125 
(including part 125 LODA holders), 135, and 91 subpart K pilots from 
the EFVS recent flight experience requirements in Sec.  61.66(d).\59\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ 14 CFR 91.1081(e), 121.415(g), and 135.329(e).
    \56\ ``Under the part 125 regulatory design, reliance is placed 
upon tests and checks to ensure airman are proficient. These tests 
and checks are adequate to ensure an acceptable level of safety in 
part 125.'' 45 FR 67214 (October 9, 1980).
    \57\ Section 61.66 sets forth the specific contents for EFVS 
training. An EFVS training program--whether conducted by a part 121 
air carrier, a part 135 operator, a part 142 training center, or a 
part 141 pilot school--must at a minimum include the content set 
forth in Sec.  61.66(a) through (c).
    \58\ Because Sec.  61.66(g) authorizes a pilot to use a level C 
or higher full flight simulator (FFS) equipped with an EFVS to meet 
the flight training, recent flight experience, and refresher 
training requirements of Sec.  61.66, the FAA is also amending 
appendix H to part 121 to ensure that the EFVS proficiency check 
requirements added to appendix F will be completed in a level C or 
level D FFS.
    \59\ Because Sec.  61.66(h)(3) excepts part 91 subpart K, part 
121, part 125, and part 135 operators from the EFVS recent flight 
experience requirements in Sec.  61.66(d), these operators will 
never lapse under Sec.  61.66(d), which means these operators will 
never have to reestablish EFVS currency under Sec.  61.66(e). Thus, 
the practical effect of Sec.  61.66(h)(3) is that part 91 subpart K, 
part 121, part 125, and part 135 operators are also excepted from 
the EFVS refresher course requirements in Sec.  61.66(e).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The exception in Sec.  61.66(h)(3) is consistent with the 
instrument recency provisions, namely Sec.  61.57(e)(2) and (e)(3), 
which except part 121 and 135 pilots from the instrument recent flight 
experience specified in Sec.  61.57(c).\60\ Section 61.66(h)(3) also 
excepts part 91 subpart K and part 125 operators (including part 125 
LODA holders) from the recent flight experience requirements in Sec.  
61.66(d) because, as a practical matter, part 91 subpart K and part 125 
operators (including part 125 LODA holders) accomplish instrument 
proficiency checks under Sec. Sec.  91.1069 and 125.291 rather than 
completing the instrument recency tasks specified in Sec.  61.57(c). 
Section 61.66(d) is modeled after the instrument recent flight 
experience requirements in Sec.  61.57. To be consistent with the 
practical application of Sec. Sec.  61.57, 91.1069 and 125.291, and to 
ensure that the FAA does not impose an additional burden on part 91 
subpart K and part 125 operations, the FAA is excepting them from Sec.  
61.66(d). Instead, part 91 subpart K and part 125 operators (including 
part 125 LODA holders) will be treated similar to part 121 and part 135 
operators in terms of EFVS checking requirements, as explained above, 
which is consistent with the way the FAA has been treating them in EFVS 
authorizations since 2004.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ Section Sec.  61.66(h)(3)(i) excepts part 121 and 135 
operators from the EFVS recent flight experience requirements just 
as Sec.  61.57(e)(2) and (e)(3) except part 121 and 135 operators 
from the instrument recent flight experience requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The exception in Sec.  61.66(h)(3) states that the recent flight 
experience requirements of Sec.  61.66(d) do not apply to a pilot 
employed by: A part 119 certificate holder authorized to conduct 
operations under part 121, 125, or 135; a part 125 LODA holder 
authorized to conduct operations under part 125; or a fractional 
ownership program manager authorized to conduct operations under part 
91 subpart K, when the pilot is conducting an EFVS operation for that 
certificate holder, LODA holder, or program manager under parts 91, 
121, 125, or 135, as applicable, provided the pilot is conducting the 
operation in accordance with the certificate holder's OpSpec, with the 
LODA holder's LOA, or with the program manager's MSpec for EFVS 
operations.
    As with the recency exceptions in Sec.  61.57, the exception from 
EFVS recency requirements set forth in Sec.  61.66(h)(3) applies only 
when a pilot is conducting an EFVS operation for a

[[Page 90154]]

part 119 certificate holder under part 91, 121, 125, or 135, for a LODA 
holder under part 125, or for a fractional ownership program manager 
under part 91 subpart K. The pilot would be required to comply with 
Sec.  61.66(d) if he or she were to conduct an EFVS operation outside 
of the part 119 certificate holder's, the LODA holder's, or the part 91 
subpart K program manager's operations. If a pilot conducting EFVS 
operations for either a part 119 certificate holder, a LODA holder, or 
a program manager has not satisfied the recent flight experience 
requirements specified in Sec.  61.66(d) within six calendar months 
preceding the month of his or her flight, that pilot would still be 
deemed EFVS current (outside of the part 119 certificate holder's, the 
LODA holder's, or the program manager's operations) if he or she had 
accomplished a check on EFVS operations under part 91 subpart K, 121, 
125, or 135 by an individual described in paragraph (e)(iii), (iv), or 
(v), as appropriate, provided it were obtained within six calendar 
months preceding the month of the flight.
d. Grandfather Clause (Sec.  61.66(h)(4))
    In the NPRM, the FAA proposed Sec.  61.31(l)(7)(ii), which would 
have excepted pilots from the new EFVS ground and flight training 
requirements if they satisfactorily completed a training program, 
proficiency check, or other course of instruction applicable to EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE that is acceptable to the 
Administrator prior to March 13, 2019. Proposed Sec.  61.31(l)(7) was 
intended to decrease the regulatory burden on pilots who have been 
safely conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE under 
Sec.  91.175(l) and (m) and to provide pilot schools and training 
centers with adequate time to develop training programs that meet the 
proposed training requirements.
    After further consideration, the FAA finds that proposed Sec.  
61.31(l)(7)(ii) would not have sufficiently reduced the regulatory 
burden on operators who have been conducting EFVS operations to 100 
feet above the TDZE under Sec.  91.175(l) and (m) as it focused only on 
pilot qualification requirements. Because this final rule should not 
cause any disruption to operators or pilots who have been conducting 
EFVS operations under Sec.  91.175(l) and (m), the FAA is restructuring 
the proposed regulations to provide an adequate transition period for 
operators and pilots conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above the 
TDZE. Accordingly, Sec.  91.175(n) requires persons conducting EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE to comply with either Sec.  
91.175(l) and (m) or Sec.  91.176(b) until March 13, 2018.\61\ 
Beginning on March 13, 2018, persons conducting EFVS operations to 100 
feet above the TDZE must comply with Sec.  91.176(b) and thus the 
training, recent flight experience and refresher training requirements 
set forth in Sec.  61.66.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ Because persons conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet 
above the TDZE may comply with Sec.  91.175(l) and (m) prior to 
March 13, 2018, the appropriate sections of 14 CFR, including 
Sec. Sec.  91.175, 91.1039, 121.651, 125.325, 125.381, and 135.225, 
will reference both Sec. Sec.  91.175(l) and 91.176. After March 13, 
2018, however, Sec.  91.175(l) and (m) will be removed from 14 CFR 
along with any references to these paragraphs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA is adding an exception to Sec.  61.66(h)(5) to clarify 
that, notwithstanding Sec.  91.175(l)(5), persons conducting EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE under Sec.  91.175(l) and (m) 
prior to March 13, 2018, are not required to comply with the new 
training, recent flight experience, and refresher training requirements 
in Sec.  61.66. Instead, during the transition period, persons may 
conduct EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE just as they have 
been under Sec.  91.175(l) and (m).\62\ The FAA believes the new 
transition period is consistent with the discussion in the NPRM in that 
it decreases the regulatory burden on persons already conducting EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE and it provides pilot schools and 
training centers with adequate time to develop training programs that 
meet the proposed training requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ Although operators conducting EFVS operations under Sec.  
91.175(l) and (m) were not required to receive EFVS training, the 
majority of them would have received EFVS training prior to 
conducting EFVS operations. As explained in the NPRM, EFVS 
manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers, and operators have all 
recognized the need for pilots to receive training in the use of 
EFVS prior to conducting EFVS operations. In fact, non-commercial 
operators generally obtained EFVS training for their pilots at 142 
training centers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Furthermore, the FAA is adopting Sec.  61.66(h)(4), which excepts 
persons from the ground and flight training requirements in Sec.  
61.66(a) and (b) if they are conducting EFVS operations under Sec.  
91.176(b) and can document that prior to March 13, 2018, they have 
satisfactorily completed ground and flight training on EFVS operations 
to 100 feet above the TDZE. The FAA notes, however, that in order to 
conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout, these persons must 
still complete the supplemental EFVS training pursuant to Sec.  
61.66(c).
    Section 61.66(h)(4) is consistent with the intent of proposed Sec.  
61.31(l)(7)(ii), which was to decrease the regulatory burden on pilots 
already conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE by 
providing them with a reasonable means of demonstrating compliance with 
the proposed ground and flight training requirements. The FAA 
restructured proposed Sec.  61.31(l)(7)(ii), however, to clarify what 
is required of pilots who wish to be excepted from the new EFVS 
training requirements based on their previous EFVS experience. 
Accordingly, new Sec.  61.66(h)(4) clarifies that pilots must be able 
to document that prior to March 13, 2018, they have satisfactorily 
completed ground and flight training on EFVS operations to 100 feet 
above the TDZE.\63\ The FAA acknowledges the reduction in time from 24 
calendar months after the effective date of the final rule to 12 months 
after the effective date of the final rule. The FAA reduced the cutoff 
date to 12 months after the effective date of the final rule to 
coincide with the transition period provided to operators in Sec.  
91.175(n). Reducing the duration of time to 12 calendar months should 
not impact operators as the FAA expects operators to comply with Sec.  
91.176(b) and Sec.  61.66 as soon as practicable. Likewise, pilots who 
have received training in EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE 
during the transition period will not be required to duplicate that 
training--as permitted under Sec.  61.66(h)(4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \63\ Section 61.66(h)(4) does not require the ground and flight 
training on EFVS operations to have been obtained under an FAA 
approved training program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Furthermore, while proposed Sec.  61.31(l)(7) was intended to 
provide training centers and pilot schools sufficient time to either 
revise or develop training programs that complied with the new training 
requirements; it would not have established a definitive compliance 
date for such persons. The FAA is therefore adopting Sec.  91.176(b)(4) 
to clarify that persons conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above 
the TDZE must comply with the new requirements in Sec.  91.176(b) and 
Sec.  61.66 beginning on March 13, 2018. However, the FAA encourages 
persons to comply with the new requirements in Sec.  91.176(b) and 
Sec.  61.66 as soon as practicable.

[[Page 90155]]

F. Dispatching, Releasing, or Initiating a Flight Using EFVS-Equipped 
Aircraft When the Reported or Forecast Visibility at the Destination 
Airport Is Below Authorized Minimums (Sec. Sec.  121.613, 125.361, 
135.219) and Initiating or Continuing an Approach Using EFVS-Equipped 
Aircraft When the Destination Airport Visibility Is Below Authorized 
Minimums (Sec. Sec.  121.651, 125.325, 125.381, 135.225)

    The FAA proposed to amend the dispatch, flight release, and takeoff 
regulations found in Sec. Sec.  121.613, 125.361, and 135.219 to permit 
operators authorized to conduct EFVS operations to dispatch, release, 
or takeoff under IFR when weather reports or forecasts indicate that 
weather conditions will be below the minimums authorized for the 
approaches to be flown at the destination airport. The FAA is no longer 
amending Sec. Sec.  121.613, 125.361, and 135.219, as proposed, because 
the amendments are unnecessary as evidenced by a legal interpretation 
that was issued by the Assistant Chief Counsel for the Regulations 
Division on April 21, 2009.\64\ The legal interpretation explains that 
authorized minimums are identified in various documents pertaining to 
the conduct of the flight, such as standard instrument approach 
procedures and operations specifications. Weather conditions at an 
airport must be at or above these authorized minimums at an aircraft's 
estimated time of arrival if the aircraft is to be dispatched or 
released under part 121 or 125, or a pilot takes off under IFR or 
begins an IFR over-the-top operation under part 135, to that location. 
For an EFVS operation, the controlling visibility limitation will be 
specified in the operator's OpSpec or LOA authorizing the use of 
EFVS.\65\ Because the FAA interprets ``authorized minimums'' in 
Sec. Sec.  121.613, 125.361, and 135.219 to include visibility minimums 
specified in OpSpecs, an operator authorized to conduct EFVS operations 
is already permitted to dispatch, release, or takeoff when weather 
reports or forecasts indicate that the weather conditions will be below 
the minimums authorized in the standard instrument approach procedure 
to be flown at the destination airport, so long as the weather 
conditions will be at or above the controlling visibility limitation in 
the OpSpec authorizing the use of EFVS.\66\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ Legal Interpretation, Letter to Mr. James B. Hart from 
Rebecca B. MacPherson, Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations 
(April 21, 2009); see also FAA Information for Operators (Info) 
08050 (Sept. 25, 2008).
    \65\ The FAA recognizes that operators authorized to conduct 
EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE under Sec.  91.175 do not 
have visibility limitations specified in their OpSpecs or LOAs 
authorizing the use of EFVS. The FAA will include visibility 
limitations in OpSpecs or LOAs authorizing EFVS operations to 100 
feet above the TDZE under Sec.  91.176(b).
    \66\ While Sec.  135.219 uses the term ``authorized IFR landing 
minimums'' rather than ``authorized minimums,'' the FAA interprets 
Sec.  135.219 consistently with Sec. Sec.  121.613 and 125.361.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA also proposed to amend Sec. Sec.  121.615(a) and 125.363(a) 
to permit operators to dispatch or release an EFVS-equipped aircraft 
when weather reports or forecasts indicate that the weather conditions 
will be below the authorized minimums at the destination airport. The 
FAA is no longer amending Sec. Sec.  121.615(a) and 125.363(a), as 
proposed, because the amendments are unnecessary as evidenced by two 
legal interpretations that were issued by the Assistant Chief Counsel 
for the Regulations Division on April 12, 2010 and May 31, 2006.\67\ 
The legal interpretations explain that under Sec.  121.615(a), an air 
carrier may dispatch an extended overwater flight to a destination 
airport that is forecasted to be below minimums so long as an alternate 
airport is forecasted to be above minimums. The FAA interprets Sec.  
125.363(a) consistently with Sec.  121.615(a) because Sec.  125.363(a) 
was based on, and contains the same language as, Sec.  121.615(a).\68\ 
It is therefore unnecessary to amend Sec. Sec.  121.615(a) and 
125.363(a) as proposed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \67\ Legal Interpretation, Letter to Captain Gregory Unterseher 
from Rebecca MacPherson, Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations 
(April 12, 2010); Legal Interpretation, Letter to Captain Mark 
Anderson from Rebecca MacPherson, Assistant Chief Counsel for 
Regulations (May 31, 2006).
    \68\ Proposal to Upgrade Regulation of Certain Large General 
Aviation Airplanes and Replace Commercial Operator and Air Travel 
Club Regulations, 44 FR 66324, 66327 (Nov. 19, 1979).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As originally proposed, the FAA is amending Sec. Sec.  121.651, 
125.325, 125.381, and 135.225 to permit operators authorized to conduct 
EFVS operations to initiate or continue an approach under IFR when 
weather reports or forecasts, or any combination thereof, indicate the 
weather conditions at the destination airport are below the authorized 
minimums for the approach to be flown. The FAA has also decided to 
amend Sec.  91.1039(e), which was not originally proposed, to clarify 
that an EFVS operation is permitted when the landing weather minimums 
are less than those prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction 
over the airport. The FAA believes these amendments will enable 
operators to take full advantage of the operational capabilities 
provided by EFVS to improve access to runways, increase service 
reliability, and reduce the costs associated with operational delays, 
without compromising safety.
    Boeing commented that when the rule becomes effective and operators 
obtain the appropriate authorization to conduct EFVS operations, they 
will be able to fly approaches to landing and rollout in virtually any 
weather. Boeing questioned whether performance data is currently 
available that demonstrates there will be a consistent positive outcome 
across all operators as a result of this new capability. It suggested 
the FAA obtain experience with one or two operators before adopting the 
EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout rule for all operators. It 
believes it is more appropriate to get performance data for a few 
operators using the new capability, before making it available to 
everyone.
    The FAA disagrees. Operators have been safely conducting EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE for over 12 years. This final 
rule is expanding these operations to include EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout and to permit operators using EFVS-equipped 
aircraft to dispatch, release a flight, or takeoff under IFR, and to 
initiate and continue an approach, when the destination airport weather 
is below authorized visibility minimums for the runway of intended 
landing. The FAA is implementing new training, recent flight 
experience, and proficiency requirements to ensure that pilots are 
trained and tested to a standard on EFVS operations and to ensure that 
these pilots maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to safely 
conduct EFVS operations. Additionally, the FAA intends to provide 
operating conditions and limitations in an operator's EFVS 
authorization to ensure the safe conduct of all EFVS operations.
    Furthermore, the FAA specifically structured the EFVS regulations 
to provide flexibility and to enable the FAA to structure an operator's 
authorization to conduct new EFVS operations in a way that links 
equipage and system performance to specific operational capabilities. 
The equipment certification process will ensure the EFVS meets the 
equipment requirements and certification criteria for the operation for 
which the EFVS is intended. The operational approval process will 
validate the operator's ability to safely perform the EFVS 
operation.\69\ The operational approval

[[Page 90156]]

process also evaluates and monitors EFVS equipment reliability and 
validates the operator's ability to maintain the EFVS equipment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \69\ AC 90-106A, Section 10, ``Operational Approval Process for 
EFVS Operations,'' provides an approval process for operators to 
demonstrate their ability to perform EFVS operations under Sec.  
91.176. The process consists of five distinct, yet related phases. 
The demonstration and inspection phase of the process is the major 
validation phase where the FAA observes and evaluates the operator's 
demonstration of its ability to perform in accordance with the 
procedures, guidelines, and parameters described in the operator's 
formal proposal. This phase concludes when the operator provides 
sufficient proof to satisfy the FAA's requirements. The 
demonstration and inspection phase permits new EFVS capabilities to 
be deployed while providing regulatory oversight and verification of 
system and crew performance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several commenters requested clarification on how the FAA intends 
to manage an operator's authorization to dispatch, release, or takeoff 
under IFR, and to initiate and continue an approach, when the 
destination airport weather is below authorized visibility minimums. 
Airbus noted that the FAA expects to manage this authorization through 
an operator's OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA for EFVS operations to ensure that 
an increase in the rate of missed approaches does not occur. It 
requested clarification on how the FAA will manage this expectation and 
what requirements this might place on airborne sensor performance. CMC 
Electronics, Inc. (CMC) asked the FAA to clarify how it will require 
OEMs to demonstrate EFVS capabilities to support these authorizations. 
To illustrate its concerns, CMC noted that RVR reporting does not 
directly relate to EFVS performance and stated that a given RVR 
measurement can be a result of different types of weather conditions 
that look the same in the visible spectrum but may lead to different 
performance in currently certified EFVS systems. Rockwell Collins 
commented that it assumes visibility limitations will appear in an 
operator's OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA for EFVS operations as the limitations 
do not appear in rule language. Rockwell Collins also asked whether it 
is possible to have a higher than RVR 1000 feet visibility limitation 
based on a lesser performing sensor, or whether there is the potential 
for a sensor to be given multiple approvals based on performance in 
different environmental conditions. Thales commented that the FAA 
should clearly define minimums for these operations based on EFVS 
sensor technology, system performance, and installation criteria to 
ensure equality of treatment for all applicants.
    The response to these comments is that an applicant who seeks to 
certify an EFVS will demonstrate EFVS performance for its aircraft 
during the EFVS equipment certification process.\70\ During that 
process, the FAA will determine whether an EFVS meets the equipment 
requirements and certification criteria for the EFVS operation it is 
intended to be used for (i.e., an EFVS operation to 100 feet or an EFVS 
operation to touchdown and rollout). EFVS equipment certification 
criteria differ depending on the EFVS operation to be conducted. 
Initially the FAA plans to authorize EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout to visibilities as low as RVR 1000 feet. The FAA expects to 
develop touchdown and rollout authorizations in the future to lower 
visibilities as EFVS equipment is developed to support those 
operations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \70\ Part 21 contains the certification procedures for products 
and parts. Parts 23, 25, 27 and 29 contain the airworthiness 
standards for EFVS. AC 20-167A and AC 90-106A contain guidance on 
EFVS sensor performance and airworthiness certification appropriate 
to the EFVS operation to be conducted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to the EFVS equipment certification process, the 
operational approval process--which verifies an operator's ability to 
safely perform the EFVS operation--includes a demonstration and 
inspection phase. During this phase, the FAA evaluates an operator's 
processes, procedures, and training as well as the ability of the 
operator's maintenance personnel and dispatchers, or persons authorized 
to exercise operational control, to support the EFVS operations to be 
conducted. This process verifies the operator's ability to conduct EFVS 
operations and to determine when it is appropriate to dispatch a 
flight, release a flight, or take off under IFR as well as initiate or 
continue an approach when the weather at the destination airport is 
below authorized minimums. In accordance with Sec.  91.176(a)(4), the 
FAA may prescribe additional equipment, operational, and visibility and 
visual reference requirements to account for specific equipment 
characteristics, operational procedures, or approach characteristics 
through an operator's authorization to conduct EFVS operations. 
Accordingly, the FAA may specify minimum visibilities in OpSpecs for 
part 121, 125, or 135 operators to initiate and continue an approach 
using an EFVS-equipped aircraft when the destination airport weather is 
below authorized visibility minimums for the approach to be flown. 
Therefore, as Rockwell Collins assumed, visibility limitations will 
appear in an operator's OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA for EFVS operations. In 
response to Rockwell Collins' inquiry, it is possible to have a higher 
than RVR 1000-feet-visibility limitation depending on the capability of 
the EFVS equipment and on the EFVS operation the equipment is certified 
to support. Authorizations for future EFVS operations may specify other 
requirements under Sec.  91.176(a)(4), depending on the EFVS operation 
to be conducted and the ability of the EFVS equipment to support a 
given EFVS operation.
    The FAA disagrees with Thales that it should mandate specific 
minimums by regulation for EFVS operations as this would be contrary to 
the FAA's intent. The FAA acknowledges that EFVS performance using 
currently certified EFVS equipment can vary by sensor technology and 
design, meteorological conditions, and other factors; however, the FAA 
may make adjustments to an operator's EFVS authorization. Managing an 
authorization in this manner ensures that the FAA is able to maintain 
an appropriate level of safety, enables the FAA to effectively respond 
to new technology developments, and provides a means to tailor an 
authorization to fit an operator's particular EFVS capabilities. 
Therefore, although giving a sensor multiple approvals based on 
performance in different environmental conditions, as Rockwell Collins 
suggested, is impractical, the FAA may adjust an operator's EFVS 
authorization in response to certain conditions. For example, 
operational experience may indicate that adjustments may have to be 
made in response to certain meteorological conditions. Operators who 
plan to conduct these operations should establish operating procedures 
and training that account for the limitations of the EFVS and weather 
conditions that may exceed the sensor's ability to provide the enhanced 
flight visibility required to complete the approach and landing.
    Eurocopter/American Eurocopter commented that the provisions of 
Sec.  121.651(d) that permit a pilot to begin the final approach 
segment of an instrument approach procedure other than a Category II or 
Category III procedure at an airport when the visibility is less than 
the visibility minimums prescribed for that procedure should not be 
limited to airports that are served by an operative ILS and an 
operative PAR. Eurocopter asserted that LPV approaches are becoming 
commonplace and are the only approaches with vertical guidance 
available at many airfields. The commenter recommended that Sec.  
121.651(d) permit the use of WAAS/LPV, particularly with respect to 
EFVS operations.
    The FAA is not adopting Eurocopter/American Eurocopter's 
recommendations because they are

[[Page 90157]]

outside the scope of this rulemaking. The FAA did not propose to change 
the current requirements of Sec.  121.651(d) with respect to non-EFVS 
operations. The FAA notes, however, that Sec.  121.651(e) permits a 
pilot to begin the final approach segment of an Area Navigation (RNAV) 
(GPS) approach to the published LPV (or other applicable) minimums when 
the visibility is reported to be below the visibility prescribed by the 
instrument approach procedure when using EFVS as specified in that 
paragraph.
    Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation commented that the FAA did not 
limit the use of EFVS for landing to ``certain operators.'' However, 
the commenter noted that the NPRM would have permitted ``certain 
operators'' using EFVS-equipped aircraft to dispatch, release, or 
takeoff under IFR, and to initiate and continue an approach, when the 
destination airport weather was below authorized visibility minimums 
for the runway of intended landing. Gulfstream commented that the FAA's 
use of the term ``certain operators'' makes it appear as if dispatch 
and takeoff using EFVS is restricted. It further stated that if this 
restriction applies to some operators and not others, the rationale for 
the distinction should be provided.
    The term ``certain operators'' means persons conducting EFVS 
operations under part 121, 125, or 135 whose operations are subject to 
specific rules governing the dispatch, release, or takeoff of aircraft 
under IFR. Prior to this final rule, regulations prohibited these 
operators from dispatching, releasing, or initiating a flight under IFR 
when the reported or forecast visibility at the destination airport was 
below authorized minimums. Regulations also prohibited these operators 
from initiating or continuing an approach when the destination airport 
visibility was below authorized minimums. The FAA did not intend the 
term ``certain operators'' to imply that additional restrictions would 
be imposed upon individual operators.
    Dassault Aviation noted references made by the FAA to the European 
Aviation Safety Agency's (EASA) reduction of \1/3\ of the visibility 
required to conduct an approach using EFVS in EASA member states. 
Dassault Aviation requested that the FAA articulate its position with 
respect to this means of calculating visibility minimums for EFVS 
operations. The FAA acknowledges that EASA uses a different method to 
permit operators to conduct EFVS operations. However, this rulemaking 
only addresses EFVS operations that are subject to FAA regulations.
    Rockwell Collins asked whether the FAA and EASA will attempt to 
harmonize EFVS approved capabilities and requirements in the future. In 
its comment, Rockwell Collins referred to differences between FAA and 
EASA regulations such as the requirements applicable to beginning an 
approach when the reported visibility is less than the visibility 
specified in the instrument approach procedure to be flown.
    The FAA participates on several international committees that are 
tasked with addressing advanced vision system operations. Every attempt 
is made to harmonize those operations; however, differences in 
underlying operational concepts and existing regulations may preclude 
full harmonization of EFVS rules.

G. Revisions to Category II and III General Operating Rules To Permit 
the Use of an EFVS (Sec.  91.189)

    Section 91.189 contains the general operating rules for Category II 
and Category III operations.\71\ As originally proposed, Sec.  
91.189(d) now permits a pilot to use an EFVS in lieu of natural vision 
to identify the visual references required for descent below the 
authorized DH on a Category II or III approach. A pilot conducting a 
Category II or III approach in accordance with Sec.  91.189(d) must 
comply with either the provisions of that paragraph for identifying 
required visual references using natural vision or with the provisions 
of Sec.  91.176 for identifying required visual references using 
EFVS.\72\ Also as originally proposed, Sec.  91.189(e) now permits a 
pilot operating an aircraft in a Category II or III approach to 
continue the approach below the authorized DA/DH provided the 
conditions specified in Sec.  91.176 are met.\73\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ Section 91.189(g) states that the provisions of Sec.  
91.189 do not apply to Category II or Category III operations 
conducted by certificate holders operating under parts 121, 125, 
129, or 135, or holders of MSpecs issued in accordance with part 91, 
subpart K. Therefore, Sec.  91.189 only pertains to part 91 
operators other than those conducting operations under part 91, 
subpart K.
    \72\ Prior to this final rule, a pilot operating an aircraft on 
a Category II or Category III approach that requires the use of a 
DA/DH could not continue the approach below the authorized DH unless 
he or she had at least one of the visual references listed in Sec.  
91.189(d)(2) distinctly visible and identifiable using natural 
vision.
    \73\ The FAA notes that all of the equipment requirements and 
airmen certification requirements for the conduct of Category II and 
Category III operations will continue to apply when an EFVS is used 
during the conduct of those operations. The FAA also notes that an 
operator intending to use an EFVS to descend below DA/DH during the 
conduct of an authorized Category II or Category III operation will 
be required to revise its Category II or Category Ill manual 
specified in Sec.  91.191 to reflect the use of EFVS. A person 
seeking to conduct authorized Category II or Category III operations 
where the use of EFVS is necessary to conduct those operations will 
have to be authorized by the Administrator.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thales commented that the revisions to Sec.  91.189(d) are 
confusing when considering how an EFVS might be used during Category 
III operations. It stated that the amendments are applicable to 
Category II operations because the DH is at 100 feet, but for Category 
III operations where the DH is less than 100 feet, Thales believes that 
the rule should address this segment of the approach.
    The FAA disagrees that the regulation should specifically address 
the use of EFVS during Category III approaches. Rather, the FAA is 
revising the applicable portions of Sec.  91.189 to align it with Sec.  
91.176, which facilitates the possible future use of authorized EFVS 
operations during authorized Category II or Category III operations. In 
Sec.  91.189(d), the FAA is amending the regulations for part 91 
operators (except for part 91, subpart K operators) to permit them to 
use an EFVS in lieu of natural vision to identify the required visual 
references. Under this rule, Sec.  91.189(e) now permits a pilot 
operating an aircraft on a Category II or III approach to continue the 
approach below the authorized DA/DH provided the conditions specified 
in Sec.  91.176 are met. The FAA notes that it authorizes Category II 
or Category III operations through an operator's OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA. 
Therefore, an operator who wishes to conduct an EFVS operation during 
an authorized Category II or Category III operation may only do so in 
accordance with an OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA. The FAA is also adding 
paragraphs (a)(2)(xi) and (b)(2)(x) to Sec.  91.176 to clarify the 
requirement for an authorization to conduct an EFVS operation during an 
authorized Category II or Category III operation. The FAA notes that it 
will develop authorizations and guidance to support future EFVS 
operations.

H. Pilot Compartment View Rules and Airworthiness Standards for Vision 
Systems With Transparent Displays Located in the Pilot's Outside Field 
of View (Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 29.773)

    Sections 23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 29.773 specify the 
requirements and conditions under which the pilot compartment must 
provide an extensive, clear, and undistorted view to the pilot for safe 
operation of the aircraft within its operating limitations.

[[Page 90158]]

Additionally, the regulations require that the pilot compartment be 
free of glare and reflection that could interfere with the normal 
duties of the minimum flightcrew.
    When these rules were originally issued, the FAA did not anticipate 
the development of vision systems with transparent displays that could 
significantly enhance, or even substitute for, a pilot's natural 
vision. Vision systems are used to display an image of the external 
scene to the flightcrew. For over a decade, the FAA has certified 
vision systems for transport category aircraft that have head up 
displays. However, prior to this final rule, the airworthiness 
standards governing the pilot compartment view set forth in Sec.  
25.773 were inadequate to address the novel or unusual design features 
of these systems. Therefore, the FAA issued special conditions under 
Sec.  21.16 to provide airworthiness standards, which were used to 
enable the installation of vision systems that met a level of safety 
equivalent to that established by the regulations. Special conditions 
were issued to each applicant, because special conditions only apply to 
individual certification projects. However, for consistency, the FAA 
attempted to standardize these special conditions to the maximum extent 
possible. With over fourteen years of experience, the process of 
developing special conditions for vision systems has become routine, 
and operational experience has shown that the certification 
requirements set forth in the special conditions have resulted in safe 
and effective vision system operations.
    Based on the experience gained by the FAA in developing special 
conditions, the FAA is establishing airworthiness standards for vision 
systems with transparent displays located in the pilot's outside view 
for airplanes and rotorcraft. This will provide industry with known 
requirements for the certification of these systems and eliminate the 
costs resulting from the process of issuing special conditions. 
Accordingly, the FAA is amending Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 
29.773 to include the general requirements that were previously 
contained in special conditions. In recognition of the rapid 
development of vision system technology, these amendments permit the 
certification of a wide range of current and future vision systems, 
such as an EVS, EFVS, SVS, or CVS, and they address display methods 
other than a HUD, such as head mounted displays or other types of head 
up presentations.
1. Vision Systems and Display Methods Addressed by Sec. Sec.  23.773, 
25.773, 27.773, and 29.773
    Under Sec. Sec.  23.773(c)(2), 25.773(e)(2), 27.773(c)(2), and 
29.773(c)(2), when the vision system displays imagery and any symbology 
referenced to the imagery and outside scene topography, including 
attitude symbology, FPV, and FPARC, that imagery and symbology must be 
aligned with, and scaled to, the external scene. This requirement marks 
a slight change from the NPRM where the proposed rule would have 
required the vision system to continuously display the imagery, 
attitude symbology, FPV, FPARC, and other cues, which are referenced to 
the imagery and external scene topography.
    Thales commented that the proposed airworthiness standards would 
have required the FPARC to be permanently displayed along with the EFVS 
imagery. Thales stated that there are phases of flight where this 
symbology may not be necessary. It suggested the FAA require, ``flight 
path angle reference cue when necessary.'' Airbus submitted a similar 
comment, stating that Sec.  25.773(e)(2) should provide for presenting 
a reduced set of aircraft flight information and flight symbology on 
the HUD or other equivalent display. It stated that the declutter mode 
should be allowed to preserve, or not interfere with, the EFVS image 
and outside view. Airbus's comment also applied to Sec.  23.773(c)(2) 
and could have necessitated revisions to Sec.  91.175(m) as well. 
Airbus proposed that Sec.  25.773(e)(2) should permit the display of 
some cues to be removed depending on the flown phase.
    The FAA agrees that the airworthiness standards should not require 
the continuous display of specific symbology, including the FPARC, in 
all phases of flight. The FAA's intent was not to require the display 
of any EFVS symbology or imagery in the airworthiness rules as these 
rules also address transparent display surfaces for systems other than 
EFVS. Instead, the FAA intended to identify those visually displayed 
elements, such as imagery and earth-referenced symbology, which need to 
be conformal--that is, scaled to and aligned with the outside view. 
Accordingly, the regulations do not require the continuous display of 
specific symbology.
    However, the FAA does not agree that it should revise the operating 
requirements in Sec.  91.175(m), which have been moved to Sec.  91.176. 
The operating rules require specific information to be displayed to the 
pilot. The FAA notes, however, that EFVS typically have declutter modes 
available to the pilot that provide a reduced set of information when 
it is necessary for the safe conduct of the flight.
    Eurocopter and American Eurocopter commented that the airworthiness 
certification rules should be more specific about which types of vision 
systems they address. It stated that the regulations were specific to 
EFVS and not to other vision systems that might be certified under 
these regulations. The FAA agrees with the commenter that the rule 
language, as proposed, would have required the continuous display of 
symbology and imagery that was applicable only to EFVS and not to other 
vision systems that might be certified under these regulations. The 
airworthiness requirements of Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 
29.773 apply to any vision system such as an EFVS, EVS, SVS, or CVS 
that uses a transparent display surface, such as a head up display, 
head mounted display, or other equivalent display, that is located in 
the pilot's outside field of view. Accordingly, the FAA is not 
requiring the continuous display of EFVS symbology and imagery in the 
airworthiness standards applicable to pilot compartment view. Sections 
91.176(a)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(i), however, include specific equipment 
requirements that address the presentation of sensor imagery, aircraft 
flight information, and flight symbology for the conduct of EFVS 
operations.
    Honeywell commented that the FAA should apply the airworthiness 
standards to all vision systems. It believes that applying the 
standards to all vision systems would potentially ease certification 
delays and provide a clear path to certification for proven technology 
that meets specified performance requirements. The FAA agrees and notes 
that the airworthiness standards in Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, 
and 29.773 already address all vision systems with a transparent 
display surface located in the pilot's outside field of view, such as a 
head up display, head mounted display, or other equivalent display. The 
FAA also notes that AC 20-167A provides the means of compliance for 
certifying a vision system with a transparent display surface located 
in the pilot's outside field of view.
    Airbus asked if the FAA would revise the pilot compartment view 
requirements to apply to HDD vision systems. GAMA commented that the 
NPRM references ``vision systems'' in several locations, which seem to 
describe HUD-based systems. GAMA was concerned that the use of the term 
``vision systems'' may negatively impact stand-alone head down systems, 
such as

[[Page 90159]]

Synthetic Vision Systems, common in many general aviation aircraft. 
GAMA recommended that the FAA review its use of the term ``vision 
system'' and replace it with the term ``Enhanced Flight Vision 
System,'' as defined in Sec.  1.1.
    The FAA disagrees with GAMA. The FAA used the term ``vision 
system'' to include any EVS, EFVS, SVS, or CVS that uses a transparent 
display surface located in the pilot's outside field of view, such as a 
head up-display, head mounted display, or other equivalent display. The 
certification regulations in this rule do not apply to other vision 
systems that have only a head down display. Accordingly, the FAA is not 
revising these requirements to include HDDs.
    Cessna Aircraft Company commented that the proposed certification 
rules pertaining to vision systems were too general and did not include 
all of the requirements of the operating rules. It suggested aligning 
the requirements of Sec. Sec.  23.773(c), 25.773(e), 27.773(c) and 
29.773(c) with the operating rules in terms of features and functions 
that are required to meet the rule, or invoke them by reference.
    The FAA disagrees with the commenter. Sections 23.773(c), 
25.773(e), 27.773(c), and 29.773(c) contain airworthiness requirements 
related to providing a safe pilot compartment view, not requirements 
that are specific to meeting operating rules. The airworthiness 
standards in these sections apply to all vision systems with 
transparent display surfaces located in the pilot's outside field of 
view. Not all of these vision systems may be used for EFVS operations. 
The FAA is therefore including specific equipment requirements in Sec.  
91.176 for EFVS operations. AC 20-167A contains a means of compliance 
for EFVS, EVS, SVS, and CVS and provides guidance material on features 
and functions required by the rule.
2. Pilot's Outside View--Terminology and Compensation for Interference
    Sections 23.773(c)(1), 25.773(e)(1), 27.773(c)(1), and 29.773(c)(1) 
require the vision system display to compensate for interference with 
the pilot's outside field of view such that the combination of what is 
visible in the display and what remains visible through and around it 
enables the pilot using the vision system to perform the actions 
necessary for the operation of the aircraft as safely and effectively 
as he or she would without a vision system. The terminology in these 
requirements differs slightly from the NPRM, which used the term 
``pilot's outside view,'' rather than ``field of view.''
    Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation commented that the term ``pilot's 
outside view'' was unclear. The FAA agrees and is adopting the term 
``pilot's outside field of view'' to refer to what is visible to the 
pilot from the pilot compartment through the windows of the flight deck 
looking out, primarily forward of the aircraft, but not limited to the 
forward field of view.
    Elbit Systems of America commented that the FAA should either 
revise or not adopt the requirement of Sec. Sec.  23.773(c)(1), 
25.773(e)(1), 27.773(c)(1), and 29.773(c)(1), specifying that a vision 
system must compensate for interference with the pilot's outside view 
because it believes the requirement is ambiguous and requires 
clarification. The FAA disagrees and is adopting the requirement that 
the vision system display must compensate for the visual interference 
it may cause. It may compensate by providing visual content on the 
display and by providing EFVS controls that allow the pilot to use 
sensor imagery safely in a variety of lighting conditions. While it is 
in operation, the vision system must compensate for interference such 
that the combination of what is visible in the display and what remains 
visible through and around it enables the pilot to perform those 
maneuvers and procedures necessary for the safe operation of the 
aircraft. The rule provides the performance requirements for the 
system. AC 20-167A clarifies how EFVS may comply with this requirement.
3. Undistorted View Requirements
    Sections 23.773(c)(2), 25.773(e)(2), 27.773(c)(2), and 29.773(c)(2) 
state that the pilot's view of the external scene may not be distorted 
by the transparent display surface or the vision system imagery. This 
differs slightly from what the FAA proposed based on concerns raised by 
commenters.
    Boeing commented that the term ``undistorted'' in proposed Sec.  
25.773(e)(2) was not defined in the NPRM. Boeing asserted the term 
``undistorted'' was subjective and that an applicant needs quantitative 
standards for certification to ensure the interpretation of the term is 
consistent and to ensure the applicant knows how to comply with the 
requirement. Boeing noted that the FAA could address this term in AC 
20-167, SAE ARP-5288, or some other airworthiness standards document 
but asserted that a clear definition and means of compliance was 
necessary.
    Crew Systems commented that the requirement for the display to 
provide an ``undistorted view of the external scene'' was excessive as 
it is not possible to have a see-through panel with no distortion, and 
suggested that the FAA require that the level of distortion could not 
interfere with the pilot's ability to control the aircraft trajectory 
with reference to the scene presented.
    Elbit Systems of America stated that ``an undistorted view of the 
external scene'' should be consistent with other regulatory guidance. 
Elbit Systems contended that all optical systems have some allowable 
optical distortion levels and that it is not possible to produce a 
vision system that provides an undistorted view. Elbit pointed out that 
AC 20-167A allows for optical distortion, and referred to Section 
4.5(c)(4)(h)(iv), which states optical distortion should be 5 percent 
or less across the minimal field of regard and no greater than 8 
percent outside the minimal field of regard. Elbit believes the FAA 
should allow for some inherent optical distortion.
    Based on these comments, the FAA is revising the first sentence of 
Sec. Sec.  23.773(c)(2), 25.773(e)(2), 27.773(c)(2), and 29.773(c)(2) 
to require that, ``The pilot's view of the external scene may not be 
distorted by the transparent display surface or by the vision system 
imagery.'' The FAA believes that this clarifies the intent of the rule. 
While any see-through display may have some distortion, similar to the 
window panels in the flight deck of the aircraft, such distortion must 
be practically imperceptible to the pilot's eyes and create no adverse 
misleading effects on the pilot's view. The level of distortion should 
not interfere with or adversely affect the pilot's visual task 
performance. This requirement is an extension of the requirement in 
Sec.  25.773(a)(1) that the pilot's view be sufficiently undistorted. 
AC 20-167A sets forth an acceptable means of complying with 
requirements applicable to optical distortion, along with AC 25-11B, 
appendix F.
4. Alignment of Vision System Cues and Head Mounted Display (HMD) 
Considerations
    Sections 23.773(c)(2), 25.773(e)(2), 27.773(c)(2), and 29.773(c)(2) 
require that, when the vision system displays imagery and any symbology 
referenced to the imagery and outside scene topography, they must be 
aligned with, and scaled to, the external scene.
    Crew Systems commented that a vision system with a transparent 
display surface requires alignment of the vision system cues with the 
external scene. It also stated that these operations require

[[Page 90160]]

a high degree of reliability and integrity, and that the proposal 
should include some mention of the effect of misalignment of the image 
with reference to the real world. In particular, the use of head 
mounted displays will require a precise alignment which in turn will 
place demands on the head tracker system. The commenter thought the 
rules should discuss equipment, systems, and installation requirements 
(Sec. Sec.  23.1309, 25.1309, 27.1309, and 29.1309) as they apply to 
head tracker systems. The commenter also contended that a head tracker 
system should be fail operational,\74\ which would impose more 
stringent requirements than have been required to date.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \74\ A fail operational system is a system capable of completing 
the specified phases of an operation following the failure of any 
single system component after passing a point designated by the 
applicable safety analysis (e.g., Alert Height).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA agrees with the safety intent of the comment. Image 
alignment should not interfere with or adversely affect the pilot's 
visual task performance. While all optical systems have some allowable 
optical distortion levels, the level of distortion cannot interfere 
with the pilot's ability to control the aircraft trajectory with 
reference to the real world. For further discussion on distortion, see 
the FAA's disposition of comments above in section III.H.3 of the 
preamble.
    With respect to Crew Systems comments on head tracker systems, the 
FAA has not yet developed detailed criteria for head worn displays 
(HWD), of which the head tracker is a component. As head wearable 
display technology improves, AC 20-167A, and any subsequent revision, 
may contain the means of compliance. The FAA has tasked the Society of 
Automotive Engineers (SAE) with developing an aerospace standard for 
head wearable display performance criteria, which the FAA will consider 
including in the advisory circular guidance criteria. Therefore, any 
equipment, system, and installation criteria for a fail operational 
head tracker system would be included in airworthiness and operational 
guidance and not primarily in the pilot compartment view regulations.
    The Helicopter Association International commented that the rule 
should address head mounted display (HMD) head tracker integrity to 
avoid potential misleading display of imagery or symbology resulting 
from head tracker misalignment.
    The FAA does not agree to explicitly address HMD head tracker 
integrity in the rule. The performance based airworthiness standards of 
Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773, and 29.773 already address the 
commenter's concerns. While no HMD installation has been approved by 
the FAA, nor a complete set of airworthiness criteria established, the 
FAA does expect to develop appropriate means of compliance with 
applicable regulatory requirements in the future. As head-mounted or 
head-worn displays are developed for use in vision system operations, 
the FAA will develop specific guidance to assist in compliance.
    ALPA commented that the rule requires an EFVS to provide an 
undistorted view of the external scene, yet notes ALPA pilots who have 
flown with EFVS report some EFVS images have parallax when viewed from 
off-center. Assuming parallax is considered a distortion, ALPA 
recommended that the FAA establish and quantify a tolerance level 
regarding the acceptability of parallax in EFVS landing operations.
    The regulations state that the pilot's view of the external scene 
may not be distorted by the transparent display surface or by the 
vision system imagery. Guidance relating to display criteria, including 
parallax, is contained in AC 20-167A. As set forth in that AC, 
``Parallax should not result in significant performance differences in 
safety-related performance parameters (e.g., flare height, sink rate, 
touchdown location, groundspeed during landing, exit and taxi) between 
EFVS operations and visual operations in the same aircraft.'' AC 20-
167A, Section 4-5 contains additional guidance applicable to EFVS 
displays.
5. Requirement To Provide a Means of Immediate Deactivation and 
Reactivation of Vision System Imagery
    As originally proposed, Sec. Sec.  23.773(c)(3), 25.773(e)(3), 
27.773(c)(3), and 29.773(c)(3) require that the vision system provide a 
means to allow the pilot using the display to immediately deactivate 
and reactivate the vision system imagery, on demand, without removing 
the pilot's hands from the primary flight controls (yoke or equivalent) 
or thrust controls, and for rotorcraft, without removing the pilot's 
hands from the primary flight and power controls, such as cyclic and 
collective, or their equivalent.
    FedEx Express, Gulfstream, and Elbit Systems of America recommended 
against including this requirement in Sec. Sec.  23.773(c)(3), 
25.773(e)(3), 27.773(c)(3), and 29.773(c)(3). They asserted that these 
regulations pertain to pilot compartment view and that it is not 
necessary to include these details when they are also addressed in AC 
20-167.
    The FAA disagrees. The control requirement of Sec. Sec.  
23.773(c)(3), 25.773(e)(3), 27.773(c)(3), and 29.773(c)(3) protects the 
pilot's view of the outside scene. If the sensor imagery were to 
obscure the pilot's view of the outside scene, the pilot should have a 
readily available means to immediately remove the sensor imagery from 
the HUD. Accordingly, the FAA is requiring immediate deactivation and 
reactivation.
    Eurocopter, American Eurocopter, and GAMA commented that it is not 
clear whether the requirement applies to the imagery, the piloting 
symbology, or both. They stated that the ability to deactivate and 
reactivate the vision system imagery and the piloting symbology may be 
affected by the type of technology on which the vision system is based. 
As an example, they pointed out that if night vision goggles (NVGs) 
were used as an EVS, pilots would have to remove their hands from the 
flight controls to raise the goggles out of their field-of-view. They 
recommended that the FAA clarify in the regulations that only the 
imagery must be deactivated and reactivated on demand.
    The FAA does not agree with the recommendation. The commenters' 
concerns have already been addressed because the regulations specify 
that the pilot must be able to immediately deactivate and reactivate 
only the vision system imagery on demand. The FAA notes that applicants 
should also comply with guidance applicable to HUD installations. In 
addition, NVGs are not transparent displays and are not addressed by 
Sec. Sec.  23.773, 25.773, 27.773 and 29.773. NVGs do not meet the 
definition of an EFVS. Specifically, NVGs are not transparent when 
turned off, do not provide the required aircraft flight information and 
flight symbology, and are not certified to be used in lieu of natural 
vision to descend below DA/DH or MDA during EFVS operations under IFR. 
NVGs are aids to natural vision in VMC, not IMC.
    Airbus commented that the certification requirement to provide the 
pilot with a means to immediately deactivate and reactivate the vision 
system imagery on demand without removing the pilot's hands from the 
primary flight and power controls is not relevant to all operations 
where an EFVS might be used. It suggested that this airworthiness 
certification requirement should not apply when a pilot uses an EFVS 
for situation awareness only, i.e., when not used to conduct operations 
under Sec.  91.176(a) or (b).

[[Page 90161]]

    The FAA disagrees with the commenter's proposed exception. 
Providing the pilot a means to immediately deactivate and reactivate 
the vision system imagery on demand without removing the pilot's hands 
from the primary flight and power controls is a minimum requirement 
regardless of whether the EFVS is being used for situation awareness or 
to conduct an EFVS operation. Because there are times when a pilot may 
need to quickly remove or restore the sensor imagery during a critical 
phase of flight, it is essential for the pilot to be able to quickly 
remove or restore the vision system imagery on demand without removing 
his or her hands from the primary flight and power controls. This 
requirement, therefore, protects the pilot's view of the outside scene 
and applies to all vision systems with a transparent display surface 
located in the pilot's outside field of view.
6. Vision Systems and Requirements Applicable to Duties and Maneuvers
    Sections 25.773(e) and 29.773(c) state that a vision system with a 
transparent display surface located in the pilot's outside field of 
view, such as a head-up display, head-mounted display, or other 
equivalent display, must meet the requirements specified in paragraphs 
(e)(1) through (e)(4) and paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4), 
respectively, in nonprecipitation and precipitation conditions. These 
requirements differ slightly from the NPRM based on a comment from 
Sierra Nevada Corporation.
    Sierra Nevada Corporation commented that Sec. Sec.  25.773(e)(1) 
and (e)(4) and Sec. Sec.  29.773(c)(1) and (c)(4) apply to the duties 
and maneuvers of Sec. Sec.  25.773(a) and 29.773(a), which are limited 
to nonprecipitation conditions. Sierra Nevada Corporation thought it 
reasonable that the requirements would also apply during precipitation 
conditions. Sierra Nevada Corporation proposed that the requirements 
apply in any precipitation and lighting conditions -- day or night--in 
which the EFVS is to be certified.
    The FAA agrees that the requirements should apply in both 
precipitation and nonprecipitation conditions. Accordingly, the FAA is 
revising the introductory language in Sec. Sec.  25.773(e) and 
29.773(c) to address both precipitation and nonprecipitation 
conditions. Lighting, however, is addressed in other airworthiness 
standards.
7. Issue Papers for HUD, EFVS, EVS, SVS and CVS Installations
    Rockwell Collins commented that FAA vision system issue papers \75\ 
have identified unique EFVS issues related to system operation and 
safety, and inquired whether these issue papers will also be eliminated 
based on the new airworthiness requirements for vision systems in the 
rule and associated advisory circulars.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \75\ The FAA uses issue papers to provide a structured means to 
address certain issues in the type certification and type validation 
processes. ``Issue Paper Process,'' AC No. 20-166A (Nov. 6, 2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA used HUD issue papers for general means of compliance with 
part 25 and for special conditions related to pilot compartment view. 
The HUD installation means of compliance issue papers are no longer 
necessary now that AC 25-11, Revision B was published in October 2014. 
AC 20-167A is used as the primary means of compliance for installations 
of EFVS, EVS, SVS and CVS. The special conditions for display of vision 
system video on the HUD will no longer be necessary after this final 
rule becomes effective. However, an issue paper for dual-HUD 
installations may still be used to address means of compliance with 
occupant safety regulations, such as Sec. Sec.  25.562 and 25.785, 
until a new policy statement is published to address this topic.
8. Head Up Display (HUD) Installation and Bird Strike Requirements
    Crew Systems commented that the FAA should explicitly require a 
fixed head up display combiner to meet the bird strike requirements of 
Sec.  25.775.
    The FAA disagrees. Section 25.775 addresses design and construction 
requirements for windshields and windows. These requirements provide an 
appropriate level of safety against the hazard of a bird strike, and 
additional requirements applicable to HUD installation would not 
provide any additional safety benefit.

I. Related and Conforming Amendments (Sec. Sec.  91.175, 91.905, and 
135.225)

    The FAA did not receive any comments on the related and conforming 
amendments it proposed in the NPRM. The FAA is therefore adopting the 
related amendments as originally proposed. However, because operators 
may continue to comply with Sec.  91.175(l) prior to March 13, 2018, 
the FAA is not adopting the conforming amendments it originally 
proposed to Sec.  91.175. Instead, the FAA is amending Sec.  91.175 to 
include references to both Sec.  91.175(l) and Sec.  91.176 until March 
13, 2018. The revisions to Sec.  91.175 are discussed in more detail 
below.
    In Sec.  91.175(c)(3)(vi), the FAA is revising the term ``visual 
approach slope indicator'' to read ``the visual glideslope indicator,'' 
because the term ``visual approach slope indicator'' is overly 
restrictive.
    In Sec.  91.176(b), which contains the regulations that were moved 
from Sec.  91.175(l), the FAA is revising ``DH or MDA'' to read ``DA/DH 
or MDA'' to correct an inadvertent omission that occurred in a previous 
rulemaking.\76\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \76\ In a previous rulemaking, ``Area Navigation (RNAV) and 
Miscellaneous Amendments,'' 72 FR 31678 (Jun. 7, 2007), the FAA 
changed most of the references to ``DH or MDA'' in Sec.  91.175 to 
``DA/DH or MDA.'' However, it did not, as intended, change the 
references to ``DH or MDA'' in Sec.  91.175(l).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA is revising Sec.  91.905 to include Sec.  91.176 as a rule 
subject to waiver. Section 91.175 was listed as one of the rules in 
Sec.  91.905 that was subject to waiver, and the provisions applicable 
to EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE were moved from Sec.  
91.175(l) and (m) to Sec.  91.176. Section 91.176 also contains 
regulatory provisions applicable to EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout. As the FAA has already permitted EFVS operations to 100 feet 
above the TDZE to be subject to waiver, the FAA is permitting the 
regulations applicable to EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout also 
to be subject to waiver.
    The FAA is revising the introductory text of Sec.  91.175(c) to 
refer to both paragraph (l) of Sec.  91.175 and Sec.  91.176 because a 
person conducting an EFVS operation to 100 feet above the TDZE may 
comply with either the requirements specified in Sec.  91.175(l) or 
Sec.  91.176(b) prior to March 13, 2018.\77\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \77\ The requirements of paragraph (l) of Sec.  91.175 will 
expire on March 13, 2018. Beginning on March 13, 2018, a person 
conducting an EFVS operation to 100 feet above the TDZE must comply 
with the requirements of Sec.  91.176. Therefore, effective March 
13, 2018, the introductory text of Sec.  91.175(c) will be revised 
to reference only Sec.  91.176.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, Sec.  91.175(d)(1), which references Sec.  91.175(l), 
will remain in the 14 CFR until March 13, 2018. The FAA is re-
designating Sec.  91.175(d)(2) as (d)(3) and is adding a new paragraph 
(d)(2).\78\ New paragraph (d)(2) references Sec.  91.176 and refers to 
paragraphs (a)(3)(iii) and (b)(3)(iii) of Sec.  91.176, which contain 
the visual references required for descent below 100 feet above the 
TDZE for EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout and EFVS

[[Page 90162]]

operations to 100 feet above the TDZE, respectively.\79\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \78\ The requirements in paragraph (d)(2) were originally 
proposed as revisions to current paragraph (d)(1).
    \79\ Effective March 13, 2018, the FAA will remove paragraph 
(d)(1) and re-designate paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(3) as (d)(1) and 
(d)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA is also revising paragraph (e)(1) of Sec.  91.175 so that 
it references both paragraph (l) of that section and Sec.  91.176.\80\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \80\ Effective March 13, 2018, paragraph (e)(1) will be revised 
to reference only Sec.  91.176.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Furthermore, as discussed in section III.E.5.d of this preamble, 
the FAA is adding paragraph (n) to Sec.  91.175 to provide a transition 
period for operators conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above the 
TDZE.\81\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \81\ Effective March 13, 2018, paragraphs (l) and (m) of Sec.  
91.175 will expire and paragraph (n) will be removed from Sec.  
91.175.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA is also revising Sec.  135.225, which prescribes IFR 
takeoff, approach, and landing minimums, to correct a drafting error 
that occurred when the 2004 EFVS final rule was adopted. This revision 
was not proposed in the NPRM. The 2004 EFVS final rule, which made 
revisions to Sec.  135.225, did not account for changes made to that 
section by ``Regulation of Fractional Aircraft Ownership Programs and 
On-Demand Operations'' (Ownership and On-Demand), a final rule 
published in September 2003. 68 FR 54520. In Ownership and On-Demand, 
the FAA established the concept of ``eligible on-demand operations'' in 
part 135. This rule amended Sec.  135.225 to allow eligible on-demand 
operations to conduct instrument approach procedures to airports 
without weather reporting facilities. Structurally, this exception was 
added as paragraph (b), existing paragraph (b) became paragraph (c), 
and (c) became (d). Because the paragraphs shifted down a letter, the 
cross reference in new Sec.  135.225(d) was changed from (b) to (c). In 
January 2004, the FAA again amended Sec.  135.225 when the agency 
published the EFVS final rule. The FAA intended in that rule to clarify 
the language pertaining to weather minimums on the final approach 
segment--that is, the rule text that was shifted from paragraph (c) to 
paragraph (d) by the September 2003 rule. However, the agency did not 
revise the final EFVS rule document to reflect that the paragraph 
designation had changed as a result of the September 2003 rule. The 
EFVS rule replaced paragraph (c) instead of the intended paragraph (d) 
creating two paragraphs in the section on weather minimums during the 
final approach segment and deleting the paragraph establishing what the 
weather must be to begin the final approach segment of an instrument 
approach. An FAA legal interpretation dated September 20, 2013, 
concluded that the current rule language was a result of a drafting 
error that arose because two final rules were proceeding close in time 
and the second rule did not account for changes made to Sec.  135.225 
by the first rule.\82\ The agency did not intend for paragraphs (c) and 
(d) to apply to instrument approaches initiated using the exception 
given to eligible on-demand operations in paragraph (b). Accordingly, 
the FAA is now deleting paragraph (d), revising and re-designating 
current paragraph (c) as paragraph (d), and adding new paragraph (c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \82\ Legal Interpretation, Letter to Mr. Phillip Kelsey from 
Mark W. Bury, Acting Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations 
(September 20, 2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

J. Implementation

    As originally proposed, for initial implementation, the FAA is 
authorizing EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout in visibilities as 
low as RVR 1,000 feet.\83\ Several commenters raised concerns about the 
FAA's proposed implementation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \83\ Airworthiness and certification criteria to support EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout in visibilities as low as RVR 
1,000 feet were developed through FAA and industry participation on 
RTCA Special Committee 213 (SC-213). RTCA SC-213 was tasked with 
developing minimum aviation system performance standards (MASPS) for 
both EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE and EFVS operations 
to touchdown and rollout. The FAA incorporated MASPS for EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE into AC 20-167, Airworthiness 
Approval of Enhanced Vision System, Synthetic Vision System, 
Combined Vision System, and Enhanced Flight Vision System Equipment. 
Because the airworthiness requirements to support EFVS operations in 
very low visibilities would be different than those conducted in a 
higher visibility range, SC-213 separated the MASPS for touchdown 
and rollout operations into two activities--MASPS for EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout down to RVR 1,000 feet and MASPS 
for EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout down to RVR 300 feet. 
The FAA has revised AC 20-167 to incorporate MASPS for EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout down to RVR 1,000 feet and 
published them in AC 20-167A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FedEx Express (FedEx), Gulfstream, GAMA, Elbit Systems of America, 
Honeywell, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and RTCA commented that the FAA's 
statement in the NPRM about the status of RTCA DO-341, ``Minimum 
Aviation System Performance Standards (MASPS) for an Enhanced Flight 
Vision System to Enable All-Weather Approach, Landing, and Rollout to a 
Safe Taxi Speed,'' needs to be updated. They pointed out that DO-341, 
which contains MASPS for an EFVS that would support EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout in visibilities down to RVR 300 feet, was 
completed and published on September 26, 2012.
    The FAA acknowledges that RTCA DO-341 was published on September 
26, 2012, and that it contains industry recommendations for an EFVS 
that would support EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout in 
visibilities down to RVR 300 feet.
    FedEx, Gulfstream, GAMA, Elbit Systems of America, and Honeywell 
expressed concern over the FAA's proposal to limit initial 
implementation of EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout to 
visibilities of no lower than RVR 1,000 feet. They requested that the 
FAA clarify that the RVR 1,000 feet visibility limitation is a starting 
point for EFVS operations to touchdown, but that authorizations to 
conduct EFVS operations in visibilities of less than RVR 1,000 feet 
will be developed when EFVS equipment is developed and certified that 
supports operations in lower visibility conditions. These commenters 
and Dassault Aviation expressed concern over whether, or when, AC 20-
167A would be revised to incorporate the RTCA DO-341 criteria, which 
contains MASPS for an EFVS that would support EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout in visibilities down to RVR 300 feet. The 
commenters also stated that if there were no plans to adopt these 
criteria, they saw no certification path for EFVS equipment that could 
enable touchdown operations in visibilities of less than RVR 1,000 
feet, which could limit investment in technology and adversely affect 
the benefits of the new EFVS operating rule. Sierra Nevada Corporation 
specifically requested that the FAA provide a certification path toward 
lower than 1,000 RVR.
    The FAA's statement in the notice that it proposed to limit initial 
implementation of EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout to 
visibilities of no lower than RVR 1,000 feet was not intended to be an 
end point for EFVS authorizations. The FAA fully expects to develop 
authorizations and enable a certification path for EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout in less than RVR 1,000 feet conditions as EFVS 
technology is developed that will support those operations. The FAA 
recognizes that MASPS, as well as an operational concept, have been 
developed through RTCA SC-213 for EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout in less than RVR 1,000 feet conditions. The FAA intends to 
include operational and airworthiness certification guidance for those 
EFVS operations, based in large part on the industry recommendations 
found in DO-341. The FAA will publish acceptable methods of compliance 
for these reduced-visibility operations in future revisions of AC 20-
167. Any proponent may propose an alternate

[[Page 90163]]

method of compliance for an EFVS that would support those operations.
    FedEx, Gulfstream, GAMA, and Elbit Systems of America noted that 
there are ongoing FAA/ICAO activities to harmonize requirements for low 
visibility taxi operations in visibilities as low as RVR 300 feet and 
that those activities assume EFVS will be an enabler for these 
operations. These commenters felt the FAA should provide a statement 
clarifying its intent with respect to low visibility taxi operations 
using EFVS, especially if the FAA limits EFVS operations to touchdown 
and rollout to RVR 1,000 feet and does not plan to incorporate RTCA DO-
341 airworthiness criteria into AC 20-167A.
    The FAA participates in several activities that seek to harmonize 
vision system standards, concepts, and practices to the extent 
practicable. Those activities include the HUD, EVS, SVS, and CVS 
Subgroup of the ICAO Operations Panel (ICAO HESC), the All Weather 
Operations Harmonization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (AWOH ARC), and 
the RTCA SC-213. The FAA notes that the EFVS rule does not preclude the 
use of EFVS during taxi operations and recognizes that using an EFVS 
can increase situation awareness during such operations. While there is 
no regulatory requirement in the U.S. for an airport to have an 
approved Low Visibility Operation/Surface Movement Guidance and Control 
System Plan when the visibility falls below RVR 1,200 feet, the FAA 
supports voluntary development of such plans and sees the value in 
harmonizing those operations to the extent practicable.
    Dassault Aviation noted that the FAA made reference to RTCA DO-315, 
which was published on December 16, 2008. Dassault Aviation suggested 
that the FAA refer to RTCA DO-315B, instead.
    The FAA's intent in referencing RTCA DO-315 was to reference the 
original version of the document, which first contained the MASPS for 
EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. The FAA recognizes that DO-
315 was revised, and at this time, system design criteria for EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout are contained in RTCA DO-315B and 
DO-341.

K. Miscellaneous Issues

    In this section, the FAA discusses a host of unrelated issues. Some 
of these issues were raised by commenters. Others resulted from the 
FAA's own review of the NPRM.
1. Minimum Crew Requirements
    Eurocopter and American Eurocopter stated that the EFVS operation 
specified in Sec.  91.176(a)(2) implies a new kind of operation that 
could impact minimum crew requirements. It recommended that the FAA 
revise Sec. Sec.  23.1523, 25.1523, 27.1523, 29.1523, 23.1525, 25.1525, 
27.1525, and 29.1525 to reflect EFVS operations.
    The FAA disagrees. The minimum flight crew requirements in 14 CFR 
parts 23, 25, 27, and 29 are sufficient and effective in establishing 
the minimum flightcrew for the aircraft; they do not need to be revised 
to reflect EFVS operations.
2. Failure Modes
    Boeing commented that the rule does not adequately address failure 
modes and crew responses. Boeing stated that natural vision appears to 
be a mitigator for the loss of EFVS during touchdown operations down to 
RVR 1000 feet. Boeing believes it is circular reasoning to allow EFVS 
to replace natural vision, and then depend on natural vision in the 
event of an EFVS failure. In addition, it believes design assurance 
levels for different technologies, for example ILS and EFVS, need to be 
similar to avoid biasing in favor of one technology over the other. 
Boeing recommended that availability and reliability requirements be 
specified in the rule or in AC 20-167A. Boeing stated these 
clarifications and revisions are necessary so that designers and 
operators will know what is expected in failure cases.
    The FAA finds such revisions unnecessary. The requirements of 
Sec. Sec.  23.1309, 25.1309, 27.1309, and 29.1309 apply to failure 
modes, hazard classifications, and failure probabilities. AC 20-167A 
further addresses specific system safety considerations.
    The FAA has defined a means of compliance in AC 20-167A to use EFVS 
to provide sufficient enhanced flight visibility to complete an 
instrument approach and landing in visibility conditions as low as RVR 
1000 feet.
    Operationally, EFVS may be used to meet enhanced flight visibility 
and visual reference requirements for the instrument approach as stated 
in the NPRM. When the enhanced flight visibility and visual reference 
requirements of the regulations are met, descent and operation below 
the DA/DH may continue. However, certification applicants should 
account for failures of the EFVS in IMC below DA/DH. Generally, as with 
loss of visibility during conventional instrument approaches, a pilot 
may need to do a missed approach.
3. EFVS Equipment and Operational Considerations
    ALPA and an individual commented that current IR-based EFVSs can 
take several minutes to warm up before they are able to be used in EFVS 
operations, and stated that operational guidance should account for 
this delay when an EFVS is powered up just prior to starting an 
instrument approach. The individual also commented that EFVS operations 
will require a high degree of system reliability during adverse weather 
conditions, and that if the EFVS were to malfunction close to the 
ground, a potentially unsafe condition could exist. The commenters 
recommended that EFVSs should have an in-flight checking capability to 
confirm that the system is fully operational prior to beginning an 
instrument approach procedure.
    The commenters concerns are already addressed in Sec.  61.66 and AC 
90-106. Section 61.66(a) and (b) specify that ground and flight 
training must address preflight and in-flight preparation of EFVS 
equipment for EFVS operations. AC 90-106A, Section 5, contains guidance 
applicable to training and specifies that pilots should be familiar 
with the warm-up requirements of the system, along with other 
operational considerations, crew procedures, and crew coordination 
items. AC 20-167A also contains guidance on EFVS system performance, 
including system failure notifications. EFVS malfunctions detected by 
the system, which can adversely affect the normal operation of the 
EFVS, should be annunciated. At a minimum, specific in-flight failure 
messages for sensor failure and frozen image should be displayed to the 
flight crew.
4. Applicability of Previously Collected Data or Data Submitted on the 
Basis of Similarity
    In its proposal, the FAA noted that under the 2004 EFVS rule, an 
EFVS installed on a U.S.-registered aircraft conducting EFVS operations 
to 100 feet above the TDZE must be installed on that aircraft in 
accordance with an FAA type design approval, namely a type certificate, 
amended type certificate, or supplemental type certificate. The FAA 
also stated that an EFVS that is currently certified to conduct EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE may not meet the airworthiness 
standards necessary to support EFVS operations to touchdown and 
rollout. Section 91.176(a)(1)(i) requires an aircraft to be equipped 
with an operable EFVS that meets the applicable airworthiness 
requirements. Thus, the

[[Page 90164]]

FAA will require a similar certification process for an EFVS installed 
on an aircraft used in EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout.
    Rockwell Collins asked whether credit could be given during the 
certification process for previously collected data. For example, if 
video data was collected during a previous EFVS performance 
demonstration that was conducted to 100 feet above the TDZE, could the 
operator take credit for that data with a follow-on demonstration that 
focused on rollout? It stated it believes this will be an ongoing issue 
the FAA will need to address in a consistent manner.
    The FAA cannot assume that an EFVS that was only demonstrated and 
approved for EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE will also be 
acceptable as a primary system for landing and rollout. Flight 
demonstrations specific to EFVS operations below 100 feet above the 
TDZE, landing, and rollout will usually be necessary. Flight test 
demonstrations will be specifically focused on showing compliance with 
specific requirements and criteria; hence, the flight test results may 
not be extrapolated beyond their original purposes. EFVS flight test 
demonstrations conducted prior to this rulemaking did not attempt to 
establish the ability to use the EFVS for landing or rollout. Prior 
flight testing that demonstrated the performance of the sensor in 
coping with the reported atmospheric conditions, particularly the 
collection and analysis of data comparing enhanced flight visibility to 
flight visibility may offer useful information in support of approval 
of the EFVS for landing and rollout. However, the EFVS should 
demonstrate that it can be relied on as the primary means for operation 
below 100 feet above the TDZE and for the landing and rollout.
    CMC commented that certification credit for demonstrated EFVS 
performance should be transferable to other installations that have the 
same EFVS configuration. CMC pointed out that the details of an EFVS 
installation may differ from one installation to another, and it 
suggested that the FAA develop a framework for addressing these 
differences. It stated that credit transfer from one installation to 
another is not intended to replace all flight tests on a new platform 
or installation. Instead, the credit transfer would allow for the use 
of applicable data that was previously collected, in addition to flight 
test data on the new platform, to form the basis of an EFVS performance 
demonstration.
    CMC asserted that this framework would enable EFVS suppliers, 
aircraft manufacturers, and operators to utilize previous flight test 
investments and thereby significantly reduce certification and 
performance capability demonstration costs.
    The applicant may follow existing provisions and practices for 
establishing ``similarity'' of an equipment installation from one 
aircraft to another by providing compliance data approved for the other 
aircraft. The FAA will follow existing processes to evaluate the 
applicability of data submitted on the basis of similarity and 
recognizes the benefit in reducing repetitive certification and 
performance demonstration costs.
    However, since EFVS equipment can perform differently on dissimilar 
aircraft, data used to show the compliance of one installation may not 
be appropriate for use in demonstrating the compliance of another 
installation.
5. Public Aircraft Operations
    In the 2004 EFVS final rule and proposed Sec.  91.176, the FAA did 
not distinguish between civil aircraft operations and public aircraft 
operations.\84\ Thus, both the 2004 EFVS final rule and proposed Sec.  
91.176 applied to public aircraft operations, other than the U.S. 
military. Generally, public aircraft operations are not required to 
meet the same certification and airworthiness requirements that are 
imposed on civil aircraft. U.S. military aircraft generally meet 
military certification and airworthiness standards. Because EFVS 
operations are conducted in very low visibilities below minimums, the 
FAA finds that there cannot be a distinction among aircraft used to 
conduct EFVS operations in the National Airspace System. Each aircraft 
that is used to conduct an EFVS operation, regardless of whether the 
operation qualifies as a public aircraft operation, must meet the 
airworthiness and certification requirements set forth in Sec.  
91.176(a) or (b), as applicable to the EFVS operation being conducted 
(except U.S. military aircraft). Furthermore, each pilot flightcrew 
member conducting an EFVS operation, regardless of whether the 
operation qualifies as a public aircraft operation, is required to meet 
the training and recent flight experience requirements of Sec.  61.66 
(except U.S. military pilots). Accordingly, the FAA is adding Sec.  
91.176(c) to clarify that public aircraft operators who choose to 
conduct EFVS operations under Sec.  91.176(a) or (b) must meet the 
previously stated requirements. The FAA recognizes that certain public 
aircraft operators who choose to conduct EFVS operations under Sec.  
91.176 may have aircraft that cannot meet the FAA's certification and 
airworthiness requirements. The FAA will consider the ability of these 
public aircraft to conduct EFVS operations on a case-by-case basis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ Section 1.1 defines ``civil aircraft'' as aircraft other 
than public aircraft. Therefore, if a regulation applies only to 
civil aircraft, it does not apply to public aircraft.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Qualification Requirements for Persons Conducting EFVS Operations in 
the United States
    Section 91.176(a)(2)(vii) describes the necessary qualifications 
for persons conducting EFVS operations in the United States. In the 
NPRM, proposed Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(vi) would have required, just as 
Sec.  91.175(l)(5)(ii) required, each required pilot flightcrew member 
for a foreign person to meet the requirements of the civil aviation 
authority of the State of the operator. Section 129.1 defines ``foreign 
person'' as any person who is not a citizen of the United States and 
who operates a U.S.-registered aircraft in common carriage solely 
outside the United States. The FAA is concerned that a broader 
population than that defined by the term ``foreign person'' in Sec.  
129.1 will conduct EFVS operations in the United States. For example, 
the term ``foreign person'' failed to capture persons acting as 
required pilot flightcrew members for foreign air carriers subject to 
part 129, and any persons serving as required pilot flightcrew members 
of foreign registered aircraft. The FAA is, therefore, revising 
proposed Sec.  91.176(a)(2)(vii) to more clearly identify the 
categories of persons who might conduct EFVS operations in the United 
States, and to ensure that the regulation adequately describes the 
necessary qualifications for these persons.
    Section 91.176(a)(2)(vii)(A) now requires each person exercising 
the privileges of a U.S. pilot certificate, or any person serving as a 
required pilot flightcrew member of a U.S.-registered aircraft, to be 
qualified in accordance with part 61, and as applicable, the training, 
testing, and qualification provisions of parts 91 subpart K, 121, 125, 
or 135 that apply to the operation. Section 91.176(a)(2)(vii)(B) now 
requires each person acting as a required pilot flightcrew member for a 
foreign air carrier subject to part 129, or any person serving as a 
required pilot flightcrew member of a foreign registered aircraft to be 
qualified in accordance with the training requirements of the civil 
aviation authority of the State of the

[[Page 90165]]

operator for the EFVS operation to be conducted.
7. Economic Comments
    Boeing requested that the FAA explain how it established the number 
of aircraft used in the economic analysis so that operators can better 
judge their costs.
    In order to estimate the total number of affected aircraft for the 
NPRM, the FAA asked original EFVS equipment manufacturers and aircraft 
manufacturers for the information. The FAA determined the total number 
of EFVS-equipped aircraft based on the responses received from those 
manufacturers. The FAA did not obtain a future equipment estimate from 
Boeing although the Agency requested that Boeing provide the projected 
number of aircraft it plans to equip or acquire with EFVS by year from 
2012 onward. Boeing also commented that it is unclear in the NPRM 
whether the estimated paperwork burden is per airplane, per operator, 
or fleetwide. It stated that it can be deduced by subsequent 
paragraphs, but clarification of this issue would avoid confusion and 
lead to a clearer understanding.
    The estimated paperwork burden of $86,000 covers the entire fleet 
of EFVS-equipped aircraft.
    An individual stated that this rule could provide benefits to 
student pilots; however, one challenge would be increased training 
costs, including EFVS training.
    The decision to conduct EFVS operations addressed by this rule is 
voluntary and optional. Therefore, this rule will not impose costs on a 
trainee who chooses not to conduct EFVS operations in the future. 
Furthermore, the FAA believes that student pilots typically will not 
conduct EFVS operations during their initial training.
    Airbus commented on the training requirement cost in the proposed 
regulatory evaluation. Airbus stated that the incremental training cost 
of $750 per pilot does not take into account the benefits and the 
reduced operational costs that would result from a dual HUD 
configuration. The FAA did not take dual HUD configurations into 
account when estimating the incremental training cost of $750 because 
the FAA sought to use a conservative estimate in the regulatory 
evaluation.
    Airbus explained that it cannot comment on certification costs 
because Airbus has not yet applied for EFVS certification. However, in 
commenting on the benefits section of the proposed regulatory 
evaluation, Airbus asked what the FAA expects from an applicant in 
terms of demonstrating that ``missed approaches and delayed take-offs'' 
are minimized.\85\ The FAA does not expect nor require an EFVS operator 
to demonstrate benefits in order to utilize extended EFVS capabilities. 
The FAA believes that enhanced EFVS capabilities will result in 
unquantifiable benefits, which include the reduction of ``missed 
approaches and delayed take-offs.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ Airbus also asked what the FAA meant in terms of airborne 
sensor performance requirement. The FAA is not responding to this 
comment because it is outside the scope of the regulatory 
evaluation. The FAA reopened the comment period on August 20, 2015 
to allow for comments on the regulatory evaluation only.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 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. We suggest that 
readers seeking greater details read the full regulatory evaluation, a 
copy of which we placed in the docket for this rulemaking.
    In conducting these analyses, the FAA has determined that this 
final rule: (1) Has benefits that justify the costs; (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 create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of 
the United States; and (6) will not impose an unfunded mandate on 
state, local, or tribal governments, or other private sectors by 
exceeding the threshold identified above. These analyses are summarized 
below.

Parties Potentially Affected by this Rulemaking
     Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) producing enhanced 
flight vision systems (EFVS) or other vision systems, in accordance 
with parts 23, 25, 27, or 29
     Persons installing EFVS or other vision systems with a 
transparent display surface located in the pilot's outside field of 
view
     Persons conducting EFVS operations under parts 91, 121, 
125, 129, or part 135
     Persons conducting EFVS training

Principal Assumptions and Sources of Information
     A 10-year period for this analysis is used because this 
period captures all significant cost impacts
     Discount rate is 7 percent (Office of Management & Budget, 
Circular A-4, ``Guidelines and Discount Rates for Benefit-Cost Analysis 
of Federal Programs,'' October 29, 1992, p. 8, www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/index.html)
     An average of 4 pilots assigned to each EFVS-equipped 
aircraft
     OEMs and two operators provided the number of EFVS-
equipped aircraft
     Operators of some aircraft equipped with older EFVS units 
will not seek certification for EFVS to touchdown and rollout
     The estimation of the incremental training cost per person 
is approximately $750 based on data collected from training centers
     Certification costs of incremental EFVS capabilities to 
touchdown and rollout are approximately $1 million in the aggregate
     Aircraft operations over the next 10 years will grow at 
about 2.53% per year based on the FAA 2015 forecast (the general 
aviation turbojet, FAA Aerospace Forecast Fiscal Years 2015)\86\.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \86\ The FAA forecast for active general aviation (GA) turbine 
jets is 2.53% for the period of 2015-2027.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Benefits of This Rule
    Since this final rule is voluntary, the FAA expects those who 
choose to engage in extended EFVS operations will do so only if the 
expected benefit to them exceeds the cost they incur. The

[[Page 90166]]

final rule will enable expanded EFVS operations, which will increase 
access, efficiency and throughput in low visibility conditions, and 
minimize potential for missed approaches and delayed take-offs. In 
addition, EFVS permits low visibility operations on a greater number of 
approach procedure types. Changes in the U.S. aviation 
infrastructure,\87\ such as the transition from incandescent to light-
emitting diode (LED) approach lights, could potentially impact the near 
term benefits for persons using EFVS equipment, but may not impact 
future benefits of EFVS equipment designed to be interoperable with 
LEDs. The impact on the benefits is undetermined because both the 
infrastructure and EFVS capabilities are evolving. Benefits of this 
final rule will be realized by averting costs related to interrupted 
flight operations due to low visibility resulting in lost passenger 
time and extra fuel consumption.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \87\ FAA airport infrastructure decisions are independent from 
this analysis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Eliminating the requirement to obtain a waiver from Flight 
Standards when conducting certain EFVS operations will save applicants 
time for processing paperwork. Cost saving of waiver elimination is 
reflected in the FAA's paperwork reduction estimates.
    Revisions to pilot compartment view requirements for vision systems 
with a transparent display surface located in the pilot's outside field 
of view will codify the current practice of issuing special conditions 
for each of these vision systems by providing industry with known 
requirements for the certification of these systems under parts 23, 25, 
27, and 29. Because the revisions to pilot compartment view 
requirements will streamline the certification process for these vision 
systems by eliminating the need to issue special conditions, the FAA 
and applicants will save the associated time and expense. The full 
extent of these benefits has not been determined and therefore has not 
been quantified in this analysis.
Costs of This Rule
    The regulatory costs attributed to the requirements are those above 
and beyond the current regulation and common practice. The FAA 
estimates compliance costs as the incremental differences in costs, 
resulting from the changes in training, equipment and certification 
requirements. Data were obtained from EFVS original equipment 
manufacturers, training centers, and two operators. The total 
incremental cost attributable to the requirements equals nominal 
training cost ($4.1 million) plus the initial certification cost ($1 
million). The compliance cost of the equipment requirements is 
negligible. The total incremental cost of the final rule is 
approximately $5.1 million for the ten year period. The present value 
of that is approximately $4.1 million using a seven percent discount 
rate. The following table presents the summary of the regulatory costs 
in 2014 dollars (nominal value) and present value (PV).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Present value   Present value
                         Cost component                            Nominal cost      at 7%  ($       at 3%  ($
                                                                    ($ million)      million)        million)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Training Cost...................................................            $4.1            $3.1            $3.5
Certification Cost..............................................               1               1               1
Equipment Cost..................................................
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................             5.1             4.1             4.5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Benefit/Cost Summary
    The total estimated cost of this final rule over 10 years is 
approximately $5.1 million nominal value or $4.1 million present value 
at a 7% discount rate. The annualized cost of this final rule in 
current dollar value is approximately a half million dollars. These 
estimated compliance costs will be incurred by those operators who want 
improved EFVS capabilities. OEMs are already proceeding with efforts to 
expand EFVS capabilities which, by itself, indicate the benefits of 
this final rule will likely exceed the costs. The revisions to pilot 
compartment view requirements for vision systems with a transparent 
display surface located in the pilot's outside field of view will not 
impose additional costs from those currently incurred using the special 
conditions process. The FAA believes the final rule will have benefits 
exceeding costs based on the likelihood that OEMs and operators will 
voluntarily incur the costs of the final rule in order to realize 
expected benefits.

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.
    As stated in the initial regulatory flexibility determination, the 
FAA expects many small entities will benefit from this final rule. The 
FAA did not receive comments on the initial regulatory flexibility 
determination. Prior to the final rule, the regulations permitted 
operators to conduct EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE. The 
final rule permits operators to use an EFVS in lieu of natural vision 
from 100 feet above the TDZE to touchdown and rollout. Operators under 
parts 91, 91 subpart K, 121, 125, and 135 may conduct EFVS operations 
to touchdown and rollout under the final rule. Accordingly, the final 
rule may affect firms operating under those parts. The SBA size 
standard as defined in 13 CFR 121.201, is the largest size that a

[[Page 90167]]

business (including its subsidiaries and affiliates) may be to remain 
classified as a small business by the SBA. The SBA size standard in 
each of the four North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 
air transportation industries is 1,500 employees.
    We estimate that 982 aircraft are currently equipped with EFVS, 
which includes both large and small entities. Very few part 121 and 
part 135 operators have installed EFVS in their aircraft. A few part 91 
subpart K, 121, or 135 operators have installed EFVS in their aircraft. 
Most of the operators with EFVS-equipped aircraft are part 91 operators 
(other than part 91 subpart K operators). Many part 91 operators are 
small entities.
    For small entities who have been conducting EFVS operations to 100 
feet above the TDZE under the old regulations, but who choose not to 
conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout, the final rule does 
not impose additional cost. These small entities are still eligible to 
conduct EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE using their old EFVS 
equipment, which has already been certified for EFVS operations to 100 
feet above the TDZE. For small entities who have been conducting EFVS 
operations to 100 feet above the TDZE under the old regulations, but 
who choose to conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout, the 
final rule will impose no additional installation costs because most 
systems installed after 2006 meet the requirements for EFVS operations 
to touchdown and rollout. The final rule will, however, impose training 
costs on these small entities. We estimate a one-time training cost of 
$750 per pilot, which accounts for the cost of training from 100 feet 
above the TDZE to touchdown and rollout. The FAA finds that this 
estimated training cost, even if for 4 pilots per aircraft, would not 
have a significant economic impact on the small entities affected by 
the final rule, because the equipment flown is valued in the tens of 
millions and these owners voluntarily incur these costs.
    Therefore, for the reasons discussed above, the FAA certifies that 
this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

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 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 
the final rule will not impose obstacles to foreign commerce, as 
foreign exporters do not have to change their current export products 
to the United States; and that the final rule will impose the same 
costs on domestic and international entities and thus has a neutral 
trade impact.

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 $155 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. According to the 1995 
amendments to the Paperwork Reduction Act (5 CFR 1320.8(b)(2)(vi)), an 
agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor 
may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays 
a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.
    This action contains the following information collection 
requirements:
     Section 61.66 requires pilots to keep records of training 
and recent flight experience.
     Section 91.176(a) requires persons conducting operations 
under part 91 to conduct EFVS operations in accordance with letters of 
authorization for the use of EFVS.
    Below, we discuss each of these information collection requirements 
in more detail.
    The information collections in Sec.  61.66 are already approved in 
OMB control number 2120-0021. The paperwork burden under Sec.  61.66 
comprises documentation of training, recent flight experience, and 
refresher training. The following analyses were conducted under 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501). If some operators 
eventually choose to conduct EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout, 
the provisions of Sec.  61.66 would result in a requirement to keep 
records of training, recent flight experience, and refresher training. 
The cost of the annualized paperwork burden is determined by 
multiplying the number of pilots per EFVS-equipped aircraft (four) by 
the number of EFVS aircraft (982) and then by the time of complying 
with the paperwork requirements for each pilot. Title 14 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations already require flight crewmembers to document and 
record training and aeronautical experience required to meet recent 
flight experience requirements. 14 CFR 61.51. Therefore, the paperwork 
burden resulting from Sec.  61.66 is already accounted for in the cost 
estimate contained in OMB control number 2120-0021.
    For ease of readability, we will explain the portion of the total 
cost estimate that pertains to documenting and recording EFVS recent 
flight experience. Operators are required to log their approaches using 
EFVS in 6 months in compliance with the recent flight experience 
requirements of the new rule. The action of logging each approach in a 
semiannual frequency can be done manually or electronically. We 
estimated the time required to complete recordkeeping by flight 
crewmembers would be about 0.10 hours semiannually or 0.20 hours 
annually. Assuming 3,928 pilots would be affected by the recordkeeping 
provisions of the rule, it would require about 786 hours of annual 
paperwork, and approximately $86,000 nominal cost at the maximum based 
on the average wage rate of $109 for flight crewmembers from the FAA 
Form 41. This hourly burden and cost is already accounted for under OMB 
control number 2120-0021.
    The information collection in Sec.  91.176(a) expands an existing 
OMB-approved collection of information that is approved under OMB 
control number 2120-0005. This collection of information governs 
information that the FAA collects in order to assure compliance with 
part 91. The

[[Page 90168]]

requirements in Sec.  91.176(a) increase the burden of this already-
existing collection of information. Section 91.176(a) pertains to EFVS 
operations to touchdown and rollout. Except as provided in paragraphs 
91.176(a)(2)(ix) through 91.176(a)(2)(xii), a person conducting 
operations under part 91 must conduct the operation in accordance with 
a letter of authorization for the use of EFVS unless the operation is 
conducted in an aircraft that has been issued an experimental 
certificate under Sec.  21.191 for the purpose of research and 
development or showing compliance with regulations. A person applying 
to the FAA for a letter of authorization must submit an application in 
a form and manner prescribed by the Administrator. Approximately 38 
EFVS operators will spend about 0.5 hours annually to submit a letter 
of authorization to the FAA. Each paperwork hour costs approximately 
$23. Multiplying estimated written requests by average hour per 
request, we estimate the total annual paperwork burden to be 19 hours. 
We multiply 19 hours of paperwork burden by an estimated hour wage rate 
of $23 to derive the estimated annual paperwork cost burden to be $ 
437. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507(d)), the FAA has submitted this information collection requirement 
to OMB for its review.

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 
reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and 
has identified no differences with these proposed 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.
    Harmonization. The FAA participates on several vision system 
committees and working groups where international harmonization of 
standards, concepts, and practices is accomplished to the extent 
practicable. RTCA SC-213 was established December 2006 and is 
developing operational concepts and MASPS for EFVS, EVS, SVS, and CVS. 
The FAA, industry representatives from the United States and other 
countries, and other civil aviation authorities participate on this 
committee. Eurocae Work Group 79 is also a joint working group with 
RTCA SC-213. The ICAO HESC focuses on developing definitions, 
standards, and guidance material pertaining to vision systems for ICAO 
Annex 6, Parts I-III. The FAA is a member of the ICAO HESC subgroup and 
actively participates in this committee's activities and output. In 
2012, the FAA established the AWOH ARC. Recognizing that significant 
issues exist within the international aviation community and regulators 
regarding interoperability and standardization for low visibility 
operations, the FAA established the AWOH ARC to identify areas where 
existing criteria and guidance are inadequate or nonexistent, to 
develop recommendations for implementing new regulatory criteria and 
guidance material needed by all stakeholders, and to produce consensus 
positions for global harmonization. In addition to other low visibility 
initiatives, the AWOH ARC facilitates international understanding of 
EFVS operations and provides recommendations for harmonizing those 
operations.

G. Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1F 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 5-6.6 and involves no extraordinary 
circumstances.

V. 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 
implications.

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.

VI. How to Obtain Additional Information

A. Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by 
using the Internet--
     Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);
     Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at 
http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ or
     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) 267-9677.

B. 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.).

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 
1996 requires the 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/.

[[Page 90169]]

List of Subjects

14 CFR Part 1

    Air transportation.

14 CFR Part 23

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 27

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 29

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 61

    Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Teachers.

14 CFR Part 91

    Air carrier, Air taxis, Air traffic control, Aircraft, Airmen, 
Airports, Aviation safety, Charter flights, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Transportation.

14 CFR Part 121

    Air carriers, Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Charter flights, 
Safety, Transportation.

14 CFR Part 125

    Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety.

14 CFR Part 135

    Air taxis, Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety.

The Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal 
Regulations as follows:

PART 1--DEFINITIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 1 is revised to read as follows:

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


0
2. Amend Sec.  1.1 by adding the definition of ``EFVS operation'' in 
alphabetical order and by revising the definition for ``Enhanced flight 
vision system (EFVS)'' to read as follows:


Sec.  1.1   General definitions.

* * * * *
    EFVS operation means an operation in which visibility conditions 
require an EFVS to be used in lieu of natural vision to perform an 
approach or landing, determine enhanced flight visibility, identify 
required visual references, or conduct a rollout.
    Enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) means an installed aircraft 
system which uses an electronic means to provide a display of the 
forward external scene topography (the natural or manmade features of a 
place or region especially in a way to show their relative positions 
and elevation) through the use of imaging sensors, including but not 
limited to forward-looking infrared, millimeter wave radiometry, 
millimeter wave radar, or low-light level image intensification. An 
EFVS includes the display element, sensors, computers and power 
supplies, indications, and controls.
* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  1.2 by adding the abbreviation ``VGSI'' in alphabetical 
order to read as follows:


Sec.  1.2   Abbreviations and symbols.

* * * * *
    VGSI means visual glide slope indicator.
* * * * *

PART 23--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: NORMAL, UTILITY, ACROBATIC, AND 
COMMUTER CATEGORY AIRPLANES

0
4. The authority citation for part 23 is revised to read as follows:

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


0
5. Amend Sec.  23.773 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  23.773   Pilot compartment view.

* * * * *
    (c) A vision system with a transparent display surface located in 
the pilot's outside field of view, such as a head up-display, head 
mounted display, or other equivalent display, must meet the following 
requirements:
    (1) While the vision system display is in operation, it must 
compensate for interference with the pilot's outside field of view such 
that the combination of what is visible in the display and what remains 
visible through and around it, enables the pilot to perform the 
maneuvers specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section and the pilot 
compartment to meet the provisions of paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
    (2) The pilot's view of the external scene may not be distorted by 
the transparent display surface or by the vision system imagery. When 
the vision system displays imagery and any symbology referenced to the 
imagery and outside scene topography, including attitude symbology, 
flight path vector, and flight path angle reference cue, that imagery 
and symbology must be aligned with, and scaled to, the external scene.
    (3) The vision system must provide a means to allow the pilot using 
the display to immediately deactivate and reactivate the vision system 
imagery, on demand, without removing the pilot's hands from the primary 
flight controls or thrust controls.
    (4) When the vision system is not in operation it may not restrict 
the pilot from performing the maneuvers specified in paragraph (a)(1) 
of this section and the pilot compartment from meeting the provisions 
of paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

PART 25--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY AIRPLANES

0
6. The authority citation for part 25 is revised to read as follows:

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


0
7. Amend Sec.  25.773 by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  25.773   Pilot compartment view.

* * * * *
    (e) Vision systems with transparent displays. A vision system with 
a transparent display surface located in the pilot's outside field of 
view, such as a head up-display, head mounted display, or other 
equivalent display, must meet the following requirements in 
nonprecipitation and precipitation conditions:
    (1) While the vision system display is in operation, it must 
compensate for interference with the pilot's outside field of view such 
that the combination of what is visible in the display and what remains 
visible through and around it, enables the pilot to perform the 
maneuvers and normal duties of paragraph (a) of this section.
    (2) The pilot's view of the external scene may not be distorted by 
the transparent display surface or by the vision system imagery. When 
the vision system displays imagery or any symbology that is referenced 
to the imagery and outside scene topography, including attitude 
symbology, flight path vector, and flight path angle reference cue, 
that imagery and symbology must be aligned with, and scaled to, the 
external scene.
    (3) The vision system must provide a means to allow the pilot using 
the display to immediately deactivate and reactivate the vision system 
imagery, on demand, without removing the pilot's hands from the primary 
flight controls or thrust controls.
    (4) When the vision system is not in operation it may not restrict 
the pilot

[[Page 90170]]

from performing the maneuvers specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section or the pilot compartment from meeting the provisions of 
paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

PART 27--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT

0
8. The authority citation for part 27 is revised to read as follows:

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


0
9. Amend Sec.  27.773 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  27.773   Pilot compartment view.

* * * * *
    (c) A vision system with a transparent display surface located in 
the pilot's outside field of view, such as a head up-display, head 
mounted display, or other equivalent display, must meet the following 
requirements:
    (1) While the vision system display is in operation, it must 
compensate for interference with the pilot's outside field of view such 
that the combination of what is visible in the display and what remains 
visible through and around it, allows the pilot compartment to satisfy 
the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) and (b) of this section.
    (2) The pilot's view of the external scene may not be distorted by 
the transparent display surface or by the vision system imagery. When 
the vision system displays imagery or any symbology that is referenced 
to the imagery and outside scene topography, including attitude 
symbology, flight path vector, and flight path angle reference cue, 
that imagery and symbology must be aligned with, and scaled to, the 
external scene.
    (3) The vision system must provide a means to allow the pilot using 
the display to immediately deactivate and reactivate the vision system 
imagery, on demand, without removing the pilot's hands from the primary 
flight and power controls, or their equivalent.
    (4) When the vision system is not in operation it must permit the 
pilot compartment to satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) and 
(b) of this section.

PART 29--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT

0
10. The authority citation for part 29 is revised to read as follows:

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


0
11. Amend Sec.  29.773 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  29.773   Pilot compartment view.

* * * * *
    (c) Vision systems with transparent displays. A vision system with 
a transparent display surface located in the pilot's outside field of 
view, such as a head up-display, head mounted display, or other 
equivalent display, must meet the following requirements in 
nonprecipitation and precipitation conditions:
    (1) While the vision system display is in operation, it must 
compensate for interference with the pilot's outside field of view such 
that the combination of what is visible in the display and what remains 
visible through and around it, allows the pilot compartment to satisfy 
the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.
    (2) The pilot's view of the external scene may not be distorted by 
the transparent display surface or by the vision system imagery. When 
the vision system displays imagery or any symbology that is referenced 
to the imagery and outside scene topography, including attitude 
symbology, flight path vector, and flight path angle reference cue, 
that imagery and symbology must be aligned with, and scaled to, the 
external scene.
    (3) The vision system must provide a means to allow the pilot using 
the display to immediately deactivate and reactivate the vision system 
imagery, on demand, without removing the pilot's hands from the primary 
flight and power controls, or their equivalent.
    (4) When the vision system is not in operation it must permit the 
pilot compartment to satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) 
of this section.

PART 61--CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND 
INSTRUCTORS

0
12. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701-44703, 44707, 
44709-44711, 45102-45103, 45301-45302.


0
13. Amend Sec.  61.57 by revising paragraphs (e)(2) and (3) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  61.57   Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (2) This section does not apply to a pilot in command who is 
employed by a part 119 certificate holder authorized to conduct 
operations under part 121 when the pilot is engaged in a flight 
operation under part 91 or 121 for that certificate holder if the pilot 
in command complies with Sec. Sec.  121.436 and 121.439 of this 
chapter.
    (3) This section does not apply to a pilot in command who is 
employed by a part 119 certificate holder authorized to conduct 
operations under part 135 when the pilot is engaged in a flight 
operation under parts 91 or 135 for that certificate holder if the 
pilot in command is in compliance with Sec. Sec.  135.243 and 135.247 
of this chapter.
* * * * *

0
14. Add Sec.  61.66 to read as follows:


Sec.  61.66   Enhanced Flight Vision System Pilot Requirements

    (a) Ground training. (1) Except as provided under paragraphs (f) 
and (h) of this section, no person may manipulate the controls of an 
aircraft or act as pilot in command of an aircraft during an EFVS 
operation conducted under Sec.  91.176(a) or (b) of this chapter, or 
serve as a required pilot flightcrew member during an EFVS operation 
conducted under Sec.  91.176(a) of this chapter, unless that person--
    (i) Receives and logs ground training under a training program 
approved by the Administrator; and
    (ii) Obtains a logbook or training record endorsement from an 
authorized training provider certifying the person satisfactorily 
completed the ground training appropriate to the category of aircraft 
for which the person is seeking the EFVS privilege.
    (2) The ground training must include the following subjects:
    (i) Those portions of this chapter that relate to EFVS flight 
operations and limitations, including the Airplane Flight Manual or 
Rotorcraft Flight Manual limitations;
    (ii) EFVS sensor imagery, required aircraft flight information, and 
flight symbology;
    (iii) EFVS display, controls, modes, features, symbology, 
annunciations, and associated systems and components;
    (iv) EFVS sensor performance, sensor limitations, scene 
interpretation, visual anomalies, and other visual effects;
    (v) Preflight planning and operational considerations associated 
with using EFVS during taxi, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent and 
landing phases of flight, including the use of EFVS for instrument 
approaches, operating below DA/DH or MDA, executing missed approaches, 
landing, rollout, and balked landings;
    (vi) Weather associated with low visibility conditions and its 
effect on EFVS performance;
    (vii) Normal, abnormal, emergency, and crew coordination procedures 
when using EFVS; and

[[Page 90171]]

    (viii) Interpretation of approach and runway lighting systems and 
their display characteristics when using an EFVS.
    (b) Flight training. (1) Except as provided under paragraph (h) of 
this section, no person may manipulate the controls of an aircraft or 
act as pilot in command of an aircraft during an EFVS operation under 
Sec.  91.176(a) or (b) of this chapter unless that person--
    (i) Receives and logs flight training for the EFVS operation under 
a training program approved by the Administrator; and
    (ii) Obtains a logbook or training record endorsement from an 
authorized training provider certifying the person is proficient in the 
use of EFVS in the category of aircraft in which the training was 
provided for the EFVS operation to be conducted.
    (2) Flight training must include the following tasks:
    (i) Preflight and inflight preparation of EFVS equipment for EFVS 
operations, including EFVS setup and use of display, controls, modes 
and associated systems, and adjustments for brightness and contrast 
under day and night conditions;
    (ii) Proper piloting techniques associated with using EFVS during 
taxi, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, landing, and rollout, including 
missed approaches and balked landings;
    (iii) Proper piloting techniques for the use of EFVS during 
instrument approaches, to include operations below DA/DH or MDA as 
applicable to the EFVS operations to be conducted, under both day and 
night conditions;
    (iv) Determining enhanced flight visibility;
    (v) Identifying required visual references appropriate to EFVS 
operations;
    (vi) Transitioning from EFVS sensor imagery to natural vision 
acquisition of required visual references and the runway environment;
    (vii) Using EFVS sensor imagery, required aircraft flight 
information, and flight symbology to touchdown and rollout, if the 
person receiving training will conduct EFVS operations under Sec.  
91.176(a) of this chapter; and
    (viii) Normal, abnormal, emergency, and crew coordination 
procedures when using an EFVS.
    (c) Supplementary EFVS training. A person qualified to conduct an 
EFVS operation under Sec.  91.176(a) or (b) of this chapter who seeks 
to conduct an additional EFVS operation for which that person has not 
received training must--
    (1) Receive and log the ground and flight training required by 
paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, under a training program 
approved by the Administrator, appropriate to the additional EFVS 
operation to be conducted; and
    (2) Obtain a logbook or training record endorsement from the 
authorized training provider certifying the person is proficient in the 
use of EFVS in the category of aircraft in which the training was 
provided for the EFVS operation to be conducted.
    (d) Recent flight experience: EFVS. Except as provided in 
paragraphs (f) and (h) of this section, no person may manipulate the 
controls of an aircraft during an EFVS operation or act as pilot in 
command of an aircraft during an EFVS operation unless, within 6 
calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performs 
and logs six instrument approaches as the sole manipulator of the 
controls using an EFVS under any weather conditions in the category of 
aircraft for which the person seeks the EFVS privilege. The instrument 
approaches may be performed in day or night conditions; and
    (1) One approach must terminate in a full stop landing; and
    (2) For persons authorized to exercise the privileges of Sec.  
91.176(a), the full stop landing must be conducted using the EFVS.
    (e) EFVS refresher training. (1) Except as provided in paragraph 
(h) of this section, a person who has failed to meet the recent flight 
experience requirements of paragraph (d) of this section for more than 
six calendar months may reestablish EFVS currency only by 
satisfactorily completing an approved EFVS refresher course in the 
category of aircraft for which the person seeks the EFVS privilege. The 
EFVS refresher course must consist of the subjects and tasks listed in 
paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(2) of this section applicable to the EFVS 
operations to be conducted.
    (2) The EFVS refresher course must be conducted by an authorized 
training provider whose instructor meets the training requirements of 
this section and, if conducting EFVS operations in an aircraft, the 
recent flight experience requirements of this section.
    (f) Military pilots and former military pilots in the U.S. Armed 
Forces. (1) The training requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this 
section applicable to EFVS operations conducted under Sec.  91.176(a) 
of this chapter do not apply to a military pilot or former military 
pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces if that person documents satisfactory 
completion of ground and flight training in EFVS operations to 
touchdown and rollout by the U.S. Armed Forces.
    (2) The training requirements in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this 
section applicable to EFVS operations conducted under Sec.  91.176(b) 
of this chapter do not apply to a military pilot or former military 
pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces if that person documents satisfactory 
completion of ground and flight training in EFVS operations to 100 feet 
above the touchdown zone elevation by the U.S. Armed Forces.
    (3) A military pilot or former military pilot in the U.S. Armed 
Forces may satisfy the recent flight experience requirements of 
paragraph (d) of this section if he or she documents satisfactory 
completion of an EFVS proficiency check in the U.S. Armed Forces within 
6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, the check was 
conducted by a person authorized by the U.S. Armed Forces to administer 
the check, and the person receiving the check was a member of the U.S. 
Armed Forces at the time the check was administered.
    (g) Use of full flight simulators. A level C or higher full flight 
simulator (FFS) equipped with an EFVS may be used to meet the flight 
training, recent flight experience, and refresher training requirements 
of this section. The FFS must be evaluated and qualified for EFVS 
operations by the Administrator, and must be:
    (1) Qualified and maintained in accordance with part 60 of this 
chapter, or a previously qualified device, as permitted in accordance 
with Sec.  60.17 of this chapter;
    (2) Approved by the Administrator for the tasks and maneuvers to be 
conducted; and
    (3) Equipped with a daylight visual display if being used to meet 
the flight training requirements of this section.
    (h) Exceptions. (1) A person may manipulate the controls of an 
aircraft during an EFVS operation without meeting the requirements of 
this section in the following circumstances:
    (i) When receiving flight training to meet the requirements of this 
section under an approved training program, provided the instructor 
meets the requirements in this section to perform the EFVS operation in 
the category of aircraft for which the training is being conducted.
    (ii) During an EFVS operation performed in the course of satisfying 
the recent flight experience requirements of paragraph (d) of this 
section, provided another individual is serving as pilot in command of 
the aircraft during the EFVS operation and that individual meets the 
requirements in this section to perform the EFVS operation in the

[[Page 90172]]

category of aircraft in which the flight is being conducted.
    (iii) During an EFVS operation performed in the course of 
completing EFVS refresher training in accordance with paragraph (e) of 
this section, provided the instructor providing the refresher training 
meets the requirements in this section to perform the EFVS operation in 
the category of aircraft for which the training is being conducted.
    (2) The requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section do 
not apply if a person is conducting a flight or series of flights in an 
aircraft issued an experimental airworthiness certificate under Sec.  
21.191 of this chapter for the purpose of research and development or 
showing compliance with regulations, provided the person has knowledge 
of the subjects specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section and has 
experience with the tasks specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section 
applicable to the EFVS operations to be conducted.
    (3) The requirements specified in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this 
section do not apply to a pilot who:
    (i) Is employed by a part 119 certificate holder authorized to 
conduct operations under part 121, 125, or 135 when the pilot is 
conducting an EFVS operation for that certificate holder under part 91, 
121, 125, or 135, as applicable, provided the pilot conducts the 
operation in accordance with the certificate holder's operations 
specifications for EFVS operations;
    (ii) Is employed by a person who holds a letter of deviation 
authority issued under Sec.  125.3 of this chapter when the pilot is 
conducting an EFVS operation for that person under part 125, provided 
the pilot is conducting the operation in accordance with that person's 
letter of authorization for EFVS operations; or
    (iii) Is employed by a fractional ownership program manager to 
conduct operations under part 91 subpart K when the pilot is conducting 
an EFVS operation for that program manager under part 91, provided the 
pilot is conducting the operation in accordance with the program 
manager's management specifications for EFVS operations.
    (4) The requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section do 
not apply if a person is conducting EFVS operations under Sec.  
91.176(b) of this chapter and that person documents that prior to March 
13, 2018, that person satisfactorily completed ground and flight 
training on EFVS operations to 100 feet above the touchdown zone 
elevation.
    (5) The requirements specified in this section do not apply if a 
person is conducting an EFVS operation to 100 feet above the touchdown 
zone elevation in accordance with the requirements of Sec.  91.175(l) 
and (m) of this chapter prior to March 13, 2018.


Sec.  61.66   [Amended]

0
15. Effective March 13, 2018, amend Sec.  61.66 by removing paragraph 
(h)(5).

PART 91--GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES

0
16. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40101, 40103, 40105, 
40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 
44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 
47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 47534, articles 12 and 29 of the 
Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 
Stat. 11).


0
17. Amend Sec.  91.175 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraphs (c) introductory text and (c)(3)(vi);
0
b. Redesignate paragraph (d)(2) as paragraph (d)(3) and revise it;
0
c. Add new paragraph (d)(2);
0
d. Revise paragraph (e)(1); and
0
e. Add paragraph (n).
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  91.175   Takeoff and landing under IFR.

* * * * *
    (c) Operation below DA/DH or MDA. Except as provided in paragraph 
(l) of this section or Sec.  91.176 of this chapter, where a DA/DH or 
MDA is applicable, no pilot may operate an aircraft, except a military 
aircraft of the United States, below the authorized MDA or continue an 
approach below the authorized DA/DH unless--
* * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (vi) The visual glideslope indicator.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (2) For operations conducted under Sec.  91.176 of this part, the 
requirements of paragraphs (a)(3)(iii) or (b)(3)(iii), as applicable, 
of that section are not met; or
    (3) For all other operations under this part and parts 121, 125, 
129, and 135, the flight visibility is less than the visibility 
prescribed in the standard instrument approach procedure being used.
    (e) * * *
    (1) Whenever operating an aircraft pursuant to paragraph (c) or (l) 
of this section or Sec.  91.176 of this chapter, and the requirements 
of that paragraph or section are not met at either of the following 
times:
* * * * *
    (n) Before March 13, 2018, a person conducting an EFVS operation to 
100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation must comply with either the 
requirements of paragraphs (l) and (m) of this section or with the 
requirements of Sec.  91.176(b) of this part. Beginning on March 13, 
2018, a person conducting an EFVS operation to 100 feet above the 
touchdown zone elevation must comply with the requirements of Sec.  
91.176(b) of this part. The requirements of paragraphs (l) and (m) of 
this section will expire on March 13, 2018.

0
18. Effective March 13, 2018, amend Sec.  91.175 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (c) introductory text;
0
b. Remove paragraph (d)(1);
0
c. Redesignate paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) as (d)(1) and (2), 
respectively;
0
d. Revise paragraph (e)(1); and
0
e. Remove paragraphs (l), (m), and (n).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  91.175   Takeoff and landing under IFR.

* * * * *
    (c) Operation below DA/DH or MDA. Except as provided in Sec.  
91.176 of this chapter, where a DA/DH or MDA is applicable, no pilot 
may operate an aircraft, except a military aircraft of the United 
States, below the authorized MDA or continue an approach below the 
authorized DA/DH unless--
* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (1) Whenever operating an aircraft pursuant to paragraph (c) of 
this section or Sec.  91.176 of this part, and the requirements of that 
paragraph or section are not met at either of the following times:
* * * * *

0
19. Add Sec.  91.176 to read as follows:


Sec.  91.176   Straight-in landing operations below DA/DH or MDA using 
an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) under IFR.

    (a) EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout. Unless otherwise 
authorized by the Administrator to use an MDA as a DA/DH with vertical 
navigation on an instrument approach procedure, or unless paragraph (d) 
of this section applies, no person may conduct an EFVS operation in an 
aircraft, except a military aircraft of the United States, at any 
airport below the authorized DA/DH to touchdown and rollout unless the 
minimums used for the particular approach procedure being flown include 
a DA or DH, and the following requirements are met:
    (1) Equipment. (i) The aircraft must be equipped with an operable 
EFVS that

[[Page 90173]]

meets the applicable airworthiness requirements. The EFVS must:
    (A) Have an electronic means to provide a display of the forward 
external scene topography (the applicable natural or manmade features 
of a place or region especially in a way to show their relative 
positions and elevation) through the use of imaging sensors, including 
but not limited to forward-looking infrared, millimeter wave 
radiometry, millimeter wave radar, or low-light level image 
intensification.
    (B) Present EFVS sensor imagery, aircraft flight information, and 
flight symbology on a head up display, or an equivalent display, so 
that the imagery, information and symbology are clearly visible to the 
pilot flying in his or her normal position with the line of vision 
looking forward along the flight path. Aircraft flight information and 
flight symbology must consist of at least airspeed, vertical speed, 
aircraft attitude, heading, altitude, height above ground level such as 
that provided by a radio altimeter or other device capable of providing 
equivalent performance, command guidance as appropriate for the 
approach to be flown, path deviation indications, flight path vector, 
and flight path angle reference cue. Additionally, for aircraft other 
than rotorcraft, the EFVS must display flare prompt or flare guidance.
    (C) Present the displayed EFVS sensor imagery, attitude symbology, 
flight path vector, and flight path angle reference cue, and other 
cues, which are referenced to the EFVS sensor imagery and external 
scene topography, so that they are aligned with, and scaled to, the 
external view.
    (D) Display the flight path angle reference cue with a pitch scale. 
The flight path angle reference cue must be selectable by the pilot to 
the desired descent angle for the approach and be sufficient to monitor 
the vertical flight path of the aircraft.
    (E) Display the EFVS sensor imagery, aircraft flight information, 
and flight symbology such that they do not adversely obscure the 
pilot's outside view or field of view through the cockpit window.
    (F) Have display characteristics, dynamics, and cues that are 
suitable for manual control of the aircraft to touchdown in the 
touchdown zone of the runway of intended landing and during rollout.
    (ii) When a minimum flightcrew of more than one pilot is required, 
the aircraft must be equipped with a display that provides the pilot 
monitoring with EFVS sensor imagery. Any symbology displayed may not 
adversely obscure the sensor imagery of the runway environment.
    (2) Operations. (i) The pilot conducting the EFVS operation may not 
use circling minimums.
    (ii) Each required pilot flightcrew member must have adequate 
knowledge of, and familiarity with, the aircraft, the EFVS, and the 
procedures to be used.
    (iii) The aircraft must be equipped with, and the pilot flying must 
use, an operable EFVS that meets the equipment requirements of 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
    (iv) When a minimum flightcrew of more than one pilot is required, 
the pilot monitoring must use the display specified in paragraph 
(a)(1)(ii) to monitor and assess the safe conduct of the approach, 
landing, and rollout.
    (v) The aircraft must continuously be in a position from which a 
descent to a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal 
rate of descent using normal maneuvers.
    (vi) The descent rate must allow touchdown to occur within the 
touchdown zone of the runway of intended landing.
    (vii) Each required pilot flightcrew member must meet the following 
requirements--
    (A) A person exercising the privileges of a pilot certificate 
issued under this chapter, any person serving as a required pilot 
flightcrew member of a U.S.-registered aircraft, or any person serving 
as a required pilot flightcrew member for a part 121, 125, or 135 
operator, must be qualified in accordance with part 61 and, as 
applicable, the training, testing, and qualification provisions of 
subpart K of this part, part 121, 125, or 135 of this chapter that 
apply to the operation; or
    (B) Each person acting as a required pilot flightcrew member for a 
foreign air carrier subject to part 129, or any person serving as a 
required pilot flightcrew member of a foreign registered aircraft, must 
be qualified in accordance with the training requirements of the civil 
aviation authority of the State of the operator for the EFVS operation 
to be conducted.
    (viii) A person conducting operations under this part must conduct 
the operation in accordance with a letter of authorization for the use 
of EFVS unless the operation is conducted in an aircraft that has been 
issued an experimental certificate under Sec.  21.191 of this chapter 
for the purpose of research and development or showing compliance with 
regulations, or the operation is being conducted by a person otherwise 
authorized to conduct EFVS operations under paragraphs (a)(2)(ix) 
through (xii) of this section. A person applying to the FAA for a 
letter of authorization must submit an application in a form and manner 
prescribed by the Administrator.
    (ix) A person conducting operations under subpart K of this part 
must conduct the operation in accordance with management specifications 
authorizing the use of EFVS.
    (x) A person conducting operations under part 121, 129, or 135 of 
this chapter must conduct the operation in accordance with operations 
specifications authorizing the use of EFVS.
    (xi) A person conducting operations under part 125 of this chapter 
must conduct the operation in accordance with operations specifications 
authorizing the use of EFVS or, for a holder of a part 125 letter of 
deviation authority, a letter of authorization for the use of EFVS.
    (xii) A person conducting an EFVS operation during an authorized 
Category II or Category III operation must conduct the operation in 
accordance with operations specifications, management specifications, 
or a letter of authorization authorizing EFVS operations during 
authorized Category II or Category III operations.
    (3) Visibility and visual reference requirements. No pilot 
operating under this section or Sec. Sec.  121.651, 125.381, or 135.225 
of this chapter may continue an approach below the authorized DA/DH and 
land unless:
    (i) The pilot determines that the enhanced flight visibility 
observed by use of an EFVS is not less than the visibility prescribed 
in the instrument approach procedure being used.
    (ii) From the authorized DA/DH to 100 feet above the touchdown zone 
elevation of the runway of intended landing, any approach light system 
or both the runway threshold and the touchdown zone are distinctly 
visible and identifiable to the pilot using an EFVS.
    (A) The pilot must identify the runway threshold using at least one 
of the following visual references--
    (1) The beginning of the runway landing surface;
    (2) The threshold lights; or
    (3) The runway end identifier lights.
    (B) The pilot must identify the touchdown zone using at least one 
of the following visual references--
    (1) The runway touchdown zone landing surface;
    (2) The touchdown zone lights;
    (3) The touchdown zone markings; or
    (4) The runway lights.
    (iii) At 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation of the runway 
of intended landing and below that

[[Page 90174]]

altitude, the enhanced flight visibility using EFVS must be sufficient 
for one of the following visual references to be distinctly visible and 
identifiable to the pilot--
    (A) The runway threshold;
    (B) The lights or markings of the threshold;
    (C) The runway touchdown zone landing surface; or
    (D) The lights or markings of the touchdown zone.
    (4) Additional requirements. The Administrator may prescribe 
additional equipment, operational, and visibility and visual reference 
requirements to account for specific equipment characteristics, 
operational procedures, or approach characteristics. These requirements 
will be specified in an operator's operations specifications, 
management specifications, or letter of authorization authorizing the 
use of EFVS.
    (b) EFVS operations to 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation. 
Except as specified in paragraph (d) of this section, no person may 
conduct an EFVS operation in an aircraft, except a military aircraft of 
the United States, at any airport below the authorized DA/DH or MDA to 
100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation unless the following 
requirements are met:
    (1) Equipment. (i) The aircraft must be equipped with an operable 
EFVS that meets the applicable airworthiness requirements.
    (ii) The EFVS must meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A) 
through (F) of this section, but need not present flare prompt, flare 
guidance, or height above ground level.
    (2) Operations. (i) The pilot conducting the EFVS operation may not 
use circling minimums.
    (ii) Each required pilot flightcrew member must have adequate 
knowledge of, and familiarity with, the aircraft, the EFVS, and the 
procedures to be used.
    (iii) The aircraft must be equipped with, and the pilot flying must 
use, an operable EFVS that meets the equipment requirements of 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
    (iv) The aircraft must continuously be in a position from which a 
descent to a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal 
rate of descent using normal maneuvers.
    (v) For operations conducted under part 121 or part 135 of this 
chapter, the descent rate must allow touchdown to occur within the 
touchdown zone of the runway of intended landing.
    (vi) Each required pilot flightcrew member must meet the following 
requirements--
    (A) A person exercising the privileges of a pilot certificate 
issued under this chapter, any person serving as a required pilot 
flightcrew member of a U.S.-registered aircraft, or any person serving 
as a required pilot flightcrew member for a part 121, 125, or 135 
operator, must be qualified in accordance with part 61 and, as 
applicable, the training, testing, and qualification provisions of 
subpart K of this part, part 121, 125, or 135 of this chapter that 
apply to the operation; or
    (B) Each person acting as a required pilot flightcrew member for a 
foreign air carrier subject to part 129, or any person serving as a 
required pilot flightcrew member of a foreign registered aircraft, must 
be qualified in accordance with the training requirements of the civil 
aviation authority of the State of the operator for the EFVS operation 
to be conducted.
    (vii) A person conducting operations under subpart K of this part 
must conduct the operation in accordance with management specifications 
authorizing the use of EFVS.
    (viii) A person conducting operations under part 121, 129, or 135 
of this chapter must conduct the operation in accordance with 
operations specifications authorizing the use of EFVS.
    (ix) A person conducting operations under part 125 of this chapter 
must conduct the operation in accordance with operations specifications 
authorizing the use of EFVS or, for a holder of a part 125 letter of 
deviation authority, a letter of authorization for the use of EFVS.
    (x) A person conducting an EFVS operation during an authorized 
Category II or Category III operation must conduct the operation in 
accordance with operations specifications, management specifications, 
or a letter of authorization authorizing EFVS operations during 
authorized Category II or Category III operations.
    (3) Visibility and Visual Reference Requirements. No pilot 
operating under this section or Sec.  121.651, Sec.  125.381, or Sec.  
135.225 of this chapter may continue an approach below the authorized 
MDA or continue an approach below the authorized DA/DH and land unless:
    (i) The pilot determines that the enhanced flight visibility 
observed by use of an EFVS is not less than the visibility prescribed 
in the instrument approach procedure being used.
    (ii) From the authorized MDA or DA/DH to 100 feet above the 
touchdown zone elevation of the runway of intended landing, any 
approach light system or both the runway threshold and the touchdown 
zone are distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot using an 
EFVS.
    (A) The pilot must identify the runway threshold using at least one 
of the following visual references-
    (1) The beginning of the runway landing surface;
    (2) The threshold lights; or
    (3) The runway end identifier lights.
    (B) The pilot must identify the touchdown zone using at least one 
of the following visual references--
    (1) The runway touchdown zone landing surface;
    (2) The touchdown zone lights;
    (3) The touchdown zone markings; or
    (4) The runway lights.
    (iii) At 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation of the runway 
of intended landing and below that altitude, the flight visibility must 
be sufficient for--
    (A) The runway threshold;
    (B) The lights or markings of the threshold;
    (C) The runway touchdown zone landing surface; or
    (D) The lights or markings of the touchdown zone.
    (4) Compliance Date. Beginning on March 13, 2018, a person 
conducting an EFVS operation to 100 feet above the touchdown zone 
elevation must comply with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this 
section.
    (c) Public aircraft certification and training requirements. A 
public aircraft operator, other than the U.S. military, may conduct an 
EFVS operation under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section only if:
    (1) The aircraft meets all of the civil certification and 
airworthiness requirements of paragraph (a)(1) or (b)(1) of this 
section, as applicable to the EFVS operation to be conducted; and
    (2) The pilot flightcrew member, or any other person who 
manipulates the controls of an aircraft during an EFVS operation, meets 
the training, recent flight experience and refresher training 
requirements of Sec.  61.66 of this chapter applicable to EFVS 
operations.
    (d) Exception for Experimental Aircraft. The requirement to use an 
EFVS that meets the applicable airworthiness requirements specified in 
paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(iii), (b)(1)(i), and (b)(2)(iii) of this 
section does not apply to operations conducted in an aircraft issued an 
experimental certificate under Sec.  21.191 of this chapter for the 
purpose of research and development or showing compliance with 
regulations, provided the Administrator has determined that the 
operations can be conducted safely in accordance with operating 
limitations issued for that purpose.

[[Page 90175]]


0
20. Amend Sec.  91.189 by revising paragraph (d) introductory text and 
paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.189   Category II and III operations: General operating rules.

* * * * *
    (d) Except as provided in Sec.  91.176 of this part or unless 
otherwise authorized by the Administrator, no pilot operating an 
aircraft in a Category II or Category III approach that provides and 
requires the use of a DA/DH may continue the approach below the 
authorized decision height unless the following conditions are met:
* * * * *
    (e) Except as provided in Sec.  91.176 of this part or unless 
otherwise authorized by the Administrator, each pilot operating an 
aircraft shall immediately execute an appropriate missed approach 
whenever, prior to touchdown, the requirements of paragraph (d) of this 
section are not met.
* * * * *

0
21. Amend Sec.  91.905 by adding an entry for Sec.  91.176 in numerical 
order to read as follows:


Sec.  91.905   List of rules subject to waivers.

Sec.
* * * * *
91.176 Operations below DA/DH or MDA using an enhanced flight vision 
system (EFVS) under IFR.
* * * * *

0
22. Amend Sec.  91.1039 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.1039   IFR takeoff, approach and landing minimums.

* * * * *
    (e) Except as provided in Sec. Sec.  91.175(l) or 91.176 of this 
chapter, each pilot making an IFR takeoff or approach and landing at an 
airport must comply with applicable instrument approach procedures and 
takeoff and landing weather minimums prescribed by the authority having 
jurisdiction over the airport. In addition, no pilot may take off at 
that airport when the visibility is less than 600 feet, unless 
otherwise authorized in the program manager's management specifications 
for EFVS operations.

0
23. Effective March 13, 2018, amend Sec.  91.1039 by revising paragraph 
(e) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.1039   IFR takeoff, approach and landing minimums.

* * * * *
    (e) Except as provided in Sec.  91.176 of this chapter, each pilot 
making an IFR takeoff or approach and landing at an airport must comply 
with applicable instrument approach procedures and takeoff and landing 
weather minimums prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction over 
the airport. In addition, no pilot may take off at that airport when 
the visibility is less than 600 feet, unless otherwise authorized in 
the program manager's management specifications for EFVS operations.

0
24. Amend Sec.  91.1065 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  91.1065   Initial and recurrent pilot testing requirements.

* * * * *
    (g) If the program manager is authorized to conduct EFVS 
operations, the competency check in paragraph (b) of this section must 
include tasks appropriate to the EFVS operations the certificate holder 
is authorized to conduct.

PART 121--OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL 
OPERATIONS

0
25. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 40119, 41706, 
44101, 44701-44702, 44705, 44709-44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722, 
44732; 46105; Pub. L. 111-216, 124 Stat. 2348 (49 U.S.C. 44701 
note); Pub. L. 112-95, 126 Stat. 62 (49 U.S.C. 44732 note).


0
26. Amend Sec.  121.651 by revising paragraphs (b) introductory text, 
(c) introductory text, and (d) introductory text, redesignating 
paragraphs (e) and (f) as paragraphs (f) and (g), and adding new 
paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  121.651   Takeoff and landing weather minimums: IFR: All 
certificate holders.

* * * * *
    (b) Except as provided in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, 
no pilot may continue an approach past the final approach fix, or where 
a final approach fix is not used, begin the final approach segment of 
an instrument approach procedure--
    (c) A pilot who has begun the final approach segment of an 
instrument approach procedure in accordance with paragraph (b) of this 
section, and after that receives a later weather report indicating 
below-minimum conditions, may continue the approach to DA/DH or MDA. 
Upon reaching DA/DH or at MDA, and at any time before the missed 
approach point, the pilot may continue the approach below DA/DH or MDA 
if either the requirements of Sec.  91.175(l) or Sec.  91.176 of this 
chapter, or the following requirements are met:
* * * * *
    (d) A pilot may begin the final approach segment of an instrument 
approach procedure other than a Category II or Category III procedure 
at an airport when the visibility is less than the visibility minimums 
prescribed for that procedure if the airport is served by an operative 
ILS and an operative PAR, and both are used by the pilot. However, no 
pilot may continue an approach below the authorized DA/DH unless the 
requirements of Sec.  91.175(l) or Sec.  91.176 of this chapter, or the 
following requirements are met:
* * * * *
    (e) A pilot may begin the final approach segment of an instrument 
approach procedure, or continue that approach procedure, at an airport 
when the visibility is reported to be less than the visibility minimums 
prescribed for that procedure if the pilot uses an operable EFVS in 
accordance with Sec.  91.176 of this chapter and the certificate 
holder's operations specifications for EFVS operations.
* * * * *

0
27. Effective March 13, 2018, amend Sec.  121.651 by revising 
paragraphs (c) introductory text and (d) introductory text to read as 
follows:


Sec.  121.651   Takeoff and landing weather minimums: IFR: All 
certificate holders.

* * * * *
    (c) A pilot who has begun the final approach segment of an 
instrument approach procedure in accordance with paragraph (b) of this 
section, and after that receives a later weather report indicating 
below-minimum conditions, may continue the approach to DA/DH or MDA. 
Upon reaching DA/DH or at MDA, and at any time before the missed 
approach point, the pilot may continue the approach below DA/DH or MDA 
if either the requirements of Sec.  91.176 of this chapter, or the 
following requirements are met:
* * * * *
    (d) A pilot may begin the final approach segment of an instrument 
approach procedure other than a Category II or Category III procedure 
at an airport when the visibility is less than the visibility minimums 
prescribed for that procedure if the airport is served by an operative 
ILS and an operative PAR, and both are used by the pilot. However, no 
pilot may continue an approach below the authorized DA/DH unless the 
requirements of Sec.  91.176 of this chapter, or the following 
requirements are met:
* * * * *

0
28. In appendix F to part 121, amend the Table by adding new entries 
III(c)(5), V(g), and V(h) to read as follows:

[[Page 90176]]

Appendix F to Part 121--Proficiency Check Requirements

* * * * *

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Required                                Permitted
                                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                       Waiver
      Maneuvers/procedures         Simulated                    Visual     Nonvisual     Training    provisions
                                  instrument     Inflight     simulator    simulator      device       of Sec.
                                  conditions                                                         121.441(d)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           III. Instrument procedures:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
(c) ILS and other instrument
 approaches. There must be the
 following:
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
    (5) For each type of EFVS              B           * B   ...........  ...........  ...........  ............
     operation the certificate
     holder is authorized to
     conduct, at least one
     instrument approach must
     be made using an EFVS.....
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    V. Landings and Approaches to Landings--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
(g) If the certificate holder              B           * B
 is authorized to conduct EFVS
 operations to touchdown and
 rollout, at least one
 instrument approach to a
 landing must be made using an
 EFVS, including the use of
 enhanced flight vision from
 100 feet above the touchdown
 zone elevation to touchdown
 and rollout...................
(h) If the certificate holder              B           * B
 is authorized to conduct EFVS
 operations to 100 feet above
 the touchdown zone elevation,
 at least one instrument
 approach to a landing must be
 made using an EFVS, including
 the transition from enhanced
 flight vision to natural
 vision at 100 feet above the
 touchdown zone elevation......
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
29. In appendix H to part 121, amend ``Level B Training and Checking 
Permitted'' by revising paragraph 3. to read as follows:

Appendix H to Part 121--Advanced Simulation

* * * * *

Level B

Training and Checking Permitted

* * * * *
    3. Except for EFVS operations, landings in a proficiency check 
without the landing on the line requirements (Sec.  121.441).
* * * * *

PART 125--CERTIFICATION AND OPERATIONS: AIRPLANES HAVING A SEATING 
CAPACITY OF 20 OR MORE PASSENGERS OR A MAXIMUM PAYLOAD CAPACITY OF 
6,000 POUNDS OR MORE; AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH 
AIRCRAFT

0
30. The authority citation for part 125 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702, 44705, 
44710-44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722.


0
31. Amend Sec.  125.287 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  125.287   Initial and recurrent pilot testing requirements.

* * * * *
    (g) If the certificate holder is authorized to conduct EFVS 
operations, the competency check in paragraph (b) of this section must 
include tasks appropriate to the EFVS operations the certificate holder 
is authorized to conduct.

0
32. Revise Sec.  125.325 to read as follows:


Sec.  125.325   Instrument approach procedures and IFR landing 
minimums.

    Except as specified in Sec. Sec.  91.175(l) or 91.176 of this 
chapter, no person may make an instrument approach at an airport except 
in accordance with IFR weather minimums and unless the type of 
instrument approach procedure to be used is listed in the certificate 
holder's operations specifications.

0
33. Effective March 13, 2018, revise Sec.  125.325 to read as follows:


Sec.  125.325   Instrument approach procedures and IFR landing 
minimums.

    Except as specified in Sec.  91.176 of this chapter, no person may 
make an

[[Page 90177]]

instrument approach at an airport except in accordance with IFR weather 
minimums and unless the type of instrument approach procedure to be 
used is listed in the certificate holder's operations specifications.

0
34. Amend Sec.  125.381 by revising paragraphs (a)(2), (b), and (c) 
introductory text, and adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  125.381   Takeoff and landing weather minimums: IFR.

    (a) * * *
    (2) Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, 
land an airplane under IFR.
    (b) Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, 
no pilot may execute an instrument approach procedure if the latest 
reported visibility is less than the landing minimums specified in the 
certificate holder's operations specifications.
    (c) A pilot who initiates an instrument approach procedure based on 
a weather report that indicates that the specified visibility minimums 
exist and subsequently receives another weather report that indicates 
that conditions are below the minimum requirements, may continue the 
approach only if the requirements of Sec.  91.175(l) or Sec.  91.176 of 
this chapter, or both of the following conditions are met--
* * * * *
    (d) A pilot may execute an instrument approach procedure, or 
continue the approach, at an airport when the visibility is reported to 
be less than the visibility minimums prescribed for that procedure if 
the pilot uses an operable EFVS in accordance with Sec.  91.176 of this 
chapter and the certificate holder's operations specifications for EFVS 
operations, or for a holder of a part 125 letter of deviation 
authority, a letter of authorization for the use of EFVS.

0
35. Effective March 13, 2018, amend Sec.  125.381 by revising paragraph 
(c) introductory text to read as follows:


Sec.  125.381   Takeoff and landing weather minimums: IFR.

* * * * *
    (c) A pilot who initiates an instrument approach procedure based on 
a weather report that indicates that the specified visibility minimums 
exist and subsequently receives another weather report that indicates 
that conditions are below the minimum requirements, may continue the 
approach only if either the requirements of Sec.  91.176 of this 
chapter, or the following conditions are met--
* * * * *

PART 135--OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: COMMUTER AND ON DEMAND OPERATIONS 
AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH AIRCRAFT

0
36. The authority citation for part 135 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 41706, 40113, 44701-44702, 
44705, 44709, 44711-44713, 44715-44717, 44722, 44730, 45101-45105; 
Public Law 112-95, 126 Stat. 58 (49 U.S.C. 44730).

0
37. Amend Sec.  135.225 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraphs (a) introductory text and (b) introductory text;
0
b. Remove paragraph (d);
0
c. Redesignate paragraph (c) as paragraph (d) and revise it;
0
d. Add new paragraph (c); and
0
e. Add paragraph (j).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  135.225   IFR: Takeoff, approach and landing minimums.

    (a) Except to the extent permitted by paragraphs (b) and (j) of 
this section, no pilot may begin an instrument approach procedure to an 
airport unless--
    (b) A pilot conducting an eligible on-demand operation may begin 
and conduct an instrument approach procedure to an airport that does 
not have a weather reporting facility operated by the U.S. National 
Weather Service, a source approved by the U.S. National Weather 
Service, or a source approved by the Administrator if--
* * * * *
    (c) Except as provided in paragraph (j) of this section, no pilot 
may begin the final approach segment of an instrument approach 
procedure to an airport unless the latest weather reported by the 
facility described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section indicates that 
weather conditions are at or above the authorized IFR landing minimums 
for that procedure.
    (d) A pilot who has begun the final approach segment of an 
instrument approach to an airport under paragraph (c) of this section, 
and receives a later weather report indicating that conditions have 
worsened to below the minimum requirements, may continue the approach 
only if the requirements of Sec.  91.175(l) of this chapter, paragraph 
(j) of this section, or both of the following conditions are met--
    (1) The later weather report is received when the aircraft is in 
one of the following approach phases:
    (i) The aircraft is on an ILS final approach and has passed the 
final approach fix;
    (ii) The aircraft is on an ASR or PAR final approach and has been 
turned over to the final approach controller; or
    (iii) The aircraft is on a non-precision final approach and the 
aircraft--
    (A) Has passed the appropriate facility or final approach fix; or
    (B) Where a final approach fix is not specified, has completed the 
procedure turn and is established inbound toward the airport on the 
final approach course within the distance prescribed in the procedure; 
and
    (2) The pilot in command finds, on reaching the authorized MDA or 
DA/DH, that the actual weather conditions are at or above the minimums 
prescribed for the procedure being used.
* * * * *
    (j) A pilot may begin an instrument approach procedure, or continue 
an approach, at an airport when the visibility is reported to be less 
than the visibility minimums prescribed for that procedure if the pilot 
uses an operable EFVS in accordance with Sec.  91.176 of this chapter 
and the certificate holder's operations specifications for EFVS 
operations.

0
38. Effective March 13, 2018, amend Sec.  135.225 by revising paragraph 
(d) introductory text to read as follows:


Sec.  135.225   IFR: Takeoff, approach and landing minimums.

* * * * *
    (d) Except as provided in paragraph (j) of this section, a pilot 
who has begun the final approach segment of an instrument approach to 
an airport under paragraph (c) of this section, and receives a later 
weather report indicating that conditions have worsened to below the 
minimum requirements, may continue the approach only if the following 
conditions are met--
* * * * *

0
39. Amend Sec.  135.293 by adding paragraph (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  135.293   Initial and recurrent pilot testing requirements.

* * * * *
    (i) If the certificate holder is authorized to conduct EFVS 
operations, the competency check in paragraph (b) of this section must 
include tasks appropriate to the EFVS operations the certificate holder 
is authorized to conduct.
    Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a), and 
44703 in Washington, DC, on November 7, 2016.

Michael P. Huerta,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-28714 Filed 12-12-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P