[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 204 (Friday, October 21, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 72748-72751]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23787]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2015-7526; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-217-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening 
of comment period.

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SUMMARY: We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive 
(AD) for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. 
This action revises the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by 
requiring an additional action for sealant application on some nuts and 
bolts on the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) duct 
assembly and adding a grace period to the compliance time. We are 
proposing this SNPRM to detect and correct corroded circlips. Such 
corrosion could lead to failure of the circlips and consequent movement 
of the FVP and result in a reduction of the flame protector capability 
of the FVP cartridge. Such a condition could result in damage to the 
airplane in case of lightning impact or fire on the ground. Since the 
additional actions impose an additional burden over those proposed in 
the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the 
chance to comment on these proposed changes.

DATES: The comment period for the NPRM published in the Federal 
Register on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79742), is reopened.
    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by December 5, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this SNPRM, contact Airbus, 
Airworthiness Office--EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 
Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 
51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the 
FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. 
For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
425-227-1221.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-
7526; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket 
contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments 
received, and other information. The street address for the Docket 
Office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments 
will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; 
fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address 
listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2015-7526; 
Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-217-AD'' at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this proposed AD based on those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We 
will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we 
receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A318, 
A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the 
Federal Register on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79742) (``the NPRM''). The 
NPRM was prompted by the discovery of corroded circlips in FVPs having 
a certain part number. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection to 
determine the part number and serial number of the FVP, and replacement 
if necessary.

Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM, Airbus has issued revised service 
information to include an additional action to apply sealant on nuts 
and bolts of the NACA duct assembly. Airplanes on which the 
installation in the original service information was done would be 
required to do this additional action. In addition, we determined that 
a grace period is needed so operators have sufficient time to comply 
with the requirements in this proposed AD.
    In addition, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) superseded 
EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0234R1, dated December 11, 2014 
(which was referred to in the NPRM), and issued EASA Airworthiness 
Directive 2016-0114, dated June 15, 2016; corrected June 23, 2016; 
which retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0234R1 and includes an 
additional action.
    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued Airworthiness Directive 2016-0114, dated 
June 15, 2016; corrected June 23, 2016 (referred to after this as the 
Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to 
correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and 
A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    On each aeroplane wing, a NACA duct assembly is installed, 
including a Fuel Vent Protector (FVP) which is used as flame 
arrestor. This FVP is maintained in its NACA duct assembly by a 
circlip (also known as C-clip). Following a wing water pressure 
test, the FVP is removed and dried with heat. During an inspection 
after this test, several circlips were reported to be discoloured. 
Investigation revealed that a batch of circlips fitted on some FVP 
Part Number (P/N) 786073-1-0 have an increased risk of

[[Page 72749]]

corrosion due to a manufacturing quality issue.
    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to 
circlip failure and consequent FVP movement, reducing the flame 
protector capability of the FVP cartridge, possibly resulting in 
damage to the aeroplane in case of lightning impact or fire on 
ground.
    Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-28-1221, providing 
instructions for identification by serial number (s/n) and removal 
from service of the affected FVP P/N 786073-1-0, and EASA issued AD 
2014-0234, later revised, to require those actions and to implement 
installation requirements for the FVP.
    After that [EASA] AD was issued, one step in the FVP re-
installation instructions was identified as missing. Consequently, 
Airbus revised SB A320-28-1221 to provide instructions for sealant 
installation on some nuts and bolts on the NACA duct assembly.
    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the 
requirements of EASA AD 2014-0234R1, which is superseded, and 
requires additional work for aeroplanes already modified in 
accordance with Airbus SB A320-28-1221 original issue or Revision 
01.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-
7526.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-28-1221, Revision 02, dated 
January 11, 2016. The service information describes procedures for 
inspecting the FVP to determine the part number and serial number, 
replacing any affected FVP, and applying sealant to the nuts and bolts 
of the FVP. This service information is reasonably available because 
the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of 
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this proposed AD. We considered the comments received.

Request To Refer to Revised Service Information

    Airbus requested that the service information referred to in the 
NPRM be revised. Since the NPRM was published, Airbus issued Service 
Bulletin A320-28-1221, Revision 02, dated January 11, 2016, which 
includes an additional action (i.e., the application of sealant to the 
nuts and bolts of a FVP after installation). The additional action was 
not included in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-28-1221, Revision 01, dated June 23, 2015, which was 
referred to as the appropriate source of service information for 
accomplishing the required actions proposed in the NPRM.
    We agree with the commenter's request to refer to the revised 
service information in this SNPRM. We have revised paragraphs (g) and 
(i) of this proposed AD to refer to the revised service information, 
Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1221, Revision 02, dated January 11, 
2016.

Request To Extend the Compliance Time

    American Airlines (AAL) requested that the compliance time in 
paragraph (h) of the proposed AD be changed from ``at the earliest of 
the times'' to ``at the latest of the times,'' or be simplified to 
``within 6 months after the effective date.'' AAL stated that its 4 
affected airplanes would be out of compliance when the NPRM became a 
final rule because the airplanes have already accumulated approximately 
9,000 flight hours and 4,000 flight cycles, and have been in service 
for 34 months.
    We partially agree with the commenter's request. We revised 
paragraph (h) of this proposed AD to include a grace period of 30 days 
from the effective date of the AD to accomplish the required actions. 
In regard to the compliance times in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and 
(h)(3) of this AD, we do not agree to change ``at the earliest of the 
times'' to ``at the latest of the times,'' or to simplify the 
compliance time to ``within 6 months after the effective date of this 
AD.'' In developing an appropriate compliance time, we considered the 
safety implications and the time necessary to do the inspection to 
determine the part number and serial number of the FVP, and any 
necessary replacements. In light of these items, we have determined 
that the compliance times specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and 
(h)(3) of this proposed AD are appropriate. However, under the 
provisions of paragraph (k)(1) of this proposed AD, we will consider 
requests for approval of an extension of the compliance time if 
sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the extension would 
provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD 
regarding this issue.

Request To Revise Costs of Compliance

    AAL requested that the ``Costs of Compliance'' section of the NPRM 
be revised to increase the number of work-hours from 5 to 12. AAL 
stated that there are multiple positions on each airplane that need to 
be inspected and may need corrective actions.
    We agree with the commenter's request. Based on the reason provided 
by the commenter, and the new additional action included in this SNPRM, 
we have revised the ``Costs of Compliance'' section to increase the 
work-hours from 5 to 19.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another 
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have 
been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service 
information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we 
evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition 
exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these 
same type designs.
    Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM. As a 
result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment 
period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on 
this SNPRM.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this SNPRM affects 7 airplanes of U.S. registry.
    We also estimate that it would take about 19 work-hours per product 
to comply with the new basic requirements of this SNPRM. The average 
labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about 
$25,640 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of 
this SNPRM on U.S. operators to be $190,785, or $27,255 per product.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. 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.
    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
``Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General 
requirements.'' Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with 
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing 
regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator 
finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within 
the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition 
that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this 
rulemaking action.

[[Page 72750]]

Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship 
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed 
regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866;
    2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);
    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and
    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-7526; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-
217-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 5, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1), 
(c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, 
all manufacturer serial numbers.
    (1) Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.
    (2) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, 
and -133 airplanes.
    (3) Airbus Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 
airplanes.
    (4) Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, 
and -232 airplanes.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the discovery of corroded circlips in 
fuel vent protectors (FVP) having a certain part number. We are 
issuing this AD to detect and correct corroded circlips. Such 
corrosion could lead to failure of the circlips and consequent 
movement of the FVP and result in a reduction of the flame protector 
capability of the FVP cartridge, which could result in damage to the 
airplane in case of lightning impact or fire on the ground.

(f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, 
unless already done.

(g) Inspection of FVP and Corrective Action

    For airplanes having a manufacturer serial number specified in 
figure 1 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD: At the time specified 
in paragraph (h) of this AD, do an inspection to determine the part 
number and serial number of the FVP. If the FVP has part number (P/
N) 786073-1-0 with a serial number that is specified in figure 2 to 
paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD, and the FVP is not marked ``Amdt 
B,'' replace the FVP with a serviceable part, at the time specified 
in paragraph (h) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1221, Revision 02, 
dated January 11, 2016. A review of airplane maintenance records is 
acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number and serial 
number of the FVP can be conclusively determined from that review.

    Figure 1 to Paragraphs (g) and (i) of This AD--Affected Airplane
                       Manufacturer Serial Numbers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
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                                           5438
                                           5441
                                           5444
                                           5445
                                           5447
                                           5457
                                           5459
                                           5460
                                           5461
                                           5463
                                           5464
                                           5469
                    5473 through 5478 inclusive
                                           5481
                                           5482
                                           5483
                    5485 through 5488 inclusive
                    5490 through 5493 inclusive
                    5495 through 5505 inclusive
                    5507 through 5515 inclusive
                                           5517
                                           5518
                    5520 through 5527 inclusive
                                           5530
                                           5536
                                           5539
                                           5541
                                           5544
                                           5547
                                           5551
                                           5553
                                           5556
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        Figure 2 to Paragraphs (g) and (i) of This AD--Affected Serial Numbers for Part Number 786073-1-0
                                        [Manufactured during August 2012]
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                        Serial number 786073IN0xxxx (xxxx indicates the last four digits)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           3752               3821               3868               3911               3966               4010
           3753               3826               3871               3914               3967               4011
           3754               3827               3874               3922               3969               4013
           3755               3829               3877               3925               3971               4017
           3756               3830               3878               3927               3972               4019
           3757               3833               3882               3930               3977               4023
           3758               3834               3893               3937               3978               4024
           3759               3836               3897               3938               3980               4025
           3760               3839               3898               3940               3981               4026
           3761               3840               3899               3945               3982               4039
           3787               3848               3900               3946               3983               4048
           3788               3849               3901               3947               3984               4065
           3810               3850               3904               3948               3985               4066
           3812               3851               3905               3951               3986               4068
           3814               3853               3906               3961               3987               4070
           3817               3859               3907               3962               3996               4184
           3819               3860               3908               3964               3997               4187
           3820               3867               3910               3965               4009               None
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 72751]]

(h) Compliance Times for the Requirements of Paragraph (g) of This AD

    Do the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD at the 
earliest of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and 
(h)(3) of this AD, or within 30 days after the effective date of 
this AD, whichever occurs later.
    (1) Before the accumulation of 5,000 total flight cycles after 
the date of manufacture of the airplane.
    (2) Before the accumulation of 7,500 total flight hours after 
the date of manufacture of the airplane.
    (3) Within 30 months after the date of manufacture of the 
airplane.

(i) Exclusion From Actions Required by Paragraph (g) of This AD

    An airplane that does not have a manufacturer serial number 
specified in figure 1 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD is 
excluded from the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, provided 
that, a FVP having P/N 786073-1-0 with a serial number specified in 
figure 2 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD has not been installed 
on that airplane after July 2012. If a FVP having P/N 786073-1-0 
with a serial number specified in figure 2 to paragraphs (g) and (i) 
of this AD is installed, or the serial number cannot be identified: 
Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the 
FVP with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1221, Revision 02, 
dated January 11, 2016. A review of airplane maintenance records is 
acceptable if it can be conclusively determined from that review 
that a FVP having a serial number specified in figure 2 to 
paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD has not been installed on that 
airplane after July 2012.

(j) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, a FVP having P/N 786073-1-0 
and a serial number listed in figure 2 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of 
this AD may be installed on any airplane, provided the FVP is marked 
with ``Amdt B.''

(k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using 
the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 
39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight 
Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information 
directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay 
Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-
3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be 
emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. Before using any 
approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or 
lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight 
standards district office/certificate holding district office.
    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD 
to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be 
accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International 
Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the 
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design 
Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval 
must include the DOA-authorized signature.
    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information 
contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those 
procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any 
procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. 
Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be 
deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the 
operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining 
approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as 
RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy 
condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests 
identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information 
(MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0114, dated June 15, 2016; 
corrected June 23, 2016; for related information. This MCAI may be 
found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov 
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7526.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Airbus, Airworthiness Office--EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 
31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 
61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at 
the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., 
Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at 
the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 26, 2016.
Dionne Palermo,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-23787 Filed 10-20-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P