Interim Policy, FAA Review of Solar Energy System Projects on Federally Obligated Airports, 63276-63279 [2013-24729]

Download as PDF 63276 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 23, 2013 / Notices Research and Innovative Technology Administration Aylward, Anne D.; Brecht-Clark, Jan M.; Farley, Audrey L.; Hu, Patricia S.; Ishihara, David S.; Johns, Robert C.; Lang, Steven R.; Partridge, Ellen L.; Schmitt, Rolf R.; Womack, Kevin C. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Middlebrook, Craig H.; Pisani, Salvatore L. [FR Doc. 2013–24813 Filed 10–22–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–9X–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Interim Policy, FAA Review of Solar Energy System Projects on Federally Obligated Airports Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of interim policy; opportunity to comment. AGENCY: This notice establishes interim FAA policy for proposals by sponsors of federally obligated airports to construct solar energy systems on airport property. FAA is adopting an interim policy because it is in the public interest to enhance safety by clarifying and adding standards for measuring ocular impact of proposed solar energy systems which are effective upon publication. FAA will consider comments and make appropriate modifications before issuing a final policy. The policy applies to any proposed on-airport solar energy system that has not received from the FAA either an unconditional airport layout plan approval or a ‘‘no objection’’ finding on a Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration Form 7460–1. DATES: The effective date of this interim policy is October 23, 2013. Comments must be received by November 22, 2013. ADDRESSES: You can get an electronic copy of the interim policy and the comment form on the FAA Airports Web site at http://www.faa.gov/airports/ environmental/. You can submit comments using the Comments Matrix, using any of the following methods: Electronic Submittal to the FAA: Go to http://www.faa.gov/airports/ environmental/ and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. Mail: FAA Office of Airports, Office of Airport Planning and Programming, emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:13 Oct 22, 2013 Jkt 232001 Routing Symbol APP–400, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Room 615, Washington, DC 20591. Please send two copies. Fax: 1–202–267–5302. Hand Delivery: To FAA Office of Airports, Office of Airport Planning and Programming, Routing Symbol APP– 400, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Room 615, Washington, DC 20591; between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please provide two copies. For more information on the notice and comment process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Privacy: We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/, including any personal information you provide. Comments Received: To read comments received, go to http:// www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/ at any time. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ralph Thompson, Manager, Airport Planning and Environmental Division, APP–400, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267–3263; facsimile (202) 267– 5257; email: ralph.thompson@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA invites interested persons to join in this notice and comment process by filing written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. Availability of Documents You can get an electronic copy of this interim policy by visiting the FAA’s Airports Web page at http:// www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/. Authority for the Policy This notice is published under the authority described in Subtitle VII, part B, chapter 471, section 47122 of title 49 United States Code. Background There is growing interest in installing solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar hot water (SHW) systems on airports. While solar PV or SHW systems (henceforth referred to as solar energy systems) are designed to absorb solar energy to maximize electrical energy production or the heating of water, in certain situations the glass surfaces of the solar energy systems can reflect sunlight and produce glint (a momentary flash of bright light) and glare (a continuous source of bright light). In conjunction PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 with the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the FAA has determined that glint and glare from solar energy systems could result in an ocular impact to pilots and/or air traffic control (ATC) facilities and compromise the safety of the air transportation system. While the FAA supports solar energy systems on airports, the FAA seeks to ensure safety by eliminating the potential for ocular impact to pilots and/or air traffic control facilities due to glare from such projects. The FAA established a crossorganizational working group in 2012, to establish a standard for measuring glint and glare, and clear thresholds for when glint and glare would impact aviation safety. The standards that this working group developed are set forth in this notice. A sponsor of a federally-obligated airport must request FAA review and approval to depict certain proposed solar installations (e.g., ground-based installations and collocated installations that increase the footprint of the collocated building or structure) on its airport layout plan (ALP), before construction begins.1 A sponsor of a federally-obligated airport must notify the FAA of its intent to construct any solar installation 2 by filing FAA Form 7460–1, ‘‘Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration’’ under 14 CFR Part 77 for a Non-Rulemaking case (NRA) 3 4. This includes the intent to permit airport tenants, including Federal agencies, to build such 1 FAA Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies on Airports, Section 2.3.5, states that ‘‘solar installations of any size, located on an airport, that are not collocated on an existing structure (i.e., roof of an existing building) and require a new footprint, need to be shown on the Airport Layout Plan (ALP). Collocated solar installations need to be shown on the ALP only if these installations substantially change the footprint of the collocated building or structure. Available at: http://www.faa.gov/airports/ environmental/policy_guidance/media/ airport_solar_guide_print.pdf. Title 49 of the United States Code (USC), sec. 47107(a), requires, in part, a current ALP approved by the FAA prior to the approval of an airport development project. See Grant Assurance No. 29, AC No. 150/5070–6B, and FAA Order No. 5100.38. 2 Any solar installation means any ground-based solar energy installation and those solar energy installations collocated with a building or structure (i.e., rooftop installations). 3 FAA Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies on Airports Section 3.1 reads in part ‘‘All solar projects at airports must submit to FAA a Notice of Proposed Construction Form 7460 . . .’’. This section further states ‘‘Even if the project will be roof mounted . . . the sponsor must still submit a case’’ [i.e., file a Form 7460–1]. 4 The requirements of this policy are not mandatory for a proposed solar installation that is not on an airport and for which a form 7460–1 is filed under part 77 and is studied under the Obstruction Evaluation Program. However, the FAA urges proponents of off-airport solar-installations to voluntarily implement the provisions in this policy. E:\FR\FM\23OCN1.SGM 23OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 23, 2013 / Notices emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES installations. The sponsor’s obligation to obtain FAA review and approval to depict certain proposed solar energy installation projects at an airport is found in 49 U.S.C. 47107(a)(16) and Sponsor Grant Assurance 29, ‘‘Airport Layout Plan.’’ Under these latter provisions, the sponsor may not make or permit any changes or alterations in the airport or any of its facilities which are not in conformity with the ALP as approved by the FAA and which might, in the opinion of the FAA, adversely affect the safety, utility or efficiency of the airport. Airport sponsors and project proponents must comply with the policies and procedures in this notice to demonstrate to the FAA that a proposed solar energy system will not result in an ocular impact that compromises the safety of the air transportation system. This process enables the FAA to approve amendment of the ALP to depict certain solar energy projects or issue a ‘‘no objection’’ finding to a filed 7460–1 form. The FAA expects to continue to update these policies and procedures as part of an iterative process as new information and technologies become available. Solar energy systems located on an airport that is not federally-obligated or located outside the property of a federally-obligated airport are not subject to this policy. Proponents of solar energy systems located off-airport property or on non-federally-obligated airports are strongly encouraged to consider the requirements of this policy when siting such systems. This interim policy clarifies and adds standards for measurement of glint or glare presented in the 2010 Technical Guidance document. Later this year the FAA plans to publish an update to the ‘‘Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies on Airports,’’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘Technical Guidance’’) dated November 2010. This update to the technical guidance will include the standards for measuring glint and glare outlined in this notice. It will also provide enhanced criteria to ensure the proper siting of a solar energy installation to eliminate the potential for harmful glare to pilots or air traffic control facilities. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:13 Oct 22, 2013 Jkt 232001 In advance of the planned update, as part of this Notice, we are clarifying one aspect of the Technical Guidance relating to airport sponsor and FAA responsibilities for evaluating the potential for solar energy systems installed on airports to either block, reflect, or disrupt radar signals, NAVAIDS, and other equipment required for safe aviation operations. Section 3.1 of the Technical Guidance, entitled ‘‘Airspace Review,’’ correctly states that this role is exclusively the responsibility of FAA Technical Operations (Tech Ops). However subsection 3.1.3, ‘‘System Interference,’’ states: ‘‘[s]tudies conducted during project siting should identify the location of radar transmission and receiving facilities and other NAVAIDS, and determine locations that would not be suitable for structures based on their potential to either block, reflect, or disrupt radar signals.’’ Reading the two sections together, what is meant is that the airport sponsor, in siting a proposed solar energy system, is responsible for limiting the potential for inference with communication, navigation, and surveillance (CNS) facilities. The sponsor should do so by ensuring that solar energy systems remain clear of the critical areas surrounding CNS facilities. FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 5300–13, ‘‘Airport Design,’’ Chapter 6, defines the critical areas for common CNS facilities located on an airport. Sponsors may need to coordinate with FAA Technical Operations concerning CNS facilities not in AC 5300–13. As stated in Section 3.1, the FAA is responsible for evaluating if there are any impacts to CNS facilities. The FAA will conduct this review after the Form 7460–1 is filed for the construction of a new solar energy system installation on an airport. In summary, airport sponsors do not need to conduct studies on their own to determine impacts to CNS facilities when siting a solar energy system on airport. Section 3.1.3 will be revised accordingly in the next version of the Technical Guidance. Interim Policy Statement The following sets forth the standards for measuring ocular impact, the PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63277 required analysis tool, and the obligations of the Airport Sponsor when a solar energy system is proposed for development on a federally-obligated airport. The FAA is adopting an interim policy because it is in the public interest to enhance safety by clarifying and adding standards for measuring ocular impact of proposed solar energy systems. FAA will consider comments and make appropriate modifications before issuing a final policy in a future Federal Register Notice. The policy applies to any proposed solar energy system that has not received unconditional airport layout plan approval (ALP) or a ‘‘no objection’’ from the FAA on a filed 7460–1, Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration. Standard for Measuring Ocular Impact FAA adopts the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Plot shown in Figure 1 below as the standard for measuring the ocular impact of any proposed solar energy system on a federally-obligated airport. To obtain FAA approval to revise an airport layout plan to depict a solar installation and/or a ‘‘no objection’’ to a Notice of Proposed Construction Form 7460–1, the airport sponsor will be required to demonstrate that the proposed solar energy system meets the following standards: 1. No potential for glint or glare in the existing or planned Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) cab, and 2. No potential for glare or ‘‘low potential for after-image’’ (shown in green in Figure 1) along the final approach path for any existing landing threshold or future landing thresholds (including any planned interim phases of the landing thresholds) as shown on the current FAA-approved Airport Layout Plan (ALP). The final approach path is defined as two (2) miles from fifty (50) feet above the landing threshold using a standard three (3) degree glidepath. Ocular impact must be analyzed over the entire calendar year in one (1) minute intervals from when the sun rises above the horizon until the sun sets below the horizon. E:\FR\FM\23OCN1.SGM 23OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 23, 2013 / Notices emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Tool To Assess Ocular Impact In cooperation with the DOE, the FAA is making available free-of-charge the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT). The SGHAT was designed to determine whether a proposed solar energy project would result in the potential for ocular impact as depicted on the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Plot shown above. The SGHAT employs an interactive Google map where the user can quickly locate a site, draw an outline of the proposed solar energy system, and specify observer locations (Airport Traffic Control Tower cab) and final approach paths. Latitude, longitude, and elevation are automatically recorded through the Google interface, providing necessary information for sun position and vector calculations. Additional information regarding the orientation and tilt of the solar energy panels, reflectance, environment, and ocular factors are entered by the user. If glare is found, the tool calculates the retinal irradiance and subtended source angle (size/distance) of the glare source to predict potential ocular hazards ranging from temporary afterimage to retinal burn. The results are presented in a simple, easy-to-interpret plot that specifies when glare will occur VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:13 Oct 22, 2013 Jkt 232001 throughout the year, with color codes indicating the potential ocular hazard. The tool can also predict relative energy production while evaluating alternative designs, layouts, and locations to identify configurations that maximize energy production while mitigating the impacts of glare. Users must first register for the use of the tool at this web address: www.sandia.gov/glare. Required Use of the SGHAT As of the date of publication of this interim policy, the FAA requires the use of the SGHAT to demonstrate compliance with the standards for measuring ocular impact stated above for any proposed solar energy system located on a federally-obligated airport. The SGHAT is a validated tool specifically designed to measure glare according to the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Plot. All sponsors of federallyobligated airports who propose to install or to permit others to install solar energy systems on the airport must attach the SGHAT report, outlining solar panel glare and ocular impact, for each point of measurement to the Notice of Proposed Construction Form 7460–1. The FAA will consider the use of alternative tools or methods on a case- PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 by-case basis. However, the FAA must approve the use of an alternative tool or method prior to an airport sponsor seeking approval for any proposed onairport solar energy system. The alternative tool or method must evaluate ocular impact in accordance with the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Plot. Please contact the Office of Airport Planning and Programming, Airport Planning and Environmental Division, APP–400, for more information on the validation process for alternative tools or methods. Airport sponsor obligations have been discussed above under Background. We caution airport sponsors that under preexisting airport grant compliance policy, failure to seek FAA review of a solar installation prior to construction could trigger possible compliance action under 14 CFR Part 16, ‘‘Rules of Practice for Federally-Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings.’’ Moreover, if a solar installation creates glare that interferes with aviation safety, the FAA could require the airport to pay for the elimination of solar glare by removing or relocating the solar facility. E:\FR\FM\23OCN1.SGM 23OCN1 EN23OC13.002</GPH> 63278 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 23, 2013 / Notices Issued in Washington, DC, on September 27, 2013. Benito De Leon, Director, Office of Airport Planning and Programming. [FR Doc. 2013–24729 Filed 10–22–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Third Meeting: RTCA Tactical Operations Committee (TOC) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ACTION: Third Meeting Notice of RTCA Tactical Operations Committee. AGENCY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of the third meeting of the RTCA Tactical Operations Committee. SUMMARY: The meeting will be held November 7, 2013 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at RTCA Headquarters, 1150 18th Street NW., Suite 910, Washington, DC 20036. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The RTCA Secretariat, 1150 18th Street NW., Suite 910, Washington, DC 20036, or by telephone at (202) 833–9339, fax at (202) 833–9434, or Web site http:// www.rtca.org. Andy Cebula, NAC Secretary can also be contacted at acebula@rtca.org or 202–330–0652. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. No. 92–463, 5 U.S.C., App.), notice is hereby given for a meeting of the Tactical Operations Committee (TOC). The agenda will include the following: DATES: emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES November 19, 2013 • Opening of Meeting/Introduction of TOC Members • Official Statement of Designated Federal Official • Approval of July 23, 2013 Meeting Summary • FAA Report • Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) Activity Prioritization • Regional Task Groups (RTGs) • Reports on current activities underway by Regional Task Groups: Eastern, Central, Western • VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR) Minimum Operating Network • New Tasking: Obstacle Clearance • Anticipated Issues for TOC consideration and action at the next meeting • Other Business • Adjourn VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:13 Oct 22, 2013 Jkt 232001 Attendance is open to the interested public but limited to space availability. With the approval of the chairman, members of the public may present oral statements at the meeting. Persons wishing to present statements or obtain information should contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Members of the public may present a written statement to the committee at any time. Issued in Washington, DC, on October 18, 2013. Edith V. Parish, Senior Advisor, Mission Support Services, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration. [FR Doc. 2013–24968 Filed 10–22–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Public Notice for Waiver of Aeronautical Land-Use Assurance Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of intent of waiver with respect to land; French Lick Airport; French Lick, Indiana. AGENCY: The FAA is considering a proposal to change a portion of airport land from aeronautical use to nonaeronautical use and to authorize the sale of airport property located at French Lick Airport, French Lick, Indiana. The aforementioned land is not needed for aeronautical use. The proposal consists of 18.606 acres located in the southern section of airport property which is not being used by the airport presently. The land is to be sold to Commissioners of Orange County for the construction of County Road CR 300 South/Airport Road to facilitate access to the airport. DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 22, 2013. ADDRESSES: Documents are available for review by appointment at the FAA Airports District Office, Azra Hussain, Program Manager, 2300 E. Devon Avenue, Des Plaines, Illinois 60018 Telephone: (847) 294–8252/Fax: (847) 294–7046 and Zachary D. Brown, French Lick Municipal Airport, 9764 West County Road 375 South, French Lick, Indiana, 47933. Written comments on the Sponsor’s request must be delivered or mailed to: Azra Hussain, Program Manager, Federal Aviation Administration, Airports District Office, 2300 E. Devon Avenue, Des Plaines, Illinois (847) 294– 7046. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 63279 Azra Hussain, Program Manager, Federal Aviation Administration, Airports District Office, 2300 E. Devon Avenue, Des Plaines, Illinois 60018. Telephone Number: (847) 294–8252/FAX Number: (847) 294–7046. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: In accordance with section 47107(h) of Title 49, United States Code, this notice is required to be published in the Federal Register 30 days before modifying the land-use assurance that requires the property to be used for an aeronautical purpose. The subject land consists of two parcels. Parcel 1 (approx. 16.667 acres) was acquired through the Federal Aid to Airport Program dated July 28, 1963 and Parcel 2 (approx. 1.939 acres) was acquired by the sponsor as part of a larger parcel (approx. 9.97 acres) for the nominal sum of One Dollar and zero cents ($1.00) on April 19, 2010. The Commissioners of Orange County intend to purchase the property for a nominal sum of One Dollar and zero cents ($1.00) for the construction of County Road CR 300 South/Airport Road. Construction of the road will facilitate access to the airport. The aforementioned land is not needed for aeronautical use, as shown on the Airport Layout Plan. There are no impacts to the airport by allowing the airport to dispose of the property. This notice announces that the FAA is considering the release of the subject airport property at French Lick Airport, French Lick, Indiana, subject to easements and covenants running with the land. Approval does not constitute a commitment by the FAA to financially assist in the disposal of the subject airport property nor a determination that all measures covered by the program are eligible for grant-in-aid funding from the FAA. The disposition of proceeds from the sale of the airport property will be in accordance with FAA’s Policy and Procedures Concerning the Use of Airport Revenue, published in the Federal Register on February 16, 1999 (64 FR 7696). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Issued in Des Plaines, Illinois on September 30, 2013. James Keefer, Manager, Chicago Airports District Office, FAA, Great Lakes Region. [FR Doc. 2013–24738 Filed 10–22–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P E:\FR\FM\23OCN1.SGM 23OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 205 (Wednesday, October 23, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63276-63279]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24729]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration


Interim Policy, FAA Review of Solar Energy System Projects on 
Federally Obligated Airports

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of interim policy; opportunity to comment.

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

SUMMARY: This notice establishes interim FAA policy for proposals by 
sponsors of federally obligated airports to construct solar energy 
systems on airport property. FAA is adopting an interim policy because 
it is in the public interest to enhance safety by clarifying and adding 
standards for measuring ocular impact of proposed solar energy systems 
which are effective upon publication. FAA will consider comments and 
make appropriate modifications before issuing a final policy. The 
policy applies to any proposed on-airport solar energy system that has 
not received from the FAA either an unconditional airport layout plan 
approval or a ``no objection'' finding on a Notice of Proposed 
Construction or Alteration Form 7460-1.

DATES: The effective date of this interim policy is October 23, 2013.
    Comments must be received by November 22, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You can get an electronic copy of the interim policy and the 
comment form on the FAA Airports Web site at http://www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/.
    You can submit comments using the Comments Matrix, using any of the 
following methods:
    Electronic Submittal to the FAA: Go to http://www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/ and follow the instructions for sending your comments 
electronically.
    Mail: FAA Office of Airports, Office of Airport Planning and 
Programming, Routing Symbol APP-400, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Room 
615, Washington, DC 20591. Please send two copies.
    Fax: 1-202-267-5302.
    Hand Delivery: To FAA Office of Airports, Office of Airport 
Planning and Programming, Routing Symbol APP-400, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW., Room 615, Washington, DC 20591; between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please provide two 
copies.
    For more information on the notice and comment process, see the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    Privacy: We will post all comments we receive, without change, to 
http://www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/, including any personal 
information you provide.
    Comments Received: To read comments received, go to http://www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/ at any time.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ralph Thompson, Manager, Airport 
Planning and Environmental Division, APP-400, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, 
telephone (202) 267-3263; facsimile (202) 267-5257; email: 
ralph.thompson@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA invites interested persons to join 
in this notice and comment process by filing written comments, data, or 
views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the 
proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include 
supporting data.

Availability of Documents

    You can get an electronic copy of this interim policy by visiting 
the FAA's Airports Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/.

Authority for the Policy

    This notice is published under the authority described in Subtitle 
VII, part B, chapter 471, section 47122 of title 49 United States Code.

Background

    There is growing interest in installing solar photovoltaic (PV) and 
solar hot water (SHW) systems on airports. While solar PV or SHW 
systems (henceforth referred to as solar energy systems) are designed 
to absorb solar energy to maximize electrical energy production or the 
heating of water, in certain situations the glass surfaces of the solar 
energy systems can reflect sunlight and produce glint (a momentary 
flash of bright light) and glare (a continuous source of bright light). 
In conjunction with the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the 
FAA has determined that glint and glare from solar energy systems could 
result in an ocular impact to pilots and/or air traffic control (ATC) 
facilities and compromise the safety of the air transportation system. 
While the FAA supports solar energy systems on airports, the FAA seeks 
to ensure safety by eliminating the potential for ocular impact to 
pilots and/or air traffic control facilities due to glare from such 
projects.
    The FAA established a cross-organizational working group in 2012, 
to establish a standard for measuring glint and glare, and clear 
thresholds for when glint and glare would impact aviation safety. The 
standards that this working group developed are set forth in this 
notice.
    A sponsor of a federally-obligated airport must request FAA review 
and approval to depict certain proposed solar installations (e.g., 
ground-based installations and collocated installations that increase 
the footprint of the collocated building or structure) on its airport 
layout plan (ALP), before construction begins.\1\ A sponsor of a 
federally-obligated airport must notify the FAA of its intent to 
construct any solar installation \2\ by filing FAA Form 7460-1, 
``Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration'' under 14 CFR Part 77 
for a Non-Rulemaking case (NRA) 3 4. This includes the 
intent to permit airport tenants, including Federal agencies, to build 
such

[[Page 63277]]

installations. The sponsor's obligation to obtain FAA review and 
approval to depict certain proposed solar energy installation projects 
at an airport is found in 49 U.S.C. 47107(a)(16) and Sponsor Grant 
Assurance 29, ``Airport Layout Plan.'' Under these latter provisions, 
the sponsor may not make or permit any changes or alterations in the 
airport or any of its facilities which are not in conformity with the 
ALP as approved by the FAA and which might, in the opinion of the FAA, 
adversely affect the safety, utility or efficiency of the airport.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ FAA Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar 
Technologies on Airports, Section 2.3.5, states that ``solar 
installations of any size, located on an airport, that are not 
collocated on an existing structure (i.e., roof of an existing 
building) and require a new footprint, need to be shown on the 
Airport Layout Plan (ALP). Collocated solar installations need to be 
shown on the ALP only if these installations substantially change 
the footprint of the collocated building or structure. Available at: 
http://www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/policy_guidance/media/airport_solar_guide_print.pdf. Title 49 of the United States Code 
(USC), sec. 47107(a), requires, in part, a current ALP approved by 
the FAA prior to the approval of an airport development project. See 
Grant Assurance No. 29, AC No. 150/5070-6B, and FAA Order No. 
5100.38.
    \2\ Any solar installation means any ground-based solar energy 
installation and those solar energy installations collocated with a 
building or structure (i.e., rooftop installations).
    \3\ FAA Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar 
Technologies on Airports Section 3.1 reads in part ``All solar 
projects at airports must submit to FAA a Notice of Proposed 
Construction Form 7460 . . .''. This section further states ``Even 
if the project will be roof mounted . . . the sponsor must still 
submit a case'' [i.e., file a Form 7460-1].
    \4\ The requirements of this policy are not mandatory for a 
proposed solar installation that is not on an airport and for which 
a form 7460-1 is filed under part 77 and is studied under the 
Obstruction Evaluation Program. However, the FAA urges proponents of 
off-airport solar-installations to voluntarily implement the 
provisions in this policy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Airport sponsors and project proponents must comply with the 
policies and procedures in this notice to demonstrate to the FAA that a 
proposed solar energy system will not result in an ocular impact that 
compromises the safety of the air transportation system. This process 
enables the FAA to approve amendment of the ALP to depict certain solar 
energy projects or issue a ``no objection'' finding to a filed 7460-1 
form. The FAA expects to continue to update these policies and 
procedures as part of an iterative process as new information and 
technologies become available.
    Solar energy systems located on an airport that is not federally-
obligated or located outside the property of a federally-obligated 
airport are not subject to this policy. Proponents of solar energy 
systems located off-airport property or on non-federally-obligated 
airports are strongly encouraged to consider the requirements of this 
policy when siting such systems.
    This interim policy clarifies and adds standards for measurement of 
glint or glare presented in the 2010 Technical Guidance document. Later 
this year the FAA plans to publish an update to the ``Technical 
Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies on Airports,'' 
(hereinafter referred to as ``Technical Guidance'') dated November 
2010. This update to the technical guidance will include the standards 
for measuring glint and glare outlined in this notice. It will also 
provide enhanced criteria to ensure the proper siting of a solar energy 
installation to eliminate the potential for harmful glare to pilots or 
air traffic control facilities.
    In advance of the planned update, as part of this Notice, we are 
clarifying one aspect of the Technical Guidance relating to airport 
sponsor and FAA responsibilities for evaluating the potential for solar 
energy systems installed on airports to either block, reflect, or 
disrupt radar signals, NAVAIDS, and other equipment required for safe 
aviation operations. Section 3.1 of the Technical Guidance, entitled 
``Airspace Review,'' correctly states that this role is exclusively the 
responsibility of FAA Technical Operations (Tech Ops). However 
subsection 3.1.3, ``System Interference,'' states: ``[s]tudies 
conducted during project siting should identify the location of radar 
transmission and receiving facilities and other NAVAIDS, and determine 
locations that would not be suitable for structures based on their 
potential to either block, reflect, or disrupt radar signals.''
    Reading the two sections together, what is meant is that the 
airport sponsor, in siting a proposed solar energy system, is 
responsible for limiting the potential for inference with 
communication, navigation, and surveillance (CNS) facilities. The 
sponsor should do so by ensuring that solar energy systems remain clear 
of the critical areas surrounding CNS facilities. FAA Advisory Circular 
(AC) 5300-13, ``Airport Design,'' Chapter 6, defines the critical areas 
for common CNS facilities located on an airport. Sponsors may need to 
coordinate with FAA Technical Operations concerning CNS facilities not 
in AC 5300-13. As stated in Section 3.1, the FAA is responsible for 
evaluating if there are any impacts to CNS facilities. The FAA will 
conduct this review after the Form 7460-1 is filed for the construction 
of a new solar energy system installation on an airport. In summary, 
airport sponsors do not need to conduct studies on their own to 
determine impacts to CNS facilities when siting a solar energy system 
on airport. Section 3.1.3 will be revised accordingly in the next 
version of the Technical Guidance.

Interim Policy Statement

    The following sets forth the standards for measuring ocular impact, 
the required analysis tool, and the obligations of the Airport Sponsor 
when a solar energy system is proposed for development on a federally-
obligated airport.
    The FAA is adopting an interim policy because it is in the public 
interest to enhance safety by clarifying and adding standards for 
measuring ocular impact of proposed solar energy systems. FAA will 
consider comments and make appropriate modifications before issuing a 
final policy in a future Federal Register Notice. The policy applies to 
any proposed solar energy system that has not received unconditional 
airport layout plan approval (ALP) or a ``no objection'' from the FAA 
on a filed 7460-1, Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration.

Standard for Measuring Ocular Impact

    FAA adopts the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Plot shown in Figure 1 
below as the standard for measuring the ocular impact of any proposed 
solar energy system on a federally-obligated airport. To obtain FAA 
approval to revise an airport layout plan to depict a solar 
installation and/or a ``no objection'' to a Notice of Proposed 
Construction Form 7460-1, the airport sponsor will be required to 
demonstrate that the proposed solar energy system meets the following 
standards:
    1. No potential for glint or glare in the existing or planned 
Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) cab, and
    2. No potential for glare or ``low potential for after-image'' 
(shown in green in Figure 1) along the final approach path for any 
existing landing threshold or future landing thresholds (including any 
planned interim phases of the landing thresholds) as shown on the 
current FAA-approved Airport Layout Plan (ALP). The final approach path 
is defined as two (2) miles from fifty (50) feet above the landing 
threshold using a standard three (3) degree glidepath.
    Ocular impact must be analyzed over the entire calendar year in one 
(1) minute intervals from when the sun rises above the horizon until 
the sun sets below the horizon.

[[Page 63278]]

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Tool To Assess Ocular Impact

    In cooperation with the DOE, the FAA is making available free-of-
charge the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT). The SGHAT was 
designed to determine whether a proposed solar energy project would 
result in the potential for ocular impact as depicted on the Solar 
Glare Hazard Analysis Plot shown above.
    The SGHAT employs an interactive Google map where the user can 
quickly locate a site, draw an outline of the proposed solar energy 
system, and specify observer locations (Airport Traffic Control Tower 
cab) and final approach paths. Latitude, longitude, and elevation are 
automatically recorded through the Google interface, providing 
necessary information for sun position and vector calculations. 
Additional information regarding the orientation and tilt of the solar 
energy panels, reflectance, environment, and ocular factors are entered 
by the user.
    If glare is found, the tool calculates the retinal irradiance and 
subtended source angle (size/distance) of the glare source to predict 
potential ocular hazards ranging from temporary after-image to retinal 
burn. The results are presented in a simple, easy-to-interpret plot 
that specifies when glare will occur throughout the year, with color 
codes indicating the potential ocular hazard. The tool can also predict 
relative energy production while evaluating alternative designs, 
layouts, and locations to identify configurations that maximize energy 
production while mitigating the impacts of glare.
    Users must first register for the use of the tool at this web 
address: www.sandia.gov/glare.

Required Use of the SGHAT

    As of the date of publication of this interim policy, the FAA 
requires the use of the SGHAT to demonstrate compliance with the 
standards for measuring ocular impact stated above for any proposed 
solar energy system located on a federally-obligated airport. The SGHAT 
is a validated tool specifically designed to measure glare according to 
the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Plot. All sponsors of federally-
obligated airports who propose to install or to permit others to 
install solar energy systems on the airport must attach the SGHAT 
report, outlining solar panel glare and ocular impact, for each point 
of measurement to the Notice of Proposed Construction Form 7460-1. The 
FAA will consider the use of alternative tools or methods on a case-by-
case basis. However, the FAA must approve the use of an alternative 
tool or method prior to an airport sponsor seeking approval for any 
proposed on-airport solar energy system. The alternative tool or method 
must evaluate ocular impact in accordance with the Solar Glare Hazard 
Analysis Plot.
    Please contact the Office of Airport Planning and Programming, 
Airport Planning and Environmental Division, APP-400, for more 
information on the validation process for alternative tools or methods.
    Airport sponsor obligations have been discussed above under 
Background. We caution airport sponsors that under preexisting airport 
grant compliance policy, failure to seek FAA review of a solar 
installation prior to construction could trigger possible compliance 
action under 14 CFR Part 16, ``Rules of Practice for Federally-Assisted 
Airport Enforcement Proceedings.'' Moreover, if a solar installation 
creates glare that interferes with aviation safety, the FAA could 
require the airport to pay for the elimination of solar glare by 
removing or relocating the solar facility.


[[Page 63279]]


    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 27, 2013.
Benito De Leon,
Director, Office of Airport Planning and Programming.
[FR Doc. 2013-24729 Filed 10-22-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P