[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 66 (Thursday, April 8, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18180-18183]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07288]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0266; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00320-T; 
Amendment 39-21503; AD 2021-08-09]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus SAS Model A330-323, -342, and -343 airplanes. This AD was 
prompted by the discovery of an erroneous value in some airplane data 
files that are used for performance computations in the airplane flight 
manual (AFM). This AD requires revising the existing AFM and applicable 
corresponding operational procedures, as specified in a European Union 
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. 
The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these 
products.

DATES: This AD becomes effective April 23, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 23, 
2021.
    The FAA must receive comments on this AD by May 24, 2021.

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 
EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +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 at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2021-0266.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0266; 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, any 
comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket 
Operations is listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 
South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; 
email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0071, dated March 12, 2021 
(EASA AD 2021-0071) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Airbus SAS Model A330-323, -342, and -343 airplanes.

[[Page 18181]]

    This AD was prompted by the discovery of an erroneous value in some 
airplane data files used for AFM performance computations. This 
erroneous value could result in the generation of an incorrect 
displacement drag in the take-off, accelerate-stop, and landing 
distance computations for particular situations. The FAA is issuing 
this AD to prevent these errors, which, in combination with one engine 
inoperative at takeoff, and with more than 50 mm dry snow at an airport 
within an AFM altitude between 8,000 and 12,500 feet, could lead to 
substantially reduced performance of the airplane and possible runway 
overrun, and consequent damage to the airplane and injury to occupants. 
See the MCAI for additional background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0071 specifies procedures for revising the existing 
AFM and applicable corresponding operational procedures to include a 
certification package with the corrected complementary performance data 
file incorporated into the performance database section. 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

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another 
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to the FAA's 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 issuing this AD because the FAA evaluated 
all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists 
and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type 
design.

Requirements of This AD

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 
2021-0071 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except 
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of 
this AD.
    EASA AD 2021-0071 requires operators to ``inform all flight crews'' 
of revisions of the existing AFM, and thereafter to ``operate the 
aeroplane accordingly.'' However, this AD would not specifically 
require those actions as those actions are already required by FAA 
regulations. FAA regulations require operators to inform pilots of any 
changes to the existing AFM (e.g., 14 CFR 121.137(a)(1)), and to ensure 
that pilots are familiar with the existing AFM (e.g., 14 CFR 91.505). 
As with any other training requirement, training on the updated AFM 
content is tracked by the operators and recorded in each pilot's 
training record, which is available for the FAA to review. FAA 
regulations also require pilots to follow the procedures in the 
existing AFM including all updates. 14 CFR 91.9 requires that any 
person operating a civil aircraft comply with the operating limitations 
specified in the existing AFM. Therefore, including a requirement in 
this AD to operate the airplane according to the revised AFM would be 
redundant and unnecessary. Further, compliance with such a requirement 
in an AD would be impracticable to demonstrate or track on an ongoing 
basis; therefore, a requirement to operate the airplane in such a 
manner would be unenforceable.

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 2021-0071 
is incorporated by reference in this final rule. This AD, therefore, 
requires compliance with EASA AD 2021-0071 in its entirety, through 
that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions 
in the regulatory text of this 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 2021-0071 that is 
required for compliance with EASA AD 2021-0071 is available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-
0266.

Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective 
Date

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and 
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds 
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to 
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good 
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking 
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA 
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days, 
upon a finding of good cause.
    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to 
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public 
justifies forgoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule 
because an erroneous value in some airplane data files used for AFM 
performance computations could result in the generation of an incorrect 
displacement drag, and under certain conditions could lead to 
substantially reduced performance of the airplane and possible runway 
overrun, and consequent damage to the airplane and injury to occupants. 
Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B).
    In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days, 
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forgo notice and 
comment.

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under 
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0266; Project Identifier MCAI-
2021-00320-T'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this final rule because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each 
substantive verbal contact received about this final rule.

[[Page 18182]]

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this AD contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this AD, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to 
Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, 
WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; email 
[email protected]. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is 
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket 
for this rulemaking.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good 
cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and 
comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt 
this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 33 airplanes of U.S. 
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
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                                                                                    Cost per       Cost on U.S.
                          Labor cost                              Parts cost        product         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5 work-hours x $85 per hour = $425...........................              $0             $425          $14,025
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 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, and
    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.

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 adding the following new airworthiness 
directive:

2021-08-09 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-21503; Docket No. FAA-2021-0266; 
Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00320-T.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective April 23, 
2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A330-323, A330-342, and 
A330-343 airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 34, Navigation.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the discovery of an erroneous value in 
some airplane data files used for airplane flight manual (AFM) 
performance computations. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent the 
generation of an incorrect displacement drag due to the erroneous 
value, which could lead to substantially reduced performance of the 
airplane and possible runway overrun, and consequent 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, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 
2021-0071, dated March 12, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0071).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0071

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0071 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0071 specifies to 
``implement the AFM CP,'' this AD requires revising the existing AFM 
and applicable corresponding operational procedures to include a 
certification package with the corrected complementary performance 
data file incorporated into the performance database section.
    (3) Whereas paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0071 specifies to 
``inform all flight crews, and, thereafter, operate the aeroplane 
accordingly,'' this AD does not require those actions, which are 
already required by existing FAA operating regulations.
    (4) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2021-0071 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, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, has 
the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the 
procedures

[[Page 18183]]

found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your 
request to your principal inspector or responsible Flight Standards 
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) 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 
responsible Flight Standards 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): Except as required by 
paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, 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.

(j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, 
Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 
Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 
and fax 206-231-3229; email [email protected].

(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.
    (i) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021-0071, 
dated March 12, 2021.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2021-0071, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 
50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +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.
    (4) 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 at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2021-0266.
    (5) 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 April 1, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-07288 Filed 4-6-21; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P