Lavatory Oxygen Systems, 12550-12556 [2011-5325]

Download as PDF 12550 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations List of Subjects in 4 CFR Part 81 Administrative practice and procedure, Archives and records, Computer technology, Electronic products, Freedom of information, Public reading room, Requests for records. For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Government Accountability Office amends 4 CFR part 81 as follows: GAO to another agency for law enforcement purposes. * * * * * (m) * * * Records obtained by the GAO Forensic Audits and Special Investigations (GAO FraudNet) are an example of records that could contain information covered by this exemption. ■ 6. Amend § 81.8 to add a new second sentence, and to revise the last sentence as follows: PART 81—PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE RECORDS § 81.8 1. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 31 U.S.C. 711. 2. Amend § 81.1 to revise the first sentence of paragraph (a), to revise paragraph (b), and to add paragraph (c) to read as follows: ■ § 81.1 Purpose and scope of part. (a) This part implements the policy of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) with respect to the public availability of GAO records, except as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. * * * (b) GAO published testimonies, reports, decisions, special publications, or listings of publications are not included within the scope of this part. These documents may be obtained from the GAO Web site, https://www.gao.gov, or by telephone at 202–512–6000, TDD 202–512–2537, or 1–866–801–7077 (toll free). These publications may be downloaded free of charge from the GAO Web site. Paper copies requested from GAO are subject to a printing, shipping, and handling fee. (c) Requests for all other GAO records are within the scope of this part and should be submitted to GAO as directed in paragraph (a) of § 81.4. ■ 3. Revise § 81.2 to read as follows: emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with RULES § 81.2 Administration. GAO’s Chief Quality Officer administers this part and may promulgate such supplemental rules or regulations as may be necessary. ■ 4. In § 81.4, remove the second sentence of paragraph (a). ■ 5. Amend § 81.6 to revise paragraph (g) and the sentence following the italic heading in paragraph (m) to read as follows: § 81.6 Records which may be exempt from disclosure. * * * * * (g) Records compiled for law enforcement purposes that originate in another agency, or records provided by VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:59 Mar 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 Public reading facility. * * * To determine if a record is part of the public reading facility collection and to schedule an appointment to visit the facility, contact the Library reference desk at 202–512–2585. The facility is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. Lynn H. Gibson, General Counsel, U.S. Government Accountability Office. [FR Doc. 2011–4988 Filed 3–7–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1610–02–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 21, 25, 121, and 129 [Docket No. FAA–2011–0186; Amendment Nos. 21–94, 25–133, 121–354, and 129–50; SFAR 111] RIN 2120–AJ92 Lavatory Oxygen Systems Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Interim final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: This action temporarily authorizes variances from existing standards related to the provisioning of supplemental oxygen inside lavatories. This action is necessitated by other mandatory actions that temporarily render such oxygen systems inoperative. DATES: This interim rule is effective March 8, 2011 and remains in effect until further notice. Submit comments on or before May 9, 2011. ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA–2011–0186 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M–30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12–140, West SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202–493–2251. Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA dockets, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–19478), as well as at https://DocketsInfo.dot.gov. Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at https://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Gardlin, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM–115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Northwest Mountain Region, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone: (425) 227–2136; e-mail: jeff.gardlin@faa.gov. For legal questions concerning this action, contact Douglas Anderson, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of the Regional Counsel, ANM–7, Northwest Mountain Region, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone: (425) 227–2166; e-mail: douglas.anderson@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Good Cause The FAA finds that notice and public comment to this interim rule are impracticable. This rule, together with Airworthiness Directive 2011–04–09, addresses an emergency situation relating to a security vulnerability in transport category airplanes. These rules both mandate action necessary to address this vulnerability and provide interim relief from other regulatory E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations requirements that would otherwise be violated by the mandated actions. The FAA also finds good cause for making this interim rule effective upon publication. As discussed previously, this interim rule addresses an emergency situation, which makes it imperative that the provisions of this rule be implemented immediately. Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701, ‘‘General Requirements.’’ Under that section, the FAA is charged with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing minimum standards required in the interest of safety for the design and performance of aircraft; regulations and minimum standards in the interest of safety for inspecting, servicing, and overhauling aircraft; and regulations for other practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it revises the safety standards for design and operation of transport category airplanes. emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with RULES I. Background The FAA has become aware of a security vulnerability with certain types of oxygen systems installed inside the lavatories of most transport category airplanes. As a result, the FAA has mandated that these oxygen systems be rendered inoperative until the vulnerability can be eliminated. However, by rendering the oxygen systems inoperative to comply with that mandatory action, operators will be out of compliance with the requirements of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 25.1447, 121.329 and 121.333. In addition to the current fleet of inservice airplanes, newly manufactured airplanes and airplanes undergoing other modification will need to render the oxygen systems in the lavatories inoperative. This SFAR is needed so the affected airplanes can continue operating until the issue is resolved. II. Discussion of the Issue Lavatory Oxygen Systems Section 25.1447 specifies the quantities and accessibility requirements for supplemental oxygen VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:59 Mar 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 systems. The supplemental oxygen systems are necessary safety equipment in the event of loss of cabin pressure. Each occupant is required to have supplemental oxygen immediately available in the event that cabin pressure drops to a certain level. Specifically, the regulations require lavatories to be equipped with two oxygen masks and, for airplanes flying above 30,000 feet, the masks must be automatically presented to the occupants. Two masks are required inside a lavatory to address the situation where one person may be assisting another, such as an adult with a small child. Lavatory oxygen systems are generally very similar to the systems provided for passenger and flight attendant use in the rest of the cabin. The intent of the supplemental oxygen requirements in § 25.1447 is reinforced in the operational requirements of §§ 121.329 and 121.333, although neither section specifically mentions lavatories. Safety Ramifications Because of security vulnerability issues, the FAA has mandated that certain lavatory oxygen systems be rendered inoperative. This mandate creates a noncompliance with airworthiness and operational standards. This SFAR addresses this noncompliance by codifying relief from the relevant airworthiness and operational requirements while the issue is being resolved. The FAA has conducted a risk analysis to assess the safety implications of temporarily not having supplemental oxygen available inside lavatories. To support the risk assessment, earlier studies involving passengers’ use of oxygen were reviewed. For a different rulemaking, the FAA tasked the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) to make recommendations for safety standards when airplanes are operating at high altitudes. As part of its effort, the ARAC did a comprehensive assessment of the frequency and nature of the need for supplemental oxygen systems in service. The ARAC identified 2,800 instances over a 40-year period and categorized them by cause, severity, and consequence. The majority of these instances were caused by malfunctions of the cabin pressurization system. However, in none of those 2,800 instances was there a loss of life due to lack of oxygen. The ARAC used these data in making recommendations to the FAA on future rulemaking. The FAA has reviewed the service history since the ARAC recommendations were made and found PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 12551 that the types and frequencies of incidents, as well as their causes, are consistent with the historical record. The relative risks and service history have not changed in any significant way since the ARAC recommendations were issued. With respect to this SFAR, the only affected areas of the airplane are the lavatories, as opposed to the earlier assessments, which applied to the entire airplane. The lavatories are sporadically occupied during flight, and by a small number of passengers at any given time. This limits the potential impact on safety. The ARAC found that the frequency of occurrences necessitating the use of oxygen was around 10¥8/flight-hour for causes other than a malfunction of the pressurization system (these tend to be slower losses of pressure, or are identified at lower altitudes, and therefore are not as critical for this action). The probability that a lavatory will be occupied at any given moment is not known. It is not 100% and it is not 0%. If, for the purposes of this assessment, we assume the probability is 50%, then the probability of a person in a lavatory needing oxygen is ∼5 × 10¥9/flight-hour. The FAA envisions a two- to four-year regulatory process to restore the affected oxygen systems to their full operational capability. The FAA has determined that during this period, the slight increase in the safety risk to a small number of individuals is outweighed by the elimination of the greater security risk that prompted the original requirement to disable the lavatory supplemental oxygen system. Nonetheless, the FAA is aggressively pursuing design solutions that will eliminate the previously identified security concerns with lavatory oxygen systems and restore oxygen to the lavatories in an expeditious manner. Further rulemaking will consider the need for changes to the type certification rules and incorporation into the fleet via changes to the operating rules. The implementation of that rulemaking will correspond with the expiration of this SFAR. The SFAR Provisions This SFAR allows all air carriers that are required to render lavatory oxygen systems inoperative, as it pertains to the lavatory oxygen systems only, in accordance with an FAA directive to continue to operate without complying with specific regulations pertaining to supplemental oxygen systems. This SFAR also permits manufacturers and modifiers of transport category airplanes to deliver or return to service airplanes affected by the FAA directive with the E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 12552 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations same relief. In addition, this SFAR requires certain procedural and configuration enhancements to reduce the safety risk to passengers in the unlikely event that they should need oxygen while in a lavatory. We intend to issue a new rule to address the safety concerns with lavatory oxygen systems within the duration of this SFAR. As noted above, the compliance date for that rule and the expiration of this SFAR will be aligned. III. Regulatory Notices and Analyses This rulemaking action is a significant rule within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 and DOT’s Regulatory Policies and Procedures, because the subject matter is of significant interest to the public. Because this interim rule addresses an emergency situation, within the meaning of Section 6(a)(3)(D) of the Executive Order, the agency has notified the Office of Management and Budget of this rule but has not followed the coordination procedures specified in the Executive Order. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that there is no new requirement for information collection associated with this interim rule. emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with RULES International Compatibility In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that these regulations are not inconsistent with any ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. Regulatory Evaluation, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, International Trade Impact Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs that each Federal agency shall 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 (Pub. L. 96–354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96–39) prohibits agencies VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:59 Mar 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. And 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 with base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA’s analysis of the economic impacts of this SFAR. In conducting these analyses, the FAA has determined that this final rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs, (2) is not an economically ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, (3) is ‘‘significant’’ as defined in DOT’s Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; (5) will not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States; and (6) will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or Tribal governments, or on the private sector Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does not warrant a detailed evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect, and the basis for it, be included in the preamble if a detailed regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this rule. The reasoning for this determination follows: The FAA has become aware of a security vulnerability with certain types of oxygen systems installed inside the lavatories of most passenger-carrying part 121 transport category airplanes. As a result, in an earlier rule the FAA mandated that these lavatory oxygen systems be rendered inoperative until the vulnerability can be eliminated. However, by rendering the oxygen systems inoperative to comply with the mandatory actions, operators will be out of compliance with current FAA requirements. The affected fleet includes the current fleet of in-service and newly manufactured passengercarrying transport category airplanes PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 operated under parts 121 and 129 (U.S.registered airplanes). This SFAR requires the removal of the inoperative oxygen masks for passenger safety. Also, this SFAR is needed so the affected airplanes can continue operating until the issue is resolved. The FAA has determined that on average, part 121 passenger-carrying turbopropeller-driven airplanes (turboprops) have one lavatory; part 121 regional jets have two lavatories; part 121 narrow-body turbojet-powered airplanes (turbojets) have three lavatories; and part 121 wide-body turbojets have 10 lavatories per airplane. The FAA has also determined that the time necessary to remove the inoperative oxygen masks is 10 to 15 minutes per airplane lavatory and will be performed by a qualified, FAAcertificated aircraft mechanic. In addition, the FAA has determined that there would be no extra parts necessary in removing the inoperative oxygen masks. Therefore, with no extra parts necessary, there are also no additional maintenance or fuel burn costs. The FAA is using a $48.38 hourly rate for a mechanic working for an airplane manufacturer or modifier. We obtained the mechanic’s hourly rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 7.1. These rates include wages and benefits. To estimate the total costs of the SFAR, the FAA had to analyze the current fleet of part 121 airplanes which are affected by the SFAR. We obtained a list of the current U.S.-operated, passenger-carrying civilian airplanes operating under 14 CFR part 121 from the FAA National Vital Information Subsystem (NVIS) database.1 The FAA assumes that for newly-delivered, part 121 passenger-carrying airplanes, the inoperative oxygen masks will have already been removed. Based upon that assumption, we have matched each airplane with its average number of lavatories. The following table shows the number of affected passenger-carrying, part 121 airplanes and the individual airplane costs for a turboprop, regional jet, and narrow- and wide-body turbojet. 1 The National Vital Information Subsystem (NVIS) is a subsystem of the Flight Standards Automation System (FSAS), which is a comprehensive information system used primarily by inspectors to record and disseminate data associated with inspector activity and the aviation environment. NVIS maintains up-to-date information about the aviation community within the jurisdiction of Flight Standards. E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations 12553 significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the 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. The FAA believes that this SFAR will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reason. The net effect of the SFAR is to eliminate security vulnerabilities with certain types of oxygen systems installed inside the lavatories of most passenger-carrying, part 121 transport category airplanes. The SFAR requires the removal of the inoperative oxygen masks installed inside the lavatories of passenger-carrying, part 121 transport category airplanes. Under the RFA, the FAA must determine whether a rule significantly affects a substantial number of small entities. This determination is typically based on small entity size and cost thresholds that vary depending on the affected industry. Using the size standards from the Small Business Administration for Air Transportation and Aircraft Manufacturing, we defined companies as small entities if they have fewer than 1,500 employees.2 The SFAR has a compliance time of a maximum of 30 days. The FAA believes the SFAR will be published in 2011; therefore, all costs will be in nominal 2011 dollars. For this analysis, we considered the economic impact of this SFAR on small-entity part 121 operators. We obtained a list of part 121 operators from the FAA Flight Standards Service NVIS database.3 Using information provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Form 41 filings, we obtained company revenue and employment for most of the part 121 U.S. operators. Using the methodology discussed above, we determined that of the 55 part 121 U.S. operators that could be affected by the rule, there are 38 that reported annual employment data. Of the 38 air carriers that reported annual employment data, 14 air carriers meet the SBA size standard for small business of 1,500. All of the 14 air carriers reported annual revenue. Regulatory Flexibility Determination The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96–354) (RFA) establishes ‘‘as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration.’’ The RFA covers a wide range of small entities, including small businesses, not-forprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a 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 RFA. However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:59 Mar 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2 13 CFR part 121, Size Standards Used To Define Small Business Concerns, Sector 48–49 Transportation, Subsector 481 Air Transportation. 3 The National Vital Information Subsystem (NVIS) is a subsystem of the Flight Standards Automation System (FSAS), which is a comprehensive information system used primarily by inspectors to record and disseminate data associated with inspector activity and the aviation environment. NVIS maintains up-to-date information about the aviation community within the jurisdiction of Flight Standards. E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 ER08MR11.002</GPH> a maximum of 30 days. The FAA is publishing the SFAR in 2011; therefore, all costs will be in nominal 2011 dollars. The following table shows these total cost results by equipment group: ER08MR11.001</GPH> and the time it takes to render the oxygen systems inoperative. We then summed the costs for each of the affected part 121 airplanes to obtain a total cost for this SFAR. The SFAR’s requirement to remove inoperative oxygen masks has a compliance time of The FAA believes these costs are minimal. The removal of inoperative lavatory oxygen masks is to ensure passengers would not inadvertently try to use such a mask in a depressurization. We believe these safety benefits far exceed the minimal costs. emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with RULES The FAA calculated the range of the total costs of the SFAR by taking the product for each of the affected passenger-carrying, part 121 airplanes; the number of lavatories on each airplane; the hourly rate of a mechanic working for an airplane manufacturer; 12554 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations To assess the SFAR’s cost impact to small-entity part 121 operators, the FAA has determined that the time necessary to render lavatory oxygen systems inoperative is 10 to 15 minutes per airplane lavatory and will be performed by a qualified, FAA-certificated aircraft mechanic. For this analysis, we will conservatively use the high time of 15 minutes. The FAA is using a $48.38 hourly rate for a mechanic working for an airplane manufacturer or modifier. We obtained the mechanic’s hourly rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 7.1. These rates include wages and benefits. The FAA calculated the total costs of the SFAR by taking the product for each of the affected passenger-carrying, part 121 airplanes; the number of lavatories on each airplane; the hourly rate of a mechanic working for an airplane manufacturer or modifier; and the time it takes to render the oxygen systems inoperative. We then summed the costs for each of the affected part 121 airplanes to obtain a total cost for this SFAR. We then measured the economic impact on small entities by dividing the estimated compliance cost by each of the 14 small entities’ annual revenue. The SFAR’s cost is estimated to be less than one percent of annual revenues for all 14 small-entity operators. The following table shows these results. Since the cost of the SFAR is less than one percent for each of the 14 smallentity operators, I certify that this SFAR will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. the rule does not create unnecessary obstacles to foreign commerce. Regulations Affecting Intrastate Aviation in Alaska Section 1205 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 1996 (110 Stat. 3213) requires the FAA, when modifying its regulations in a manner affecting intrastate aviation in Alaska, to consider the extent to which Alaska is not served by transportation modes other than aviation, and to establish appropriate regulatory distinctions. We have determined that there is no need to make any regulatory distinctions applicable to intrastate aviation in Alaska. The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96–39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103–465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. 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 rule and determined that as the objective of this rule is aviation safety and it does not exclude imports, VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:59 Mar 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4) 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 (in 1995 dollars) 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 $143.1 million in lieu of $100 million. This rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply. Executive Order 13132, Federalism The FAA has analyzed this interim rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal 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. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 paragraph 4j and involves no extraordinary circumstances. Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use The FAA analyzed this interim rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 ER08MR11.003</GPH> emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with RULES International Trade Impact Assessment Unfunded Mandates Assessment Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under the executive order and it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. requirements, Security measures, Smoking. How To Obtain Additional Information PART 21—CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Rulemaking Documents An electronic copy of a rulemaking document my be obtained by using the Internet— 1. Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (https://www.regulations.gov); 2. Visit the FAA’s Regulations and Policies Web page at https:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ or 3. Access the Government Printing Office’s Web page at https:// www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/. Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by amendment or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM–1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267–9680. 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. A small entity with questions regarding this document, may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of the preamble. To find out more about SBREFA on the Internet, visit https:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ rulemaking/sbre_act/. The Amendments In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows: 1. The authority for part 21 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7572; 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40105, 40113, 44701–44702, 44704, 44707, 44709, 44711, 44713, 44715, 45303. 2. Amend part 21 by adding subpart P, consisting of § 21.700, to read as follows: ■ Subpart P—Special Federal Aviation Regulations § 21.700 SFAR No. 111—Lavatory Oxygen Systems. The requirements of § 121.1500 of this chapter also apply to this part. PART 25—AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY AIRPLANES 3. The authority for part 25 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702 and 44704. 4. Amend part 25 by adding subpart I, consisting of § 25.1801, to read as follows: ■ Subpart I—Special Federal Aviation Regulations § 25.1801 SFAR No. 111—Lavatory Oxygen Systems. The requirements of § 121.1500 of this chapter also apply to this part. PART 121—OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS List of Subjects 14 CFR Part 21 Aircraft, Aviation safety, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 5. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows: ■ Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 1153, 40113, 40119, 41706, 44101, 44701–44702, 44705, 44709–44711, 44713, 44716–44717, 44722, 44901, 44903–44904, 44912, 46105. 14 CFR Part 121 ■ Air carriers, Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Charter flights, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety, Transportation. Subpart DD—Special Federal Aviation Regulations emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with RULES 14 CFR Part 25 6. Add subpart DD, consisting of § 121.1500, to read as follows: 14 CFR Part 129 § 121.1500 SFAR No. 111—Lavatory Oxygen Systems. Air carriers, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping (a) Applicability. This SFAR applies to the following persons: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:59 Mar 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 12555 (1) All operators of transport category airplanes that are equipped with any chemical oxygen generator installed in any lavatory that are engaged in passenger-carrying operations and that: (i) Operate under 14 CFR part 121; or (ii) Operate U.S.-registered airplanes with a maximum passenger capacity of 20 or greater under 14 CFR part 129. (2) Applicants for airworthiness certificates. (3) Holders of production certificates. (4) Applicants for type certificates, including changes to type certificates. (b) Regulatory Relief. Contrary provisions of 14 CFR part 21, and 14 CFR 25.1447, 119.51, 121.329, 121.333 and 129.13, notwithstanding, for the duration of this SFAR: (1) A person described in paragraph (a) of this section may conduct flight operations and add airplanes to operations specifications with disabled lavatory oxygen systems, modified in accordance with FAA Airworthiness Directive 2011–04–09, subject to the following limitations: (i) This relief is limited to regulatory compliance of lavatory oxygen systems. (ii) Within 30 days of the effective date of this SFAR, all oxygen masks must be removed from affected lavatories, and the mask stowage location must be reclosed. (iii) Within 60 days of the effective date of this SFAR each affected operator must verify that crew emergency procedures specifically include a visual check of the lavatory as a priority when checking the cabin following any event where oxygen masks were deployed in the cabin. (2) An applicant for an airworthiness certificate may obtain an airworthiness certificate for airplanes to be operated by a person described in paragraph (a) of this section, although the airplane lavatory oxygen system is disabled. (3) A holder of a production certificate may apply for an airworthiness certificate or approval for airplanes to be operated by a person described in paragraph (a) of this section. (4) An applicant for a type certificate or change to a type certificate may obtain a design approval without showing compliance with § 25.1447(c)(1) of this chapter for lavatory oxygen systems, in accordance with this SFAR. (5) Each person covered by paragraph (a) of this section may inform passengers that the lavatories are not equipped with supplemental oxygen. (c) Return to Service Documentation. When a person described in paragraph (a) of this section has modified airplanes as required by Airworthiness Directive E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 12556 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations 2011–04–09, the affected airplanes must be returned to service with a note in the airplane maintenance records that the modification was done under the provisions of this SFAR. (d) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until further action. PART 129—OPERATIONS: FOREIGN AIR CARRIERS AND FOREIGN OPERATORS OF U.S.-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT ENGAGED IN COMMON CARRIAGE 7. The authority citation for part 129 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 1372, 40113, 40119, 44101, 44701–44702, 44705, 44709–44711, 44713, 44716–44717, 44722, 44901–44904, 44906, 44912, 46105, Pub. L. 107–71 sec. 104. 8. Amend part 129 by adding subpart C, consisting of § 129.201, to read as follows: ■ Subpart C—Special Federal Aviation Regulations § 129.201 SFAR No. 111—Lavatory Oxygen Systems. The requirements of § 121.1500 of this chapter also apply to this part. Issued in Washington, DC, on March 4, 2011. J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2011–5325 Filed 3–7–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2011–0157; Directorate Identifier 2010–NM–261–AD; Amendment 39–16630; AD 2011–04–09] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Various Transport Category Airplanes Equipped With Chemical Oxygen Generators Installed in a Lavatory Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with RULES AGENCY: This document publishes in the Federal Register an amendment adopting airworthiness directive (AD) 2011–04–09 that was sent previously by individual notices to the known U.S. owners and operators of affected airplanes identified above. This AD requires modifying the chemical oxygen SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:59 Mar 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 generators in the lavatory. This AD was prompted by reports that the current design of these oxygen generators presents a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety. We are issuing this AD to eliminate this hazard. DATES: This AD becomes effective March 14, 2011 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by AD 2011–04– 09, which contained the requirements of this amendment. We must receive comments on this AD by April 22, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at https:// www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800–647– 5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Gardlin, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety Branch, ANM–115, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–2136; fax 425–227–1149; e-mail jeff.gardlin@faa.gov; or Robert Hettman, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANM–112, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–2683; fax (425) 227–1149; e-mail robert.hettman@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 10, 2011, we issued AD 2011– 04–09, which applies to certain passenger-carrying transport category airplanes operating in 14 CFR part 121 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 air carrier service; or U.S.-registered and operating under 14 CFR part 129, with a maximum passenger capacity of 20 or greater; and equipped with any chemical oxygen generator installed in any lavatory. Background This AD was prompted by reports that the current design of these oxygen generators presents a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety. We are issuing this AD to eliminate this hazard. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of This AD Since the unsafe condition described is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes of the same type design, we issued AD 2011–04–09 to eliminate a hazard with chemical oxygen generators in the lavatory, which, if not corrected, could jeopardize flight safety. The AD requires either activating all chemical oxygen generators in the lavatories until the generator oxygen supply is expended, or removing the oxygen generator(s); and, for each chemical oxygen generator, after the generator is expended (or removed), removing or restowing the oxygen masks and closing the mask dispenser door. We have determined that notice and opportunity for prior public comment on AD 2011–04–09 were contrary to the public interest, and good cause existed to make the AD effective immediately by individual notices issued on February 10, 2011, to the known U.S. owners and operators of certain passenger-carrying transport category airplanes operating in 14 CFR part 121 air carrier service; or U.S.-registered and operating under 14 CFR part 129, with a maximum passenger capacity of 20 or greater; and equipped with any chemical oxygen generator installed in any lavatory. These conditions still exist, and the AD is hereby published in the Federal Register as an amendment to section 39.13 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.13) to make it effective to all persons. Differences Between This Federal Register Version and the Individual Notices This Federal Register version of the AD is different from the individual notices previously issued. These individual notices contained a timelimited flight crew notification procedure. This procedure required that the pilot in command be notified that the oxygen generators in the lavatories had been rendered inoperative, and instructed the pilot in command to brief the crew that in the event of a rapid E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 8, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12550-12556]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5325]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 21, 25, 121, and 129

[Docket No. FAA-2011-0186; Amendment Nos. 21-94, 25-133, 121-354, and 
129-50; SFAR 111]
RIN 2120-AJ92


Lavatory Oxygen Systems

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Interim final rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: This action temporarily authorizes variances from existing 
standards related to the provisioning of supplemental oxygen inside 
lavatories. This action is necessitated by other mandatory actions that 
temporarily render such oxygen systems inoperative.

DATES: This interim rule is effective March 8, 2011 and remains in 
effect until further notice. Submit comments on or before May 9, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2011-0186 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room 
W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket 
Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 
New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.
    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without 
change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the 
docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all 
comments received into any FAA dockets, including the name of the 
individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an 
association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at https://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at 
https://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions 
for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of 
the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Gardlin, Airframe and Cabin 
Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft 
Certification Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Northwest 
Mountain Region, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; 
telephone: (425) 227-2136; e-mail: jeff.gardlin@faa.gov.
    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Douglas 
Anderson, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, ANM-7, Northwest Mountain Region, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., 
Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: (425) 227-2166; e-mail: 
douglas.anderson@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Good Cause

    The FAA finds that notice and public comment to this interim rule 
are impracticable. This rule, together with Airworthiness Directive 
2011-04-09, addresses an emergency situation relating to a security 
vulnerability in transport category airplanes. These rules both mandate 
action necessary to address this vulnerability and provide interim 
relief from other regulatory

[[Page 12551]]

requirements that would otherwise be violated by the mandated actions.
    The FAA also finds good cause for making this interim rule 
effective upon publication. As discussed previously, this interim rule 
addresses an emergency situation, which makes it imperative that the 
provisions of this rule be implemented immediately.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in 
Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes 
the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation 
Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701, ``General 
Requirements.'' Under that section, the FAA is charged with promoting 
safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing minimum 
standards required in the interest of safety for the design and 
performance of aircraft; regulations and minimum standards in the 
interest of safety for inspecting, servicing, and overhauling aircraft; 
and regulations for other practices, methods, and procedures the 
Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This 
regulation is within the scope of that authority because it revises the 
safety standards for design and operation of transport category 
airplanes.

I. Background

    The FAA has become aware of a security vulnerability with certain 
types of oxygen systems installed inside the lavatories of most 
transport category airplanes. As a result, the FAA has mandated that 
these oxygen systems be rendered inoperative until the vulnerability 
can be eliminated. However, by rendering the oxygen systems inoperative 
to comply with that mandatory action, operators will be out of 
compliance with the requirements of Title 14, Code of Federal 
Regulations (14 CFR) 25.1447, 121.329 and 121.333. In addition to the 
current fleet of in-service airplanes, newly manufactured airplanes and 
airplanes undergoing other modification will need to render the oxygen 
systems in the lavatories inoperative. This SFAR is needed so the 
affected airplanes can continue operating until the issue is resolved.

II. Discussion of the Issue

Lavatory Oxygen Systems

    Section 25.1447 specifies the quantities and accessibility 
requirements for supplemental oxygen systems. The supplemental oxygen 
systems are necessary safety equipment in the event of loss of cabin 
pressure. Each occupant is required to have supplemental oxygen 
immediately available in the event that cabin pressure drops to a 
certain level. Specifically, the regulations require lavatories to be 
equipped with two oxygen masks and, for airplanes flying above 30,000 
feet, the masks must be automatically presented to the occupants.
    Two masks are required inside a lavatory to address the situation 
where one person may be assisting another, such as an adult with a 
small child. Lavatory oxygen systems are generally very similar to the 
systems provided for passenger and flight attendant use in the rest of 
the cabin. The intent of the supplemental oxygen requirements in Sec.  
25.1447 is reinforced in the operational requirements of Sec. Sec.  
121.329 and 121.333, although neither section specifically mentions 
lavatories.

Safety Ramifications

    Because of security vulnerability issues, the FAA has mandated that 
certain lavatory oxygen systems be rendered inoperative. This mandate 
creates a noncompliance with airworthiness and operational standards. 
This SFAR addresses this noncompliance by codifying relief from the 
relevant airworthiness and operational requirements while the issue is 
being resolved.
    The FAA has conducted a risk analysis to assess the safety 
implications of temporarily not having supplemental oxygen available 
inside lavatories. To support the risk assessment, earlier studies 
involving passengers' use of oxygen were reviewed. For a different 
rulemaking, the FAA tasked the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee 
(ARAC) to make recommendations for safety standards when airplanes are 
operating at high altitudes. As part of its effort, the ARAC did a 
comprehensive assessment of the frequency and nature of the need for 
supplemental oxygen systems in service. The ARAC identified 2,800 
instances over a 40-year period and categorized them by cause, 
severity, and consequence. The majority of these instances were caused 
by malfunctions of the cabin pressurization system. However, in none of 
those 2,800 instances was there a loss of life due to lack of oxygen. 
The ARAC used these data in making recommendations to the FAA on future 
rulemaking.
    The FAA has reviewed the service history since the ARAC 
recommendations were made and found that the types and frequencies of 
incidents, as well as their causes, are consistent with the historical 
record. The relative risks and service history have not changed in any 
significant way since the ARAC recommendations were issued. With 
respect to this SFAR, the only affected areas of the airplane are the 
lavatories, as opposed to the earlier assessments, which applied to the 
entire airplane. The lavatories are sporadically occupied during 
flight, and by a small number of passengers at any given time. This 
limits the potential impact on safety.
    The ARAC found that the frequency of occurrences necessitating the 
use of oxygen was around 10-\8\/flight-hour for causes other 
than a malfunction of the pressurization system (these tend to be 
slower losses of pressure, or are identified at lower altitudes, and 
therefore are not as critical for this action). The probability that a 
lavatory will be occupied at any given moment is not known. It is not 
100% and it is not 0%. If, for the purposes of this assessment, we 
assume the probability is 50%, then the probability of a person in a 
lavatory needing oxygen is ~5 x 10-9/flight-hour.
    The FAA envisions a two- to four-year regulatory process to restore 
the affected oxygen systems to their full operational capability. The 
FAA has determined that during this period, the slight increase in the 
safety risk to a small number of individuals is outweighed by the 
elimination of the greater security risk that prompted the original 
requirement to disable the lavatory supplemental oxygen system. 
Nonetheless, the FAA is aggressively pursuing design solutions that 
will eliminate the previously identified security concerns with 
lavatory oxygen systems and restore oxygen to the lavatories in an 
expeditious manner. Further rulemaking will consider the need for 
changes to the type certification rules and incorporation into the 
fleet via changes to the operating rules. The implementation of that 
rulemaking will correspond with the expiration of this SFAR.

The SFAR Provisions

    This SFAR allows all air carriers that are required to render 
lavatory oxygen systems inoperative, as it pertains to the lavatory 
oxygen systems only, in accordance with an FAA directive to continue to 
operate without complying with specific regulations pertaining to 
supplemental oxygen systems. This SFAR also permits manufacturers and 
modifiers of transport category airplanes to deliver or return to 
service airplanes affected by the FAA directive with the

[[Page 12552]]

same relief. In addition, this SFAR requires certain procedural and 
configuration enhancements to reduce the safety risk to passengers in 
the unlikely event that they should need oxygen while in a lavatory.
    We intend to issue a new rule to address the safety concerns with 
lavatory oxygen systems within the duration of this SFAR. As noted 
above, the compliance date for that rule and the expiration of this 
SFAR will be aligned.

III. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    This rulemaking action is a significant rule within the meaning of 
Executive Order 12866 and DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures, 
because the subject matter is of significant interest to the public. 
Because this interim rule addresses an emergency situation, within the 
meaning of Section 6(a)(3)(D) of the Executive Order, the agency has 
notified the Office of Management and Budget of this rule but has not 
followed the coordination procedures specified in the Executive Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires 
that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that 
there is no new requirement for information collection associated with 
this interim rule.

International Compatibility

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
determined that these regulations are not inconsistent with any ICAO 
Standards and Recommended Practices.

Regulatory Evaluation, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, 
International Trade Impact Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs that each Federal agency 
shall 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 (Pub. L. 96-354) requires 
agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small 
entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits 
agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to 
the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. 
standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider international 
standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. 
standards. And 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 with 
base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's 
analysis of the economic impacts of this SFAR.
    In conducting these analyses, the FAA has determined that this 
final rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs, (2) is not an 
economically ``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 
3(f) of Executive Order 12866, (3) is ``significant'' as defined in 
DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; 
(5) will not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of 
the United States; and (6) will not impose an unfunded mandate on 
State, local, or Tribal governments, or on the private sector
    Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies 
and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. 
If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule 
does not warrant a detailed evaluation, this order permits that a 
statement to that effect, and the basis for it, be included in the 
preamble if a detailed regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits 
is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this rule. The 
reasoning for this determination follows:
    The FAA has become aware of a security vulnerability with certain 
types of oxygen systems installed inside the lavatories of most 
passenger-carrying part 121 transport category airplanes. As a result, 
in an earlier rule the FAA mandated that these lavatory oxygen systems 
be rendered inoperative until the vulnerability can be eliminated. 
However, by rendering the oxygen systems inoperative to comply with the 
mandatory actions, operators will be out of compliance with current FAA 
requirements. The affected fleet includes the current fleet of in-
service and newly manufactured passenger-carrying transport category 
airplanes operated under parts 121 and 129 (U.S.-registered airplanes). 
This SFAR requires the removal of the inoperative oxygen masks for 
passenger safety. Also, this SFAR is needed so the affected airplanes 
can continue operating until the issue is resolved.
    The FAA has determined that on average, part 121 passenger-carrying 
turbopropeller-driven airplanes (turboprops) have one lavatory; part 
121 regional jets have two lavatories; part 121 narrow-body turbojet-
powered airplanes (turbojets) have three lavatories; and part 121 wide-
body turbojets have 10 lavatories per airplane.
    The FAA has also determined that the time necessary to remove the 
inoperative oxygen masks is 10 to 15 minutes per airplane lavatory and 
will be performed by a qualified, FAA-certificated aircraft mechanic. 
In addition, the FAA has determined that there would be no extra parts 
necessary in removing the inoperative oxygen masks. Therefore, with no 
extra parts necessary, there are also no additional maintenance or fuel 
burn costs.
    The FAA is using a $48.38 hourly rate for a mechanic working for an 
airplane manufacturer or modifier. We obtained the mechanic's hourly 
rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 7.1. These rates 
include wages and benefits.
    To estimate the total costs of the SFAR, the FAA had to analyze the 
current fleet of part 121 airplanes which are affected by the SFAR. We 
obtained a list of the current U.S.-operated, passenger-carrying 
civilian airplanes operating under 14 CFR part 121 from the FAA 
National Vital Information Subsystem (NVIS) database.\1\ The FAA 
assumes that for newly-delivered, part 121 passenger-carrying 
airplanes, the inoperative oxygen masks will have already been removed. 
Based upon that assumption, we have matched each airplane with its 
average number of lavatories.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The National Vital Information Subsystem (NVIS) is a 
subsystem of the Flight Standards Automation System (FSAS), which is 
a comprehensive information system used primarily by inspectors to 
record and disseminate data associated with inspector activity and 
the aviation environment. NVIS maintains up-to-date information 
about the aviation community within the jurisdiction of Flight 
Standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The following table shows the number of affected passenger-
carrying, part 121 airplanes and the individual airplane costs for a 
turboprop, regional jet, and narrow- and wide-body turbojet.

[[Page 12553]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR08MR11.001

    The FAA calculated the range of the total costs of the SFAR by 
taking the product for each of the affected passenger-carrying, part 
121 airplanes; the number of lavatories on each airplane; the hourly 
rate of a mechanic working for an airplane manufacturer; and the time 
it takes to render the oxygen systems inoperative. We then summed the 
costs for each of the affected part 121 airplanes to obtain a total 
cost for this SFAR. The SFAR's requirement to remove inoperative oxygen 
masks has a compliance time of a maximum of 30 days. The FAA is 
publishing the SFAR in 2011; therefore, all costs will be in nominal 
2011 dollars.
    The following table shows these total cost results by equipment 
group:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR08MR11.002

The FAA believes these costs are minimal. The removal of inoperative 
lavatory oxygen masks is to ensure passengers would not inadvertently 
try to use such a mask in a depressurization. We believe these safety 
benefits far exceed the minimal costs.

Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) 
establishes ``as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall 
endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable 
statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale 
of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions 
subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required 
to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain 
the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given 
serious consideration.'' 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 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 RFA.
    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, section 605(b) of the 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. The FAA believes that this SFAR will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the 
following reason.
    The net effect of the SFAR is to eliminate security vulnerabilities 
with certain types of oxygen systems installed inside the lavatories of 
most passenger-carrying, part 121 transport category airplanes. The 
SFAR requires the removal of the inoperative oxygen masks installed 
inside the lavatories of passenger-carrying, part 121 transport 
category airplanes.
    Under the RFA, the FAA must determine whether a rule significantly 
affects a substantial number of small entities. This determination is 
typically based on small entity size and cost thresholds that vary 
depending on the affected industry.
    Using the size standards from the Small Business Administration for 
Air Transportation and Aircraft Manufacturing, we defined companies as 
small entities if they have fewer than 1,500 employees.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ 13 CFR part 121, Size Standards Used To Define Small 
Business Concerns, Sector 48-49 Transportation, Subsector 481 Air 
Transportation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The SFAR has a compliance time of a maximum of 30 days. The FAA 
believes the SFAR will be published in 2011; therefore, all costs will 
be in nominal 2011 dollars. For this analysis, we considered the 
economic impact of this SFAR on small-entity part 121 operators. We 
obtained a list of part 121 operators from the FAA Flight Standards 
Service NVIS database.\3\ Using information provided by the U.S. 
Department of Transportation Form 41 filings, we obtained company 
revenue and employment for most of the part 121 U.S. operators.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The National Vital Information Subsystem (NVIS) is a 
subsystem of the Flight Standards Automation System (FSAS), which is 
a comprehensive information system used primarily by inspectors to 
record and disseminate data associated with inspector activity and 
the aviation environment. NVIS maintains up-to-date information 
about the aviation community within the jurisdiction of Flight 
Standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Using the methodology discussed above, we determined that of the 55 
part 121 U.S. operators that could be affected by the rule, there are 
38 that reported annual employment data. Of the 38 air carriers that 
reported annual employment data, 14 air carriers meet the SBA size 
standard for small business of 1,500. All of the 14 air carriers 
reported annual revenue.

[[Page 12554]]

    To assess the SFAR's cost impact to small-entity part 121 
operators, the FAA has determined that the time necessary to render 
lavatory oxygen systems inoperative is 10 to 15 minutes per airplane 
lavatory and will be performed by a qualified, FAA-certificated 
aircraft mechanic. For this analysis, we will conservatively use the 
high time of 15 minutes.
    The FAA is using a $48.38 hourly rate for a mechanic working for an 
airplane manufacturer or modifier. We obtained the mechanic's hourly 
rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 7.1. These rates 
include wages and benefits.
    The FAA calculated the total costs of the SFAR by taking the 
product for each of the affected passenger-carrying, part 121 
airplanes; the number of lavatories on each airplane; the hourly rate 
of a mechanic working for an airplane manufacturer or modifier; and the 
time it takes to render the oxygen systems inoperative. We then summed 
the costs for each of the affected part 121 airplanes to obtain a total 
cost for this SFAR. We then measured the economic impact on small 
entities by dividing the estimated compliance cost by each of the 14 
small entities' annual revenue.
    The SFAR's cost is estimated to be less than one percent of annual 
revenues for all 14 small-entity operators. The following table shows 
these results.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR08MR11.003

    Since the cost of the SFAR is less than one percent for each of the 
14 small-entity operators, I certify that this SFAR will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the 
Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities 
that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not 
considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the 
United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic 
objective, such the protection of safety, and does not operate in a 
manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. 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 rule and 
determined that as the objective of this rule is aviation safety and it 
does not exclude imports, the rule does not create unnecessary 
obstacles to foreign commerce.

Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-
4) 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 
(in 1995 dollars) 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 $143.1 million in lieu of $100 
million.
    This rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the 
requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this interim rule under the principles and 
criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency determined 
that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the 
States, or the relationship between the Federal 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.

Regulations Affecting Intrastate Aviation in Alaska

    Section 1205 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 1996 (110 Stat. 
3213) requires the FAA, when modifying its regulations in a manner 
affecting intrastate aviation in Alaska, to consider the extent to 
which Alaska is not served by transportation modes other than aviation, 
and to establish appropriate regulatory distinctions. We have 
determined that there is no need to make any regulatory distinctions 
applicable to intrastate aviation in Alaska.

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 paragraph 4j and involves no extraordinary 
circumstances.

Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or 
Use

    The FAA analyzed this interim rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions

[[Page 12555]]

Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it 
is not a ``significant energy action'' under the executive order and it 
is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy.

How To Obtain Additional Information

Rulemaking Documents
    An electronic copy of a rulemaking document my be obtained by using 
the Internet--
    1. Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (https://www.regulations.gov);
    2. Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ or
    3. Access the Government Printing Office's Web page at https://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.
    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by 
amendment or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation 
Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680.

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. A small entity with questions regarding this document, 
may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under the FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of the preamble. 
To find out more about SBREFA on the Internet, visit https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects

14 CFR Part 21

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

14 CFR Part 121

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

14 CFR Part 129

    Air carriers, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Smoking.

The Amendments

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration amends chapter I of Title 14, Code of Federal 
Regulations as follows:

PART 21--CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS

0
1. The authority for part 21 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7572; 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40105, 40113, 
44701-44702, 44704, 44707, 44709, 44711, 44713, 44715, 45303.


0
2. Amend part 21 by adding subpart P, consisting of Sec.  21.700, to 
read as follows:

Subpart P--Special Federal Aviation Regulations


Sec.  21.700  SFAR No. 111--Lavatory Oxygen Systems.

    The requirements of Sec.  121.1500 of this chapter also apply to 
this part.

PART 25--AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY AIRPLANES

0
3. The authority for part 25 continues to read as follows:

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


0
4. Amend part 25 by adding subpart I, consisting of Sec.  25.1801, to 
read as follows:

Subpart I--Special Federal Aviation Regulations


Sec.  25.1801  SFAR No. 111--Lavatory Oxygen Systems.

    The requirements of Sec.  121.1500 of this chapter also apply to 
this part.

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

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

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 1153, 40113, 40119, 41706, 44101, 
44701-44702, 44705, 44709-44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722, 44901, 
44903-44904, 44912, 46105.


0
6. Add subpart DD, consisting of Sec.  121.1500, to read as follows:

Subpart DD--Special Federal Aviation Regulations


Sec.  121.1500  SFAR No. 111--Lavatory Oxygen Systems.

    (a) Applicability. This SFAR applies to the following persons:
    (1) All operators of transport category airplanes that are equipped 
with any chemical oxygen generator installed in any lavatory that are 
engaged in passenger-carrying operations and that:
    (i) Operate under 14 CFR part 121; or
    (ii) Operate U.S.-registered airplanes with a maximum passenger 
capacity of 20 or greater under 14 CFR part 129.
    (2) Applicants for airworthiness certificates.
    (3) Holders of production certificates.
    (4) Applicants for type certificates, including changes to type 
certificates.
    (b) Regulatory Relief. Contrary provisions of 14 CFR part 21, and 
14 CFR 25.1447, 119.51, 121.329, 121.333 and 129.13, notwithstanding, 
for the duration of this SFAR:
    (1) A person described in paragraph (a) of this section may conduct 
flight operations and add airplanes to operations specifications with 
disabled lavatory oxygen systems, modified in accordance with FAA 
Airworthiness Directive 2011-04-09, subject to the following 
limitations:
    (i) This relief is limited to regulatory compliance of lavatory 
oxygen systems.
    (ii) Within 30 days of the effective date of this SFAR, all oxygen 
masks must be removed from affected lavatories, and the mask stowage 
location must be reclosed.
    (iii) Within 60 days of the effective date of this SFAR each 
affected operator must verify that crew emergency procedures 
specifically include a visual check of the lavatory as a priority when 
checking the cabin following any event where oxygen masks were deployed 
in the cabin.
    (2) An applicant for an airworthiness certificate may obtain an 
airworthiness certificate for airplanes to be operated by a person 
described in paragraph (a) of this section, although the airplane 
lavatory oxygen system is disabled.
    (3) A holder of a production certificate may apply for an 
airworthiness certificate or approval for airplanes to be operated by a 
person described in paragraph (a) of this section.
    (4) An applicant for a type certificate or change to a type 
certificate may obtain a design approval without showing compliance 
with Sec.  25.1447(c)(1) of this chapter for lavatory oxygen systems, 
in accordance with this SFAR.
    (5) Each person covered by paragraph (a) of this section may inform 
passengers that the lavatories are not equipped with supplemental 
oxygen.
    (c) Return to Service Documentation. When a person described in 
paragraph (a) of this section has modified airplanes as required by 
Airworthiness Directive

[[Page 12556]]

2011-04-09, the affected airplanes must be returned to service with a 
note in the airplane maintenance records that the modification was done 
under the provisions of this SFAR.
    (d) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until further 
action.

PART 129--OPERATIONS: FOREIGN AIR CARRIERS AND FOREIGN OPERATORS OF 
U.S.-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT ENGAGED IN COMMON CARRIAGE

0
7. The authority citation for part 129 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 1372, 40113, 40119, 44101, 44701-44702, 
44705, 44709-44711, 44713, 44716-44717, 44722, 44901-44904, 44906, 
44912, 46105, Pub. L. 107-71 sec. 104.


0
8. Amend part 129 by adding subpart C, consisting of Sec.  129.201, to 
read as follows:

 Subpart C--Special Federal Aviation Regulations


Sec.  129.201  SFAR No. 111--Lavatory Oxygen Systems.

    The requirements of Sec.  121.1500 of this chapter also apply to 
this part.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 4, 2011.
J. Randolph Babbitt,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2011-5325 Filed 3-7-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P