[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 31 (Friday, February 14, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8383-8386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-02974]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2019-0673; Product Identifier 2019-NM-101-AD; Amendment 
39-19832; AD 2020-02-20]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-24-
07, which applied to certain Airbus SAS Model A318 series airplanes; 
Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; 
A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-
111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. AD 2014-
24-07 required repetitive rototest inspections for cracking; corrective 
actions if necessary; and modification of the torsion box, which 
terminates the repetitive inspections. This AD continues to require the 
actions in AD 2014-24-07, with certain revised compliance times, as 
specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which 
is incorporated by reference. This AD was prompted by a report of a 
crack found in the side box beam flange of the fuselage at the frame 
(FR) 43 level during a fatigue test campaign. The FAA is issuing this 
AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective March 20, 2020.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publication listed in this AD as of March 20, 
2020.

ADDRESSES: For the material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, 
contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; 
telephone +49 221 89990 1000; email [email protected]; internet 
www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website 
at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the 
FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. 
For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
206-231-3195. It is also available in the AD docket on the internet at 
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for

[[Page 8384]]

and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0673.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-
0673; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and 
other information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 
216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0122, dated June 4, 2019 
(``EASA AD 2019-0122'') (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe 
condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A318 airplanes; Model A319-111, 
-112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; A320-211, -212, 
-214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -
131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. Model A320-215 
airplanes are not certified by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. 
type certificate data sheet; this AD therefore does not include those 
airplanes in the applicability.
    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2014-24-07, Amendment 39-18040 (79 FR 
72124, December 5, 2014) (``AD 2014-24-07''). AD 2014-24-07 applied to 
certain Airbus SAS Model A318 series airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -
113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; A320-211, -212, -214, 
-231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -
212, -213, -231, -232 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal 
Register on September 6, 2019 (84 FR 46900). The NPRM was prompted by a 
report of a crack found in the side box beam flange of the fuselage at 
the FR 43 level during a fatigue test campaign. The NPRM proposed to 
continue to require repetitive rototest inspections for cracking; 
corrective actions if necessary; and modification of the torsion box, 
which would terminate the repetitive inspections. The NPRM also 
proposed to require certain revised compliance times. The FAA is 
issuing this AD to address cracking in the side box beam flange of the 
fuselage, which could affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

Comments

    The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in 
developing this final rule. The following presents the comments 
received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM

    United Airlines stated its support for the NPRM.

Request To Use a Certain Revision of the Service Information

    JetBlue requested that Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1251, 
Revision 03, dated September 19, 2016, and not Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-53-1251, Revision 04, dated May 17, 2019, be used for 
accomplishing the actions specified in the proposed AD and paragraphs 
(2) and (3) of EASA AD 2019-0122. JetBlue stated that Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-53-1251, Revision 04, dated May 17, 2019, does not 
require any additional work compared to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-
53-1251, Revision 03, dated September 19, 2016.
    The FAA disagrees with the commenter's request. Paragraph (2) of 
EASA AD 2019-0122 specifically requires compliance in accordance with 
Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1251, Revision 04, dated May 17, 2019, 
due to changes highlighted in the Accomplishment Instructions for 
certain configurations. However, paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2019-0122 
provides credit for Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1251, dated 
November 16, 2012; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1251, Revision 01, 
dated October 18, 2013; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1251, Revision 
02, dated February 11, 2016; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1251, 
Revision 03, dated September 19, 2016; if the actions are accomplished 
before the effective date of the AD. This AD provides the same 
allowance for credit since EASA AD 2019-0122 is incorporated by 
reference. This AD has not been changed in this regard.

Request To Clarify the Applicability

    Delta Airlines (DAL) requested that certain language be added to 
the applicability paragraph of the proposed AD. DAL stated that 
paragraph (c) of the proposed AD applies to certain Model A310, A320, 
and A321 family airplanes as identified in EASA AD 2019-0122. DAL 
stated that EASA AD 2019-0122 provides additional applicability 
details, namely exclusions of manufacturer serial numbers based upon a 
certain Airbus modification embodied in production. DAL suggested that 
similar language be added to paragraph (c) of the proposed AD.
    The FAA agrees to clarify the applicability of this AD. By 
incorporation by reference of EASA AD 2019-0122 into this AD, the same 
production modification applicability exceptions identified in EASA AD 
2019-0122 apply to this AD. These exceptions are addressed by the 
statement ``. . . as identified in European Aviation Safety Agency 
(EASA) AD 2019-0122'' in paragraph (c) of this AD. We have not changed 
this AD in this regard.
    In addition, this AD and EASA AD 2019-0122 are not applicable to 
Model A310 airplanes as the commenter stated. This AD has not been 
changed in this regard.

Conclusion

    The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments 
received, and determined that air safety and the public interest 
require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor 
editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2019-0122 describes procedures for repetitive rototest 
inspections for cracking; corrective actions if necessary; and 
modification of the torsion box, which terminates the repetitive 
inspections. This material 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.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 851 airplanes of U.S. 
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

[[Page 8385]]



                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
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                                                                                     Cost per      Cost on U.S.
                Action                         Labor cost           Parts cost        product        operators
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Retained actions from AD 2014-24-07...  178 work-hours x $85 per         $31,334         $46,464     $39,540,864
                                         hour = $15,130.
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    The new requirements of this AD add no new economic burden.
    The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the 
agency to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified 
in this AD.

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.
    The FAA is 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.

Regulatory Findings

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 
13132. This AD will 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 that this AD:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,
    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) 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.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2014-24-07, Amendment 39-18040 (79 FR 72124, December 5, 2014), and 
adding the following new AD:

2020-02-20 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19832; Docket No. FAA-2019-0673; 
Product Identifier 2019-NM-101-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective March 20, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2014-24-07, Amendment 39-18040 (79 FR 72124, 
December 5, 2014) (``AD 2014-24-07'').

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus SAS airplanes specified in paragraphs 
(c)(1) through (4) of this AD, certificated in any category, as 
identified in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0122, 
dated June 4, 2019 (``EASA AD 2019-0122'').
    (1) Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.
    (2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 
airplanes.
    (3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 
airplanes.
    (4) Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 
airplanes.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a crack found in the side 
box beam flange of the fuselage at the frame (FR) 43 level during a 
fatigue test campaign. The FAA is issuing this AD to address 
cracking in the side box beam flange of the fuselage, which could 
affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, EASA AD 2019-0122.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0122

    (1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements 
of this AD: Where EASA AD 2019-0122 refers to its effective date, 
this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. However, where 
Table 1 of EASA AD 2019-0122 provides compliance times for group 1B 
airplanes as ``[w]ithin 3,000 FC or 6,000 FH'' after a given date, 
this AD requires that those compliance times be calculated 3,000 
flight cycles or 6,000 flight hours, ``whichever occurs first'' 
after January 9, 2015 (the effective date of AD 2014-24-07).
    (2) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2019-0122 does not apply 
to this AD.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
International Section, Transport Standards Branch, 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 Section, send it to the attention of 
the person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD. Information may 
be emailed to: [email protected]. 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 instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be 
accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International 
Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS's 
EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the 
approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.
    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information 
referenced in EASA AD 2019-0122 that contains RC procedures and 
tests, except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, RC 
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.

[[Page 8386]]

(j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, 
Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards 
Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 
and fax 206-231-3223.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.
    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on 
March 20, 2020.
    (i) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0122, 
dated June 4, 2019.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (4) For information about EASA AD 2019-0122, contact the EASA, 
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 
89990 6017; email [email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. 
You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu.
    (5) You may view this material at the FAA, Transport Standards 
Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the 
availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. This 
material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-
2019-0673.
    (6) You may view this material that is incorporated by reference 
at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For 
information on the availability of this material at NARA, email 
[email protected], or go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on January 29, 2020.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-02974 Filed 2-13-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P