Special Conditions: Boeing Model 767 Series Airplanes; Seats With Non-Traditional, Large, Non-Metallic Panels, 61079-61082 [E7-21240]

Download as PDF rfrederick on PROD1PC67 with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 208 / Monday, October 29, 2007 / Proposed Rules trays met the heat release and smoke requirements. The requirements therefore did not address seats. The preambles to both the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), Notice No. 85–10 (50 FR 15038, April 16, 1985) and the Final Rule at Amendment 25– 61 (51 FR 26206, July 21, 1986), specifically note that seats were excluded ‘‘because the recently-adopted standards for flammability of seat cushions will greatly inhibit involvement of the seats.’’ Subsequently, the Final Rule at Amendment 25–83 (60 FR 6615, March 6, 1995) clarified the definition of minimum panel size: ‘‘It is not possible to cite a specific size that will apply in all installations; however, as a general rule, components with exposed-surface areas of one square foot or less may be considered small enough that they do not have to meet the new standards. Components with exposed-surface areas greater than two square feet may be considered large enough that they do have to meet the new standards. Those with exposed-surface areas greater than one square foot, but less than two square feet, must be considered in conjunction with the areas of the cabin in which they are installed before a determination could be made.’’ In the late 1990s, the FAA issued Policy Memorandum 97–112–39, Guidance for Flammability Testing of Seat/Console Installations, October 17, 1997 (http://rgl.faa.gov). That memo was issued when it became clear that seat designs were evolving to include large, non-metallic panels with surface areas that would impact survivability during a cabin fire event, comparable to partitions or galleys. The memo noted that large surface area panels must comply with heat release and smoke emission requirements, even if they were attached to a seat. If the FAA had not issued such policy, seat designs could have been viewed as a loophole to the airworthiness standards that would result in an unacceptable decrease in survivability during a cabin fire event. In October of 2004, an issue was raised regarding the appropriate flammability standards for passenger seats that incorporated non-traditional, large, non-metallic panels in lieu of the traditional metal covered by fabric. The Seattle Aircraft Certification Office and Transport Standards Staff reviewed this design and determined that it represented the kind and quantity of material that should be required to pass the heat release and smoke emissions requirements. We have determined that special conditions would be promulgated to apply the standards VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:57 Oct 26, 2007 Jkt 214001 defined in 14 CFR 25.853(d) to seats with large, non-metallic panels in their design. Applicability As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to Boeing Model 747 series airplanes. It is not our intent, however, to require seats with large, non-metallic panels to meet § 25.853, Appendix F, parts IV and V, if they are installed in cabins of airplanes that otherwise are not required to meet these standards. Because the heat release and smoke testing requirements of § 25.853, Appendix F, parts IV and V, are not part of the type certification basis of the Model 747, these special conditions are only applicable if the Model 747 series airplanes are in 14 CFR part 121 operations. Section 121.312 requires compliance with the heat release and smoke testing requirements of § 25.853, for certain airplanes, irrespective of the type certification bases of those airplanes. For the Model 747, these are the airplanes that would be affected by these special conditions. Should Boeing apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well. Conclusion This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model series of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25 Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704. The Proposed Special Conditions Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Boeing Model 747 series airplanes. 1. Except as provided in paragraph 3 of these special conditions, compliance with Title 14 CFR part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V, heat release and smoke emission, is required for seats that incorporate non-traditional, large, nonmetallic panels that may either be a single component or multiple components in a concentrated area in their design. 2. The applicant may designate up to and including 1.5 square feet of nontraditional, non-metallic panel material PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61079 per seat place that does not have to comply with special condition Number 1, above. A triple seat assembly may have a total of 4.5 square feet excluded on any portion of the assembly (e.g., outboard seat place 1 square foot, middle 1 square foot, and inboard 2.5 square feet). 3. Seats do not have to meet the test requirements of Title 14 CFR part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V, when installed in compartments that are not otherwise required to meet these requirements. Examples include: a. Airplanes with passenger capacities of 19 or less, b. Airplanes that do not have § 25.853, Amendment 25–61 or later, in their certification basis and do not need to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR § 121.312, and c. Airplanes exempted from § 25.853, Amendment 25–61 or later. 4. Only airplanes associated with new seat certification programs approved after the effective date of these special conditions will be affected by the requirements in these special conditions. Previously certificated interiors on the existing airplane fleet and follow-on deliveries of airplanes with previously certificated interiors are not affected. Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 19, 2007. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E7–21236 Filed 10–26–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. NM382; Notice No. 25–07–14– SC] Special Conditions: Boeing Model 767 Series Airplanes; Seats With NonTraditional, Large, Non-Metallic Panels Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed special conditions. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This action proposes special conditions for Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. These airplanes will have a novel or unusual design feature(s) associated with seats that include nontraditional, large, non-metallic panels that would affect survivability during a post-crash fire event. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards E:\FR\FM\29OCP1.SGM 29OCP1 61080 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 208 / Monday, October 29, 2007 / Proposed Rules rfrederick on PROD1PC67 with PROPOSALS for this design feature. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards. DATES: We must receive your comments by November 28, 2007. ADDRESSES: You must mail two copies of your comments to: Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attn: Rules Docket (ANM– 113), Docket No. NM382, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356. You may deliver two copies to the Transport Airplane Directorate at the above address. You must mark your comments: Docket No. NM382. You can inspect comments in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alan Sinclair, FAA, Airframe/Cabin Safety Branch, ANM–115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–2195; facsimile (425) 227–1232; electronic mail alan.sinclair@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments. We will file in the docket all comments we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning these special conditions. You can inspect the docket before and after the comment closing date. If you wish to review the docket in person, go to the address in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive. If you want the FAA to acknowledge receipt of your comments on this proposal, include with your comments a pre-addressed, stamped postcard on which the docket number appears. We VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:57 Oct 26, 2007 Jkt 214001 will stamp the date on the postcard and mail it back to you. Proposed Change to Special Condition Number 4 The FAA previously notified the public of our intent to issue special conditions for seats with nontraditional, large, non-metallic panels on various airplane makes and models. Notice of Proposed Special Conditions No. 25–06–13–SC, applicable to Boeing Model 737 series airplanes, was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2006 (71 FR 65761). The special conditions were issued on June 29, 2007 (Docket No. NM 359, Special Conditions No. 25–358–SC), published in the Federal Register on July 10, 2007 (72 FR 37425), and became effective on August 9, 2007. Both the Notice and the Final Special Conditions contained these words: We anticipate that seats with nontraditional, large, non-metallic panels will be installed in other makes and models of airplanes. We have made the determination to require special conditions for all applications requesting the installation of seats with non-traditional, large, non-metallic panels until the airworthiness requirements can be revised to address this issue. Having the same standards across the range of airplane makes and models will ensure a level playing field for the aviation industry. Special condition number 4 in the 737 special conditions limits the applicability of the special conditions to new seat certification programs applied for after the effective date of the special conditions. In these proposed special conditions the FAA proposes to change the applicability to make the special conditions applicable to new seat certification programs that are approved after the effective date of the special conditions. This change could affect pending as well as future project applications. The rationale behind this proposed change is that these seat installations affect survivability during a post-crash fire event and should be implemented as soon as possible. Additionally, the public has been previously notified of the FAA’s intent to issue similar special conditions on other airplane makes and models. Background On August 8, 2005, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124, applied for a design change to Type Certificate No. A1NM for installation of seats that include non-traditional, large, nonmetallic panels in Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. The Boeing Model 767 series airplanes, currently approved under Type Certificate No. A1NM, are PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 swept-wing, conventional tail, twinengine, turbofan-powered, dual aisle, medium-sized transport category airplanes. The applicable regulations to airplanes currently approved under Type Certificate No. A1NM do not require seats to meet the more stringent flammability standards required of large, non-metallic panels in the cabin interior. At the time the applicable rules were written, seats were designed with a metal frame covered by fabric, not with large, non-metallic panels. Seats also met the then recently adopted standards for flammability of seat cushions. With the seat design being mostly fabric and metal, the contribution to a fire in the cabin had been minimized and was not considered a threat. For these reasons, seats did not need to be tested to heat release and smoke emission requirements. Seat designs have now evolved to occasionally include non-traditional, large, non-metallic panels. Taken in total, the surface area of these panels is on the same order as the sidewall and overhead stowage bin interior panels. To provide the level of passenger protection intended by the airworthiness standards, these nontraditional, large, non-metallic panels in the cabin must meet the standards of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V, heat release and smoke emission requirements. Type Certification Basis Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.101, Boeing must show that the Model 767 series airplanes, as changed, continue to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. A1NM, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change. The regulations incorporated by reference in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the ‘‘original type certification basis.’’ The regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. A1NM are as follows: • For Model 767–200 and –300 airplanes—Title 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendment 25–1 through Amendment 25–37. • For Model 767–400ER airplanes— Title 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendment 25–1 through Amendment 25–37 with the exception listed: Section 25.853(d)(3), Compartment interiors, at Amendment 25–72. In addition, the certification basis includes certain special conditions, exemptions, or later amended sections of the applicable part that are not E:\FR\FM\29OCP1.SGM 29OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 208 / Monday, October 29, 2007 / Proposed Rules rfrederick on PROD1PC67 with PROPOSALS relevant to these proposed special conditions. If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 767 series airplanes because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16. In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Boeing Model 767 series airplanes must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. Special conditions, as defined in § 11.19, are issued in accordance with § 11.38 and become part of the type certification basis in accordance with § 21.101. Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101. Novel or Unusual Design Features The Boeing Model 767 series airplanes will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: These models offer interior arrangements that include passenger seats that incorporate non-traditional, large, non-metallic panels in lieu of the traditional metal frame covered by fabric. The flammability properties of these panels have been shown to significantly affect the survivability of the cabin in the case of fire. These seats are considered a novel design for transport category airplanes that include Amendment 25– 61 and Amendment 25–66 in the certification basis, and were not considered when those airworthiness standards were established. The existing regulations do not provide adequate or appropriate safety standards for seat designs that incorporate non-traditional, large, nonmetallic panels in their designs. In order to provide a level of safety that is equivalent to that afforded to the balance of the cabin, additional airworthiness standards, in the form of special conditions, are necessary. These special conditions supplement § 25.853. The requirements contained in these VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:57 Oct 26, 2007 Jkt 214001 special conditions consist of applying the identical test conditions required of all other large panels in the cabin, to seats with non-traditional, large, nonmetallic panels. Definition of ‘‘Non-Traditional, Large, Non-Metallic Panel’’ A non-traditional, large, non-metallic panel, in this case, is defined as a panel with exposed-surface areas greater than 1.5 square feet installed per seat place. The panel may consist of either a single component or multiple components in a concentrated area. Examples of parts of the seat where these non-traditional panels are installed include, but are not limited to: Seat backs, bottoms and leg/ foot rests, kick panels, back shells, credenzas and associated furniture. Examples of traditional exempted parts of the seat include: Arm caps, armrest close-outs such as end bays and armreststyled center consoles, food trays, video monitors, and shrouds. Clarification of ‘‘Exposed’’ ‘‘Exposed’’ is considered to include panels that are directly exposed to the passenger cabin in the traditional sense, and panels that are enveloped, such as by a dress cover. Traditional fabrics or leathers currently used on seats are excluded from these special conditions. These materials must still comply with § 25.853(a) and § 25.853(c) if used as a covering for a seat cushion, or § 25.853(a) if installed elsewhere on the seat. Non-traditional, large, non-metallic panels covered with traditional fabrics or leathers will be tested without their coverings or covering attachments. Discussion In the early 1980s the FAA conducted extensive research on the effects of postcrash flammability in the passenger cabin. As a result of this research and service experience, we adopted new standards for interior surfaces associated with large surface area parts. Specifically, the rules require measurement of heat release and smoke emission (part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V) for the affected parts. Heat release has been shown to have a direct correlation with post-crash fire survival time. Materials that comply with the standards (i.e., § 25.853 entitled ‘‘Compartment interiors’’ as amended by Amendment 25–61 and Amendment 25–66) extend survival time by approximately 2 minutes over materials that do not comply. At the time these standards were written the potential application of the requirements of heat release and smoke emission to seats was explored. The seat frame itself was not a concern because PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61081 it was primarily made of aluminum and there were only small amounts of nonmetallic materials. It was determined that the overall effect on survivability was negligible, whether or not the food trays met the heat release and smoke requirements. The requirements therefore did not address seats. The preambles to both the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), Notice No. 85–10 (50 FR 15038, April 16, 1985) and the Final Rule at Amendment 25– 61 (51 FR 26206, July 21, 1986), specifically note that seats were excluded ‘‘because the recently-adopted standards for flammability of seat cushions will greatly inhibit involvement of the seats.’’ Subsequently, the Final Rule at Amendment 25–83 (60 FR 6615, March 6, 1995) clarified the definition of minimum panel size: ‘‘It is not possible to cite a specific size that will apply in all installations; however, as a general rule, components with exposed-surface areas of one square foot or less may be considered small enough that they do not have to meet the new standards. Components with exposed-surface areas greater than two square feet may be considered large enough that they do have to meet the new standards. Those with exposed-surface areas greater than one square foot, but less than two square feet, must be considered in conjunction with the areas of the cabin in which they are installed before a determination could be made.’’ In the late 1990s, the FAA issued Policy Memorandum 97–112–39, Guidance for Flammability Testing of Seat/Console Installations, October 17, 1997 (http://rgl.faa.gov). That memo was issued when it became clear that seat designs were evolving to include large, non-metallic panels with surface areas that would impact survivability during a cabin fire event, comparable to partitions or galleys. The memo noted that large surface area panels must comply with heat release and smoke emission requirements, even if they were attached to a seat. If the FAA had not issued such policy, seat designs could have been viewed as a loophole to the airworthiness standards that would result in an unacceptable decrease in survivability during a cabin fire event. In October of 2004, an issue was raised regarding the appropriate flammability standards for passenger seats that incorporated non-traditional, large, non-metallic panels in lieu of the traditional metal covered by fabric. The Seattle Aircraft Certification Office and Transport Standards Staff reviewed this design and determined that it represented the kind and quantity of E:\FR\FM\29OCP1.SGM 29OCP1 61082 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 208 / Monday, October 29, 2007 / Proposed Rules material that should be required to pass the heat release and smoke emissions requirements. We have determined that special conditions would be promulgated to apply the standards defined in 14 CFR 25.853(d) to seats with large, non-metallic panels in their design. Applicability As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. It is not our intent, however, to require seats with large, non-metallic panels to meet § 25.853, Appendix F, parts IV and V, if they are installed in cabins of airplanes that otherwise are not required to meet these standards. Because the heat release and smoke testing requirements of § 25.853 per Appendix F, parts IV and V, are not part of the type certification basis of the Model 767, these special conditions are only applicable if the Model 767 series airplanes are in 14 CFR part 121 operations. Section 121.312 requires compliance with the heat release and smoke testing requirements of § 25.853, for certain airplanes, irrespective of the type certification bases of those airplanes. For Model 767 series airplanes, these are the airplanes that would be affected by these special conditions. Should Boeing apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well. Conclusion This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model series of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25 Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: rfrederick on PROD1PC67 with PROPOSALS Jkt 214001 BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 The Proposed Special Conditions Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. 1. Except as provided in paragraph 3 of these special conditions, compliance with Title 14 CFR part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V, heat release and smoke emission, is required for seats that incorporate non-traditional, large, nonmetallic panels that may either be a single component or multiple 14:57 Oct 26, 2007 Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 19, 2007. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E7–21240 Filed 10–26–07; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704. VerDate Aug<31>2005 components in a concentrated area in their design. 2. The applicant may designate up to and including 1.5 square feet of nontraditional, non-metallic panel material per seat place that does not have to comply with special condition Number 1, above. A triple seat assembly may have a total of 4.5 square feet excluded on any portion of the assembly (e.g., outboard seat place 1 square foot, middle 1 square foot, and inboard 2.5 square feet). 3. Seats do not have to meet the test requirements of Title 14 CFR part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V, when installed in compartments that are not otherwise required to meet these requirements. Examples include: a. Airplanes with passenger capacities of 19 or less, b. Airplanes that do not have § 25.853, Amendment 25–61 or later, in their certification basis and do not need to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 121.312, and c. Airplanes exempted from § 25.853, Amendment 25–61 or later. 4. Only airplanes associated with new seat certification programs approved after the effective date of these special conditions will be affected by the requirements in these special conditions. Previously certificated interiors on the existing airplane fleet and follow-on deliveries of airplanes with previously certificated interiors are not affected. [Docket No. 384; Notice No. 25–07–16–SC] Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787 Series Airplanes; Seats With NonTraditional, Large, Non-Metallic Panels Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed special conditions. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This action proposes special conditions for Boeing Model 787 series airplanes. These airplanes will have a novel or unusual design feature(s) associated with seats that include nontraditional, large, non-metallic panels PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 that would affect survivability during a post-crash fire event. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards. DATES: We must receive your comments by November 28, 2007. ADDRESSES: You must mail two copies of your comments to: Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attn: Rules Docket (ANM– 113), Docket No. 384, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356. You may deliver two copies to the Transport Airplane Directorate at the above address. You must mark your comments: Docket No. 384. You can inspect comments in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alan Sinclair, FAA, Airframe/Cabin Safety Branch, ANM–115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–2195; facsimile (425) 227–1232; electronic mail alan.sinclair@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments. We will file in the docket all comments we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning these special conditions. You can inspect the docket before and after the comment closing date. If you wish to review the docket in person, go to the address in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive. If you want the FAA to acknowledge receipt of your comments on this E:\FR\FM\29OCP1.SGM 29OCP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 208 (Monday, October 29, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 61079-61082]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-21240]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 25

[Docket No. NM382; Notice No. 25-07-14-SC]


Special Conditions: Boeing Model 767 Series Airplanes; Seats With 
Non-Traditional, Large, Non-Metallic Panels

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed special conditions.

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

SUMMARY: This action proposes special conditions for Boeing Model 767 
series airplanes. These airplanes will have a novel or unusual design 
feature(s) associated with seats that include non-traditional, large, 
non-metallic panels that would affect survivability during a post-crash 
fire event. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain 
adequate or appropriate safety standards

[[Page 61080]]

for this design feature. These proposed special conditions contain the 
additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary 
to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the 
existing airworthiness standards.

DATES: We must receive your comments by November 28, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You must mail two copies of your comments to: Federal 
Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attn: Rules 
Docket (ANM-113), Docket No. NM382, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, 
Washington 98057-3356. You may deliver two copies to the Transport 
Airplane Directorate at the above address. You must mark your comments: 
Docket No. NM382. You can inspect comments in the Rules Docket 
weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alan Sinclair, FAA, Airframe/Cabin 
Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft 
Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-
3356; telephone (425) 227-2195; facsimile (425) 227-1232; electronic 
mail alan.sinclair@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by 
sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments 
reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask 
that you send us two copies of written comments.
    We will file in the docket all comments we receive, as well as a 
report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel 
concerning these special conditions. You can inspect the docket before 
and after the comment closing date. If you wish to review the docket in 
person, go to the address in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.
    We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing 
date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is 
possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change 
these special conditions based on the comments we receive.
    If you want the FAA to acknowledge receipt of your comments on this 
proposal, include with your comments a pre-addressed, stamped postcard 
on which the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the 
postcard and mail it back to you.

Proposed Change to Special Condition Number 4

    The FAA previously notified the public of our intent to issue 
special conditions for seats with non-traditional, large, non-metallic 
panels on various airplane makes and models. Notice of Proposed Special 
Conditions No. 25-06-13-SC, applicable to Boeing Model 737 series 
airplanes, was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2006 
(71 FR 65761). The special conditions were issued on June 29, 2007 
(Docket No. NM 359, Special Conditions No. 25-358-SC), published in the 
Federal Register on July 10, 2007 (72 FR 37425), and became effective 
on August 9, 2007. Both the Notice and the Final Special Conditions 
contained these words:

    We anticipate that seats with non-traditional, large, non-
metallic panels will be installed in other makes and models of 
airplanes. We have made the determination to require special 
conditions for all applications requesting the installation of seats 
with non-traditional, large, non-metallic panels until the 
airworthiness requirements can be revised to address this issue. 
Having the same standards across the range of airplane makes and 
models will ensure a level playing field for the aviation industry.

    Special condition number 4 in the 737 special conditions limits the 
applicability of the special conditions to new seat certification 
programs applied for after the effective date of the special 
conditions. In these proposed special conditions the FAA proposes to 
change the applicability to make the special conditions applicable to 
new seat certification programs that are approved after the effective 
date of the special conditions. This change could affect pending as 
well as future project applications. The rationale behind this proposed 
change is that these seat installations affect survivability during a 
post-crash fire event and should be implemented as soon as possible. 
Additionally, the public has been previously notified of the FAA's 
intent to issue similar special conditions on other airplane makes and 
models.

Background

    On August 8, 2005, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, 
Seattle, Washington 98124, applied for a design change to Type 
Certificate No. A1NM for installation of seats that include non-
traditional, large, non-metallic panels in Boeing Model 767 series 
airplanes. The Boeing Model 767 series airplanes, currently approved 
under Type Certificate No. A1NM, are swept-wing, conventional tail, 
twin-engine, turbofan-powered, dual aisle, medium-sized transport 
category airplanes.
    The applicable regulations to airplanes currently approved under 
Type Certificate No. A1NM do not require seats to meet the more 
stringent flammability standards required of large, non-metallic panels 
in the cabin interior. At the time the applicable rules were written, 
seats were designed with a metal frame covered by fabric, not with 
large, non-metallic panels. Seats also met the then recently adopted 
standards for flammability of seat cushions. With the seat design being 
mostly fabric and metal, the contribution to a fire in the cabin had 
been minimized and was not considered a threat. For these reasons, 
seats did not need to be tested to heat release and smoke emission 
requirements.
    Seat designs have now evolved to occasionally include non-
traditional, large, non-metallic panels. Taken in total, the surface 
area of these panels is on the same order as the sidewall and overhead 
stowage bin interior panels. To provide the level of passenger 
protection intended by the airworthiness standards, these non-
traditional, large, non-metallic panels in the cabin must meet the 
standards of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 25, 
Appendix F, parts IV and V, heat release and smoke emission 
requirements.

Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.101, Boeing must show that the 
Model 767 series airplanes, as changed, continue to meet the applicable 
provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference in Type 
Certificate No. A1NM, or the applicable regulations in effect on the 
date of application for the change. The regulations incorporated by 
reference in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the 
``original type certification basis.'' The regulations incorporated by 
reference in Type Certificate No. A1NM are as follows:
     For Model 767-200 and -300 airplanes--Title 14 CFR part 
25, as amended by Amendment 25-1 through Amendment 25-37.
     For Model 767-400ER airplanes--Title 14 CFR part 25, as 
amended by Amendment 25-1 through Amendment 25-37 with the exception 
listed: Section 25.853(d)(3), Compartment interiors, at Amendment 25-
72.
    In addition, the certification basis includes certain special 
conditions, exemptions, or later amended sections of the applicable 
part that are not

[[Page 61081]]

relevant to these proposed special conditions.
    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness 
regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or 
appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 767 series airplanes 
because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are 
prescribed under the provisions of Sec.  21.16.
    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special 
conditions, the Boeing Model 767 series airplanes must comply with the 
fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the 
noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.
    Special conditions, as defined in Sec.  11.19, are issued in 
accordance with Sec.  11.38 and become part of the type certification 
basis in accordance with Sec.  21.101.
    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which 
they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended 
later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar 
novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already 
included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the 
same or similar novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions 
would also apply to the other model under Sec.  21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Boeing Model 767 series airplanes will incorporate the 
following novel or unusual design features: These models offer interior 
arrangements that include passenger seats that incorporate non-
traditional, large, non-metallic panels in lieu of the traditional 
metal frame covered by fabric. The flammability properties of these 
panels have been shown to significantly affect the survivability of the 
cabin in the case of fire. These seats are considered a novel design 
for transport category airplanes that include Amendment 25-61 and 
Amendment 25-66 in the certification basis, and were not considered 
when those airworthiness standards were established.
    The existing regulations do not provide adequate or appropriate 
safety standards for seat designs that incorporate non-traditional, 
large, non-metallic panels in their designs. In order to provide a 
level of safety that is equivalent to that afforded to the balance of 
the cabin, additional airworthiness standards, in the form of special 
conditions, are necessary. These special conditions supplement Sec.  
25.853. The requirements contained in these special conditions consist 
of applying the identical test conditions required of all other large 
panels in the cabin, to seats with non-traditional, large, non-metallic 
panels.

Definition of ``Non-Traditional, Large, Non-Metallic Panel''

    A non-traditional, large, non-metallic panel, in this case, is 
defined as a panel with exposed-surface areas greater than 1.5 square 
feet installed per seat place. The panel may consist of either a single 
component or multiple components in a concentrated area. Examples of 
parts of the seat where these non-traditional panels are installed 
include, but are not limited to: Seat backs, bottoms and leg/foot 
rests, kick panels, back shells, credenzas and associated furniture. 
Examples of traditional exempted parts of the seat include: Arm caps, 
armrest close-outs such as end bays and armrest-styled center consoles, 
food trays, video monitors, and shrouds.

Clarification of ``Exposed''

    ``Exposed'' is considered to include panels that are directly 
exposed to the passenger cabin in the traditional sense, and panels 
that are enveloped, such as by a dress cover. Traditional fabrics or 
leathers currently used on seats are excluded from these special 
conditions. These materials must still comply with Sec.  25.853(a) and 
Sec.  25.853(c) if used as a covering for a seat cushion, or Sec.  
25.853(a) if installed elsewhere on the seat. Non-traditional, large, 
non-metallic panels covered with traditional fabrics or leathers will 
be tested without their coverings or covering attachments.

Discussion

    In the early 1980s the FAA conducted extensive research on the 
effects of post-crash flammability in the passenger cabin. As a result 
of this research and service experience, we adopted new standards for 
interior surfaces associated with large surface area parts. 
Specifically, the rules require measurement of heat release and smoke 
emission (part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V) for the affected parts. 
Heat release has been shown to have a direct correlation with post-
crash fire survival time. Materials that comply with the standards 
(i.e., Sec.  25.853 entitled ``Compartment interiors'' as amended by 
Amendment 25-61 and Amendment 25-66) extend survival time by 
approximately 2 minutes over materials that do not comply.
    At the time these standards were written the potential application 
of the requirements of heat release and smoke emission to seats was 
explored. The seat frame itself was not a concern because it was 
primarily made of aluminum and there were only small amounts of non-
metallic materials. It was determined that the overall effect on 
survivability was negligible, whether or not the food trays met the 
heat release and smoke requirements. The requirements therefore did not 
address seats. The preambles to both the Notice of Proposed Rule Making 
(NPRM), Notice No. 85-10 (50 FR 15038, April 16, 1985) and the Final 
Rule at Amendment 25-61 (51 FR 26206, July 21, 1986), specifically note 
that seats were excluded ``because the recently-adopted standards for 
flammability of seat cushions will greatly inhibit involvement of the 
seats.''
    Subsequently, the Final Rule at Amendment 25-83 (60 FR 6615, March 
6, 1995) clarified the definition of minimum panel size: ``It is not 
possible to cite a specific size that will apply in all installations; 
however, as a general rule, components with exposed-surface areas of 
one square foot or less may be considered small enough that they do not 
have to meet the new standards. Components with exposed-surface areas 
greater than two square feet may be considered large enough that they 
do have to meet the new standards. Those with exposed-surface areas 
greater than one square foot, but less than two square feet, must be 
considered in conjunction with the areas of the cabin in which they are 
installed before a determination could be made.''
    In the late 1990s, the FAA issued Policy Memorandum 97-112-39, 
Guidance for Flammability Testing of Seat/Console Installations, 
October 17, 1997 (http://rgl.faa.gov). That memo was issued when it 
became clear that seat designs were evolving to include large, non-
metallic panels with surface areas that would impact survivability 
during a cabin fire event, comparable to partitions or galleys. The 
memo noted that large surface area panels must comply with heat release 
and smoke emission requirements, even if they were attached to a seat. 
If the FAA had not issued such policy, seat designs could have been 
viewed as a loophole to the airworthiness standards that would result 
in an unacceptable decrease in survivability during a cabin fire event.
    In October of 2004, an issue was raised regarding the appropriate 
flammability standards for passenger seats that incorporated non-
traditional, large, non-metallic panels in lieu of the traditional 
metal covered by fabric. The Seattle Aircraft Certification Office and 
Transport Standards Staff reviewed this design and determined that it 
represented the kind and quantity of

[[Page 61082]]

material that should be required to pass the heat release and smoke 
emissions requirements. We have determined that special conditions 
would be promulgated to apply the standards defined in 14 CFR 25.853(d) 
to seats with large, non-metallic panels in their design.

Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to 
Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. It is not our intent, however, to 
require seats with large, non-metallic panels to meet Sec.  25.853, 
Appendix F, parts IV and V, if they are installed in cabins of 
airplanes that otherwise are not required to meet these standards. 
Because the heat release and smoke testing requirements of Sec.  25.853 
per Appendix F, parts IV and V, are not part of the type certification 
basis of the Model 767, these special conditions are only applicable if 
the Model 767 series airplanes are in 14 CFR part 121 operations. 
Section 121.312 requires compliance with the heat release and smoke 
testing requirements of Sec.  25.853, for certain airplanes, 
irrespective of the type certification bases of those airplanes. For 
Model 767 series airplanes, these are the airplanes that would be 
affected by these special conditions. Should Boeing apply at a later 
date for a change to the type certificate to include another model 
incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special 
conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features 
on one model series of airplanes. It is not a rule of general 
applicability.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

The Proposed Special Conditions

    Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the 
following special conditions as part of the type certification basis 
for Boeing Model 767 series airplanes.
    1. Except as provided in paragraph 3 of these special conditions, 
compliance with Title 14 CFR part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V, heat 
release and smoke emission, is required for seats that incorporate non-
traditional, large, non-metallic panels that may either be a single 
component or multiple components in a concentrated area in their 
design.
    2. The applicant may designate up to and including 1.5 square feet 
of non-traditional, non-metallic panel material per seat place that 
does not have to comply with special condition Number 1, above. A 
triple seat assembly may have a total of 4.5 square feet excluded on 
any portion of the assembly (e.g., outboard seat place 1 square foot, 
middle 1 square foot, and inboard 2.5 square feet).
    3. Seats do not have to meet the test requirements of Title 14 CFR 
part 25, Appendix F, parts IV and V, when installed in compartments 
that are not otherwise required to meet these requirements. Examples 
include:
    a. Airplanes with passenger capacities of 19 or less,
    b. Airplanes that do not have Sec.  25.853, Amendment 25-61 or 
later, in their certification basis and do not need to comply with the 
requirements of 14 CFR 121.312, and
    c. Airplanes exempted from Sec.  25.853, Amendment 25-61 or later.
    4. Only airplanes associated with new seat certification programs 
approved after the effective date of these special conditions will be 
affected by the requirements in these special conditions. Previously 
certificated interiors on the existing airplane fleet and follow-on 
deliveries of airplanes with previously certificated interiors are not 
affected.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 19, 2007.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. E7-21240 Filed 10-26-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P