[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 180 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57802-57804]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20277]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0841; Product Identifier 2020-NM-087-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for certain Airbus SAS Model A300 F4-605R airplanes and Model A310-324 
airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that certain 
emergency locator transmitter (ELT) lithium batteries lack protection 
against current injection. This proposed AD would require modification 
of the airplane circuit connecting the ELT battery, as specified in a 
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be 
incorporated by reference. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 2, 
2020.

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 https://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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact 
the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 
221 8999 000; 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, 
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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 
and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0841.

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-2020-
0841; 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 NPRM, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be 
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large 
Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 
216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3225; email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2020-0841; 
Product Identifier 2020-NM-087-AD'' at the beginning of your comments. 
The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The FAA will 
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this 
NPRM based on those comments.
    The FAA will post all comments the FAA receives, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive 
verbal contact the FAA receives about this NPRM.

Discussion

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0108, dated May 14, 2020 
(``EASA AD 2020-0108'') (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe 
condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A300-600 series airplanes and 
Model A310 series airplanes.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report that ELT lithium 
batteries lack protection against current injection of 28 Volts DC or 
115 Volts AC. The FAA is proposing this AD to address ELT lithium 
batteries lacking protection against current injection, which could 
induce a local battery fire, even after a significant delay, and could 
result in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants. See the MCAI 
for additional background information.

Related Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0108 describes procedures for modification of the 
airplane circuit connecting the ELT battery by installing a diode. 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.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another 
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to the bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA 
has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI 
referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA 
evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe 
condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other 
products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0108 described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences

[[Page 57803]]

identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a 
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information 
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has 
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation 
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020-0108 
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed 
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0108 in its 
entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences 
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. 
Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular 
section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only 
with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to 
``all required actions and compliance times,'' compliance with this AD 
requirement is not limited to the section titled ``Required Action(s) 
and Compliance Time(s)'' in the EASA AD. Service information specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0108 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-
0108 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov 
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0841 after the FAA 
final rule is published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 6 airplanes of U.S. 
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this 
proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
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                                                                                    Cost per       Cost on U.S.
                          Labor cost                              Parts cost        product         operators
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2 work-hours x $85 per hour = $170...........................             $50             $220           $1,320
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    According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this 
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost 
impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty 
coverage for affected individuals. As a result, the FAA has included 
all known costs in the cost estimate.

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

    The FAA 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) 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.

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 SAS: Docket No. FAA-2020-0841; Product Identifier 2020-NM-
087-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments by November 2, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus SAS airplanes identified in 
paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this AD, certificated in any category, 
as identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 
2020-0108, dated May 14, 2020 (``EASA AD 2020-0108'').
    (1) Model A300 F4-605R airplanes.
    (2) Model A310-324 airplanes.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/
furnishings.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that certain emergency locator 
transmitter (ELT) lithium batteries lack protection against current 
injection. The FAA is issuing this AD to address ELT lithium 
batteries lacking protection against current injection, which could 
induce a local battery fire, even after a significant delay, and 
could result in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.

(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 2020-0108.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0108

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0108 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0108 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (3) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020-0108 specifies to 
``modify the airplane,'' the

[[Page 57804]]

modification includes the testing required in paragraph 3.E. of the 
Accomplishment Instructions of the service information specified in 
paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020-0108.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 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 Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 
Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in 
paragraph (j)(2) 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, Large Aircraft 
Section, International Validation 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 2020-0108 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.

(j) Related Information

    (1) For information about EASA AD 2020-0108, contact the EASA, 
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 
000; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You 
may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, 
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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-
2020-0841.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, 
Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 
Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and 
fax: 206-231-3225; email: [email protected].

    Issued on September 9, 2020.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-20277 Filed 9-15-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P