Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -212, and -231 Airplanes, 49213-49215 [05-16753]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 23, 2005 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2005–22170; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM–073–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A320–111, –211, –212, and –231 Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A320–111, –211, –212, and –231 airplanes. This proposed AD would require, for certain airplanes, modifying the cables and access holes to the inner tank fuel pumps; and, for certain other airplanes, inspecting the fuel pump access holes and modifying the access holes, if necessary. This proposed AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to prevent chafing of the fuel pump cables, which could result in electrical arcing and possible ignition of fuel vapors and consequent explosion of the fuel tank. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 22, 2005. Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD. • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for service information identified in this proposed AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, ADDRESSES: VerDate jul<14>2003 16:15 Aug 22, 2005 Jkt 205001 International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4056; telephone (425) 227–2141; fax (425) 227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to submit any relevant written data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed AD. Include the docket number ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2005– 22170; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM– 073–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of our docket Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78), or you may visit http:// dms.dot.gov. Examining the Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647–5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the Docket Management System receives them. Discussion The FAA has examined the underlying safety issues involved in recent fuel tank explosions on several large transport airplanes, including the adequacy of existing regulations, the service history of airplanes subject to those regulations, and existing maintenance practices for fuel tank systems. As a result of those findings, we issued a regulation titled ‘‘Transport Airplane Fuel Tank System Design PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 49213 Review, Flammability Reduction and Maintenance and Inspection Requirements’’ (67 FR 23086, May 7, 2001). In addition to new airworthiness standards for transport airplanes and new maintenance requirements, this rule included Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (‘‘SFAR 88,’’ Amendment 21–78, and subsequent Amendments 21–82 and 21–83). Among other actions, SFAR 88 requires certain type design (i.e., type certificate (TC) and supplemental type certificate (STC)) holders to substantiate that their fuel tank systems can prevent ignition sources in the fuel tanks. This requirement applies to type design holders for large turbine-powered transport airplanes and for subsequent modifications to those airplanes. It requires them to perform design reviews and to develop design changes and maintenance procedures if their designs do not meet the new fuel tank safety standards. As explained in the preamble to the rule, we intended to adopt airworthiness directives to mandate any changes found necessary to address unsafe conditions identified as a result of these reviews. In evaluating these design reviews, we have established four criteria intended to define the unsafe conditions associated with fuel tank systems that require corrective actions. The percentage of operating time during which fuel tanks are exposed to flammable conditions is one of these criteria. The other three criteria address the failure types under evaluation: Single failures, single failures in combination with another latent condition(s), and in-service failure experience. For all four criteria, the evaluations included consideration of previous actions taken that may mitigate the need for further action. The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) has issued a regulation that is similar to SFAR 88. (The JAA is an associated body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities of a number of European States who have agreed to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory standards and procedures.) Under this regulation, the JAA stated that all members of the ECAC that hold type certificates for transport category airplanes are required to conduct a design review against explosion risks. We have determined that the actions identified in this AD are necessary to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1 49214 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 23, 2005 / Proposed Rules ´ ´ The Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus Model A320– 111, –211, –212, and –231 airplanes. The DGAC advises that a design review of the electrical cables and structure around the access holes to the inner tank fuel pumps revealed that cables could be damaged by chafing against sharp edges of the fuel pump access holes. This condition, if not prevented, could result in electrical arcing and possible ignition of fuel vapors and consequent explosion of the fuel tank. Relevant Service Information Airbus has issued, for certain Model A320–111, –211, and –231 airplanes, Service Bulletin A320–28–1008, Revision 1, dated April 10, 1989, which describes procedures for modifying the cables and access holes to the inner tank fuel pumps. The modification includes chamfering the edges of the fuel pump access holes, applying protective material to the chamfered areas, installing backshells to the cable connectors, and securing the cables to the backshells. Airbus has also issued, for certain Model A320–211, –212, and –231 airplanes, Service Bulletin A320–28– 1054, dated August 23, 1993, which describes procedures for performing a visual inspection for correct radius of the fuel pump access holes and, as applicable, modifying the fuel pump access holes. The modification includes chamfering the edges of all access holes to the inner tank fuel pumps and applying protective material to the chamfered areas. The service bulletin also describes procedures for reporting all findings to Airbus. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The DGAC mandated accomplishment of the service bulletins and issued French airworthiness directive F–2005– 031, dated February 16, 2005, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD These airplane models are manufactured in France and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the DGAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation VerDate jul<14>2003 16:15 Aug 22, 2005 Jkt 205001 described above. We have examined the DGAC’s findings, evaluated all pertinent information, and determined that we need to issue an AD for airplanes of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States. Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under ‘‘Difference Between Service Information and the Proposed AD.’’ would take about 3 work hours. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of this proposed modification for U.S. operators is $1,365, or $195 per airplane. For about 10 U.S.-registered airplanes subject to Airbus Service Bulletin A320–28–1054, dated August 23, 1993, the proposed inspection would take about 1 work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of this proposed inspection for U.S. operators is $650, or $65 per airplane. Difference Between French Airworthiness Directive and the Proposed AD The applicability of French airworthiness directive F–2005–031 excludes airplanes that accomplished Airbus Service Bulletin A320–28–1008, Revision 1, in service and airplanes that accomplished Airbus Service Bulletin A320–28–1054 in service. However, we have not excluded those airplanes from the applicability of this proposed AD; rather, this proposed AD includes a requirement to accomplish the actions specified in those service bulletins. This requirement would ensure that the actions specified in the service bulletins and required by this proposed AD are accomplished on all affected airplanes. Operators must continue to operate the airplane in the configuration required by this proposed AD unless an alternative method of compliance is approved. Authority for This Rulemaking Difference Between Service Information and the Proposed AD Although Airbus Service Bulletin A320–28–1054 describes procedures for reporting all findings to Airbus, this proposed AD would not require this report. The FAA does not need this information from operators. Clarification of Inspection Terminology While Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 28–1054 specifies a ‘‘visual inspection,’’ this proposed AD would require a ‘‘general visual inspection’’ to avoid any confusion about the proper type of inspection. We have included a definition of this type of inspection in the proposed AD. Costs of Compliance This proposed AD would affect about 17 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would be performed at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour, and any needed parts would be supplied from operator inventory. For about 7 U.S.-registered airplanes subject to Airbus Service Bulletin A320–28–1008, Revision 1, dated April 10, 1989, the proposed modification PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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. Regulatory Findings We have 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 that the 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); 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. We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation. E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 23, 2005 / Proposed Rules List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, 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 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA–2005–22170; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM–073–AD. Comments Due Date (a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by September 22, 2005. Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A320– 111, –211, –212, and –231 airplanes, certificated in any category, that have not received Airbus Modification 21088 or 21999 in production; and airplanes that have received Airbus Modification 21088 in production and have manufacturer’s serial number 91 to 113 inclusive and 140 to 189 inclusive. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from fuel systems reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing of the fuel pump cables, which could result in electrical arcing and possible ignition of fuel vapors and consequent explosion of the fuel tank. Compliance (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done. Inspection and Modification of Fuel Pump Access Holes (f) Within 58 months after the effective date of this AD, perform the actions required by paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this AD, as applicable. (1) For airplanes that have not received Airbus Modification 21088 or 21999 in production: Modify the cables and access holes to the inner tank fuel pumps, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 28–1008, Revision 1, dated April 10, 1989. (2) For airplanes that have received Airbus Modification 21088 in production and have manufacturer’s serial number 91 to 113 VerDate jul<14>2003 16:15 Aug 22, 2005 Jkt 205001 inclusive and 140 to 189 inclusive: Perform a general visual inspection for the correct radius of the fuel pump access holes and modify the access holes, if necessary, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 28–1054, dated August 23, 1993. Do any applicable repairs before further flight. Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: ‘‘A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.’’ No Reporting Requirement (g) Although Airbus Service Bulletin A320–28–1054, dated August 23, 1993, describes procedures for reporting inspection findings to Airbus, this AD does not require such a report. Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (h) The Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Related Information (i) French airworthiness directive F–2005– 031, dated February 16, 2005, also addresses the subject of this AD. Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 11, 2005. Kalene C. Yanamura, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–16753 Filed 8–22–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–U DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. 2000–NE–42–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company CF34 Series Turbofan Engines Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 49215 directive (AD) for General Electric Company (GE) CF34–1A, –3A, –3A1, –3A2, –3B, and –3B1 turbofan engines. That AD currently requires a onetime inspection, and if necessary replacing certain fan disks for electrical arc-out indications. That AD also reduces the life limit of certain fan disks. This proposed AD would require the same actions and adds one disk part number (P/N) and serial number (SN) to the affected fan disks. This proposed AD results from an error in the first part number and serial number listed in Table 1 of the original AD. We are proposing this AD to prevent rupture of the fan disk due to cracks that initiate at an electrical arc-out, which could result in an uncontained failure of the engine. DATES: We must receive any comments on this proposed AD by October 24, 2005. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to comment on this proposed AD: • By mail: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000–NE– 42–AD, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803–5299. • By fax: (781) 238–7055. • By e-mail: 9-aneadcomment@faa.gov. You can get the service information identified in this proposed AD from GE Aircraft Engines, 1000 Western Avenue, Lynn, MA 01910; Attention: CF34 Product Support Engineering, Mail Zone: 34017; telephone (781) 594–6323; fax (781) 594–0600. You may examine the AD docket at the FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eugene Triozzi, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803–5299; telephone 781–238–7148; fax 781–238–7199. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments regarding this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘AD Docket No. 2000–NE–42–AD’’ in the subject line of your comments. If you want us to acknowledge receipt of your mailed comments, send us a self-addressed, stamped postcard with the docket number written on it; we will datestamp your postcard and mail it back to E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 162 (Tuesday, August 23, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 49213-49215]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-16753]



[[Page 49213]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2005-22170; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-073-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -212, and 
-231 Airplanes

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for certain Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -212, and -231 airplanes. This 
proposed AD would require, for certain airplanes, modifying the cables 
and access holes to the inner tank fuel pumps; and, for certain other 
airplanes, inspecting the fuel pump access holes and modifying the 
access holes, if necessary. This proposed AD results from fuel system 
reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to 
prevent chafing of the fuel pump cables, which could result in 
electrical arcing and possible ignition of fuel vapors and consequent 
explosion of the fuel tank.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 22, 
2005.

ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on 
this proposed AD.
     DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow 
the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
     Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 
Washington, DC 20590.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
     Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. 
and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, 
France, for service information identified in this proposed AD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 
227-2141; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to submit any relevant written data, views, or 
arguments regarding this proposed AD. Include the docket number 
``Docket No. FAA-2005-22170; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-073-AD'' at 
the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the 
overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the 
proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date 
and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://
dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will 
also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA 
personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of our 
docket Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our 
dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or 
signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, 
etc.). You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you 
may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Examining the Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://
dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility office 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647-
5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the DOT 
street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be 
available in the AD docket shortly after the Docket Management System 
receives them.

Discussion

    The FAA has examined the underlying safety issues involved in 
recent fuel tank explosions on several large transport airplanes, 
including the adequacy of existing regulations, the service history of 
airplanes subject to those regulations, and existing maintenance 
practices for fuel tank systems. As a result of those findings, we 
issued a regulation titled ``Transport Airplane Fuel Tank System Design 
Review, Flammability Reduction and Maintenance and Inspection 
Requirements'' (67 FR 23086, May 7, 2001). In addition to new 
airworthiness standards for transport airplanes and new maintenance 
requirements, this rule included Special Federal Aviation Regulation 
No. 88 (``SFAR 88,'' Amendment 21-78, and subsequent Amendments 21-82 
and 21-83).
    Among other actions, SFAR 88 requires certain type design (i.e., 
type certificate (TC) and supplemental type certificate (STC)) holders 
to substantiate that their fuel tank systems can prevent ignition 
sources in the fuel tanks. This requirement applies to type design 
holders for large turbine-powered transport airplanes and for 
subsequent modifications to those airplanes. It requires them to 
perform design reviews and to develop design changes and maintenance 
procedures if their designs do not meet the new fuel tank safety 
standards. As explained in the preamble to the rule, we intended to 
adopt airworthiness directives to mandate any changes found necessary 
to address unsafe conditions identified as a result of these reviews.
    In evaluating these design reviews, we have established four 
criteria intended to define the unsafe conditions associated with fuel 
tank systems that require corrective actions. The percentage of 
operating time during which fuel tanks are exposed to flammable 
conditions is one of these criteria. The other three criteria address 
the failure types under evaluation: Single failures, single failures in 
combination with another latent condition(s), and in-service failure 
experience. For all four criteria, the evaluations included 
consideration of previous actions taken that may mitigate the need for 
further action.
    The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) has issued a regulation that 
is similar to SFAR 88. (The JAA is an associated body of the European 
Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) representing the civil aviation 
regulatory authorities of a number of European States who have agreed 
to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory 
standards and procedures.) Under this regulation, the JAA stated that 
all members of the ECAC that hold type certificates for transport 
category airplanes are required to conduct a design review against 
explosion risks.
    We have determined that the actions identified in this AD are 
necessary to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel 
tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result 
in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

[[Page 49214]]

    The Direction G[eacute]n[eacute]rale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), 
which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified us that an 
unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -
212, and -231 airplanes. The DGAC advises that a design review of the 
electrical cables and structure around the access holes to the inner 
tank fuel pumps revealed that cables could be damaged by chafing 
against sharp edges of the fuel pump access holes. This condition, if 
not prevented, could result in electrical arcing and possible ignition 
of fuel vapors and consequent explosion of the fuel tank.

Relevant Service Information

    Airbus has issued, for certain Model A320-111, -211, and -231 
airplanes, Service Bulletin A320-28-1008, Revision 1, dated April 10, 
1989, which describes procedures for modifying the cables and access 
holes to the inner tank fuel pumps. The modification includes 
chamfering the edges of the fuel pump access holes, applying protective 
material to the chamfered areas, installing backshells to the cable 
connectors, and securing the cables to the backshells.
    Airbus has also issued, for certain Model A320-211, -212, and -231 
airplanes, Service Bulletin A320-28-1054, dated August 23, 1993, which 
describes procedures for performing a visual inspection for correct 
radius of the fuel pump access holes and, as applicable, modifying the 
fuel pump access holes. The modification includes chamfering the edges 
of all access holes to the inner tank fuel pumps and applying 
protective material to the chamfered areas. The service bulletin also 
describes procedures for reporting all findings to Airbus.
    Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is 
intended to adequately address the unsafe condition.
    The DGAC mandated accomplishment of the service bulletins and 
issued French airworthiness directive F-2005-031, dated February 16, 
2005, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in 
France.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

    These airplane models are manufactured in France and are type 
certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of 
section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and 
the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this 
bilateral airworthiness agreement, the DGAC has kept the FAA informed 
of the situation described above. We have examined the DGAC's findings, 
evaluated all pertinent information, and determined that we need to 
issue an AD for airplanes of this type design that are certificated for 
operation in the United States.
    Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which would require 
accomplishing the actions specified in the service information 
described previously, except as discussed under ``Difference Between 
Service Information and the Proposed AD.''

Difference Between French Airworthiness Directive and the Proposed AD

    The applicability of French airworthiness directive F-2005-031 
excludes airplanes that accomplished Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-
1008, Revision 1, in service and airplanes that accomplished Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-28-1054 in service. However, we have not excluded 
those airplanes from the applicability of this proposed AD; rather, 
this proposed AD includes a requirement to accomplish the actions 
specified in those service bulletins. This requirement would ensure 
that the actions specified in the service bulletins and required by 
this proposed AD are accomplished on all affected airplanes. Operators 
must continue to operate the airplane in the configuration required by 
this proposed AD unless an alternative method of compliance is 
approved.

Difference Between Service Information and the Proposed AD

    Although Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1054 describes procedures 
for reporting all findings to Airbus, this proposed AD would not 
require this report. The FAA does not need this information from 
operators.

Clarification of Inspection Terminology

    While Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1054 specifies a ``visual 
inspection,'' this proposed AD would require a ``general visual 
inspection'' to avoid any confusion about the proper type of 
inspection. We have included a definition of this type of inspection in 
the proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

    This proposed AD would affect about 17 airplanes of U.S. registry. 
The proposed actions would be performed at an average labor rate of $65 
per work hour, and any needed parts would be supplied from operator 
inventory.
    For about 7 U.S.-registered airplanes subject to Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-28-1008, Revision 1, dated April 10, 1989, the proposed 
modification would take about 3 work hours. Based on these figures, the 
estimated cost of this proposed modification for U.S. operators is 
$1,365, or $195 per airplane.
    For about 10 U.S.-registered airplanes subject to Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-28-1054, dated August 23, 1993, the proposed inspection 
would take about 1 work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated 
cost of this proposed inspection for U.S. operators is $650, or $65 per 
airplane.

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.

Regulatory Findings

    We have 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 that the 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); 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.
    We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this proposed AD. See the ADDRESSES section for a location 
to examine the regulatory evaluation.

[[Page 49215]]

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, 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

    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]

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

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2005-22170; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-
073-AD.

Comments Due Date

    (a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by September 
22, 2005.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -212, and -
231 airplanes, certificated in any category, that have not received 
Airbus Modification 21088 or 21999 in production; and airplanes that 
have received Airbus Modification 21088 in production and have 
manufacturer's serial number 91 to 113 inclusive and 140 to 189 
inclusive.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from fuel systems reviews conducted by the 
manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing of the fuel 
pump cables, which could result in electrical arcing and possible 
ignition of fuel vapors and consequent explosion of the fuel tank.

Compliance

    (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this 
AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the 
actions have already been done.

Inspection and Modification of Fuel Pump Access Holes

    (f) Within 58 months after the effective date of this AD, 
perform the actions required by paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this 
AD, as applicable.
    (1) For airplanes that have not received Airbus Modification 
21088 or 21999 in production: Modify the cables and access holes to 
the inner tank fuel pumps, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1008, Revision 1, 
dated April 10, 1989.
    (2) For airplanes that have received Airbus Modification 21088 
in production and have manufacturer's serial number 91 to 113 
inclusive and 140 to 189 inclusive: Perform a general visual 
inspection for the correct radius of the fuel pump access holes and 
modify the access holes, if necessary, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1054, 
dated August 23, 1993. Do any applicable repairs before further 
flight.

    Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection 
is: ``A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, 
installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or 
irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching 
distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to 
ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This 
level of inspection is made under normally available lighting 
conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or 
droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or 
doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain 
proximity to the area being checked.''

No Reporting Requirement

    (g) Although Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1054, dated August 
23, 1993, describes procedures for reporting inspection findings to 
Airbus, this AD does not require such a report.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (h) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for 
this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 
CFR 39.19.

Related Information

    (i) French airworthiness directive F-2005-031, dated February 
16, 2005, also addresses the subject of this AD.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 11, 2005.
Kalene C. Yanamura,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 05-16753 Filed 8-22-05; 8:45 am]
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