Prohibition Against Certain Flights Within the Damascus (OSTT) Flight Information Region (FIR), 78299-78303 [2014-30377]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 249 / Tuesday, December 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Secretary of the Board under delegated authority, December 19, 2014. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board. Dated: December 18, 2014. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202– 267–8166; email: will.gonzalez@faa.gov. For legal questions concerning this action, contact: Robert Frenzel, Office of the Chief Counsel, AGC–200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267–7638. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [FR Doc. 2014–30419 Filed 12–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–33–P; 6210–01–P; 4810–AM–P Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Immediately adopted final rule. Good Cause for Immediate Adoption Section 553(b)(3)(B) of title 5, U.S. Code, authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency for ‘‘good cause’’ finds that those procedures are ‘‘impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ In this instance, the FAA finds that notice and public comment to this immediately adopted final rule, as well as any delay in the effective date of this rule, are contrary to the public interest due to the immediate need to address the potential hazard to civil aviation that exists in the OSTT FIR, as described in the Background section of this final rule. This action prohibits certain flight operations in the Damascus (OSTT) Flight Information Region (FIR) by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign air carriers. The FAA previously prohibited such flight operations in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) 4/4936, which was issued on August 18, 2014, and absent this rule, would have remained in effect until December 31, 2014. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) adopts the prohibitions currently in effect via the NOTAM, and requires compliance with the prohibitions for 2 years from the date of publication of this final rule, unless the FAA determines that it is necessary to amend or rescind this rule based on the situation in the region. The FAA finds that this action is necessary to address a potential hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations. DATES: This final rule is effective on December 30, 2014, and remains in effect through December 30, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions about this action, contact Will Gonzalez, Air Transportation Division, AFS–220, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA is responsible for the safety of flight in the United States and for the safety of U.S. civil operators, U.S.registered civil aircraft, and U.S.certificated airmen throughout the world. The FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in title 49 of the U.S. Code. Subtitle I, section 106(f), describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII of title 49, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. Section 40101(d)(1) provides that the Administrator shall consider in the public interest, among other matters, assigning, maintaining, and enhancing safety and security as the highest priorities in air commerce. Section 40105(b)(1)(A) requires the Administrator to exercise his authority consistently with the obligations of the U.S. Government under international agreements. This SFAR is promulgated under the authority described in Title 49, Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, section 44701, General requirements. Under that section, the FAA is charged broadly with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing, among other things, regulations and minimum standards for practices, methods, and procedures that the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce and national security. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it prohibits certain flight operations in the OSTT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No. FAA–2014–0708; Amendment No. 91–334; SFAR No. 114] RIN 2120–AK61 Prohibition Against Certain Flights Within the Damascus (OSTT) Flight Information Region (FIR) AGENCY: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Dec 29, 2014 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78299 FIR due to the potential hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations that is described in the ‘‘Background’’ section of this final rule. I. Overview of Immediately Adopted Final Rule This action prohibits certain flight operations in the OSTT FIR, by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a U.S.registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign air carriers. The FAA previously prohibited such flight operations in FDC NOTAM 4/4936, which was issued on August 18, 2014. This action incorporates that prohibition into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The FAA finds this action necessary to address a potential hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations, as described below. II. Background Due to the ongoing armed conflict and volatile security environment in Syria, the FAA has serious concerns regarding potential hazards to U.S. civil flight operations in the OSTT FIR. A number of armed extremist groups are known to be equipped with a variety of antiaircraft weapons that have the capability to threaten civil aircraft. These groups have successfully shot down Syrian military aircraft and have previously warned civil air carriers against providing service to Syria. Due to the presence of these weapons, threats made by the extremist groups, and ongoing fighting throughout Syria involving various forms of weaponry used by various groups, as well as military fighter aircraft used by the Syrian Air Force, the FAA believes there is a significant threat to U.S. civil aviation operating in the OSTT FIR at any altitude. On August 18, 2014, in response to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Syria, the FAA issued FDC NOTAM 4/4936, which prohibited flight operations in the OSTT FIR by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign air carriers. In addition, on September 23, 2014, the President announced that U.S. and allied forces had begun airstrikes against the Islamic State in E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 78300 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 249 / Tuesday, December 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria and that U.S. forces had also conducted airstrikes to disrupt plotting against the U.S. and its allies by the Khorasan Group. These airstrikes represent a further hazard to U.S. civil aviation operations in the OSTT FIR. This rulemaking incorporates the flight prohibition contained in FDC NOTAM 4/4936 into the CFR. The FAA will continue to actively evaluate the situation to determine to what extent U.S. civil operators may be able to safely operate in the OSTT FIR. Amendments to this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, may be appropriate if the risk to aviation safety and security changes. Thus, the FAA may amend or rescind this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, as necessary prior to its expiration date. Because the circumstances described herein warrant immediate action by the FAA, I find that notice and public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Further, I find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) for making this rule effective immediately upon publication. I also find that this action is fully consistent with the obligations under 49 U.S.C. 40105 to ensure that I exercise my duties consistently with the obligations of the United States under international agreements. Approval Based on Authorization Request of an Agency of the United States Government If a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government determines that it has a critical need to engage any person covered under this final rule, including any U.S. air carrier or U.S. commercial operator, to conduct a charter to transport civilian or military passengers or cargo, that department, agency, or instrumentality may request the FAA to approve persons covered under this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, to conduct such operations. An approval request must be made to the FAA in a letter signed by an appropriate senior official of the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government. The letter must be sent to the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety (AVS–1), Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591. Electronic submissions are acceptable, and the requesting entity may request that the FAA notify it electronically as to whether the approval request is granted. If a requestor wishes to make an electronic submission to the FAA, the requestor should contact the Air Transportation Division, Flight VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Dec 29, 2014 Jkt 235001 Standards Service, at (202) 267–8166, to obtain the appropriate email address. A single letter may request approval from the FAA for multiple persons covered under this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609 and/or for multiple flight operations. To the extent known, the letter must identify the person(s) expected to be covered under this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609 and on whose behalf the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality is seeking FAA approval to conduct operations in the OSTT FIR. The letter must describe— • The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the mission being supported; • The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609; • To the extent known, the specific locations in the OSTT FIR where the proposed operation(s) will be conducted; and • The method by which the department, agency, or instrumentality will provide, or how the operator will otherwise obtain, current threat information and an explanation of how the operator will integrate this information into all phases of its proposed operations (e.g., pre-mission planning and briefing, in-flight, and post-flight). The request for approval must also include a list of operators with whom the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality requesting FAA approval has a current contract(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s) (or its prime contractor has a subcontract(s)) for specific flight operations in the OSTT FIR. Additionally, such operators may be identified to the FAA at any time after the FAA approval is issued. Updated lists should be sent to the email address to be obtained from the Air Transportation Division, (202) 267– 8166. If an approval request includes classified information, requestors may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Will Gonzalez for instructions on submitting it to the FAA. His contact information is listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this final rule. FAA approval of an operation under this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, does not relieve persons subject to this SFAR of their responsibility to comply with all applicable FAA rules and regulations. Operators of civil aircraft must comply with the conditions of their certificates and Operations Specifications (OpSpecs). Operators must also comply with all rules and regulations of other U.S. Government departments or agencies that may apply to the proposed PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 operations, including, but not limited to, the Transportation Security Regulations issued by the Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security. Approval Conditions If the FAA approves the request, the FAA’s Aviation Safety Organization (AVS) will send an approval letter to the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality informing it that the FAA’s approval is subject to all of the following: (1) Any approval will stipulate those procedures and conditions that limit, to the greatest degree possible, the risk to the operator, while still allowing the operator to achieve its operational objectives. (2) Any approval will indicate that the operation is not eligible for coverage under any premium war risk insurance policy issued by the FAA under chapter 443 of title 49, U.S. Code.1 Each such policy excludes coverage for any aircraft operations that are intentionally conducted into or within geographic areas prohibited by an SFAR, such as this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609. The exclusion specified in the policy will remain in effect as long as this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, remains in effect, notwithstanding the issuance of any approval under, or exemption from, this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609 (the chapter 443 premium war risk insurance policy refers to such approval as a ‘‘waiver’’ and such exemption as an ‘‘exclusion’’). (3) Before any approval takes effect, the operator must submit to the FAA a written release of the U.S. Government (including, but not limited to, the United States of America, as Insurer) from all damages, claims, and liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and expenses, and the operator’s agreement to indemnify the U.S. Government (including, but not limited to, the United States of America, as Insurer) with respect to any and all third-party damages, claims, and liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and expenses, relating to any event arising from or related to the approved operations in the OSTT FIR. The release and agreement to indemnify do not preclude an operator from raising a claim under an applicable nonpremium war risk insurance policy issued by the FAA under chapter 443. 1 If and when, in connection with an operator’s contract with a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government, an operation is covered by a non-premium war risk insurance policy issued by FAA under 49 U.S.C. 44305, coverage under that operator’s FAA premium war risk insurance policy is suspended as a condition contained in that premium policy. E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 249 / Tuesday, December 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES (4) Other conditions that the FAA may specify, including those that may be imposed in OpSpecs. If the proposed operation or operations is or are approved, the FAA will issue OpSpecs to the certificate holder authorizing the operation or operations, and will notify the department, agency, or instrumentality that requested FAA approval of civil flight operations to be conducted by one or more persons described in paragraph (a) of this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, of any additional conditions beyond those contained in the approval letter. The requesting department, agency, or instrumentality must have a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement (or its prime contractor must have a subcontract) with the person(s) described in paragraph (a) of this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, on whose behalf the department, agency, or instrumentality requests FAA approval. Request for Exemptions Any operation not conducted under the approval process set forth above must be conducted under an exemption from this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609. A request by any person covered under this SFAR for an exemption must comply with 14 CFR part 11, and will require exceptional circumstances beyond those contemplated by the approval process set forth above. In addition to the information required by 14 CFR 11.81, the requestor must describe in its submission to the FAA, at a minimum— • The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the operation; • The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609; • The specific locations in the OSTT FIR where the proposed operation(s) will be conducted; and • The method by which the operator will obtain current threat information, and an explanation of how the operator will integrate this information into all phases of its proposed operations (e.g., the pre-mission planning and briefing, in-flight, and post-flight phases). Additionally the release and agreement to indemnify, as referred to above, will be required as a condition of any exemption issued under this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609. The FAA recognizes that operations that may be affected by this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, may be planned for the governments of other countries with the support of the U.S. Government. While these operations will not be permitted through the approval process, the FAA will process exemption requests for such operations on an expedited basis and prior to VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Dec 29, 2014 Jkt 235001 processing any private exemption requests. III. Regulatory Evaluation, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, International Trade Impact Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct 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 (Public Law 96– 354), as codified in 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Public Law 96–39, as amended, 19 U.S.C. Chapter 13), prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Agreements Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 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 a base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA’s analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule. Department of Transportation (DOT) Order 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If the expected cost is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect and the basis for it to be included in the preamble if a full regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning for this determination follows. This SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, prohibits flight operations by persons described in paragraph (a) in the OSTT FIR due to the significant hazards to civil aviation described in the Background section of this preamble. This regulation incorporates the prohibition on flight operations originally issued by the FAA in FDC NOTAM 4/4936 into the CFR. The U.S. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78301 Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) prohibits, except as otherwise authorized, the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any services to Syria. See 31 CFR 542.207. Consequently, the FAA assumes that, immediately prior to the issuance of FDC NOTAM 4/4936 on August 18, 2014, there were few, if any, persons who would be subject to paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, flying into and out of Syria. OFAC’s Syrian Sanctions Regulations (31 CFR part 542) do not prohibit overflights of Syria. The FAA surveyed U.S. operators of large transport category airplanes (four part 121 operators and two part 125M operators) who had previously reported conducting regular overflights in the OSTT FIR. All six operators recently reported that they had voluntarily ended their OSTT FIR overflights in March 2011 due to the onset of hostilities in Syria. Thus, these six operators ceased their operations in the OSTT FIR before the FAA issued FDC NOTAM 4/4936 on August 18, 2014. Approximately 15 ‘‘on-demand’’ large carriers (part 121 and part 121/135) previously indicated that they had performed overflights in the OSTT FIR and about 75 small ‘‘on-demand’’ operators (parts 135, 125, 125M, and 91K) previously indicated that they had flown into and out of Syria or conducted overflights in the OSTT FIR. However, because of the OFAC sanctions and the ongoing conflict, the FAA believes that few, if any, of these small operators were operating in the OSTT FIR immediately prior to the issuance of FDC NOTAM 4/4936 on August 18, 2014. Accordingly, the incremental costs of this rule are minimal. In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined this final rule is a ‘‘significant regulatory action,’’ as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, because it raises novel policy issues contemplated under that Executive Order. The rule is also ‘‘significant’’ as defined in DOT’s Regulatory Policies and Procedures. The final rule, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, will not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade, and will not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector. E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 78302 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 249 / Tuesday, December 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations A. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96–354, ‘‘RFA’’), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 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 significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, RFA § 605(b) provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis will not be required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear. As noted above, because of OFAC sanctions and the ongoing conflict, as well as the voluntary cessation of operations by large transport category carriers, the FAA believes that few, if any, small U.S. operators operated in the OSTT FIR prior to the issuance of FDC NOTAM 4/4936. The FAA believes all operators who are small entities do not intend to land or overfly Syria while this rule is in effect. Therefore, as provided in § 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES B. International Trade Impact Assessment The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96–39. 19 U.S.C. Chapter 13), as amended, 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 this Act, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Dec 29, 2014 Jkt 235001 commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as 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 final rule and determined that its purpose is to protect the safety of U.S. civil aviation from a potential hazard outside the U.S. Therefore, the rule is in compliance with the Trade Agreements Act, as amended. C. 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 $151.0 million in lieu of $100 million. This final rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply. D. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) 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 immediately adopted final rule. (Pub. L. 91–190, 42 U.S.C. Chapter 55) in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312(f) of FAA Order 1050.1E, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ and involves no extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has reviewed the implementation of the proposed SFAR and determined it is categorically excluded from further environmental review according to FAA Order 1050.1E, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ paragraph 312(f). The FAA has examined possible extraordinary circumstances and determined that no such circumstances exist. After careful and thorough consideration of the proposed action, the FAA finds that the proposed Federal action does not require preparation of an EA or EIS in accordance with the requirements of NEPA, Council on Environmental Quality regulations, and FAA Order 1050.1E. IV. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, ‘‘Federalism’’ The FAA has analyzed this immediately adopted final rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, ‘‘Federalism.’’ The agency has 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. B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use E. International Compatibility and Cooperation In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the ‘‘Chicago Convention’’), it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation (‘‘ICAO’’) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that correspond to this proposed regulation. The FAA analyzed this immediately adopted final rule under Executive Order 13211, ‘‘Actions 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. F. 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 (‘‘NEPA’’) Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, (77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012) promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and to PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 249 / Tuesday, December 30, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40101, 40103, 40105, 40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506–46507, 47122, 47508, 47528–47531, 47534, articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11). reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA has analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and has determined that this action would have no effect on international regulatory cooperation. 2. In part 91, Subpart M, add new § 91.1609, to read as follows: ■ V. How To Obtain Additional Information A. Rulemaking Documents An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by using the Internet— 1. Search the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) Portal (http://www.regulations.gov); 2. Visit the FAA’s Regulations and Policies Web page: http://www.faa.gov/ regulations_policies/; or 3. Access the Government Printing Office’s Web page: http://www.gpo.gov/ fdsys/. Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by notice, 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. B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) (Public Law 104–121) (set forth as a note to 5 U.S.C. 601), as amended, 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’’ section at the beginning of the preamble. You can find out more about SBREFA on the Internet at: http://www.faa.gov/ regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_ act/. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91 Air traffic control, Aircraft, Airmen, Airports, Aviation safety, Freight, Syria. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES The Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows: ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Dec 29, 2014 Jkt 235001 § 91.1609 Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 114—Prohibition Against Certain Flights in the Damascus (OSTT) Flight Information Region (FIR). (a) Applicability. This rule applies to the following persons: (1) All U.S. air carriers and U.S. commercial operators; (2) All persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except such persons operating U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and (3) All operators of aircraft registered in the United States, except where the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier. (b) Flight prohibition. No person may conduct flight operations in the Damascus (OSTT) Flight Information Region (FIR), except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. (c) Permitted operations. This section does not prohibit persons described in paragraph (a) of this section from conducting flight operations in the Damascus (OSTT) FIR, provided that such flight operations are conducted under a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. government (or under a subcontract between the prime contractor of the department, agency, or instrumentality, and the person described in paragraph (a)), with FAA approval, or under an exemption issued by the FAA. The FAA will process requests for approval or exemption in a timely manner, with the order of preference being: first, for those operations in support of U.S. government-sponsored activities; second, for those operations in support of government-sponsored activities of a foreign country with the support of a U.S. government department, agency, or instrumentality; and third, for all other operations. (d) Emergency situations. In an emergency that requires immediate decision and action for the safety of the flight, the pilot in command of an aircraft may deviate from this section to the extent required by that emergency. Except for U.S. air carriers and commercial operators that are subject to the requirements of parts 119, 121, 125, or 135 of this chapter, each person who PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78303 deviates from this section must, within ten (10) days of the deviation, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays, submit to the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) a complete report of the operations of the aircraft involved in the deviation, including a description of the deviation and the reasons for it. (e) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until December 30, 2016. The FAA may amend, rescind, or extend this SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, as necessary. Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 40101(d)(1), 40105(b)(1)(A), and 44701(a)(5), in Washington, DC, on December 19, 2014. Michael P. Huerta, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2014–30377 Filed 12–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG–2014–1036] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Northeast Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NC Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of temporary deviation from drawbridge regulation. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Isabel S. Holmes Bridge, mile 1.0, across the Northeast Cape Fear River, at Wilmington, NC. The deviation restricts the operation of the draw span to facilitate mechanical repairs to the main breaker of the bridge. DATES: This deviation is effective from 8 a.m. on February 9, 2015 to 8 p.m. on February 10, 2015. ADDRESSES: The docket for this deviation, [USCG–2014–1036] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on the Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility (in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, call or SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1

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[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 249 (Tuesday, December 30, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 78299-78303]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30377]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 91

[Docket No. FAA-2014-0708; Amendment No. 91-334; SFAR No. 114]
RIN 2120-AK61


Prohibition Against Certain Flights Within the Damascus (OSTT) 
Flight Information Region (FIR)

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Immediately adopted final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action prohibits certain flight operations in the 
Damascus (OSTT) Flight Information Region (FIR) by all U.S. air 
carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges 
of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a 
U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of 
U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign 
air carriers. The FAA previously prohibited such flight operations in a 
Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) 4/4936, which was issued on August 18, 2014, 
and absent this rule, would have remained in effect until December 31, 
2014. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) adopts the 
prohibitions currently in effect via the NOTAM, and requires compliance 
with the prohibitions for 2 years from the date of publication of this 
final rule, unless the FAA determines that it is necessary to amend or 
rescind this rule based on the situation in the region. The FAA finds 
that this action is necessary to address a potential hazard to persons 
and aircraft engaged in such flight operations.

DATES: This final rule is effective on December 30, 2014, and remains 
in effect through December 30, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions about this 
action, contact Will Gonzalez, Air Transportation Division, AFS-220, 
Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8166; 
email: will.gonzalez@faa.gov.
    For legal questions concerning this action, contact: Robert 
Frenzel, Office of the Chief Counsel, AGC-200, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; 
telephone (202) 267-7638.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Good Cause for Immediate Adoption

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of title 5, U.S. Code, authorizes agencies to 
dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency 
for ``good cause'' finds that those procedures are ``impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' In this instance, 
the FAA finds that notice and public comment to this immediately 
adopted final rule, as well as any delay in the effective date of this 
rule, are contrary to the public interest due to the immediate need to 
address the potential hazard to civil aviation that exists in the OSTT 
FIR, as described in the Background section of this final rule.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA is responsible for the safety of flight in the United 
States and for the safety of U.S. civil operators, U.S.-registered 
civil aircraft, and U.S.-certificated airmen throughout the world. The 
FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in title 49 
of the U.S. Code. Subtitle I, section 106(f), describes the authority 
of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII of title 49, Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. Section 
40101(d)(1) provides that the Administrator shall consider in the 
public interest, among other matters, assigning, maintaining, and 
enhancing safety and security as the highest priorities in air 
commerce. Section 40105(b)(1)(A) requires the Administrator to exercise 
his authority consistently with the obligations of the U.S. Government 
under international agreements.
    This SFAR is promulgated under the authority described in Title 49, 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, section 44701, General requirements. 
Under that section, the FAA is charged broadly with promoting safe 
flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing, among other 
things, regulations and minimum standards for practices, methods, and 
procedures that the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air 
commerce and national security. This regulation is within the scope of 
that authority because it prohibits certain flight operations in the 
OSTT FIR due to the potential hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in 
such flight operations that is described in the ``Background'' section 
of this final rule.

I. Overview of Immediately Adopted Final Rule

    This action prohibits certain flight operations in the OSTT FIR, by 
all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising 
the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons 
are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and 
operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators 
are foreign air carriers. The FAA previously prohibited such flight 
operations in FDC NOTAM 4/4936, which was issued on August 18, 2014. 
This action incorporates that prohibition into the Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR). The FAA finds this action necessary to address a 
potential hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight 
operations, as described below.

II. Background

    Due to the ongoing armed conflict and volatile security environment 
in Syria, the FAA has serious concerns regarding potential hazards to 
U.S. civil flight operations in the OSTT FIR. A number of armed 
extremist groups are known to be equipped with a variety of anti-
aircraft weapons that have the capability to threaten civil aircraft. 
These groups have successfully shot down Syrian military aircraft and 
have previously warned civil air carriers against providing service to 
Syria. Due to the presence of these weapons, threats made by the 
extremist groups, and ongoing fighting throughout Syria involving 
various forms of weaponry used by various groups, as well as military 
fighter aircraft used by the Syrian Air Force, the FAA believes there 
is a significant threat to U.S. civil aviation operating in the OSTT 
FIR at any altitude.
    On August 18, 2014, in response to the potentially hazardous 
situation created by the armed conflict in Syria, the FAA issued FDC 
NOTAM 4/4936, which prohibited flight operations in the OSTT FIR by all 
U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the 
privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are 
operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and 
operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators 
are foreign air carriers. In addition, on September 23, 2014, the 
President announced that U.S. and allied forces had begun airstrikes 
against the Islamic State in

[[Page 78300]]

Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria and that U.S. forces had 
also conducted airstrikes to disrupt plotting against the U.S. and its 
allies by the Khorasan Group. These airstrikes represent a further 
hazard to U.S. civil aviation operations in the OSTT FIR. This 
rulemaking incorporates the flight prohibition contained in FDC NOTAM 
4/4936 into the CFR.
    The FAA will continue to actively evaluate the situation to 
determine to what extent U.S. civil operators may be able to safely 
operate in the OSTT FIR. Amendments to this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  
91.1609, may be appropriate if the risk to aviation safety and security 
changes. Thus, the FAA may amend or rescind this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  
91.1609, as necessary prior to its expiration date.
    Because the circumstances described herein warrant immediate action 
by the FAA, I find that notice and public comment under 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. 
Further, I find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) for 
making this rule effective immediately upon publication. I also find 
that this action is fully consistent with the obligations under 49 
U.S.C. 40105 to ensure that I exercise my duties consistently with the 
obligations of the United States under international agreements.

Approval Based on Authorization Request of an Agency of the United 
States Government

    If a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government 
determines that it has a critical need to engage any person covered 
under this final rule, including any U.S. air carrier or U.S. 
commercial operator, to conduct a charter to transport civilian or 
military passengers or cargo, that department, agency, or 
instrumentality may request the FAA to approve persons covered under 
this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609, to conduct such operations. An 
approval request must be made to the FAA in a letter signed by an 
appropriate senior official of the requesting department, agency, or 
instrumentality of the U.S. Government. The letter must be sent to the 
Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety (AVS-1), Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591. 
Electronic submissions are acceptable, and the requesting entity may 
request that the FAA notify it electronically as to whether the 
approval request is granted. If a requestor wishes to make an 
electronic submission to the FAA, the requestor should contact the Air 
Transportation Division, Flight Standards Service, at (202) 267-8166, 
to obtain the appropriate email address. A single letter may request 
approval from the FAA for multiple persons covered under this SFAR No. 
114, Sec.  91.1609 and/or for multiple flight operations. To the extent 
known, the letter must identify the person(s) expected to be covered 
under this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609 and on whose behalf the U.S. 
Government department, agency, or instrumentality is seeking FAA 
approval to conduct operations in the OSTT FIR. The letter must 
describe--
     The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the 
mission being supported;
     The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by 
this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609;
     To the extent known, the specific locations in the OSTT 
FIR where the proposed operation(s) will be conducted; and
     The method by which the department, agency, or 
instrumentality will provide, or how the operator will otherwise 
obtain, current threat information and an explanation of how the 
operator will integrate this information into all phases of its 
proposed operations (e.g., pre-mission planning and briefing, in-
flight, and post-flight).
    The request for approval must also include a list of operators with 
whom the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality 
requesting FAA approval has a current contract(s), grant(s), or 
cooperative agreement(s) (or its prime contractor has a subcontract(s)) 
for specific flight operations in the OSTT FIR. Additionally, such 
operators may be identified to the FAA at any time after the FAA 
approval is issued. Updated lists should be sent to the email address 
to be obtained from the Air Transportation Division, (202) 267-8166.
    If an approval request includes classified information, requestors 
may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Will Gonzalez for instructions on 
submitting it to the FAA. His contact information is listed in the FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this final rule.
    FAA approval of an operation under this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  
91.1609, does not relieve persons subject to this SFAR of their 
responsibility to comply with all applicable FAA rules and regulations. 
Operators of civil aircraft must comply with the conditions of their 
certificates and Operations Specifications (OpSpecs). Operators must 
also comply with all rules and regulations of other U.S. Government 
departments or agencies that may apply to the proposed operations, 
including, but not limited to, the Transportation Security Regulations 
issued by the Transportation Security Administration, Department of 
Homeland Security.

Approval Conditions

    If the FAA approves the request, the FAA's Aviation Safety 
Organization (AVS) will send an approval letter to the requesting 
department, agency, or instrumentality informing it that the FAA's 
approval is subject to all of the following:
    (1) Any approval will stipulate those procedures and conditions 
that limit, to the greatest degree possible, the risk to the operator, 
while still allowing the operator to achieve its operational 
objectives.
    (2) Any approval will indicate that the operation is not eligible 
for coverage under any premium war risk insurance policy issued by the 
FAA under chapter 443 of title 49, U.S. Code.\1\ Each such policy 
excludes coverage for any aircraft operations that are intentionally 
conducted into or within geographic areas prohibited by an SFAR, such 
as this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609. The exclusion specified in the 
policy will remain in effect as long as this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  
91.1609, remains in effect, notwithstanding the issuance of any 
approval under, or exemption from, this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609 
(the chapter 443 premium war risk insurance policy refers to such 
approval as a ``waiver'' and such exemption as an ``exclusion'').
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    \1\ If and when, in connection with an operator's contract with 
a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government, an 
operation is covered by a non-premium war risk insurance policy 
issued by FAA under 49 U.S.C. 44305, coverage under that operator's 
FAA premium war risk insurance policy is suspended as a condition 
contained in that premium policy.
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    (3) Before any approval takes effect, the operator must submit to 
the FAA a written release of the U.S. Government (including, but not 
limited to, the United States of America, as Insurer) from all damages, 
claims, and liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and 
expenses, and the operator's agreement to indemnify the U.S. Government 
(including, but not limited to, the United States of America, as 
Insurer) with respect to any and all third-party damages, claims, and 
liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and expenses, 
relating to any event arising from or related to the approved 
operations in the OSTT FIR. The release and agreement to indemnify do 
not preclude an operator from raising a claim under an applicable non-
premium war risk insurance policy issued by the FAA under chapter 443.

[[Page 78301]]

    (4) Other conditions that the FAA may specify, including those that 
may be imposed in OpSpecs.
    If the proposed operation or operations is or are approved, the FAA 
will issue OpSpecs to the certificate holder authorizing the operation 
or operations, and will notify the department, agency, or 
instrumentality that requested FAA approval of civil flight operations 
to be conducted by one or more persons described in paragraph (a) of 
this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609, of any additional conditions beyond 
those contained in the approval letter. The requesting department, 
agency, or instrumentality must have a contract, grant, or cooperative 
agreement (or its prime contractor must have a subcontract) with the 
person(s) described in paragraph (a) of this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  
91.1609, on whose behalf the department, agency, or instrumentality 
requests FAA approval.

Request for Exemptions

    Any operation not conducted under the approval process set forth 
above must be conducted under an exemption from this SFAR No. 114, 
Sec.  91.1609. A request by any person covered under this SFAR for an 
exemption must comply with 14 CFR part 11, and will require exceptional 
circumstances beyond those contemplated by the approval process set 
forth above. In addition to the information required by 14 CFR 11.81, 
the requestor must describe in its submission to the FAA, at a 
minimum--
     The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the 
operation;
     The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by 
this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609;
     The specific locations in the OSTT FIR where the proposed 
operation(s) will be conducted; and
     The method by which the operator will obtain current 
threat information, and an explanation of how the operator will 
integrate this information into all phases of its proposed operations 
(e.g., the pre-mission planning and briefing, in-flight, and post-
flight phases).
    Additionally the release and agreement to indemnify, as referred to 
above, will be required as a condition of any exemption issued under 
this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609. The FAA recognizes that operations 
that may be affected by this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609, may be 
planned for the governments of other countries with the support of the 
U.S. Government. While these operations will not be permitted through 
the approval process, the FAA will process exemption requests for such 
operations on an expedited basis and prior to processing any private 
exemption requests.

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

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct 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 (Public Law 96-
354), as codified in 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., requires agencies to analyze 
the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the 
Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-39, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 
Chapter 13), prohibits agencies from setting standards that create 
unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In 
developing U.S. standards, the Trade Agreements Act requires agencies 
to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they 
be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act of 1995 (Public Law 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 a base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble 
summarizes the FAA's analysis of the economic impacts of this final 
rule.
    Department of Transportation (DOT) Order 2100.5 prescribes policies 
and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. 
If the expected cost is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does 
not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to 
that effect and the basis for it to be included in the preamble if a 
full regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. 
Such a determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning 
for this determination follows.
    This SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609, prohibits flight operations by 
persons described in paragraph (a) in the OSTT FIR due to the 
significant hazards to civil aviation described in the Background 
section of this preamble. This regulation incorporates the prohibition 
on flight operations originally issued by the FAA in FDC NOTAM 4/4936 
into the CFR. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign 
Assets Control (OFAC) prohibits, except as otherwise authorized, the 
exportation, re-exportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, 
from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, 
of any services to Syria. See 31 CFR 542.207. Consequently, the FAA 
assumes that, immediately prior to the issuance of FDC NOTAM 4/4936 on 
August 18, 2014, there were few, if any, persons who would be subject 
to paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 114, Sec.  91.1609, flying into and out of 
Syria. OFAC's Syrian Sanctions Regulations (31 CFR part 542) do not 
prohibit overflights of Syria. The FAA surveyed U.S. operators of large 
transport category airplanes (four part 121 operators and two part 125M 
operators) who had previously reported conducting regular overflights 
in the OSTT FIR. All six operators recently reported that they had 
voluntarily ended their OSTT FIR overflights in March 2011 due to the 
onset of hostilities in Syria. Thus, these six operators ceased their 
operations in the OSTT FIR before the FAA issued FDC NOTAM 4/4936 on 
August 18, 2014. Approximately 15 ``on-demand'' large carriers (part 
121 and part 121/135) previously indicated that they had performed 
overflights in the OSTT FIR and about 75 small ``on-demand'' operators 
(parts 135, 125, 125M, and 91K) previously indicated that they had 
flown into and out of Syria or conducted overflights in the OSTT FIR. 
However, because of the OFAC sanctions and the ongoing conflict, the 
FAA believes that few, if any, of these small operators were operating 
in the OSTT FIR immediately prior to the issuance of FDC NOTAM 4/4936 
on August 18, 2014. Accordingly, the incremental costs of this rule are 
minimal.
    In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined this final rule is 
a ``significant regulatory action,'' as defined in section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866, because it raises novel policy issues 
contemplated under that Executive Order. The rule is also 
``significant'' as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures. 
The final rule, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities, will not create unnecessary 
obstacles to international trade, and will not impose an unfunded 
mandate on state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private 
sector.

[[Page 78302]]

A. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354, ``RFA''), 5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq., 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, 
RFA Sec.  605(b) provides that the head of the agency may so certify 
and a regulatory flexibility analysis will not be required. The 
certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for 
this determination, and the reasoning should be clear.
    As noted above, because of OFAC sanctions and the ongoing conflict, 
as well as the voluntary cessation of operations by large transport 
category carriers, the FAA believes that few, if any, small U.S. 
operators operated in the OSTT FIR prior to the issuance of FDC NOTAM 
4/4936. The FAA believes all operators who are small entities do not 
intend to land or overfly Syria while this rule is in effect. 
Therefore, as provided in Sec.  605(b), the head of the FAA certifies 
that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

B. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39. 19 U.S.C. Chapter 
13), as amended, 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 this Act, 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 as 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 final rule 
and determined that its purpose is to protect the safety of U.S. civil 
aviation from a potential hazard outside the U.S. Therefore, the rule 
is in compliance with the Trade Agreements Act, as amended.

C. 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 $151.0 million in lieu of $100 
million. This final rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, 
the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.) 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 immediately adopted final rule.

E. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation (the ``Chicago Convention''), it is FAA 
policy to conform to International Civil Aviation (``ICAO'') Standards 
and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA 
has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended 
Practices that correspond to this proposed regulation.

F. 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 (``NEPA'') (Pub. L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. Chapter 55) in the absence of 
extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking 
action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 
312(f) of FAA Order 1050.1E, ``Environmental Impacts: Policies and 
Procedures,'' and involves no extraordinary circumstances.
    The FAA has reviewed the implementation of the proposed SFAR and 
determined it is categorically excluded from further environmental 
review according to FAA Order 1050.1E, ``Environmental Impacts: 
Policies and Procedures,'' paragraph 312(f). The FAA has examined 
possible extraordinary circumstances and determined that no such 
circumstances exist. After careful and thorough consideration of the 
proposed action, the FAA finds that the proposed Federal action does 
not require preparation of an EA or EIS in accordance with the 
requirements of NEPA, Council on Environmental Quality regulations, and 
FAA Order 1050.1E.

IV. Executive Order Determinations

A. Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism''

    The FAA has analyzed this immediately adopted final rule under the 
principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism.'' The 
agency has 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.

B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    The FAA analyzed this immediately adopted final rule under 
Executive Order 13211, ``Actions 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.

C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation

    Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation, (77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012) promotes international 
regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, 
safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and to

[[Page 78303]]

reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory 
requirements. The FAA has analyzed this action under the policies and 
agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and has determined 
that this action would have no effect on international regulatory 
cooperation.

V. How To Obtain Additional Information

A. Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by 
using the Internet--
    1. Search the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) Portal 
(http://www.regulations.gov);
    2. Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/; or
    3. Access the Government Printing Office's Web page: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.
    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by 
notice, 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.

B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(SBREFA) (Public Law 104-121) (set forth as a note to 5 U.S.C. 601), as 
amended, 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'' section at the beginning of the 
preamble. You can find out more about SBREFA on the Internet at: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91

    Air traffic control, Aircraft, Airmen, Airports, Aviation safety, 
Freight, Syria.

The Amendment

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

PART 91--GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES

0
1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40101, 40103, 40105, 
40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 
44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 
47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 47534, articles 12 and 29 of the 
Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 
Stat. 11).


0
2. In part 91, Subpart M, add new Sec.  91.1609, to read as follows:


Sec.  91.1609  Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 114--Prohibition 
Against Certain Flights in the Damascus (OSTT) Flight Information 
Region (FIR).

    (a) Applicability. This rule applies to the following persons:
    (1) All U.S. air carriers and U.S. commercial operators;
    (2) All persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate 
issued by the FAA, except such persons operating U.S.-registered 
aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and
    (3) All operators of aircraft registered in the United States, 
except where the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier.
    (b) Flight prohibition. No person may conduct flight operations in 
the Damascus (OSTT) Flight Information Region (FIR), except as provided 
in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.
    (c) Permitted operations. This section does not prohibit persons 
described in paragraph (a) of this section from conducting flight 
operations in the Damascus (OSTT) FIR, provided that such flight 
operations are conducted under a contract, grant, or cooperative 
agreement with a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. 
government (or under a subcontract between the prime contractor of the 
department, agency, or instrumentality, and the person described in 
paragraph (a)), with FAA approval, or under an exemption issued by the 
FAA. The FAA will process requests for approval or exemption in a 
timely manner, with the order of preference being: first, for those 
operations in support of U.S. government-sponsored activities; second, 
for those operations in support of government-sponsored activities of a 
foreign country with the support of a U.S. government department, 
agency, or instrumentality; and third, for all other operations.
    (d) Emergency situations. In an emergency that requires immediate 
decision and action for the safety of the flight, the pilot in command 
of an aircraft may deviate from this section to the extent required by 
that emergency. Except for U.S. air carriers and commercial operators 
that are subject to the requirements of parts 119, 121, 125, or 135 of 
this chapter, each person who deviates from this section must, within 
ten (10) days of the deviation, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and 
Federal holidays, submit to the nearest FAA Flight Standards District 
Office (FSDO) a complete report of the operations of the aircraft 
involved in the deviation, including a description of the deviation and 
the reasons for it.
    (e) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until December 30, 
2016. The FAA may amend, rescind, or extend this SFAR No. 114, Sec.  
91.1609, as necessary.

    Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 
40101(d)(1), 40105(b)(1)(A), and 44701(a)(5), in Washington, DC, on 
December 19, 2014.
Michael P. Huerta,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-30377 Filed 12-29-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P