Service Difficulty Reports, 76974-76979 [05-24536]

Download as PDF 76974 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 249 / Thursday, December 29, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Actions Accomplished Per Previous Release of the Service Bulletin DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. (b) Actions accomplished prior to the effective date of this AD in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320–27–1132, dated March 14, 2001, are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions required by this AD. Adoption of the Correction No Reporting Requirement RIN 2120–AI08 Therefore, the FAA has determined that notice and public procedures are unnecessary. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows: I PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Corrected] 2. Section 39.13 is amended by correctly adding the following airworthiness directive (AD): I Detailed Inspection and Corrective Action sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES (a) Within 800 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, perform a detailed inspection to determine the position of each tail cone triangle in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–27–1132, Revision 01, dated June 19, 2002. If the position of the tail cone triangle is not within the limits specified in the service bulletin: Within 3,500 flight hours after the inspection, re-rig the elevator servo controls to adjust the elevator neutral setting, and change the position of the tail cone triangle, in accordance with the service bulletin. Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is defined as: ‘‘An intensive visual examination of a specific structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at intensity deemed appropriate by the inspector. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate access procedures may be required.’’ 19:06 Dec 28, 2005 Jkt 208001 Alternative Methods of Compliance (d)(1) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, is authorized to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD. (2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office. Incorporation by Reference 2005–22–10 R1 Airbus: Amendment 39– 14354. Docket 2002–NM–298–AD. Applicability: Model A320–111, –211, –212, –214, –231, –232, and –233 airplanes, certificated in any category; as listed in Airbus Service Bulletin A320–27–1132, Revision 01, dated June 19, 2002. Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously. To prevent excessive vibrations of the elevators, which could result in reduced structural integrity and reduced controllability of the airplane, accomplish the following: VerDate Aug<31>2005 (c) Although the service bulletin specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include such a requirement. (e) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions must be done in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320–27–1132, Revision 01, excluding Appendix 01, dated June 19, 2002. This incorporation by reference was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of December 5, 2005 (70 FR 62232, October 31, 2005). To get copies of this service information, contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. To inspect copies of this service information, go to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741– 6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/ federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. Note 2: The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directive 2002– 514(B) R1, dated November 13, 2002. Effective Date (f) The effective date of this amendment remains December 5, 2005. Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 15, 2005. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–24525 Filed 12–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 14 CFR Parts 121, 125, 135, and 145 [Docket No. FAA–2000–7952; Amendment Nos. 121–319, 125–49, 135–102, and 145– 26] Service Difficulty Reports Federal Aviation Administration, DOT. ACTION: Final rule and withdrawal of delayed final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is withdrawing a delayed final rule published on September 15, 2000. That final rule would have amended the reporting requirements for certificate holders concerning failures, malfunctions, and defects of aircraft, aircraft engines, systems, and components. We are withdrawing this rule to allow the FAA time to re-examine the service difficulty report (SDR) program and consider the comments received since the delayed final rule was published. In this action we are also adopting several amendments that improve the functioning of the SDR program. DATES: This amendment becomes effective January 30, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Emilio Estrada, Flight Standards Service, Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS–300), Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267–5571, e-mail emilio.estrada@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability of Rulemaking Documents You can get an electronic copy of rulemaking documents using the Internet by— (1) Searching the Department of Transportation’s electronic Docket Management System (DMS) Web site (http://dms.dot.gov/search); (2) Visiting the FAA’s Regulations and Policies Web page at http:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/; or (3) Accessing the Government Printing Office’s Web page at http:// www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. You can also get a copy by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM–1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267–9680. Make sure to identify the amendment number or docket number of this rulemaking. E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 249 / Thursday, December 29, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Privacy Act Using the search function of the Web site, anyone can find and read the comments received into any of our dockets, including the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review 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. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996 requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. If you are a small entity and you have a question regarding this document, you may contact the local FAA official, or the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. You can find out more about SBREFA on the Internet at http://www.faa.gov/ regulations_policies/rulemaking/ sbre_act/. Statutory Authority Title 49, section 44701 of the United States Code, authorizes the FAA Administrator to prescribe regulations for practices the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce [49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5)]. Under that statutory authority, the Administrator prescribed regulations for certificate holders on the reporting of failures, malfunctions, and defects of aircraft, aircraft engines, systems, and components (commonly called Service Difficulty Reports). These regulations are found at 14 CFR 121.703, 121.704, 121.705, 125.409, 125.410, 135.415, 135.416, and 145.221. This rulemaking action amends these regulations. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES Background On September 15, 2000, the FAA published a final rule entitled, ‘‘Service Difficulty Reports,’’ Amendment Numbers 121–279, 125–35, 135–77, and 145–22 (65 FR 56191). That final rule, applicable to air carriers and repair station operators, would have amended the requirements for reporting failures, malfunctions, and defects of aircraft, aircraft engines, systems, and components. In the final rule, the FAA also sought comments on the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The final rule effective date was scheduled for January 16, 2001. VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:06 Dec 28, 2005 Jkt 208001 The FAA received written comments raising concerns with many of the provisions of the new SDR requirements. In response, the FAA held a public meeting about the final rule on December 11, 2000. Participants at that public meeting raised significant issues concerning the implementation of the final rule. As a result of the concerns raised during the comment period and at the public meeting, the FAA delayed the effective date of the final rule to January 31, 2006. The purpose of this delay was to provide us more time to consider industry’s concerns. Since the delayed final rule publication, the FAA amended the SDR requirements for repair stations (66 FR 41117, August 6, 2001). This amendment addressed one of the public meeting commenters’ concerns about duplicate reporting by a part 145 certificate holder. Under § 145.221(d), a repair station no longer has an independent SDR reporting provision when performing work for a part 121, 125, or 135 certificate holder. Discussion of Comments Received We received five comments on the proposal to withdraw the delayed final rule and make amendments to the existing SDR rule (70 FR 54454, September 14, 2005). Comment: Four of the comments support the FAA’s proposal to withdraw the delayed final rule. The other commenter suggests an amendment to part 145 be included in this rulemaking. FAA Response: The comments to the delayed final rule, the comments at the public meeting, and the comments to the proposal to withdraw the delayed final rule request that the agency make revisions to the delayed final rule before we proceed with implementation. The FAA agrees and is withdrawing the delayed final rule. Comment: The Regional Airline Association (RAA), representing the views of a segment of the affected aviation industry, supports adopting the proposed changes to the existing SDR rules that: • Extend the reporting time to submit SDRs from 72 hours to 96 hours. • Require certificate holders to submit SDRs directly to the FAA’s Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Office. • Allow electronic submission of SDR reports. FAA Response: The FAA is adopting these amendments as proposed. The increase in reporting time will result in fewer supplemental reports, the centralized reporting will result in greater internal efficiencies, and the PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 76975 electronic submitting option will benefit the majority of the current submitters. Comment: The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), which represents repair stations certificated under 14 CFR part 145, supports the proposed changes to the existing SDR system and requests an additional correcting change. Section 145.221(d) allows a repair station to submit a SDR on behalf of a part 121, 125, or 135 certificate holder, provided the report meets the requirements of the applicable operational rule. Paragraph (d) states in a parenthetical that such a report may be ‘‘operational or structural.’’ This ‘‘operational or structural’’ reference reflects the language in the SDR rule the FAA is withdrawing, which the FAA had issued as a final rule for part 121, 125, and 135 certificate holders before § 145.221 became effective in January 2004. For example, the delayed SDR final rule would have changed the titles of §§ 121.703 and 121.704 to read ‘‘Service difficulty reports (operational)’’ and ‘‘Service difficulty reports (structural),’’ respectively. This distinction was the subject of much controversy. Many commenters, including ARSA, voiced their concerns with the operational and structural categories. The operational and structural distinction is not present in the existing SDR regulatory language. Leaving such language in § 145.221(d) serves no purpose, and can only create confusion for repair stations who prepare SDRs on behalf of part 121, 125, or 135 certificate holders. Therefore, ARSA requests that the FAA remove the parenthetical language, ‘‘(operational or structural),’’ in § 145.221(d) to conform the language in part 145 with the language in parts 121, 125, and 135. FAA Response: The FAA is adopting the change to § 145.221(d) as suggested by ARSA. The change corrects the language of § 145.221 to bring it into conformity with the existing SDR requirements of 14 CFR parts 121, 125, and 135. The correcting change, which is a logical outgrowth of the proposal, would not impose any additional burdens on the regulated public. Comment: An individual commenter asks that the proposed changes to the existing SDR rule be included in 14 CFR 145.221, Reports of failures, malfunctions, or defects. FAA Response: Only one of the proposed changes, the requirement for the certificate holder to submit SDRs directly to the FAA’s Oklahoma Office, is not already incorporated into § 145.221. The FAA has decided not to add the centralized reporting requirement to § 145.221 in this E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES 76976 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 249 / Thursday, December 29, 2005 / Rules and Regulations rulemaking action. A repair station, operating under part 145, will continue to submit their SDRs to their assigned Principal Inspector using the existing procedures. The FAA would want to receive comments on a change in the reporting procedure for part 145 certificate holders before implementing such a change. The FAA does not want to delay the remainder of this rulemaking while we solicit and review comments on this one change. As part of the FAA’s review of the SDR program discussed later in this document we will consider a change to the part 145 reporting procedure as the commenter suggested. Future SDR rulemaking may propose such a requirement. Comment: One individual commenter does not agree with the proposed changes to the existing reporting rule that specifically requires all SDRs be reported to Oklahoma City. The same reasons that are driving the withdrawal of the delayed final rule (software capability, the need for greater FAA efficiency in processing SDRs, etc.) have not been resolved. The commenter claims requiring a person to submit SDRs directly to Oklahoma City will be fraught with error and difficulty. From the commenter’s experience, an SDR submitted electronically creates more work for the individual or air carrier. When submitted electronically, the submitter must continually check the SDR database to insure that the SDR has not been sent back for correction, to make sure that it has been processed. The commenter recently stopped using the electronic submission method because he had a severe back log of unprocessed submitted SDRs. The return to paper submissions has reduced the number of man-hours per week from eight to around one. The commenter suggests that the FAA fix their internal SDR processing problems before any new SDR requirement of any kind is introduced and made mandatory. Secondly, if the assigned Principal Inspector still has the requirement to review the submissions, then those submissions should go to the inspector first. It would be up to the FAA how to enforce and insure that the principal sends these on to Oklahoma City in a timely manner, not industry. FAA response: The FAA disagrees with the commenter’s conclusion about the problems with electronic reporting. Many air carriers, repair stations, and individuals are submitting SDRs electronically without problem. The FAA did experience technical difficulties with electronic reporting prior to 2004. In April 2004, we developed improved SDR web site instructions with the help of a FAA PMI VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:06 Dec 28, 2005 Jkt 208001 for a major U.S. air carrier. These instructions resulted in new web procedures, which enabled the FAA certificate management office (CMO) to electronically conduct the same SDR reviews and approvals that they performed with the hardcopy SDRs, but in a shorter period of time. As result, the instructions helped to improve the air carrier’s, the CMO’s, and FAA’s Oklahoma City Office efficiency of operation. These new instructions are in wider use today and are available on the Flight Standards Internet Service Difficulty Reporting (iSDR) web site, which is located at http://avinfo.faa.gov/isdr/. We have found that once the operator and FAA personnel become familiar with these new procedures we have received only enthusiastic and favorable feedback. These instructions are also available upon request to the Aviation Data Systems Branch (AFS–620) 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73169 (hand delivered), or P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125 (U.S. Mail), Telephone: (405) 954–4391. A copy has also been placed in the Rules Docket. The FAA concedes that the SDR system still needs improvements, but with the new instructions the system has been enhanced to the point where electronic submission of SDRs to Oklahoma City benefit the majority of submitters. The electronic submission method continues to be optional. Comment: An individual commenter said the FAA is taking positive steps in the direction developed by the Commercial Airplane Certification Process (CPS) group. The commenter requests the recommendations of the CPS committee group be used as a framework to develop new reporting requirements. The commenter emphasized the members of the CPS represented a good cross section of the industry and FAA. FAA response: The FAA agrees, and as described below, is studying the recommendations of the CPS for future rulemaking action. The Final Rule Withdrawal The FAA’s intent in the delayed final rule was to improve the SDR program without having an adverse impact on industry recordkeeping practices. The SDR requirements were adopted to correct known deficiencies in the SDR program and to improve the quality of the data in the SDR database. Based on the comments received and information gathered at the public meeting, we now realize the delayed final rule does not meet this intent. The industry concerns highlight the need to resolve problems PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 with the SDR program before increasing the amount and type of data recorded. The topic that received the most comments following publication of the delayed final rule was the FAA’s economic analysis. The commenters were uniform in their contention that the additional reporting requirements would greatly increase the costs of compliance under the SDR program. The FAA received cost estimates from industry that considerably exceeded our own estimates based, in part, on the wide disparity between the industry’s and the FAA’s evaluation of the number of SDRs resulting from the rulemaking. While not completely agreeing with the industry’s estimate of the increase in the number of reports or the significant increase in costs, we have determined that varying interpretations of the number of additional reports required by the rule could have led industry to overestimate the costs of compliance with the delayed final rule. We have reevaluated the delayed final rule in light of the data provided in the comments and have determined that the costs of this rulemaking may be higher than projected. We further acknowledge that populating data collection systems with inappropriate data could have a negative impact on our ability to identify and collect meaningful safety data on the operation of aircraft. Since the public meeting, we have considered how to address industry concerns about the delayed final rule and, at the same time, maintain its original intent to correct deficiencies in the program and improve the quality of data collected. The FAA is also obligated to review and consider the findings about the SDR program noted in the CPS study. The CPS identified certain underlying deficiencies in the SDR program that should be corrected so data collected may provide the maximum safety benefit. A copy of the CPS report has been placed in the docket for this rulemaking. Based on the comments received and the CPS findings, the FAA has determined there is a need to enhance the SDR program so it meets the needs of the FAA and industry more efficiently and effectively. Rather than continuing to delay the effective date of the final rule while we address this issue, we determined it is prudent to withdraw the delayed final rule. This approach will eliminate uncertainty about the final rule’s status and allow us time to thoroughly evaluate and improve the SDR program. The effect of this withdrawal is the retention of the regulations currently in effect. E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 249 / Thursday, December 29, 2005 / Rules and Regulations The Future of the SDR System The FAA is still pursuing changes to the SDR system that will address the CPS findings and the feedback we received from this withdrawn final rule. We plan to evaluate the present SDR system and issues related to its associated Management Information System (MIS) database. We will also reexamine the economic impact of any new changes to the SDR system. All amendments to the SDR regulations will be preceded by an NPRM. Amending the Existing Rule The FAA is making several changes to the existing SDR program regulations. Most of these changes were already incorporated in the final rule we are now withdrawing. We are proceeding with these changes because they will improve the SDR program. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES Sections 121.703, 125.409, 135.415, and 145.221 The FAA is renaming §§ 121.703, 125.409, 135.415, and 145.221 as ‘‘Service Difficulty Reports.’’ The existing titles reflect the varying names these reports have been called over the years by different parties, which resulted in some confusion. This amendment uses the most common industry term for SDRs and will result in the use of only one consistent term when referring to these reports. Sections 121.703(d), 125.409(b), and 135.415(d) The FAA adopts three changes to improve the process of submitting SDRs to the FAA under these sections: (1) Replacing the terms ‘‘send,’’ ‘‘mailed,’’ or ‘‘delivered’’ with the term ‘‘submit.’’ This change allows for the use of other means, such as electronic transmission, to submit SDRs to the FAA. (2) Increasing the time for submitting an SDR from 72 hours to 96 hours after an event occurs that requires an SDR. The increased reporting time gives certificate holders additional time to prepare the SDR and should reduce the number of supplemental SDRs that need to be filed. A reduction of supplemental SDRs should reduce the administrative burden on both the FAA and industry. (3) Changing the location to which the certificate holder must send SDRs. The existing rule required SDRs to be sent directly to the Certificate Holding District Office (CHDO). There, the SDRs are reviewed by the assigned Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) and then forwarded to the FAA offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where all SDRs are entered into the SDR database. The revised rule requires the certificate VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:06 Dec 28, 2005 Jkt 208001 holder to send SDRs directly to our Oklahoma City office. The PMI would be instructed by internal agency procedures to review the individual SDR for their assigned certificate holder through an internal FAA computer system that would access the SDR database. This revised procedure removes the intermediate step of processing SDRs through the PMI, but does not relieve the PMI of the responsibility for reviewing them. The change would also facilitate electronic reporting by eliminating the necessity of delivering a copy to the PMI. The certificate holder would retain the option of submitting paper SDRs should it so choose, although the FAA strongly encourages electronic reporting. In this final rule, we made editorial changes to §§ 125.409(b) and 135.415(d) to make them consistent with § 121.703(d). The centralized collection point is the FAA office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Finally, for only § 135.415, the FAA is removing the provision for aircraft operated where mail is not collected. This was an outdated provision that was rarely used by the industry. Mail service is available now in most locations and various alternatives to the U.S. Mail exist. Section 121.703(e) The amended rule requires certificate holders to submit SDRs in a form or format acceptable to the Administrator. Many operators have voluntarily adopted reporting formats compatible with the FAA’s electronic systems to simplify their reporting under the existing rule. Electronic submission of SDRs through the FAA Web site is an acceptable format. This provision is intended to assure that, regardless of the method and format chosen for use, the information we receive is readable. However, when using electronic technology, the electronic language used must be one the FAA is capable of reading. Section 145.221(d) The amended rule would delete the parenthetical (operational or structural) to bring the SDR requirements in part 145 into conformity with the language of the existing SDR rules. Paperwork Reduction Act Information collection requirements associated with this final rule have been approved previously by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), and have been assigned OMB Control Number 2120–0008 (part 121), 2120–0085 (part 125), 2120–0039 (part PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 76977 135), and 2120–0003 (part 145). In the NPRM, we incorrectly referenced a single OMB Control Number 2120–0663 for all four parts cited above. This final rule contains several changes to the existing SDR rule. We changed the mailing address for SDR reports; we replaced the words ‘‘send,’’ ‘‘mailed,’’ and ‘‘delivered’’ with ‘‘submit’’; and we lengthened the submittal period for the SDR to reduce the number of supplementary reports from certificate holders. An agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. Economic Assessment, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, Trade Impact Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs each Federal agency to propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 2531–2533) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, this Trade Act also requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, use them as the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation.) In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined this rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs, is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and is not ‘‘significant’’ as defined in Department of Transportation Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (2) will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; (3) would have only a domestic impact and therefore no affect on any trade-sensitive activity; and (4) does not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal governments, or on the E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 76978 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 249 / Thursday, December 29, 2005 / Rules and Regulations private sector. These analyses, available in the rulemaking docket, are summarized below. Costs This final rule imposes minimal new costs on industry, and results in costsavings ranging from $16.13 million ($11.33 million, discounted) to $38.96 million ($27.36 million, discounted). This results in a net cost savings to industry ranging from $15.98 million ($11.23 million, discounted) to $38.97 million ($27.37 million, discounted). The impacts to the FAA are additional costs of $145,200 ($102,000, discounted) and savings of $9,300 ($6,500, discounted). The FAA has determined this rule to be cost beneficial. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES Benefits A significant effort is underway to improve the quality of aviation safety data identification and collection. This rulemaking is a component of this effort and proposes changes to improve the existing SDR program. These changes include: • Extending the reporting time to submit SDRs from 72 hours to 96 hours. • Requiring part 121, 125, and 135 certificate holders to submit SDRs directly to a centralized collection point, thus allowing the reports to be entered into the SDR database quicker and reducing the administrative workload of the certificate-holding district office (CHDO). • Allowing electronic submission of SDR reports. Regulatory Flexibility Determination The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) establishes ‘‘as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objective of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the business, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation.’’ To achieve that principle, the RFA requires agencies to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions. The RFA covers a wide range of small entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a proposed or final rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the Act. However, if an agency determines that a proposed or final rule is not expected VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:06 Dec 28, 2005 Jkt 208001 to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the 1980 RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear. For this rule, the small entity group is considered to be 14 CFR part 121, 125, and 135 certificate holders (North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] 481111). For this analysis, the FAA considers each part 125 and 135 certificate holder to be a small entity, and some of the part 121 and 121/135 certificate holders are also small entities. These regulations result in cost savings for all 121, 125, and 135 certificate holders of between $16.13 million ($11.33 million, discounted) to $38.96 million ($27.36 million, discounted) over the next ten years or, on average, between $1.61 million to $3.90 million per year. Assuming that the cost savings is spread among the types of 121, 125, and 135 certificate holders in proportion to the number of SDRs each type generated from January 1, 2002, through August 31, 2004, the average part 121 certificate holder will save between $13,010 and $31,424 a year, the average part 121/135 certificate holder will save between $3,511 and $8,479 a year, the average part 125 certificate holder will save between $16 and $39 a year, and the average part 135 certificate holder will save between $68 and $165 a year. Thus, the economic impact is minimal. Therefore, I certify that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. International Trade Impact Assessment The Trade Agreement Act of 1979 prohibits Federal agencies from establishing any standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Legitimate domestic objectives, such as safety, are not considered unnecessary obstacles. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this final rule and has determined that it will have only a domestic impact and therefore no affect on any tradesensitive activity. Unfunded Mandates Assessment The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (the Act) is intended, among PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 other things, to curb the practice of imposing unfunded Federal mandates on State, local, and tribal governments. Title II of the Act requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a ‘‘significant regulatory action.’’ The FAA currently uses an inflationadjusted value of $120.7 million in lieu of $100 million. This final rule does not contain such a mandate. The requirements of Title II do not apply. Executive Order 13132, Federalism The FAA has analyzed this final rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. We determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and therefore does not have federalism implications. Environmental Analysis FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in Appendix 4, paragraph 4(j) of the FAA Order, and involves no extraordinary circumstances. Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use The FAA has analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). We have determined that it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under the executive order because it is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, and it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 249 / Thursday, December 29, 2005 / Rules and Regulations List of Subjects 14 CFR Part 121 Air carriers, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety, Transportation. § 121.705 Mechanical interruption summary report. 14 CFR Part 125 Each certificate holder shall submit to the Administrator, before the end of the 10th day of the following month, a summary report for the previous month of: * * * * * Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 14 CFR Part 135 Air taxis, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 14 CFR Part 145 Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration withdraws the final rule published at 65 FR 56192 on September 15, 2000 and delayed at 66 FR 21626, April 30, 2001; 66 FR 58912, November 23, 2001; 67 FR 78970, December 27, 2002; and 68 FR 75116, December 30, 2003. The FAA also amends Chapter I of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows: I PART 121—OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 40119, 41706, 44101, 44701–44702, 44705, 44709– 44711, 44713, 44716–44717, 44722, 44901, 44903–44904, 44912, 45101–45105, 46105, 46301. § 121.703 Service difficulty reports. 2. Amend § 121.703 to revise the heading as set forth above and to revise paragraphs (d) and (e) introductory text to read as follows: * * * * * (d) Each certificate holder shall submit each report required by this section, covering each 24-hour period beginning at 0900 local time of each day and ending at 0900 local time on the next day, to the FAA offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Each report of occurrences during a 24-hour period shall be submitted to the collection point within the next 96 hours. However, a report due on Saturday or Sunday may be submitted on the following Monday, and a report due on a holiday may be submitted on the next work day. (e) The certificate holder shall submit the reports required by this section on a form or in another format acceptable sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES I VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:06 Dec 28, 2005 to the Administrator. The reports shall include the following information: * * * * * I 3. Amend § 121.705 to revise the introductory text to read as follows: Jkt 208001 PART 125—CERTIFICATION AND OPERATIONS: AIRPLANES HAVING A SEATING CAPACITY OF 20 OR MORE PASSENGERS OR A MAXIMUM PAYLOAD CAPACITY OF 6,000 POUNDS OR MORE; AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH AIRCRAFT 4. The authority citation for part 125 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701– 44702, 44705, 44710–44711, 44713, 44716– 44717, 44722. § 125.409 Service difficulty reports. 5. Amend § 125.409 to revise the heading as set forth above and to revise paragraph (b) to read as follows: * * * * * (b) Each certificate holder shall submit each report required by this section, covering each 24-hour period beginning at 0900 local time of each day and ending at 0900 local time on the next day, to the FAA office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Each report of occurrences during a 24-hour period shall be submitted to the collection point within the next 96 hours. However, a report due on Saturday or Sunday may be submitted on the following Monday, and a report due on a holiday may be submitted on the next work day. I PART 135—OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: COMMUTER AND ON-DEMAND OPERATIONS AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH AIRCRAFT 6. The authority citation for part 135 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 41706, 44113, 44701–44702, 44705, 44709, 44711–44713, 44715–44717, 44722. § 135.415 Service difficulty reports. 7. Amend § 135.415 to revise the heading as set forth above and to revise paragraph (d) to read as follows: * * * * * I PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 76979 (d) Each certificate holder shall submit each report required by this section, covering each 24-hour period beginning at 0900 local time of each day and ending at 0900 local time on the next day, to the FAA offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Each report of occurrences during a 24-hour period shall be submitted to the collection point within the next 96 hours. However, a report due on Saturday or Sunday may be submitted on the following Monday, and a report due on a holiday may be submitted on the next workday. * * * * * PART 145—REPAIR STATIONS 8. The authority citation for part 145 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701– 44702, 44707, 44709, 44717. § 145.221 Service difficulty reports. 9. Amend § 145.221 to revise the heading as set forth above and to revise paragraph (d) introductory text to read as follows: * * * * * (d) A certificated repair station may submit a service difficulty report for the following: * * * * * I Issued in Washington, DC, on December 22, 2005. Marion C. Blakey, Administrator. [FR Doc. 05–24536 Filed 12–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Parts 1926 and 1928 [Docket No. S–270–A] RIN 1218–AC15 Roll-Over Protective Structures Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), DOL. ACTION: Direct final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: In 1996, OSHA published a technical amendment revising the construction and agriculture standards that regulate testing of roll-over protective structures (‘‘ROPS’’) used to protect employees who operate wheeltype tractors. This revision removed the original ROPS standards and replaced them with references to national consensus standards for ROPS-testing E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 249 (Thursday, December 29, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76974-76979]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-24536]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 121, 125, 135, and 145

[Docket No. FAA-2000-7952; Amendment Nos. 121-319, 125-49, 135-102, and 
145-26]
RIN 2120-AI08


Service Difficulty Reports

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Final rule and withdrawal of delayed final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is withdrawing a 
delayed final rule published on September 15, 2000. That final rule 
would have amended the reporting requirements for certificate holders 
concerning failures, malfunctions, and defects of aircraft, aircraft 
engines, systems, and components. We are withdrawing this rule to allow 
the FAA time to re-examine the service difficulty report (SDR) program 
and consider the comments received since the delayed final rule was 
published.
    In this action we are also adopting several amendments that improve 
the functioning of the SDR program.

DATES: This amendment becomes effective January 30, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Emilio Estrada, Flight Standards 
Service, Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300), Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, 
telephone (202) 267-5571, e-mail emilio.estrada@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    You can get an electronic copy of rulemaking documents using the 
Internet by--
    (1) Searching the Department of Transportation's electronic Docket 
Management System (DMS) Web site (http://dms.dot.gov/search);
    (2) Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://
www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/; or
    (3) Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://
www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
    You can also get a copy by sending a request to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Make 
sure to identify the amendment number or docket number of this 
rulemaking.

[[Page 76975]]

Privacy Act

    Using the search function of the Web site, anyone can find and read 
the comments received into any of our dockets, including the name of 
the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review 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.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 
1996 requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information 
or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its 
jurisdiction. If you are a small entity and you have a question 
regarding this document, you may contact the local FAA official, or the 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. You can find out 
more about SBREFA on the Internet at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_
policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

Statutory Authority

    Title 49, section 44701 of the United States Code, authorizes the 
FAA Administrator to prescribe regulations for practices the 
Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce [49 U.S.C. 
44701(a)(5)]. Under that statutory authority, the Administrator 
prescribed regulations for certificate holders on the reporting of 
failures, malfunctions, and defects of aircraft, aircraft engines, 
systems, and components (commonly called Service Difficulty Reports). 
These regulations are found at 14 CFR 121.703, 121.704, 121.705, 
125.409, 125.410, 135.415, 135.416, and 145.221. This rulemaking action 
amends these regulations.

Background

    On September 15, 2000, the FAA published a final rule entitled, 
``Service Difficulty Reports,'' Amendment Numbers 121-279, 125-35, 135-
77, and 145-22 (65 FR 56191). That final rule, applicable to air 
carriers and repair station operators, would have amended the 
requirements for reporting failures, malfunctions, and defects of 
aircraft, aircraft engines, systems, and components. In the final rule, 
the FAA also sought comments on the impact of paperwork and other 
information collection burdens imposed on the public. The final rule 
effective date was scheduled for January 16, 2001.
    The FAA received written comments raising concerns with many of the 
provisions of the new SDR requirements. In response, the FAA held a 
public meeting about the final rule on December 11, 2000. Participants 
at that public meeting raised significant issues concerning the 
implementation of the final rule.
    As a result of the concerns raised during the comment period and at 
the public meeting, the FAA delayed the effective date of the final 
rule to January 31, 2006. The purpose of this delay was to provide us 
more time to consider industry's concerns.
    Since the delayed final rule publication, the FAA amended the SDR 
requirements for repair stations (66 FR 41117, August 6, 2001). This 
amendment addressed one of the public meeting commenters' concerns 
about duplicate reporting by a part 145 certificate holder. Under Sec.  
145.221(d), a repair station no longer has an independent SDR reporting 
provision when performing work for a part 121, 125, or 135 certificate 
holder.

Discussion of Comments Received

    We received five comments on the proposal to withdraw the delayed 
final rule and make amendments to the existing SDR rule (70 FR 54454, 
September 14, 2005).
    Comment: Four of the comments support the FAA's proposal to 
withdraw the delayed final rule. The other commenter suggests an 
amendment to part 145 be included in this rulemaking.
    FAA Response: The comments to the delayed final rule, the comments 
at the public meeting, and the comments to the proposal to withdraw the 
delayed final rule request that the agency make revisions to the 
delayed final rule before we proceed with implementation. The FAA 
agrees and is withdrawing the delayed final rule.
    Comment: The Regional Airline Association (RAA), representing the 
views of a segment of the affected aviation industry, supports adopting 
the proposed changes to the existing SDR rules that:
     Extend the reporting time to submit SDRs from 72 hours to 
96 hours.
     Require certificate holders to submit SDRs directly to the 
FAA's Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Office.
     Allow electronic submission of SDR reports.
    FAA Response: The FAA is adopting these amendments as proposed. The 
increase in reporting time will result in fewer supplemental reports, 
the centralized reporting will result in greater internal efficiencies, 
and the electronic submitting option will benefit the majority of the 
current submitters.
    Comment: The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), which 
represents repair stations certificated under 14 CFR part 145, supports 
the proposed changes to the existing SDR system and requests an 
additional correcting change.
    Section 145.221(d) allows a repair station to submit a SDR on 
behalf of a part 121, 125, or 135 certificate holder, provided the 
report meets the requirements of the applicable operational rule. 
Paragraph (d) states in a parenthetical that such a report may be 
``operational or structural.'' This ``operational or structural'' 
reference reflects the language in the SDR rule the FAA is withdrawing, 
which the FAA had issued as a final rule for part 121, 125, and 135 
certificate holders before Sec.  145.221 became effective in January 
2004. For example, the delayed SDR final rule would have changed the 
titles of Sec. Sec.  121.703 and 121.704 to read ``Service difficulty 
reports (operational)'' and ``Service difficulty reports 
(structural),'' respectively. This distinction was the subject of much 
controversy. Many commenters, including ARSA, voiced their concerns 
with the operational and structural categories. The operational and 
structural distinction is not present in the existing SDR regulatory 
language. Leaving such language in Sec.  145.221(d) serves no purpose, 
and can only create confusion for repair stations who prepare SDRs on 
behalf of part 121, 125, or 135 certificate holders. Therefore, ARSA 
requests that the FAA remove the parenthetical language, ``(operational 
or structural),'' in Sec.  145.221(d) to conform the language in part 
145 with the language in parts 121, 125, and 135.
    FAA Response: The FAA is adopting the change to Sec.  145.221(d) as 
suggested by ARSA. The change corrects the language of Sec.  145.221 to 
bring it into conformity with the existing SDR requirements of 14 CFR 
parts 121, 125, and 135. The correcting change, which is a logical 
outgrowth of the proposal, would not impose any additional burdens on 
the regulated public.
    Comment: An individual commenter asks that the proposed changes to 
the existing SDR rule be included in 14 CFR 145.221, Reports of 
failures, malfunctions, or defects.
    FAA Response: Only one of the proposed changes, the requirement for 
the certificate holder to submit SDRs directly to the FAA's Oklahoma 
Office, is not already incorporated into Sec.  145.221. The FAA has 
decided not to add the centralized reporting requirement to Sec.  
145.221 in this

[[Page 76976]]

rulemaking action. A repair station, operating under part 145, will 
continue to submit their SDRs to their assigned Principal Inspector 
using the existing procedures. The FAA would want to receive comments 
on a change in the reporting procedure for part 145 certificate holders 
before implementing such a change. The FAA does not want to delay the 
remainder of this rulemaking while we solicit and review comments on 
this one change. As part of the FAA's review of the SDR program 
discussed later in this document we will consider a change to the part 
145 reporting procedure as the commenter suggested. Future SDR 
rulemaking may propose such a requirement.
    Comment: One individual commenter does not agree with the proposed 
changes to the existing reporting rule that specifically requires all 
SDRs be reported to Oklahoma City. The same reasons that are driving 
the withdrawal of the delayed final rule (software capability, the need 
for greater FAA efficiency in processing SDRs, etc.) have not been 
resolved. The commenter claims requiring a person to submit SDRs 
directly to Oklahoma City will be fraught with error and difficulty.
    From the commenter's experience, an SDR submitted electronically 
creates more work for the individual or air carrier. When submitted 
electronically, the submitter must continually check the SDR database 
to insure that the SDR has not been sent back for correction, to make 
sure that it has been processed. The commenter recently stopped using 
the electronic submission method because he had a severe back log of 
unprocessed submitted SDRs. The return to paper submissions has reduced 
the number of man-hours per week from eight to around one.
    The commenter suggests that the FAA fix their internal SDR 
processing problems before any new SDR requirement of any kind is 
introduced and made mandatory. Secondly, if the assigned Principal 
Inspector still has the requirement to review the submissions, then 
those submissions should go to the inspector first. It would be up to 
the FAA how to enforce and insure that the principal sends these on to 
Oklahoma City in a timely manner, not industry.
    FAA response: The FAA disagrees with the commenter's conclusion 
about the problems with electronic reporting. Many air carriers, repair 
stations, and individuals are submitting SDRs electronically without 
problem. The FAA did experience technical difficulties with electronic 
reporting prior to 2004. In April 2004, we developed improved SDR web 
site instructions with the help of a FAA PMI for a major U.S. air 
carrier. These instructions resulted in new web procedures, which 
enabled the FAA certificate management office (CMO) to electronically 
conduct the same SDR reviews and approvals that they performed with the 
hardcopy SDRs, but in a shorter period of time. As result, the 
instructions helped to improve the air carrier's, the CMO's, and FAA's 
Oklahoma City Office efficiency of operation. These new instructions 
are in wider use today and are available on the Flight Standards 
Internet Service Difficulty Reporting (iSDR) web site, which is located 
at http://av-info.faa.gov/isdr/. We have found that once the operator 
and FAA personnel become familiar with these new procedures we have 
received only enthusiastic and favorable feedback. These instructions 
are also available upon request to the Aviation Data Systems Branch 
(AFS-620) 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73169 
(hand delivered), or P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125 
(U.S. Mail), Telephone: (405) 954-4391. A copy has also been placed in 
the Rules Docket.
    The FAA concedes that the SDR system still needs improvements, but 
with the new instructions the system has been enhanced to the point 
where electronic submission of SDRs to Oklahoma City benefit the 
majority of submitters. The electronic submission method continues to 
be optional.
    Comment: An individual commenter said the FAA is taking positive 
steps in the direction developed by the Commercial Airplane 
Certification Process (CPS) group. The commenter requests the 
recommendations of the CPS committee group be used as a framework to 
develop new reporting requirements. The commenter emphasized the 
members of the CPS represented a good cross section of the industry and 
FAA.
    FAA response: The FAA agrees, and as described below, is studying 
the recommendations of the CPS for future rulemaking action.

The Final Rule Withdrawal

    The FAA's intent in the delayed final rule was to improve the SDR 
program without having an adverse impact on industry recordkeeping 
practices. The SDR requirements were adopted to correct known 
deficiencies in the SDR program and to improve the quality of the data 
in the SDR database. Based on the comments received and information 
gathered at the public meeting, we now realize the delayed final rule 
does not meet this intent. The industry concerns highlight the need to 
resolve problems with the SDR program before increasing the amount and 
type of data recorded.
    The topic that received the most comments following publication of 
the delayed final rule was the FAA's economic analysis. The commenters 
were uniform in their contention that the additional reporting 
requirements would greatly increase the costs of compliance under the 
SDR program. The FAA received cost estimates from industry that 
considerably exceeded our own estimates based, in part, on the wide 
disparity between the industry's and the FAA's evaluation of the number 
of SDRs resulting from the rulemaking.
    While not completely agreeing with the industry's estimate of the 
increase in the number of reports or the significant increase in costs, 
we have determined that varying interpretations of the number of 
additional reports required by the rule could have led industry to 
overestimate the costs of compliance with the delayed final rule. We 
have reevaluated the delayed final rule in light of the data provided 
in the comments and have determined that the costs of this rulemaking 
may be higher than projected. We further acknowledge that populating 
data collection systems with inappropriate data could have a negative 
impact on our ability to identify and collect meaningful safety data on 
the operation of aircraft.
    Since the public meeting, we have considered how to address 
industry concerns about the delayed final rule and, at the same time, 
maintain its original intent to correct deficiencies in the program and 
improve the quality of data collected. The FAA is also obligated to 
review and consider the findings about the SDR program noted in the CPS 
study. The CPS identified certain underlying deficiencies in the SDR 
program that should be corrected so data collected may provide the 
maximum safety benefit. A copy of the CPS report has been placed in the 
docket for this rulemaking.
    Based on the comments received and the CPS findings, the FAA has 
determined there is a need to enhance the SDR program so it meets the 
needs of the FAA and industry more efficiently and effectively. Rather 
than continuing to delay the effective date of the final rule while we 
address this issue, we determined it is prudent to withdraw the delayed 
final rule. This approach will eliminate uncertainty about the final 
rule's status and allow us time to thoroughly evaluate and improve the 
SDR program. The effect of this withdrawal is the retention of the 
regulations currently in effect.

[[Page 76977]]

The Future of the SDR System

    The FAA is still pursuing changes to the SDR system that will 
address the CPS findings and the feedback we received from this 
withdrawn final rule. We plan to evaluate the present SDR system and 
issues related to its associated Management Information System (MIS) 
database. We will also reexamine the economic impact of any new changes 
to the SDR system. All amendments to the SDR regulations will be 
preceded by an NPRM.

Amending the Existing Rule

    The FAA is making several changes to the existing SDR program 
regulations. Most of these changes were already incorporated in the 
final rule we are now withdrawing. We are proceeding with these changes 
because they will improve the SDR program.

Sections 121.703, 125.409, 135.415, and 145.221

    The FAA is renaming Sec. Sec.  121.703, 125.409, 135.415, and 
145.221 as ``Service Difficulty Reports.'' The existing titles reflect 
the varying names these reports have been called over the years by 
different parties, which resulted in some confusion. This amendment 
uses the most common industry term for SDRs and will result in the use 
of only one consistent term when referring to these reports.

Sections 121.703(d), 125.409(b), and 135.415(d)

    The FAA adopts three changes to improve the process of submitting 
SDRs to the FAA under these sections:
    (1) Replacing the terms ``send,'' ``mailed,'' or ``delivered'' with 
the term ``submit.'' This change allows for the use of other means, 
such as electronic transmission, to submit SDRs to the FAA.
    (2) Increasing the time for submitting an SDR from 72 hours to 96 
hours after an event occurs that requires an SDR. The increased 
reporting time gives certificate holders additional time to prepare the 
SDR and should reduce the number of supplemental SDRs that need to be 
filed. A reduction of supplemental SDRs should reduce the 
administrative burden on both the FAA and industry.
    (3) Changing the location to which the certificate holder must send 
SDRs. The existing rule required SDRs to be sent directly to the 
Certificate Holding District Office (CHDO). There, the SDRs are 
reviewed by the assigned Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) and then 
forwarded to the FAA offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where all SDRs 
are entered into the SDR database. The revised rule requires the 
certificate holder to send SDRs directly to our Oklahoma City office. 
The PMI would be instructed by internal agency procedures to review the 
individual SDR for their assigned certificate holder through an 
internal FAA computer system that would access the SDR database. This 
revised procedure removes the intermediate step of processing SDRs 
through the PMI, but does not relieve the PMI of the responsibility for 
reviewing them. The change would also facilitate electronic reporting 
by eliminating the necessity of delivering a copy to the PMI. The 
certificate holder would retain the option of submitting paper SDRs 
should it so choose, although the FAA strongly encourages electronic 
reporting. In this final rule, we made editorial changes to Sec. Sec.  
125.409(b) and 135.415(d) to make them consistent with Sec.  
121.703(d). The centralized collection point is the FAA office in 
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
    Finally, for only Sec.  135.415, the FAA is removing the provision 
for aircraft operated where mail is not collected. This was an outdated 
provision that was rarely used by the industry. Mail service is 
available now in most locations and various alternatives to the U.S. 
Mail exist.

Section 121.703(e)

    The amended rule requires certificate holders to submit SDRs in a 
form or format acceptable to the Administrator. Many operators have 
voluntarily adopted reporting formats compatible with the FAA's 
electronic systems to simplify their reporting under the existing rule. 
Electronic submission of SDRs through the FAA Web site is an acceptable 
format. This provision is intended to assure that, regardless of the 
method and format chosen for use, the information we receive is 
readable. However, when using electronic technology, the electronic 
language used must be one the FAA is capable of reading.

Section 145.221(d)

    The amended rule would delete the parenthetical (operational or 
structural) to bring the SDR requirements in part 145 into conformity 
with the language of the existing SDR rules.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Information collection requirements associated with this final rule 
have been approved previously by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3507(d)), and have been assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0008 
(part 121), 2120-0085 (part 125), 2120-0039 (part 135), and 2120-0003 
(part 145). In the NPRM, we incorrectly referenced a single OMB Control 
Number 2120-0663 for all four parts cited above.
    This final rule contains several changes to the existing SDR rule. 
We changed the mailing address for SDR reports; we replaced the words 
``send,'' ``mailed,'' and ``delivered'' with ``submit''; and we 
lengthened the submittal period for the SDR to reduce the number of 
supplementary reports from certificate holders.
    An agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, 
nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it 
displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
control number.

Economic Assessment, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, Trade Impact 
Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs each Federal agency to 
propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that 
the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 requires agencies to analyze the 
economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the 
Trade Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 2531-2533) prohibits agencies from 
setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign 
commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, this Trade 
Act also requires agencies to consider international standards and, 
where appropriate, use them as the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies 
to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other 
effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate 
likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more annually (adjusted for inflation.)
    In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined this rule: (1) Has 
benefits that justify its costs, is not a ``significant regulatory 
action'' as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and is not 
``significant'' as defined in Department of Transportation Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures; (2) will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities; (3) would have only a 
domestic impact and therefore no affect on any trade-sensitive 
activity; and (4) does not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, 
or tribal governments, or on the

[[Page 76978]]

private sector. These analyses, available in the rulemaking docket, are 
summarized below.

Costs

    This final rule imposes minimal new costs on industry, and results 
in cost-savings ranging from $16.13 million ($11.33 million, 
discounted) to $38.96 million ($27.36 million, discounted). This 
results in a net cost savings to industry ranging from $15.98 million 
($11.23 million, discounted) to $38.97 million ($27.37 million, 
discounted). The impacts to the FAA are additional costs of $145,200 
($102,000, discounted) and savings of $9,300 ($6,500, discounted). The 
FAA has determined this rule to be cost beneficial.

Benefits

    A significant effort is underway to improve the quality of aviation 
safety data identification and collection. This rulemaking is a 
component of this effort and proposes changes to improve the existing 
SDR program. These changes include:
     Extending the reporting time to submit SDRs from 72 hours 
to 96 hours.
     Requiring part 121, 125, and 135 certificate holders to 
submit SDRs directly to a centralized collection point, thus allowing 
the reports to be entered into the SDR database quicker and reducing 
the administrative workload of the certificate-holding district office 
(CHDO).
     Allowing electronic submission of SDR reports.

Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) establishes ``as a 
principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, 
consistent with the objective of the rule and of applicable statutes, 
to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the 
business, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to 
regulation.'' To achieve that principle, the RFA requires agencies to 
solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the 
rationale for their actions. The RFA covers a wide range of small 
entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and 
small governmental jurisdictions.
    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a proposed or 
final rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the 
agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in 
the Act.
    However, if an agency determines that a proposed or final rule is 
not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities, section 605(b) of the 1980 RFA provides that 
the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility 
analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement 
providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning 
should be clear.
    For this rule, the small entity group is considered to be 14 CFR 
part 121, 125, and 135 certificate holders (North American Industry 
Classification System [NAICS] 481111). For this analysis, the FAA 
considers each part 125 and 135 certificate holder to be a small 
entity, and some of the part 121 and 121/135 certificate holders are 
also small entities.
    These regulations result in cost savings for all 121, 125, and 135 
certificate holders of between $16.13 million ($11.33 million, 
discounted) to $38.96 million ($27.36 million, discounted) over the 
next ten years or, on average, between $1.61 million to $3.90 million 
per year. Assuming that the cost savings is spread among the types of 
121, 125, and 135 certificate holders in proportion to the number of 
SDRs each type generated from January 1, 2002, through August 31, 2004, 
the average part 121 certificate holder will save between $13,010 and 
$31,424 a year, the average part 121/135 certificate holder will save 
between $3,511 and $8,479 a year, the average part 125 certificate 
holder will save between $16 and $39 a year, and the average part 135 
certificate holder will save between $68 and $165 a year. Thus, the 
economic impact is minimal. Therefore, I certify that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreement Act of 1979 prohibits Federal agencies from 
establishing any standards or engaging in related activities that 
create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States. Legitimate domestic objectives, such as safety, are not 
considered unnecessary obstacles. The statute also requires 
consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that 
they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the 
potential effect of this final rule and has determined that it will 
have only a domestic impact and therefore no affect on any trade-
sensitive activity.

Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (the Act) is intended, 
among other things, to curb the practice of imposing unfunded Federal 
mandates on State, local, and tribal governments. Title II of the Act 
requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing 
the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule 
that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (adjusted 
annually for inflation) in any one year by State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate 
is deemed to be a ``significant regulatory action.'' The FAA currently 
uses an inflation-adjusted value of $120.7 million in lieu of $100 
million.
    This final rule does not contain such a mandate. The requirements 
of Title II do not apply.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this final rule under the principles and 
criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. We determined that this 
action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the 
relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government, and therefore does not have federalism implications.

Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically 
excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or 
environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy 
Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has 
determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical 
exclusion identified in Appendix 4, paragraph 4(j) of the FAA Order, 
and involves no extraordinary circumstances.

Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or 
Use

    The FAA has analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). We have determined that it is not 
a ``significant energy action'' under the executive order because it is 
not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, 
and it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy.

[[Page 76979]]

List of Subjects

14 CFR Part 121

    Air carriers, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Safety, Transportation.

14 CFR Part 125

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

14 CFR Part 135

    Air taxis, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

14 CFR Part 145

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

The Amendment

0
In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration 
withdraws the final rule published at 65 FR 56192 on September 15, 2000 
and delayed at 66 FR 21626, April 30, 2001; 66 FR 58912, November 23, 
2001; 67 FR 78970, December 27, 2002; and 68 FR 75116, December 30, 
2003. The FAA also amends Chapter I of Title 14, Code of Federal 
Regulations as follows:

PART 121--OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL 
OPERATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 40119, 41706, 44101, 44701-
44702, 44705, 44709-44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722, 44901, 44903-
44904, 44912, 45101-45105, 46105, 46301.


Sec.  121.703  Service difficulty reports.

0
2. Amend Sec.  121.703 to revise the heading as set forth above and to 
revise paragraphs (d) and (e) introductory text to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (d) Each certificate holder shall submit each report required by 
this section, covering each 24-hour period beginning at 0900 local time 
of each day and ending at 0900 local time on the next day, to the FAA 
offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Each report of occurrences during a 
24-hour period shall be submitted to the collection point within the 
next 96 hours. However, a report due on Saturday or Sunday may be 
submitted on the following Monday, and a report due on a holiday may be 
submitted on the next work day.
    (e) The certificate holder shall submit the reports required by 
this section on a form or in another format acceptable to the 
Administrator. The reports shall include the following information:
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  121.705 to revise the introductory text to read as 
follows:


Sec.  121.705  Mechanical interruption summary report.

    Each certificate holder shall submit to the Administrator, before 
the end of the 10th day of the following month, a summary report for 
the previous month of:
* * * * *

PART 125--CERTIFICATION AND OPERATIONS: AIRPLANES HAVING A SEATING 
CAPACITY OF 20 OR MORE PASSENGERS OR A MAXIMUM PAYLOAD CAPACITY OF 
6,000 POUNDS OR MORE; AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH 
AIRCRAFT

0
4. The authority citation for part 125 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702, 44705, 44710-
44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722.


Sec.  125.409  Service difficulty reports.

0
5. Amend Sec.  125.409 to revise the heading as set forth above and to 
revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (b) Each certificate holder shall submit each report required by 
this section, covering each 24-hour period beginning at 0900 local time 
of each day and ending at 0900 local time on the next day, to the FAA 
office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Each report of occurrences during a 
24-hour period shall be submitted to the collection point within the 
next 96 hours. However, a report due on Saturday or Sunday may be 
submitted on the following Monday, and a report due on a holiday may be 
submitted on the next work day.

PART 135--OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: COMMUTER AND ON-DEMAND OPERATIONS 
AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH AIRCRAFT

0
6. The authority citation for part 135 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 41706, 44113, 44701-44702, 44705, 
44709, 44711-44713, 44715-44717, 44722.


Sec.  135.415  Service difficulty reports.

0
7. Amend Sec.  135.415 to revise the heading as set forth above and to 
revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (d) Each certificate holder shall submit each report required by 
this section, covering each 24-hour period beginning at 0900 local time 
of each day and ending at 0900 local time on the next day, to the FAA 
offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Each report of occurrences during a 
24-hour period shall be submitted to the collection point within the 
next 96 hours. However, a report due on Saturday or Sunday may be 
submitted on the following Monday, and a report due on a holiday may be 
submitted on the next workday.
* * * * *

PART 145--REPAIR STATIONS

0
8. The authority citation for part 145 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702, 44707, 44709, 
44717.


Sec.  145.221  Service difficulty reports.

0
9. Amend Sec.  145.221 to revise the heading as set forth above and to 
revise paragraph (d) introductory text to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (d) A certificated repair station may submit a service difficulty 
report for the following:
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 22, 2005.
Marion C. Blakey,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-24536 Filed 12-28-05; 8:45 am]
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