[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 145 (Thursday, July 30, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37927-37930]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-18192]

Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register

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Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 145 / Thursday, July 30, 2009 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 37927]]


Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 33

[Docket No. FAA-2007-28503; Amendment No. 33-29]
RIN 2120-AJ04

Airworthiness Standards; Fire Protection

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The FAA amends the airworthiness standards for issuance of 
original and amended aircraft engine type certificates for fire 
protection. The new standard will change aircraft engine fire 
protection certification standards to update and harmonize them with 
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) fire protection requirements, 
thereby simplifying airworthiness approvals for import and export 

DATES: This amendment becomes effective September 28, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marc Bouthillier, Engine and Propeller 
Directorate Standards Staff, ANE-111, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 
Aircraft Certification Service, FAA, New England Region, 12 New England 
Executive Park, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803-5299; telephone (781) 
238-7120; fax (781) 238-7199; e-mail [email protected]. For 
legal questions concerning this final rule contact Vincent Bennett, 
Office of the Chief Counsel--Operations, New England Regional Counsel, 
ANE-7, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803-
5299; telephone (781) 238-7044; e-mail [email protected].


Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is 
found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106, 
describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, 
Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's 
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority as described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701, ``General 
requirements.'' Under that section, the Administrator is charged with 
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing 
regulations and minimum standards for practices, methods, and 
procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air 
commerce, including minimum safety standards for aircraft engines. This 
regulation is within the scope of that authority because it updates the 
existing regulations for aircraft engine fire protection.


    In 1989, the FAA met with the European Joint Aviation Authorities, 
United States (U.S.) and European aviation industry representatives to 
harmonize U.S. and European certification standards. Transport Canada 
subsequently joined this effort. The FAA tasked the Aviation Rulemaking 
Advisory Committee (ARAC) through its Engine Harmonization Working 
Group to review existing regulations and recommend changes to remove 
differences in U.S. and European engine certification fire protection 
    Part 33 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR Part 
33) prescribes airworthiness standards for original and amended type 
certificates for aircraft engines certificated in the United States. 
The Certification Specifications for Engines (CS-E) prescribe 
corresponding airworthiness standards for aircraft engine certification 
in Europe by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
    While part 33 and the European regulations are similar, they differ 
in several respects. These differences can result in additional costs 
and delays. This final rule is based on Aviation Rulemaking Advisory 
Committee (ARAC) recommendations to the FAA to harmonize the 

Summary of the Rulemaking

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on 
February 21, 2008 (73 FR 9494) that proposed changes to Sec.  33.17. We 
proposed to change aircraft engine fire protection certification 
standards to update and harmonize them with European Aviation Safety 
Agency (EASA) requirements. The comment period for the NPRM closed on 
May 21, 2008. The new rule will harmonize fire protection certification 
standards for engines certificated in the United States under 14 CFR 
part 33 and in European countries under EASA Certification 
Specifications for Engines (CS-E) and will simplify international type 
certification procedures. The rule will also reflect current industry 
design and FAA certification practices. This final rule adopts the 
proposed rule with minor changes.

Summary of Comments and Discussion of Final Rule

    Two domestic engine manufacturers, General Electric and Pratt & 
Whitney, and two private individuals responded to the NPRM request for 
comments. The commenters supported the proposed rule, suggested minor 
changes to improve clarity, and requested that certain information be 
included in the companion Advisory Circular (AC).
    An individual commenter stated that proposed Sec.  33.17(f) should 
specify drain line flow capacity equal to the maximum flow rate 
possible. We believe specifying flow rate would be overly design 
restrictive and is unnecessary. The rule is clear that no hazardous 
quantity of flammable fluid may accumulate unintentionally, and any 
tube or line intended to drain flammable fluids must be sized properly 
to meet this requirement. Therefore, the rule as proposed already 
addresses the commenter's concern about flow rate capacity. However, 
the companion AC will include guidance for Sec.  33.17(f), and will 
highlight the need for proper drain and vent line flow capacity.
    Pratt & Whitney, General Electric and an individual commenter 
suggested a specific definition for the term ``hazardous quantity'' in 
Sec.  33.17(c), (d)(2), and (f) be included in the companion AC. The 
commenters believe this definition would make FAA's guidance 
``consistent with EASA AMC E-130(1).'' This comment relates to the

[[Page 37928]]

companion AC and not the rule. The public will have the opportunity to 
comment on the companion AC, and the FAA will consider these comments 
in finalizing the revised AC.
    Pratt & Whitney and General Electric commented on the use of the 
phrase ``fire resistant and fireproof'' in the revised rule. Pratt & 
Whitney stated that proposed Sec.  33.17(b) would be more clear if it 
did not specify that ``each external line, fitting, and other 
component, which contains or conveys flammable fluid during normal 
engine operation must be fire resistant or fireproof, as applicable.'' 
The commenter prefers the current language that requires a fire 
resistant standard. The commenter stated that while an advisory 
circular could provide clarification on when a fire resistant or 
fireproof standard is applicable, maintaining the current wording would 
prevent potential confusion.
    We believe the text of Sec.  33.17(b) is consistent with FAA, EASA 
and industry accepted standard certification practice of testing 
varying component types to fire resistant or fireproof standards. 
However, we have replaced the term ``as applicable'' with ``as 
determined by the Administrator'' to reflect the existing practice of 
requiring the applicant to comply with the standard which provides an 
acceptable level of fire protection based on the product design. 
Additionally, the existing AC provides guidance on when a fire 
resistant or fireproof determination is appropriate. The companion AC 
for this new rule will also provide guidance on making fire resistant 
or fireproof determinations, and it will be consistent with current 
industry standard certification practices.
    General Electric and an individual commented on the requirement for 
``fire resistant or fireproof'' protection in proposed Sec.  33.17(e); 
specifically, General Electric stated that the phrase, ``engine control 
system components that are located in a designated fire zone must be 
fire resistant or fireproof, as applicable'' does not state which, if 
any, of the control system components must be fireproof. Although this 
is a new requirement within Sec.  33.17, fire protection requirements 
have been applied to control system components for some time. 
Historically, engine control components have included flammable potting 
materials, and in some applications, fluid cooling circuits have been 
considered. This amendment provides a regulatory standard for a fire 
resistant or a fireproof demonstration, as appropriate for a given 
engine control component design and accommodates varying designs as 
technology evolves over time. The companion AC for this rule will 
provide guidance on making fire resistant or fireproof determinations 
for control systems components and will be consistent with current 
industry standard certification practice.
    One individual suggested that costs would be incurred. We believe 
the individual is referring to the cost of certification, as this is a 
certification requirement, and not a manufacturing requirement. In this 
final rule, as in the NPRM, we have determined there will be a decrease 
in the overall cost of certification for manufacturers. By codifying 
standard certification practices in the United States and in Europe, 
manufacturers will receive cost-savings from eliminating duplicate 
documentation and the need to comply with two separate testing and 
certification standards.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires 
the FAA to consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. We have determined there is 
no current or new requirement for information collection associated 
with this amendment.

International Compatibility

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to comply with 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
determined there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that 
correspond to these regulations.

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

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs that each Federal agency 
shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination 
that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) requires 
agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small 
entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits 
agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to 
the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. 
standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider international 
standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. 
standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 
104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more yearly (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995).
    Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies 
and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. 
If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule 
does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement 
to that effect and the basis for it be included in the preamble if a 
full regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. 
Such a determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning 
for this determination follows:
    Under current regulations, aircraft engine manufacturers must 
satisfy both the FAA and EASA engine certification standards to market 
aircraft in the United States and Europe. Meeting two different sets of 
certification requirements can raise the cost of developing a new 
aircraft engine without increasing safety. This final rule harmonizes 
FAA type certification standards for fire protection with the 
requirements already in existence in Europe, thus simplifying 
airworthiness approvals for import and export. A more streamlined and 
common set of certification standards lowers the cost of airplane 
engine development and fosters international trade.
    The FAA has not attempted to quantify the cost savings that may 
occur, only noting that harmonized standards will contribute to cost 
savings for all part 33 engine manufacturers who seek certification in 
both the United States and in Europe. There is also potential for 
increased safety by having more clear and explicit regulations.
    In the NPRM, we used this same justification to determine that 
costs were minimal and the benefits justified the costs. Although we 
received a comment from an individual questioning the cost savings to 
manufacturers, we received no comments from manufacturers about our 
determination. As manufacturers worked with aviation authorities to 
remove differences in fire protection certification standards, we stand 
by our original determination that the costs are minimal.
    This final rule incorporates EASA certification standards, while

[[Page 37929]]

maintaining the existing level of safety. The benefits of this rule 
justify the costs and existing level of safety will be preserved. The 
Office of Management and Budget has determined that this final rule is 
a ``significant regulatory action'' because it harmonizes U.S. aviation 
standards with those of other civil aviation authorities.

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 large number of small entities. 
If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare an 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.
    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the 
agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required. The certification must include a statement providing the 
factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be 
    Our initial determination showed the requirements would not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, and we 
received no comments about this determination. We conclude that this 
final rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number 
of small entities for two reasons. First, as noted earlier, the net 
effect of the rule will provide regulatory cost relief in the 
certification process. Second, all United States turbine aircraft 
engine manufacturers but one, exceed the Small Business Administration 
small-entity criteria of 1,500 employees for aircraft engine 
manufacturers. United States turbine aircraft engine manufacturers 
include: General Electric, CFM International, Pratt & Whitney, 
International Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce Corporation, Honeywell, and 
Williams International. Williams International is the only one of these 
manufacturers that is a U.S. small business.
    Therefore, as the FAA Administrator, I certify that this final rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.

International Trade Analysis

    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 any 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 standards have a 
legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and do 
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 
notes the purpose is to ensure the safety of the American public, and 
has assessed the effects of this rule to ensure it does not exclude 
imports that meet this objective. As a result this final rule does not 
create unnecessary obstacles to international trade.

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 the spending 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 $136.1 million instead of $100 million.
    This final rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the 
requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA analyzed this final rule under the principles and criteria 
of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. We 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.

Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically 
excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or 
environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy 
Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has 
determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical 
exclusion identified in Chapter 3, paragraph 312f and involves no 
extraordinary circumstances.

Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or 

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

Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    You can get an electronic copy of rulemaking documents using the 
Internet by--
    1. Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);
    2. Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/; or
    3. Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
    You can also get a copy by sending a request to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Make 
sure to identify the amendment number or docket number of this 
    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our 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.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit 

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of

[[Page 37930]]

1996 requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information 
or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its 
jurisdiction. If you are a small entity and you have a question 
regarding this document, you may contact your local FAA official, or 
the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at 
the beginning of the preamble. You can find out more about SBREFA on 
the Internet at http://www.faa.gov/regulationspolicies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 33

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.

The Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration 
amends part 33 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 33) as 


1. The authority citation for part 33 continues to read as follows:

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

2. Section 33.17 is revised to read as follows:

Sec.  33.17   Fire Protection.

    (a) The design and construction of the engine and the materials 
used must minimize the probability of the occurrence and spread of fire 
during normal operation and failure conditions, and must minimize the 
effect of such a fire. In addition, the design and construction of 
turbine engines must minimize the probability of the occurrence of an 
internal fire that could result in structural failure or other 
hazardous effects.
    (b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, each 
external line, fitting, and other component, which contains or conveys 
flammable fluid during normal engine operation, must be fire resistant 
or fireproof, as determined by the Administrator. Components must be 
shielded or located to safeguard against the ignition of leaking 
flammable fluid.
    (c) A tank, which contains flammable fluids and any associated 
shut-off means and supports, which are part of and attached to the 
engine, must be fireproof either by construction or by protection 
unless damage by fire will not cause leakage or spillage of a hazardous 
quantity of flammable fluid. For a reciprocating engine having an 
integral oil sump of less than 23.7 liters capacity, the oil sump need 
not be fireproof or enclosed by a fireproof shield.
    (d) An engine component designed, constructed, and installed to act 
as a firewall must be:
    (1) Fireproof;
    (2) Constructed so that no hazardous quantity of air, fluid or 
flame can pass around or through the firewall; and,
    (3) Protected against corrosion;
    (e) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of 
this section, engine control system components that are located in a 
designated fire zone must be fire resistant or fireproof, as determined 
by the Administrator.
    (f) Unintentional accumulation of hazardous quantities of flammable 
fluid within the engine must be prevented by draining and venting.
    (g) Any components, modules, or equipment, which are susceptible to 
or are potential sources of static discharges or electrical fault 
currents must be designed and constructed to be properly grounded to 
the engine reference, to minimize the risk of ignition in external 
areas where flammable fluids or vapors could be present.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2009.
Lynne A. Osmus,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. E9-18192 Filed 7-29-09; 8:45 am]