[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 236 (Thursday, December 8, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 76686-76688]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31423]



49 CFR Part 830

Notification and Reporting of Aircraft Accidents or Incidents and 
Overdue Aircraft, and Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail, Cargo, 
and Records

AGENCY: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: The NTSB is proposing to amend its regulations concerning 
notification and reporting requirements with regard to aircraft 
accidents or incidents, found at paragraph (a)(10) of section 830.5, 
entitled, ``Immediate notification.'' Currently, 49 CFR 830.5(a)(10) 
requires reports of Airborne Collision and Avoidance System (ACAS) 
advisories issued under certain specific circumstances. The NTSB now 
proposes to narrow the ACAS reporting requirement in section 

DATES: Submit comments on or before February 6, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments using any of the following methods:
    1. Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
    2. Mail: Mail comments concerning this proposed rule to Scott 
Dunham, AS-30, National Transportation Safety Board, 490 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW., Washington, DC 20594-2000.
    3. Fax: (202) 314-6308, Attention: Scott Dunham.
    4. Hand Delivery: 6th Floor, 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, 
DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Dunham, National Resource 
Specialist--ATC, Office of Aviation Safety, (202) 314-6387.


Regulatory History

    On January 7, 2010, the NTSB published a final rule entitled, 
``Notification and Reporting of Aircraft Accidents or Incidents and 
Overdue Aircraft, and Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail, Cargo, 
and Records,'' in the Federal Register (75 FR 922). The final rule 
implemented several changes to section 830.5, requiring immediate 
notification of a variety of specific incidents, one of which was 
certain ACAS advisories. In accordance with the Administrative 
Procedure Act, prior to issuing the final rule, the NTSB published a 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal

[[Page 76687]]

Register to invite comments concerning the proposed changes. (73 FR 
58520; October 7, 2008). Several commenters stated they believed the 
language of section 830.5(a)(10), concerning ACAS advisories, would 
require reports of all ACAS advisories. In issuing the final rule, the 
NTSB attempted to clarify section 830.5(a)(10) by assuring commenters--
in the preamble published in the Federal Register--that the NTSB only 
sought ACAS advisories in the following circumstances: ``(1) When an 
aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan 
and compliance with the advisory is necessary to avert a substantial 
risk of collision between two or more aircraft; or (2) to an aircraft 
operating in class A airspace.'' 75 FR at 923.
    Although the NTSB believed the language of the final rule 
adequately conveyed the limited circumstances in which the NTSB would 
require notification of ACAS advisories, the NTSB has since determined 
it would achieve the same safety objective by receiving reports under a 
more specific set of circumstances. Therefore, the NTSB now proposes to 
amend the language of the rule to eliminate notifications of events 
where the only resolution advisory received by the flight crew is 
``monitor vertical speed.'' Review of numerous TCAS events by Safety 
Board investigators has shown ``monitor vertical speed'' advisories 
typically occur in situations where there is no collision risk, and in 
encounters where separation between aircraft deteriorates TCAS will 
generate additional resolution advisories containing instructions to 
climb or descend. As notification of those advisories will continue to 
be required under the modified rule, the effect of this change will be 
to eliminate the need for operators to notify the NTSB of events which 
present no actual or potential hazard. The intent of the notification 
requirement is to allow the NTSB to review potentially hazardous 
encounters. We conclude this change will not significantly reduce our 
ability to do so.

Statutory and Regulatory Evaluation

    This proposed rule would amend the requirements for providing 
immediate notification to the NTSB of certain ACAS advisories, reducing 
the number of required notifications by aircraft operators.
    This proposed rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 
and does not require an assessment of the potential costs and benefits 
under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. As such, the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed this proposed rule under Executive 
Order 12866. In addition, on July 11, 2011, the President issued 
Executive Order 13579, ``Regulation and Independent Regulatory 
Agencies,'' 76 FR 41587, July 14, 2011). Section 2(a) of the Executive 
Order states:

independent regulatory agencies ``should consider how best to 
promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, 
ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, 
streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been 

76 FR at 41587.
    Consistent with Executive Order 13579, the NTSB's proposed 
amendments to section 830(a)(10) reflect its judgment that certain 
types of ACAS notifications are unnecessary and, therefore, the 
notification and reporting requirements should be streamlined. This 
proposed rule does not require an analysis under the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act, 2 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1501-1571, or the National 
Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347.
    In addition, the NTSB has considered whether this proposed rule 
would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612). The NTSB certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the NTSB will 
submit this certification to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the 
Small Business Administration.
    This proposed rule would not require collection of new information 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). 
Operators have the option of notifying the NTSB of an ACAS advisory 
that fulfills the requirements of this rule via telephone, email, or 
web-based form. The NTSB is working with the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, to obtain an OMB control number under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act to display on the web-based form.
    The NTSB does not anticipate that this proposed rule will have a 
substantial, direct effect on state or local governments or will 
preempt state law; as such, this proposed rule does not have 
implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism. 
This proposed rule also complies with all applicable standards in 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice 
Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. 
In addition, the NTSB has evaluated this proposed rule under: Executive 
Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights; Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks; Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments; Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning 
Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or 
Use; and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, 15 
U.S.C. 272 note. The NTSB has concluded that this proposed rule does 
not contravene any of the requirements set forth in these Executive 
Orders or statutes, nor does this proposal prompt further consideration 
with regard to such requirements. The NTSB invites comments relating to 
any of the foregoing determinations and notes that the most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

Discussion of Proposed Revision

    As noted above, the NTSB proposes to amend section 830.5(a)(10) to 
require the reporting of:
    Airborne Collision and Avoidance System (ACAS) advisories issued 
    i. When an aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight rules 
flight plan and compliance with the advisory is necessary to avert a 
substantial risk of collision between two or more aircraft; or
    ii. To an aircraft operating in class A airspace, unless the 
advisory received only instructs the pilot to ``monitor vertical 
    The NTSB believes such an update will sufficiently clarify the 
types of reports of ACAS advisories the NTSB seeks, and adequately 
narrow the reporting requirement.
    In addition, as the NTSB pointed out in the October 2008 NPRM 
proposing this requirement, the International Civil Aviation 
Organization (ICAO) had noted the NTSB's regulations did not previously 
require the notification of any air proximity events. The amendment the 
NTSB now proposes to section 830.5(a)(10) continues to require reports 
of ACAS advisories, but narrows the requirement to exclude advisories 
that merely instruct pilots to monitor their vertical speed.
    The NTSB believes the proposed change to section 830.5(a)(10) will 
continue to assist in achieving the NTSB's purpose of improving 

[[Page 76688]]

safety, while ensuring the language of the rule only requires 
notifications regarding specific ACAS advisories that the NTSB may seek 
to investigate.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 830

    Aircraft accidents, Aircraft incidents, Aviation safety, Overdue 
aircraft notification and reporting, Reporting and recordkeeping 

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the NTSB proposes to 
amend 49 CFR part 830 as follows:


    1. The authority citation for 49 CFR part 830 should continue to 
read as follows:

    Authority:  Independent Safety Board Act of 1974, as amended (49 
U.S.C. 1101--1155); Federal Aviation Act of 1958, Pub. L. 85-726, 72 
Stat. 731 (codified as amended at 49 U.S.C. 40101).

    2. Section 830.5 is amended as follows:

Sec.  830.5  Immediate notification.

    The operator of any civil aircraft, or any public aircraft not 
operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United 
States, or any foreign aircraft shall immediately, and by the most 
expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation 
Safety Board (NTSB) office,\1\ when:

    \1\ NTSB regional offices are located in the following cities: 
Anchorage, Alaska; Atlanta, Georgia; West Chicago, Illinois; Denver, 
Colorado; Arlington, Texas; Gardena (Los Angeles), California; 
Miami, Florida; Parsippany, New Jersey (metropolitan New York City); 
Seattle, Washington; and Ashburn, Virginia. In addition, NTSB 
headquarters is located at 490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 
20594. Contact information for these offices is available at http://www.ntsb.gov.

    (a) An aircraft accident or any of the following listed serious 
incidents occur:
* * * * *
    (10) Airborne Collision and Avoidance System (ACAS) resolution 
advisories issued either:
    (i) When an aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight 
rules flight plan and compliance with the advisory is necessary to 
avert a substantial risk of collision between two or more aircraft; or
    (ii) To an aircraft operating in class A airspace, unless the only 
advisory received is to ``monitor vertical speed'';
* * * * *

    Dated: December 1, 2011.
Deborah A.P. Hersman,
[FR Doc. 2011-31423 Filed 12-7-11; 8:45 am]