Aviation Training Device Credit for Pilot Certification, 21449-21462 [2016-08388]

Download as PDF 21449 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 70 Tuesday, April 12, 2016 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 73 [NRC–2015–0179] RIN 3150–AJ64 Cyber Security at Fuel Cycle Facilities Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Final regulatory basis; availability. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is making available a final regulatory basis document to support a rulemaking that would amend its regulations by adopting new cyber security requirements for certain nuclear fuel cycle facility (FCF) licensees in order to address safety, security, and safeguards consequences of concern. The NRC is not seeking public comments on this document. There will be an opportunity for formal public comment on the proposed rule when it is published in the Federal Register. DATES: The final regulatory basis is publicly available April 12, 2016. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2015–0179 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2015–0179. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Bartlett, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–7154; email Matthew.Bartlett@ nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NRC may post additional materials relevant to this rulemaking at www.regulations.gov, under Docket ID NRC–2015–0179. Please take the following actions if you wish to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC–2015–0179); (2) click the ‘‘Email Alert’’ link; and (3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly). I. Background Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of April, 2016. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In a September 4, 2015, Federal Register document (80 FR 53478), the NRC solicited comment from members of the public on a draft regulatory basis addressing the need for a rulemaking to implement cyber security for FCFs. The public comment period ended on October 5, 2015. The NRC received a total of 9 comment submissions from nongovernment organizations and industry. The NRC staff reviewed and considered the comments in finalizing the regulatory basis. The final regulatory basis is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15355A466 or on the Federal rulemaking Web site, www.regulations.gov, under Docket ID NRC–2015–0179. II. Publicly-Available Documents As the NRC continues its ongoing proposed rulemaking effort to implement cyber security requirements for FCFs in part 73 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the NRC is making documents publicly available on the Federal rulemaking Web site, www.regulations.gov, under Docket ID NRC–2015–0179. By making these documents publicly available, the NRC seeks to inform stakeholders of the current status of the NRC’s rulemaking development activities and to provide preparatory material for future public meetings. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 III. Plain Writing The Plain Writing Act of 2010, (Pub. L. 111–274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, well-organized manner that also follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and the intended audience. Although regulations are exempt under the Act, the NRC is applying the same principles to its rulemaking documents. Therefore, the NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act. Shana R. Helton, Acting Deputy Director, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety, Safeguards, and Environmental Review, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2016–08324 Filed 4–11–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 61 and 141 [Docket No.: FAA–2015–1846; Amdt. Nos. 61–136, 141–18] RIN 2120–AK71 Aviation Training Device Credit for Pilot Certification Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This rulemaking relieves burdens on pilots seeking to obtain aeronautical experience, training, and certification by increasing the allowed use of aviation training devices. These actions are necessary to bring the regulations in line with the current SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 21450 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES capabilities of aviation training devices and the needs and activities of the general aviation training community and pilots. DATES: This rule is effective May 12, 2016. ADDRESSES: For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking documents and other information related to this final rule, see ‘‘How To Obtain Additional Information’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcel Bernard, Airmen Certification and Training Branch, Flight Standards Service, AFS–810, Federal Aviation Administration, 898 Airport Park Road, Suite 204, Glen Burnie, MD 21061; telephone: (410) 590–5364 x235 email marcel.bernard@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary This rule finalizes the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the use of aviation training devices for pilot certification. 80 FR 34338 (Jun. 16, 2015). The NPRM proposed to increase the maximum time that may be credited in an aviation training device (ATD) toward the aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating under § 61.65(i). The NPRM proposed to permit a person to credit a maximum of 20 hours of aeronautical experience acquired in an approved ATD toward the requirements for an instrument rating. By letter of authorization (LOA), devices that qualify as advanced aviation training devices (AATDs) were proposed to be authorized for up to 20 hours of experience to meet the instrument time requirements. Devices that qualify as basic aviation training devices (BATDs) were proposed to be authorized, by LOA, for a maximum of 10 hours of experience to meet the instrument time requirements. Based on the comments received to the NPRM, the FAA is revising § 61.65 to include a specified allowance of 10 hours for BATDs and 20 hours for AATDs in part 61 (combined use not to exceed 20 hours) for the instrument rating. The NPRM also addressed the use of ATDs in approved instrument rating courses. The NPRM proposed to amend appendix C to part 141 to increase the limit on the amount of training hours that may be accomplished in an ATD in an approved course for an instrument rating. The FAA proposed to allow ATDs to be used for no more than 40% of the total flight training hour requirements in an approved instrument rating course. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 Based on the comments received to the NPRM, the FAA is revising appendix C to part 141 to include a specified allowance of 25% of creditable time in BATDs 1 and 40% of creditable time for AATDs under part 141 (not to exceed 40% total time) for the instrument rating. Currently, § 61.65(i) requires a pilot who is logging instrument time in an ATD to wear a view-limiting device. The NPRM proposed to revise § 61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a viewlimiting device. The FAA is finalizing this proposal without change. II. Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.). Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 49 U.S.C. 106(f), which establishes the authority of the Administrator to promulgate regulations and rules; 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5), which requires the Administrator to promote safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations and setting minimum standards for other practices, methods, and procedures necessary for safety in air commerce and national security; and 49 U.S.C. 44703(a), which requires the Administrator to prescribe regulations for the issuance of airman certificates when the Administrator finds, after investigation, that an individual is qualified for, and physically able to perform the duties related to, the position authorized by the certificate. III. Background Since the 1970s, the FAA has gradually expanded the permitted use of flight simulation for training—first permitting simulation to be used in air carrier training programs and eventually permitting pilots to credit time in devices toward the aeronautical experience requirements for airman certification and recency. Currently, title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 60 governs the qualification of flight simulation training devices (FSTDs), which include 1 If a course of training is approved under the minimum requirements as prescribed in part 141, appendix C, for the instrument rating (35 hours of training required), 25% in a BATD would equate to 8.75 hours and 40% in an AATD would equate to 14 hours. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 full flight simulators (FFSs) level A through D and flight training devices (FTDs) levels 4 through 7. The FAA has, however, approved other devices, including ATDs, for use in pilot certification training, under the authority provided in 14 CFR 61.4(c).2 For over 30 years, the FAA has issued LOAs to manufacturers of ground trainers, personal computer-based aviation training devices (PCATD), FTDs (levels 1 through 3), BATDs, and AATDs. These LOAs were based on guidance provided in advisory circulars (ACs) that set forth the qualifications and capabilities for the devices. Prior to 2008, most LOAs were issued under the guidance provided in AC 61–126, Qualification and Approval of Personal Computer-Based Aviation Training Devices, and AC 120–45, Airplane Flight Training Device Qualification. Starting in July 2008, the FAA approved devices in accordance with AC 61–136, FAA Approval of Basic Aviation Training Devices (BATD) and Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATD). More recently, on December 3, 2014, the FAA published a revision to AC 61– 136A, Approval of Aviation Training Devices and Their Use for Training and Experience. In 2009, the FAA issued a final rule that for the first time introduced the term ‘‘aviation training device’’ into the regulations and placed express limits on the amount of instrument time in an ATD that could be credited toward the aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating.3 Since the 2009 final rule, § 61.65(i) has provided that no more than 10 hours of instrument time received in an ATD may be credited toward the instrument time requirements of that section. In addition, appendix C to part 141 permits an ATD to be used for no more than 10% of the total flight training hour requirements of an approved course for an instrument rating. Prior to the 2009 final rule, the FAA had issued hundreds of LOAs to 2 Section 61.4(c) states that the ‘‘Administrator may approve a device other than a flight simulator or flight training device for specific purposes.’’ 3 In a 2007 NPRM, the FAA proposed to limit the time in a personal computer-based aviation training device that could be credited toward the instrument rating. Pilot, Flight Instructor, and Pilot School Certification NPRM, 72 FR 5806 (Feb. 7, 2007). Three commenters recommended that the FAA use the terms ‘‘basic aviation training device’’ (BATD) and ‘‘advanced aviation training device’’ (AATD). Pilot, Flight Instructor, and Pilot School Certification Final Rule, 74 FR 42500 (Aug. 21, 2009) (‘‘2009 Final Rule’’). In response to the commenters, the FAA changed the regulatory text in the final rule to ‘‘aviation training device,’’ noting BATDs and AATDs ‘‘as being aviation training devices (ATD) are defined’’ in an advisory circular. E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES manufacturers of devices that permitted some ATDs (as well as ground trainers, and FTDs (levels 1 through 3)) to be used to a greater extent than was ultimately set forth in the regulations. The FAA continued to issue LOAs for AATDs in excess of the express limitations in the regulations after the publication of the 2009 final rule. On January 2, 2014, the FAA published a notice of policy requiring manufacturers of ATDs to obtain new LOAs reflecting the appropriate regulatory allowances for ATD use. 79 FR 20.4 The notice of policy stated the FAA’s conclusion that it could not use LOAs to exceed express limitations that had been placed in the regulations through notice and comment rulemaking. The FAA noted that, since August 2013, LOAs issued for new devices reflect current regulatory requirements. However, manufacturers and operators who held LOAs issued prior to August 2013 acted in reliance on FAA statements that were inconsistent with the regulations. Therefore, the FAA granted a limited exemption from the requirement in the regulations to provide manufacturers, operators, and pilots currently training for an instrument rating time to adjust to the reduction in creditable hours. This short-term exemption was intended to provide an interim period to transition the LOAs for all previously approved devices in accordance with the new policy. The FAA found the exemption to be in the public interest in order to prevent undue harm caused by reasonable reliance on the LOAs. As stated in the notice of policy, this short term exemption expired on January 1, 2015. The FAA explained that after that date, no applicant training for an instrument rating under part 61 may use more than 10 hours of instrument time in an ATD toward the minimum aeronautical experience requirements required to take the practical test for an instrument rating.5 In addition, no instrument rating course approved under appendix C to part 141 may credit more than 10% of training in ATDs toward the total flight training hour requirements of the course (unless that program has been approved in accordance with § 141.55(d) or (e)).6 4 ‘‘Notice of Policy Change for the Use of FAA Approved Training Devices,’’ January 2, 2014. 5 Under § 61.65, a person who applies for an instrument rating must have completed 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time of which 15 hours must have been with an authorized instructor who holds the appropriate instrument rating. 6 Under appendix C, each approved course for an instrument rating must include 35 hours of instrument training for an initial instrument rating or 15 hours of instrument training for an additional instrument rating. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 To address the discrepancy between the level of ATD credit allowed historically by LOA and the lower allowances placed in the regulations, the FAA published a direct final rule that would have amended the regulations governing the use of ATDs.7 The direct final rule would have increased the use of these devices for instrument training requirements above the levels established in the 2009 final rule. In developing this direct final rule, the FAA noted that ATD development has advanced to an impressive level of capability. Many ATDs can simulate weather conditions with variable winds, variable ceilings and visibility, icing, turbulence, high definition (HD) visuals, hundreds of different equipment failure scenarios, navigation specific to current charts and topography, specific navigation and communication equipment use, variable ‘‘aircraft specific’’ performance, and more. The visual and motion component of some of these devices permit maneuvers that require outside visual references in an aircraft to be successfully taught in an AATD. Many of these simulation capabilities were not possible in previously approved devices (such as PCATDs). In the direct final rule, the FAA stated its belief that permitting pilots to log increased time in ATDs would encourage pilots to practice maneuvers until they are performed to an acceptable level of proficiency. In an ATD, a pilot can replay the training scenario, identify any improper action, practice abnormal/emergency procedures, and determine corrective actions without undue hazard or risk to persons or property. In this fashion, a pilot can continue to practice tasks and maneuvers in a safe, effective, and cost efficient means of maintaining proficiency. IV. The Direct Final Rule As described in the previous section, to address the discrepancy between FAA regulations and prior policy, on December 3, 2014, the FAA published a direct final rule that would have increased the allowed use of ATDs. The FAA received 20 comments to the direct final rule.8 Credit for aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating: The direct final rule would have increased the maximum time that may be credited in an ATD toward the aeronautical experience requirements 7 79 FR 71634, Dec. 3, 2014, withdrawn at 80 FR 2001, Jan. 15, 2015 (RIN 2120–AK62). 8 The direct final rule and the comments received thereto may be found in FAA Docket No. FAA– 2014–0987 at http://www.regulations.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 21451 for an instrument rating under § 61.65(i). The direct final rule would have permitted a person to credit a maximum of 20 hours of aeronautical experience acquired in an approved ATD toward the requirements for an instrument rating. Devices that qualify as AATDs would have been authorized for up to 20 hours of experience to meet the instrument time requirements. Devices that qualify as BATDs would have been authorized for a maximum of 10 hours of experience to meet the instrument time requirements. Approved instrument rating courses: The direct final rule also would have amended appendix C to part 141 to increase the limit on the amount of training hours that may be accomplished in an ATD in an approved course for an instrument rating. An ATD would have been permitted to be used for no more than 40% of the total flight training hour requirements in an approved instrument rating course. Comments received: The FAA received 20 comments regarding these provisions. Eighteen comments supported the provisions. However, two commenters raised concerns. As those comments were adverse to the direct final rule, the FAA was required to withdraw the direct final rule, 80 FR 2001, (Jan. 15, 2015). 14 CFR 11.13. The comments received to the direct final rule and FAA’s responses were discussed in the notice of proposed rulemaking published June 16, 2015. 80 FR 34338. View-limiting devices: Under § 61.51(g), a person may log instrument time only for that flight time when the person operates an aircraft solely by reference to the instruments under actual or simulated conditions. When instrument time is logged in an aircraft, a pilot wears a view-limiting device to simulate instrument conditions and ensure that he or she is flying without utilizing outside visual references. Currently, § 61.65(i) requires a pilot who is logging instrument time in an ATD to wear a view-limiting device. The direct final rule would have revised § 61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a viewlimiting device. The purpose of a view-limiting device is to prevent a pilot (while training in an aircraft during flight) from having outside visual references that would naturally be present otherwise. These references are not available in a training device and a pilot has no opportunity to look outside for any useful visual references pertaining to the simulation. The FAA recognizes that the majority of these devices have a simulated visual E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 21452 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES display that can be configured to be unavailable or represent ‘‘limited visibility’’ conditions that preclude any need for a view-limiting device to be worn by the student. This lack of visual references requires the pilot to give his or her full attention to the flight instruments which is the goal of any instrument training or experience. The FAA believes that using a training device can be useful because it trains the pilot to focus on, appropriately scan and interpret the flight instruments. Since these devices incorporate a visual system that can be configured to the desired visibility level, use of a viewlimiting device would have no longer been required by the direct final rule. When the FAA introduced § 61.65(i)(4) requiring view-limiting devices in the 2009 final rule, the preamble was silent as to why a viewlimiting device was necessary. 74 FR 42500, 42523. Based on comments from industry, the FAA has determined that due to the sophistication of the flight visual representation for ATDs and the capability of presenting various weather conditions appropriate to the training scenario, a view-limiting device is unnecessary. Because persons operating an ATD can simulate both instrument and visual conditions, FAA LOAs specifically reference § 61.51 that stipulates a pilot can log instrument time only when operating the aircraft solely by reference to the instruments in actual or simulated instrument flight conditions.9 Comments received: The FAA received one comment in response to this provision in the direct final rule. The comment received to the direct final rule and FAA’s response were discussed in the notice of proposed rulemaking published June 16, 2015. 80 FR 34338. V. The Proposed Rule After consideration of the comments received to the direct final rule, on June 16, 2015, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (80 FR 34338) proposing the following changes to 14 CFR parts 61 and 141. These changes were the same as in the direct final rule, 79 FR 71634, (Dec. 3, 2014), withdrawn at 80 FR 2001, (Jan. 15, 2015). The FAA received a total of 60 comments to the notice of proposed rulemaking, 50 from individuals; five from flight schools; three from organizations representing pilots and flight instructors, including the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators 9 AC 61–136A Appendix 4, Training Content and Logging Provisions references limitations for logging instrument time. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 (SAFE), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI); one from an anonymous commenter purporting to represent Garmin International; and one from ATD manufacturer Redbird Flight Simulations. The proposed provisions, the comments received, and FAA’s responses are discussed in the following sections. A. Credit for the Aeronautical Experience Requirements for an Instrument Rating and Approved Instrument Rating Courses The FAA proposed to increase the maximum time that may be credited in an ATD toward the instrument time requirements for an instrument rating under § 61.65(i). A person would be permitted to credit a maximum of 20 hours of instrument time in an approved ATD toward the requirements for an instrument rating.10 Devices that qualify as AATDs would be authorized for up to 20 hours of instrument time. Devices that qualify as BATDs would be authorized for a maximum of 10 hours of instrument time. In light of this difference, pilots must—as required by current regulations—include in their logbooks the type and identification of any ATD that is used to accomplish aeronautical experience requirements for a certificate, rating, or recent flight experience. 14 CFR 61.51(b)(1)(iv). The FAA is retaining the existing limit of 20 hours of combined time in FFSs, FTDs, and ATDs that may be credited towards the aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating. The FAA also proposed to amend appendix C to part 141 to increase the limit on the amount of training hours that may be accomplished in an ATD in an approved course for an instrument rating. An ATD could be used for no more than 40% of the total flight training hour requirements in an instrument rating course. The proposed rule did not change the current provisions in appendix C which limit credit for training in FFSs, FTDs, and ATDs, that if used in combination, cannot exceed 50% of the total flight training hour requirements of an instrument rating course. In addition, the FAA proposed to amend § 141.41 to clarify the existing qualification and approval requirement for FSTDs and to add the qualification and approval of ATDs by the FAA, 10 As required under § 61.51(g)(4), to log instrument time in an ATD for the purpose of a certificate or rating, an authorized instructor must be present. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 which is currently conducted pursuant to § 61.4(c). 1. Comments Supporting the Proposed Provisions The FAA received 57 comments in support of these proposed provisions, with 47 from individuals and 10 from organizations. Of the 57 comments received in support of the proposed rule, five recommended changes to the proposed regulations. Nineteen individual commenters provided general support for the proposed rule. Nine commenters who identified themselves as pilots who had used ATDs for their own training provided support for the rule. They emphasized the value of being able to have a flight instructor pause the training, discuss the scenario, provide instant feedback and additional instruction, and then continue the training session. These individuals also believed that their training was enhanced by the ability to focus on the specific training tasks and ensure accurate, appropriate learning of the lesson. Commenters also noted that in an ATD instructors can focus solely on teaching rather than dividing their focus between teaching important instrument skills and general aircraft operations. Commenters also emphasized the value of being presented with training scenarios that cannot be accomplished safely in the aircraft. Commenters cited emergency procedures, flight into thunderstorms, icing, and turbulent conditions as primary examples of conditions that can be simulated safely in ATDs. SAFE, NAFI, and Redbird Flight Simulations also noted the ability of current ATDs to simulate a variety of aircraft types and configurations, as well as to simulate various conditions inside and outside the aircraft. A number of individual commenters also noted the value, both financial and time saving, of accomplishing more repetitions in the same amount of time when using an ATD as opposed to using an aircraft. Two individual commenters estimated that time in an approved simulator with an instructor costs about $100 per hour, while dual time in an instrument flight rules-certified aircraft is $200 per hour or more. These commenters asserted that adding an extra 10 hours of simulator time cuts $1,000 from the overall training cost. NAFI also noted that because the training is independent of weather and air traffic control conditions, a training syllabus can be followed more closely with use of the ATDs and the student can avoid unplanned, non-productive E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations time delays when attempting to practice a procedure. Thirteen commenters who identified themselves as flight instructors supported the rule. They echoed the sentiments of those commenters who identified themselves as pilots who had used ATDs for their own training. Commenters discussed the belief that ATDs save lives, reduce training time and cost, reduce atmospheric and noise pollution, and produce safer pilots. They particularly noted the ability to train scenarios that would not be trained using an aircraft—thunderstorms, icing, etc. They emphasized the value of scenario-based training, followed closely by training in an aircraft. These commenters noted the importance of being able to train students regarding emergency procedures using meaningful repetition, until the commenters confirm the student’s mastery of those skills. AOPA supported this view, stating that simulator training for an instrument rating allows instructors to provide a safer, more effective training experience. Redbird Flight Simulations also supported this view, stating that the ATD is the ideal place to learn, ask questions and practice, and the aircraft is the place where the student demonstrates what he or she has learned and can focus on gaining real-world flying experience with the basic fundamental instrument skills already engrained. A few commenters noted that students whom they had trained initially in ATDs found the experience so useful that they returned for recurrent training in those same ATDs. One commenter noted FAA’s inferred endorsement of the use of AATDs in Instrument Practical Test Standard (FAA–S–8081–4E, Chg 5) by the inclusion of tasks for an instrument proficiency check which may be credited using an AATD. Five commenters commenting on behalf of flight schools also concurred with these comments. These commenters discussed the ability for pilots to practice situations and procedures that would not ‘‘normally’’ be possible to accomplish safely in an aircraft, including various weather conditions and simulated instrument failures. Commenters focused on the unique training that ATDs allow instructors to provide. As two commenters noted, Aircraft are not classrooms and as such they are poor environments for learning. The AATDs allow for students experiencing difficult learning situations the opportunity to repeat the lesson easily, safely and as frequently as needed. Importantly, the instructor is able to focus entirely on VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 teaching rather than splitting his/her attention on traffic, ATC instructions and safe aircraft operation.11 These commenters emphasized that ATDs are only one component of the training curriculum and process, and that all learning in an ATD would be accompanied by training in the aircraft. They also noted that ATDs and aircraft do not replace each other. NAFI agreed, pointing out that a significant portion of training would still be required in an aircraft under the proposed regulations. Commenters, including SAFE and several individuals, noted the use of simulators by other industries, including the United States military and air carriers. SAFE specifically cited a 1998 United States Air Force study regarding the transfer of training effectiveness.12 FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenters who support increased training time allowances in ATDs, including the statements discussing the increased dynamic training capability of these devices, cost savings, time savings, effective use of scenario-based training, and recent technical advancements that enhance the capabilities of ATDs. With over 30 years of experience evaluating, approving, and providing oversight for FSTDs and over 10 years approving ATDs, the FAA recognizes their evolving capabilities, safety benefits, and improved design justifying their increased use and credit for minimum pilot experience requirements. One commenter noted the safety benefit of ATDs related to decommissioning of very high frequency omni-directional radio range (VORs), non-directional beacons (NDBs), the scarcity of localizer backcourses, and scarcity of outer markers. The commenter noted that the practical test standards still require the demonstration of a VOR approach for an instrument candidate. As the commenter explained: Thus, instrument instructors must use a more limited set of VORs to conduct VOR instrument approach training, resulting in greater congestion around VORs during training maneuvers. Numerous FAA publications suggest avoiding concentrations around VORS, such as FAA–P–8740–51, ‘How to Avoid a Midair Collision.’ When one considers finding VOR approaches located on the airport (without a final approach fix) and those conducted off airport (those with a 11 Stephen Cunningham, Docket No. FAA–2015– 1846–0034. Anonymous, Docket No. FAA–2015– 1846–0038. 12 Carretta, Thomas R., and Dunlap, Ronald D. ‘‘Transfer of Training Effectiveness in Flight Simulation: 1986–1997.’’ United States Air Force Research Laboratory, 1998. http://www.dtic.mil/gettr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA362818. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 21453 final approach fix), the amount of time an instructor must spend exposed to the risk of a midair collision is quite large. The risk of a midair collision is non-existent in an ATD.13 FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenter that ATDs provide for unlimited choices when practicing electronic navigation, including instrument approaches, and the safety advantages afforded in these training devices. Traffic conflicts and geographic location are not a limitation when training in an FSTD or ATD. ATDs come with a database affording significant navigational choices. Advantages include executing navigation or instrument approach procedures to an airport that a pilot may not have experienced or executed in flight before. 2. Comments Providing Institutional Research Related to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking In the NPRM, the FAA specifically sought ‘‘. . . comment regarding any additional relevant data or institutional research that supports the training and safety advantages when using ATDs, or establishes that such devices do not enhance pilot training and flight safety.’’ 14 The FAA received two comments that specifically addressed this request. One individual commenter cited an unpublished dissertation 15 that the commenter believed supported the use of ATDs. The commenter stated: In her dissertation study, Kearns compared simulators far less capable then [sic] ATDs to a guided mental practice experimental technique. Though her results did not specifically evaluate ATDs, Kearn [sic] demonstrated how ATD-level simulators (and guided mental practice) effectively train skills enhancing mental workload and situational awareness.16 FAA Response: The FAA obtained and reviewed the unpublished Kearns dissertation. The study author described the study as follows: The purpose of this investigation was to assess the feasibility of guided mental practice, as an instructional strategy, embedded within an asynchronous computer-based non-technical training program for pilots. Two asynchronous computer-based single pilot resource management (SRM) training programs were developed for the study, varying only in the 13 Anonymous, Docket No. FAA–2015–1846– 0035. 14 80 FR 34338 at 34342. 15 Kearns, S. (2007). ‘‘The Effectiveness of Guided Mental Practice in a Computer-Based Single Pilot Resource Management (SRM) Training,’’ Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University). 16 Anonymous, Docket No. FAA–2015–1846– 0035. E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 21454 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations method of active practice. One version incorporated hands-on practice and another utilized a form of mental practice, termed guided mental practice. The term guided mental practice was developed to describe the process of mental practice which is facilitated by a computer-based training program, such as through the presentation of a video of a flight simulator scenario.17 The study author defined guided mental practice as: jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES . . . practice that took place without any hands-on interaction yet was facilitated by a computer-based flight simulator scenario embedded within an asynchronous online SRM training program. Participants were asked to view a video of a flight simulator in a particular scenario and imagine themselves as the pilot of the flight. Guided mental practice differs from traditional mental practice, which is typically an entirely internal process, as an external medium guides the learner through the practice exercise.18 Three groups were formed in the study (a) SRM training with hands-on practice, (b) SRM training with mental practice, and (c) a control group that received no training. The study used a sample size of 12 participants per condition.19 All three groups of participants completed a high-fidelity flight simulator evaluation in which metrics assessed their situation awareness and mental workload, the two constructs targeted in the SRM training program. The study found that although no difference existed between the practice conditions, groups that completed training with either hands-on or mental practice demonstrated improved situation awareness over the group that did not receive any training as measured by the situation awareness global assessment technique (SAGAT). Significant findings were not found with either of the metrics meant to assess workload: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s task load index (NASA–TLX), and secondary task (ST) metrics.20 While this study did not directly address whether ATDs or other simulators provide benefit by increasing learning of piloting skills, it does appear to indicate that deliberate practice is important to pilot training, and that any practice, whether in a simulator or watching a video of a simulation and imagining oneself as the pilot, is more beneficial than no use of simulation at all in advance of the skill evaluation. While the FAA believes that this study may provide useful information for its at 80. at 12. 19 Kearns, at 63. 20 Kearns, at 82–83. 18 Kearns, 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 The purpose of this report was to review recent studies regarding the effectiveness of flight simulators as augmentation for ‘‘handson’’ flying training. Simulation-based training has been proposed to reduce costs, extend aircraft life, maintain flying proficiency, and provide more effective training, especially in areas difficult to train in operational aircraft. A review of the literature from 1986 to 1997 identified 67 articles, conference papers, and technical reports regarding simulator flying training and transfer. Of these, only 13 were related directly to transfer of training from the simulator to the aircraft. Studies of simulator effectiveness for training landing skills constituted a majority of the transfer studies, although a few examined other flying skills such as radial bombing accuracy and instrument and flight control. Results indicate that simulators are useful for training landing skills, bombing accuracy, and instrument and flight control. Generally, as the number of simulated sorties increases, performance improves, but this gain levels off after approximately 25 missions. Further, several studies indicate that successful transfer may not require high-fidelity simulators or whole-task training, thus reducing simulator development costs. Evaluation of this literature is difficult for many reasons. Typically, researchers fail to report sufficient detail regarding research methods, training characteristics, and simulator fidelity. In addition to these methodological concerns, there is a lack of true simulator-to-aircraft transfer studies involving complex pilot skills. This may be due to problems such as inadequate 21 Carretta, Thomas R., and Dunlap, Ronald D. ‘‘Transfer of Training Effectiveness in Flight Simulation: 1986–1997.’’ United States Air Force Research Laboratory, 1998. http://www.dtic.mil/gettr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA362818. 17 Kearns, VerDate Sep<11>2014 area of interest, the study was not focused on the decision point the FAA was considering regarding whether to move forward with this regulatory change—that is, data or institutional research that supports the training and safety advantages when using ATDs, or establishes that such devices do not enhance pilot training and flight safety. Situational awareness is one of many elements to be considered in evaluating pilot training and safety. The study did not consider whether skill sets were better learned by use of either guided mental practice or hands-on use of a simulator as compared with training in an aircraft only. SAFE asserted that research shows that when properly utilized as part of a comprehensive training program such training devices actually speed up the learning process by allowing students to bypass areas of successful understanding and to concentrate on areas where more understanding and practice is required.21 FAA Response: The abstract of the study cited by SAFE reads as follows: Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 simulator design, cost, and availability, and access to simulators in operational flying units. Future directions in simulator transfer of training are discussed.22 Their literature review found that numerous studies conducted between 1986 and 1997 indicated that simulators were found to be useful for training landing skills. As the number of simulated sorties increased, performance increased, but the performance gain appeared to level off after approximately 25 missions. Two other studies considered for the literature review suggest that simulators provide an effective means to train instrument procedures and flight control. The results suggest that in order to produce transfer to the aircraft it may be necessary to train only the critical components of the task rather than the whole task. Authors emphasized the limitations of the literature review, including a lack of information regarding the simulator fidelity characteristics, research methods, and training characteristics among other challenges. While the FAA found this literature review to provide some limited support for the agency’s position, the review did not provide significant support for this position. Given the lack of information regarding simulators used, the effectiveness of the skills transfer, and the age of the review itself, it is likely that the literature review cannot be used to directly support the FAA’s position. The FAA notes that FSTD and ATD technology has evolved significantly since this literature review was written and for that reason alone it is possible that studies conducted today would show different conclusions regarding the effectiveness of skill transfer, as simulators at all levels are more realistic and have greater information from which to provide simulation than that which existed 20 years ago. Nonetheless, the FAA agrees that the use of ground based training devices in advance of flight training in an aircraft speeds up the overall process of learning. The FAA believes that practice decreases the time required in an actual aircraft to reach a level of proficiency required to successfully complete a practical test for a pilot certificate or rating. The Air Force research paper referenced by SAFE supports this assertion, but does not directly address the current capabilities of ATDs. The individual commenter also believed that allowing increased hours in ATDs would increase economic demand for ATDs, thereby increasing competition and resulting in lower ATD 22 Ibid. E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES prices and increased ATD innovation. The commenter cited a textbook that he or she believed supported this position.23 The commenter further asserted that this increased competition will increase the quality of ATDs. The commenter compared the current situation regarding the use of ATDs to digital chart maturation,24 arguing that when regulation is applied inappropriately, innovation may be stifled. Thus, the commenter asserted, expanded use of ATDs has derivative benefits consistent with a long-term view of aviation and safety. FAA Response: The FAA generally agrees that permitting the greater use of ATDs may increase the demand for ATDs. In turn, the increased demand for ATDs may result in more firms entering the market, increasing competition, and perhaps in more technical innovation in ATDs. The FAA, however, restricts the economic impact analysis to the initial impact, as each succeeding economic impact is more speculative. As noted previously, the intent of the specific request for information was to seek any additional relevant data or institutional research that supports the training and safety advantages when using ATDs, or establishes that such devices do not enhance pilot training and flight safety. The intent of this regulation is not to foster development of ATDs. The FAA emphasizes that even without this regulation persons are permitted to use ATDs and FSTDs to gain further experience in addition to any time that may be expressly creditable when using ATDs or FSTDs under the regulations. Finally, the commenter asserted that economic growth of ATDs will offer enhanced applications of ATDs by researchers and innovators, contributing to aviation safety.25 The commenter argued that ATD maturation in operational training environments will enable such forward-thinking training frameworks. FAA Response: The FAA agrees that it is likely that the purchase and use of ATDs will increase with the additional FAA allowances provided for minimum 23 Vasigh, B., Fleming, K., Tacker, T. (2008) Introduction to Air Transport Economics: From Theory to Applications. Burlington, VT: Ashgate). http://www.ashgate.com/ default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&isbn= 9781409454878&lang=cy-GB. 24 Tuccio, W.A. (2013). Aviation Approach Charts in an iPad World. Journal of Navigation, 66(1). Retrieved from http://journals.cambridge.org/ action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid= 8777261&fileId=S0373463312000409. 25 Tuccio, W.A. (2011). Heuristics to Improve Human Factors Performance in Aviation. Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research, 20(3). from http://commons.erau.edu/jaaer/vol20/iss3/8. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 pilot experience requirements. Additionally, the Tuccio research paper referenced by the commenter generally supports the use of simulation in aviation pilot training specific to heuristics 26 but does not speak directly to any particular simulator design or capability. 3. Comments Supporting the Proposed Provisions With Changes The FAA received five comments supporting the proposed rule but recommending changes to the proposed regulations. One commenter noted that in the proposed rule the FAA differentiated between the number of hours that were proposed to be credited toward the aeronautical experience requirements in an AATD (20 hours) versus a BATD (10 hours). The commenter noted that these differences were not stipulated in the proposed text of 14 CFR 61.65(i) regarding credit for aeronautical experience for the instrument rating, and that no differentiation was made between AATDs and BATDs in part 141 regarding approved instrument rating courses—either in the preamble or the regulatory text. FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenter and believes that providing explicit and separate regulatory allowances for BATDs and AATDs, as currently provided in the FAA LOAs, is appropriate. Specificity in the regulation will better inform individuals receiving instrument training as to the appropriate allowances for the different levels of ATDs. Therefore, in this final rule the FAA is revising § 61.65 and appendix C to part 141 to include a specified allowance of 10 hours for BATDs and 20 hours for AATDs in part 61 (combined use not to exceed 20 hours), and 25% of creditable time in BATDs and 40% of creditable time for AATDs under part 141 (not to exceed 40% total time) for the instrument rating. Currently, under the conditions and limitations set forth in the LOAs, training providers must provide copies of LOAs to people who receive training in the device. By providing a copy of the LOA, pilots who receive training will know the amount of training that may be logged in the device for the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements for a certificate or rating. 26 Heuristics Merriam-Webster definition: Involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods <heuristic techniques> <a heuristic assumption>; also: Of or relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques (as the evaluation of feedback) to improve performance <a heuristic computer program>. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 21455 The same commenter believed that there could be confusion regarding the amount of time that can be credited when using a BATD, and when using percentages of simulator, FTD, AATD and BATD time that can be used in combination. For example, the commenter asserted that under appendix C to part 141, section 4(b)(4) as proposed, providing 40% of the required training in a BATD and 10% in a simulator would satisfy the letter of the rule. FAA Response: As discussed previously, the FAA agrees with the commenter and is providing for separate specific regulatory allowances for BATDs and AATDs and clarifying the total creditable percentages of time when using BATDs and AATDs in combination with other FAA approved training devices. The same commenter believed that the FAA was being inconsistent in its treatment of time that could be credited when using a BATD in part 61 versus part 141. The commenter noted that the FAA had proposed that 10 hours of the 40 hours required could be obtained using a BATD under part 61 (25% of the hours needed), whereas the FAA had proposed that 10% of the hours could be credited in a BATD under part 141 (3.5 hours).27 Based on the commenter’s understanding of the FAA proposal, the commenter recommended that the total number of hours that could be credited when using a BATD under part 141 be increased to 20% of the total hours (7 hours of the 35 hours required). FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenter and will provide a consistent allowance in the regulation for ATD credit when using a BATD or AATD under part 61 and part 141. To provide a consistent allowance under part 141 training requirements for the instrument rating, in this final rule the FAA is allowing up to a 25% credit (8.75 hours) when using a BATD for the minimum training time requirements. One commenter noted that the FAA does not differentiate regarding the use of AATDs versus BATDs anywhere else in part 141. The commenter believed that by differentiating AATDs from BATDs, it would now be possible to allow credit for AATD use toward flight times for private pilot, commercial pilot, flight instructor and additional rating courses. Another commenter requested that the FAA consider expanding the utilization of these devices for the private pilot rating as well from the current 2.5 hours to 10 hours. Another 27 The 3.5 hours reflects 10% of the 35 hours of instrument training that is the minimum curriculum hours under appendix C to part 141. E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 21456 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations commenter requested that appendix G of part 141 be revised to permit flight instructors to use AATDs in their own training. The commenter asserted that if instrument instructors are to teach effectively in ATDs, then it is logical those same instructors should use ATDs during their own training in order to realize economic and safety benefits of ATDs similar to those provided by the new rule under appendix C to part 141, and learn effective ATD training techniques. Yet another commenter suggested expanding the creditable use of ATDs to all certificates—airline transport pilot, commercial, private, flight instructor, etc. FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenters and is providing separate regulatory allowances for BATDs and AATDs as described previously and clarifying the amount of creditable time when BATDs and AATDs are used in combination with FSTDs for instrument training. The FAA notes that part 61 provides time allowances for private pilot, commercial pilot, and airline transport pilot in an FSTD that is representative of the aircraft category, class, and type if appropriate. Currently, the FAA approves the use of ATDs for private pilot, commercial pilot, and airline transport pilot certification through the issuance of LOAs under the Administrator’s authority in § 61.4(c). The FAA will consider this comment concerning specific regulatory credit for ATDs to meet the requirements for pilot certificates and may address it in other rulemakings as appropriate. One commenter asserted that current regulations regarding the use of ATDs for instrument proficiency checks under 14 CFR 61.57 is confusing. The commenter noted that § 61.57(d)(1)(i) specifies that the instrument proficiency check must be conducted in an aircraft while the Instrument Practical Test Standard specifies that both FSTDs or AATDs may be used for part or all of the instrument proficiency check. The commenter recommended that the regulations be clarified to correspond to the practical test standard. FAA Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rule. The FAA notes, however, that § 61.57(d)(1)(ii) provides an allowance for use of an FSTD that is representative of the aircraft category when conducting the instrument proficiency check. The FAA will consider this comment concerning the use of an ATD for the instrument proficiency check and the reference in the Instrument Practical Test that allows its use and will address it in other rulemakings as appropriate. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 One commenter requested a variety of changes to § 61.57(c) regarding instrument experience and recency for pilots in command. The commenter highlighted differences between current requirements for completing instrument experience using an ATD to maintain instrument experience (§ 61.57(c)(3)); completing instrument recency experience using a combination of an aircraft and a full flight simulator, FTD, and ATD (§ 61.57(c)(4)); and completing instrument experience using a combination of a flight simulator or FTD, and an ATD (§ 61.57(c)(5)). FAA Response: These comments are beyond the scope of this rulemaking. The FAA will consider these comments and may address them in other rulemakings as appropriate. Finally, one commenter recommended changes to permit ground instructors to use ATDs to train their students. FAA Response: The FAA allows ground instructors certain privileges. This includes training for aeronautical knowledge typically in a classroom environment and authorizing students for knowledge tests. While a ground instructor may use an ATD to illustrate ground training concepts, such training may not be logged to meet the aeronautical experience requirements for certificates and ratings. Providing flight training—or training in FSTDs or ATDs that can substitute for some of the required flight training—is a privilege reserved for flight instructors who have been evaluated during a practical test on the ability to provide flight training. Expanding this privilege to ground instructors is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. 4. Comments Opposing the Proposed Provisions Three commenters opposed the proposed provisions. One commenter, who identified himself as a flight instructor, believed that new instrument pilots need the stress, noise, and feeling of the real airplane when forming their habits and acquiring their skills, not the quiet, controlled, sterile atmosphere of a simulator. While the commenter supported the use of simulators later, he did not believe they are appropriate for new pilots. FAA Response: The FAA somewhat disagrees with this commenter’s general statement that pilots ‘‘. . . need the stress and noise and feeling of the real item when forming their habits and acquiring their skills, not the quiet controlled sterile atmosphere of a SIM.’’ The FAA contends that training in an ATD allows reduction in unnecessary PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 distractions during initial training and permits focus on the important fundamental instrument skills and tasks necessary for safe and controlled instrument flight. This includes practicing emergency procedures and other maneuvers that cannot be safely accomplished in an aircraft. Practice in an FSTD or ATD until a pilot performs a particular segment of a procedure or action correctly, before attempting to do the same complex tasks in an aircraft, is an acceptable and desirable practice. The FAA also contends that because a significant portion of the instrument time must be accomplished in an aircraft, the stress and noise experience and the feeling for the real environment discussed by the commenter will be provided during that time. Additionally, the FAA notes that § 61.65(d)(2)(i) (airplane) and § 61.65(e)(2)(i) (helicopter) currently require that three hours of training must be accomplished in an aircraft within two months of the practical test. The required instrument training on cross country procedures under instrument flight rules, including a flight of 250 nautical miles with at least three different instrument approaches and an instrument approach at each airport, must also be accomplished in an aircraft. The FAA believes that training in FSTDs and ATDs, when used in conjunction with training in an aircraft, teach an instrument student to trust the appropriate sense, vision, in order to successfully operate an aircraft in low visibility conditions. Training in an ATD reinforces this necessary skill. Any reliance on ‘‘sounds or feel’’ may ultimately lead to loss of control when operating an aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Because ignoring the postural senses involves relying on visual clues, the ATD provides an excellent platform for a pilot to develop this portion of his or her instrument flying skills. A person must use his or her vision and focus on the flight instruments to successfully operate an aircraft, FSTD, or ATD in IMC conditions. The FAA recognizes that training devices do not require motion in order to be approved as an ATD; thus, these devices are limited in that they cannot completely train the pilot to ignore outside sensory perceptions. However, the FAA finds that a pilot can develop this ability during the aeronautical experience that an applicant for an instrument rating must obtain in an aircraft. Another commenter, who also identified himself as a flight instructor, believed that FTDs and simulators do a good job at pretending to be an airplane in terms of learning procedures, but E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations that the commenter is discussing a particular Redbird AATD based on the content of his initial statements) are not identical to the actual aircraft. The FAA emphasizes that, assuming the ATD in question received a LOA from the FAA, it met or exceeded the minimum fidelity and capability requirements specified for such devices in AC 61–136A. ATD fidelity requirements do not require that ATDs be exactly like that of the aircraft. The FAA notes that the Redbird Flight Simulations ATDs the FAA has approved through LOA do provide for the ability to update the database to reflect current instrument approach procedures. Appendix 2 of the AC states: The ATD must have at least a navigational area database that is local to the training facility to allow reinforcement of procedures learned during actual flight in that area. All navigational data must be based on procedures as published per 14 CFR part 97 (STANDARD INSTRUMENT PROCEDURES). The FAA has evaluated many of the Redbird training devices and finds that they meet the standards in AC 61–136A for ATD approval. If one were to prefer greater fidelity or more exacting duplication of certain aircraft configurations, then the FAA would suggest the use of a higher fidelity FAA approved training device such as an FTD or FFS. However, the FAA standards set forth in AC 61–136A are appropriate to training instrument procedures as described in Appendix 4, Training Content and Logging Provisions. This describes what instrument tasks can be successfully taught in ATDs. [T]heir panels are limiting in the sense that switches are not the same in the simulator as it is [sic] in the airplane. . . . The Redbird simulator does not provide a volume knob for either the COM or NAV which contains the ID mode. This is a required step in order to properly identify a VOR station. . . . The standby instruments is graphically depicted but the position of these instruments does not reflect the real location of where these instruments are installed.28 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES they are not an airplane. The commenter believed that an ATD cannot give the true feeling of transitioning from visual meteorological conditions (VMC) to IMC, especially while climbing or turning. The commenter asserted that unless a provision is added to the rule to require the student to have more flight training in IMC conditions (the commenter recommended 5 hours), adding 10 hours of ATD time will only make the instrument pilots of the future less capable of flying in IMC. FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenter that these trainers (ATDs) do a great job for learning procedures, but disagrees that ATDs cannot adequately provide for simulated transitions from VMC to IMC. Very often a pilot does not ‘‘feel’’ anything in an aircraft during these transitions. The FAA has evaluated hundreds of ATD visual systems and has found them to have adequate fidelity and capabilities, as required in AC 61–136A, to simulate visibility transition scenarios. In fact, many of the FAA approved visual systems provide for numerous scenarios including flying through multiple layers of clouds and varying visibility conditions. This commenter fails to provide an adequate explanation to support his or her position. Additionally, the commenter’s discussion of FFSs, FTDs and PCATDs is outside the scope of this ATD rulemaking. The third commenter addressed specific comments relating to a particular ATD. The commenter referenced Redbird ATDs, and asserted that: 5. Comments Opposing the Process Two commenters expressed strong objections to the path the FAA took regarding this rulemaking. They objected to the withdrawal of the direct final rule, and believed that the adverse comments the FAA received during the comment period for the direct final rule should not have caused the agency to withdraw the rulemaking. They also believed the FAA should have acted more quickly once the original discrepancy between the regulations and policy was identified. FAA Response: Part 11 of title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations mandates the process and responsibilities associated with rulemaking. The FAA is required to follow those requirements even if viewed as unnecessary or inconvenient by a segment of the public. The Administrative Procedure Act requires the FAA to provide the public an opportunity to comment on proposed rulemakings, allowing the public to The commenter also expressed concern regarding updated databases to these training devices. The commenter believed that any ATD should be required to have the latest navigation database running on the ATD. FAA response: The FAA notes that the commenter’s discussion is concentrated on the dislike of the functionality of the Redbird trainer, rather than the ATD allowances for the proposed rule. The FAA agrees, however, that ATDs (the FAA assumes 28 Anonymous, Docket No. FAA–2015–1846– 0031. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 21457 influence or suggest changes to those proposals. The FAA is committed to regulate fairly, promote safety, and works diligently within the confines of the rulemaking process. B. View-Limiting Device The FAA proposed to revise § 61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a viewlimiting device. The FAA emphasizes, however, that a pilot—whether in an aircraft, FFS, FTD, or ATD—may log instrument time only when the pilot is operating solely by reference to the instruments under actual or simulated conditions. If a pilot is using an ATD and the device is providing visual references upon which the pilot is relying, this would not constitute instrument time under § 61.51(g). Comments received: The FAA received six comments from SAFE, NAFI, and four individuals, supporting the elimination of the requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a view-limiting device. SAFE explained its support for removal of the provision, noting that a benefit of using ATDs is simulation of the cockpit environment. SAFE asserted that that benefit is lost when the student is required to wear such a device. SAFE asserted that most students quickly become so immersed in the ATD experience that there is no need for a view-limiting device to further focus them on the instrument panel. All other commenters provided general support and did not explain or further justify their support for removal of this requirement. FAA response: As the FAA stated when discussing the support it received for removing this requirement in the direct final rule, the FAA agrees that it is unnecessary for a student to wear a view-limiting device when using an ATD. The FAA finds that this requirement is not necessary because ATDs do not afford relevant outside references. Therefore, the FAA is revising 14 CFR 61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a view-limiting device. C. Conforming Amendments and Nomenclature Change While considering these changes, the FAA became aware that other appendices in part 141 reference § 141.41(a) when discussing FFS, and § 141.41(b) when discussing FTDs and ATDs. As this rule consolidates requirements related to FFS and FTDs into § 141.41(a), and adds new paragraph (b) related to ATDs, the FAA E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 21458 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations is correcting cross-references in appendices C, D, E, F, G, J, K, and M. Further, while considering these regulatory changes, the FAA noted that the nomenclature regarding flight simulators has changed. The definition as found in § 1.1 references a ‘‘full flight simulator’’ whereas the regulations often use the older nomenclature ‘‘flight simulator.’’ Therefore, in the sections the FAA has determined need to be revised as part of the final rule, the FAA is removing the words ‘‘flight simulator’’ wherever they appear and replacing them with the words ‘‘full flight simulator.’’ VI. Advisory Circulars and Other Guidance Materials To further implement this rule, the FAA is revising the following FAA Order: FAA Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System, Volume 11, Chapter 10, Section 1, (Basic and Advanced Aviation Training Device) Approval and Authorized Use under 14 CFR parts 61 and 141. VII. Regulatory Notices and Analyses jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES A. Regulatory Evaluation Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 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 (Pub. L. 96–354), as codified in 5 U.S.C. 603 et seq., requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 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, this Trade 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 (Pub. L. 104–4), as codified in 2 U.S.C. Chapter 25, requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 summarizes the FAA’s analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule. In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined that this rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs; (2) is not an economically ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866; (3) is not ‘‘significant’’ as defined in DOT’s Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; (5) will not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States; and (6) will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector by exceeding the threshold identified above. These analyses are summarized below. Department of Transportation DOT Order 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect and the basis for it be included in the preamble if a full regulatory evaluation of the costs and benefits is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning for this determination follows. The provisions included in this rule are either relieving or voluntary. The elimination of the requirement to use a view-limiting device is a relieving provision. The other two provisions are voluntary and cost relieving—additional ATD credit for instrument time for an instrument rating and additional ATD credit for approved instrument courses, if acted upon, is less expensive than flight training time. The FAA made the same cost-benefit determination as part of the direct final rule (79 FR 71634, Dec. 3, 2014) and on this part of the notice of proposed rulemaking (80 FR 34338, Jun. 16, 2015) and received no comments. Two commenters, both of whom identified themselves as private pilots working toward their instrument ratings, discussed the potential for cost relief provided by the proposed rule. Both commenters estimated that time in an approved simulator with an instructor costs about $100 per hour, while dual time in an instrument flight rules-certified aircraft is $200 per hour or more. These commenters asserted that adding an extra 10 hours of simulator time reduces $1,000 from the overall training cost. Persons who use the new provisions will do so only if the benefit they will accrue from their use exceeds the costs they might incur to comply. Given the PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 hundreds of LOAs issued, industry’s high usage of ATDs, and SAFE’s, AOPA’s, and NAFI’s endorsements of ATDs, the change in requirements is likely to be relieving. Benefits will exceed the costs of a voluntary rule if just one person voluntarily complies. Since this rule will offer a lower cost alternative, will provide regulatory relief for the use of view-limiting devices, and will allow greater voluntary use of ATDs, the expected outcome will be cost relieving to minimal impact with positive net benefits. B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96–354) (RFA) establishes ‘‘as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration.’’ The RFA covers a wide range of small entities, including small businesses, not-forprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA. However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear. Most of the parties affected by this rule will be small businesses such as flight instructors, aviation schools, and fixed base operators. The general lack of publicly available financial information from these small businesses precludes a financial analysis of these small businesses. While there is likely a substantial number of small entities affected, the provisions of this rule are either relieving (directly provides cost relief) or voluntary (provides benefits or costs only if a person voluntarily chooses to use the rule provision). Thus, E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations the FAA determines that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The FAA made the same determination as part of the direct final rule (79 FR 71634, Dec. 3, 2014) and as part of the notice of proposed rulemaking (80 FR 34338, Jun. 16, 2015) and, in both cases, we requested, but did not receive, any comments. If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the head of the agency may so certify under section 605(b) of the RFA. Therefore, as provided in section 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. C. International Trade Impact Assessment The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96–39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103–465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such 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 rule and determined that it will have only a domestic impact and therefore will not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES D. 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 $155.0 million in lieu of $100 million. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 This rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply. E. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that there is no new requirement for information collection associated with this rule. F. International Compatibility and Cooperation In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and has identified no differences with these regulations. G. Environmental Analysis FAA Order 1050.1F identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 5–6.6 and involves no extraordinary circumstances. VII. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism The FAA has analyzed this 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, would not have Federalism implications. B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use The FAA analyzed this 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 will not be a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under the executive order and will not be likely to have a significant adverse effect PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 21459 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 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. VIII. Additional Information A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by— • Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov); • Visiting the FAA’s Regulations and Policies Web page at http:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies, or • Accessing the Government Publishing Office’s Web page at http:// www.fdsys.gov. Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by docket or amendment number of the rule) to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM–1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267–9677. All documents the FAA considered in developing this rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced previously. B. Comments Submitted to the Docket Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions to search the docket number for this action. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of the FAA’s dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) requires FAA to comply with E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 21460 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this document may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of the preamble. To find out more about SBREFA on the Internet, visit http:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ rulemaking/sbre_act/. instrument time in a full flight simulator, flight training device, aviation training device, or a combination towards the instrument time requirements of this section. PART 141—PILOT SCHOOLS 3. The authority citation for part 141 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701–44703, 44707, 44709, 44711, 45102– 45103, 45301–45302. List of Subjects ■ 14 CFR Part 61 Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Teachers. § 141.41 Full flight simulators, flight training devices, aviation training devices, and training aids. 14 CFR Part 141 Airmen, Educational facilities, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Schools. The Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 61—CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS 1. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701–44703, 44707, 44709–44711, 44729, 44903, 45102–45103, 45301–45302. 2. Amend § 61.65 as follows: a. In paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(8)(ii), (c) introductory text, and (h), remove the words ‘‘flight simulator’’ and add in their place the words ‘‘full flight simulator’’; and, ■ b. Revise paragraph (i) and add paragraph (j). The revision and addition read as follows: ■ ■ § 61.65 Instrument rating requirements. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * (i) Use of an aviation training device. A maximum of 10 hours of instrument time received in a basic aviation training device or a maximum of 20 hours of instrument time received in an advanced aviation training device may be credited for the instrument time requirements of this section if— (1) The device is approved and authorized by the FAA; (2) An authorized instructor provides the instrument time in the device; and (3) The FAA approved the instrument training and instrument tasks performed in the device. (j) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, a person may not credit more than 20 total hours of VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 4. Revise § 141.41 to read as follows: An applicant for a pilot school certificate or a provisional pilot school certificate must show that its full flight simulators, flight training devices, aviation training devices, training aids, and equipment meet the following requirements: (a) Full flight simulators and flight training devices. Each full flight simulator and flight training device used to obtain flight training credit in an approved pilot training course curriculum must be: (1) Qualified under part 60 of this chapter, or a previously qualified device, as permitted in accordance with § 60.17 of this chapter; and (2) Approved by the Administrator for the tasks and maneuvers. (b) Aviation training devices. Each basic or advanced aviation training device used to obtain flight training credit in an approved pilot training course curriculum must be evaluated, qualified, and approved by the Administrator. (c) Training aids and equipment. Each training aid, including any audiovisual aid, projector, mockup, chart, or aircraft component listed in the approved training course outline, must be accurate and relevant to the course for which it is used. ■ 5. In appendix B to part 141, revise paragraph (c) in section 4 to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 141—Private Pilot Certification Course * * * * * 4. Flight training. * * * (c) For use of full flight simulators or flight training devices: (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor. (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 § 141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 20 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 15 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (4) Training in full flight simulators or flight training devices described in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in combination, may be credited for a maximum of 20 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. * * * * * ■ 6. In appendix C to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to read as follows: Appendix C to Part 141—Instrument Rating Course * * * * * 4. Flight training. * * * (b) For the use of full flight simulators, flight training devices, or aviation training devices— (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor. (2) Credit for training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) cannot exceed 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the course or of this section, whichever is less. (3) Credit for training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), an advanced aviation training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(b), or a combination of these devices cannot exceed 40 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the course or of this section, whichever is less. Credit for training in a basic aviation training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(b) cannot exceed 25 percent of the total training hour requirements permitted under this paragraph. (4) Credit for training in full flight simulators, flight training devices, and aviation training devices if used in E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations combination, cannot exceed 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the course or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight training device or aviation training device cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. * * * * * ■ 7. In appendix D to part 141, revise paragraph (c) in section 4 to read as follows: Appendix D to Part 141—Commercial Pilot Certification Course * * * * * 4. Flight training. * * * (c) For the use of full flight simulators or flight training devices: (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this paragraph, and is given by an authorized instructor. (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 30 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 20 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (4) Training in the flight training devices described in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in combination, may be credited for a maximum of 30 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. * * * * * ■ 8. In appendix E to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to read as follows: Appendix E to Part 141—Airline Transport Pilot Certification Course jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * 4. Flight training. * * * (b) For the use of full flight simulators or flight training devices— (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 this paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor. (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 25 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (4) Training in full flight simulators or flight training devices described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in combination, may be credited for a maximum of 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. * * * * * ■ 9. In appendix F to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to read as follows: Appendix F to Part 141—Flight Instructor Certification Course * * * * * 4. Flight training. * * * (b) For the use of flight simulators or flight training devices: (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor. (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 5 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (4) Training in full flight simulators or flight training devices described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in combination, may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 21461 training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. * * * * * ■ 10. In appendix G to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to read as follows: Appendix G to Part 141—Flight Instructor Instrument (For an Airplane, Helicopter, or Powered-Lift Instrument Instructor Rating, as Appropriate) Certification Course * * * * * 4. Flight training. * * * (b) For the use of full flight simulators or flight training devices: (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved for, meets requirements of this paragraph, and the training is given by an instructor. (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 5 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (4) Training in full flight simulators or flight training devices described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in combination, may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(b) cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. * * * * * ■ 11. In appendix J to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to read as follows: Appendix J to Part 141—Aircraft Type Rating Course, For Other Than an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate * * * * * 4. Flight training. * * * (b) For the use of full flight simulators or flight training devices: (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets requirements of this E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1 21462 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor. (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 25 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (4) Training in the full flight simulators or flight training devices described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in combination, may be credited for a maximum of 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. * * * * * ■ 12. In appendix K to part 141, revise section 4 to read as follows: Appendix K to Part 141—Special Preparation Courses jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * 4. Use of full flight simulators or flight training devices. (a) The approved special preparation course may include training in a full flight simulator or flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets requirements of this paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor. (b) Except for the airline transport pilot certification program in section 13 of this appendix, training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (c) Except for the airline transport pilot certification program in section 13 of this appendix, training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 5 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (d) Training in the full flight simulators or flight training devices described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, if used in combination, VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:11 Apr 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (c) of this section. * * * * * 13. In appendix M to part 141, revise paragraph (c) of section 4 to read as follows: ■ Issued in Washington, DC, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a)(5), and 44703(a), on April 4, 2016. Michael P. Huerta, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–08388 Filed 4–8–16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard Appendix M to Part 141—Combined Private Pilot Certification and Instrument Rating Course 33 CFR Part 100 * RIN 1625–AA08 * * * * 4. Flight training. * * * * * (c) For use of full flight simulators or flight training devices: (1) The course may include training in a combination of full flight simulators, flight training devices, and aviation training devices, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this section, and the training is given by an authorized instructor. (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 35 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) or an aviation training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(b) may be credited for a maximum of 25 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. (4) Training in a combination of flight simulators, flight training devices, or aviation training devices, described in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, may be credited for a maximum of 35 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight training device and aviation training device, that meets the requirements of § 141.41(b), cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. * * * * * PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 [Docket Number USCG–2015–1126] Special Local Regulation; Chesapeake Bay, Between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD Coast Guard, DHS. Temporary final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is establishing special local regulations for certain waters of the Chesapeake Bay. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on these navigable waters located between Sandy Point, Anne Arundel County, MD and Kent Island, Queen Anne’s County, MD, during a paddling event on May 14, 2016. This rulemaking will prohibit persons and vessels from being in the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Baltimore or Coast Guard Patrol Commander. DATES: This rule is effective from 7:30 a.m. on May 14, 2016 through 12:30 p.m. on May 15, 2016. ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http:// www.regulations.gov, type USCG–2015– 1126 in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Ronald Houck, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, MD; telephone 410–576–2674, email Ronald.L.Houck@uscg.mil. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code E:\FR\FM\12APR1.SGM 12APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 70 (Tuesday, April 12, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 21449-21462]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-08388]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 61 and 141

[Docket No.: FAA-2015-1846; Amdt. Nos. 61-136, 141-18]
RIN 2120-AK71


Aviation Training Device Credit for Pilot Certification

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This rulemaking relieves burdens on pilots seeking to obtain 
aeronautical experience, training, and certification by increasing the 
allowed use of aviation training devices. These actions are necessary 
to bring the regulations in line with the current

[[Page 21450]]

capabilities of aviation training devices and the needs and activities 
of the general aviation training community and pilots.

DATES: This rule is effective May 12, 2016.

ADDRESSES: For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking 
documents and other information related to this final rule, see ``How 
To Obtain Additional Information'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcel Bernard, Airmen Certification 
and Training Branch, Flight Standards Service, AFS-810, Federal 
Aviation Administration, 898 Airport Park Road, Suite 204, Glen Burnie, 
MD 21061; telephone: (410) 590-5364 x235 email marcel.bernard@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Executive Summary

    This rule finalizes the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
regarding the use of aviation training devices for pilot certification. 
80 FR 34338 (Jun. 16, 2015). The NPRM proposed to increase the maximum 
time that may be credited in an aviation training device (ATD) toward 
the aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating under 
Sec.  61.65(i). The NPRM proposed to permit a person to credit a 
maximum of 20 hours of aeronautical experience acquired in an approved 
ATD toward the requirements for an instrument rating. By letter of 
authorization (LOA), devices that qualify as advanced aviation training 
devices (AATDs) were proposed to be authorized for up to 20 hours of 
experience to meet the instrument time requirements. Devices that 
qualify as basic aviation training devices (BATDs) were proposed to be 
authorized, by LOA, for a maximum of 10 hours of experience to meet the 
instrument time requirements.
    Based on the comments received to the NPRM, the FAA is revising 
Sec.  61.65 to include a specified allowance of 10 hours for BATDs and 
20 hours for AATDs in part 61 (combined use not to exceed 20 hours) for 
the instrument rating.
    The NPRM also addressed the use of ATDs in approved instrument 
rating courses. The NPRM proposed to amend appendix C to part 141 to 
increase the limit on the amount of training hours that may be 
accomplished in an ATD in an approved course for an instrument rating. 
The FAA proposed to allow ATDs to be used for no more than 40% of the 
total flight training hour requirements in an approved instrument 
rating course.
    Based on the comments received to the NPRM, the FAA is revising 
appendix C to part 141 to include a specified allowance of 25% of 
creditable time in BATDs \1\ and 40% of creditable time for AATDs under 
part 141 (not to exceed 40% total time) for the instrument rating.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ If a course of training is approved under the minimum 
requirements as prescribed in part 141, appendix C, for the 
instrument rating (35 hours of training required), 25% in a BATD 
would equate to 8.75 hours and 40% in an AATD would equate to 14 
hours.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Currently, Sec.  61.65(i) requires a pilot who is logging 
instrument time in an ATD to wear a view-limiting device. The NPRM 
proposed to revise Sec.  61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the requirement that 
pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a view-limiting 
device. The FAA is finalizing this proposal without change.

II. Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in 
Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.). Subtitle I, Section 106 
describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, 
Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's 
authority.
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 49 
U.S.C. 106(f), which establishes the authority of the Administrator to 
promulgate regulations and rules; 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5), which requires 
the Administrator to promote safe flight of civil aircraft in air 
commerce by prescribing regulations and setting minimum standards for 
other practices, methods, and procedures necessary for safety in air 
commerce and national security; and 49 U.S.C. 44703(a), which requires 
the Administrator to prescribe regulations for the issuance of airman 
certificates when the Administrator finds, after investigation, that an 
individual is qualified for, and physically able to perform the duties 
related to, the position authorized by the certificate.

III. Background

    Since the 1970s, the FAA has gradually expanded the permitted use 
of flight simulation for training--first permitting simulation to be 
used in air carrier training programs and eventually permitting pilots 
to credit time in devices toward the aeronautical experience 
requirements for airman certification and recency. Currently, title 14 
of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 60 governs the 
qualification of flight simulation training devices (FSTDs), which 
include full flight simulators (FFSs) level A through D and flight 
training devices (FTDs) levels 4 through 7. The FAA has, however, 
approved other devices, including ATDs, for use in pilot certification 
training, under the authority provided in 14 CFR 61.4(c).\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Section 61.4(c) states that the ``Administrator may approve 
a device other than a flight simulator or flight training device for 
specific purposes.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For over 30 years, the FAA has issued LOAs to manufacturers of 
ground trainers, personal computer-based aviation training devices 
(PCATD), FTDs (levels 1 through 3), BATDs, and AATDs. These LOAs were 
based on guidance provided in advisory circulars (ACs) that set forth 
the qualifications and capabilities for the devices. Prior to 2008, 
most LOAs were issued under the guidance provided in AC 61-126, 
Qualification and Approval of Personal Computer-Based Aviation Training 
Devices, and AC 120-45, Airplane Flight Training Device Qualification. 
Starting in July 2008, the FAA approved devices in accordance with AC 
61-136, FAA Approval of Basic Aviation Training Devices (BATD) and 
Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATD). More recently, on December 
3, 2014, the FAA published a revision to AC 61-136A, Approval of 
Aviation Training Devices and Their Use for Training and Experience.
    In 2009, the FAA issued a final rule that for the first time 
introduced the term ``aviation training device'' into the regulations 
and placed express limits on the amount of instrument time in an ATD 
that could be credited toward the aeronautical experience requirements 
for an instrument rating.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ In a 2007 NPRM, the FAA proposed to limit the time in a 
personal computer-based aviation training device that could be 
credited toward the instrument rating. Pilot, Flight Instructor, and 
Pilot School Certification NPRM, 72 FR 5806 (Feb. 7, 2007). Three 
commenters recommended that the FAA use the terms ``basic aviation 
training device'' (BATD) and ``advanced aviation training device'' 
(AATD). Pilot, Flight Instructor, and Pilot School Certification 
Final Rule, 74 FR 42500 (Aug. 21, 2009) (``2009 Final Rule''). In 
response to the commenters, the FAA changed the regulatory text in 
the final rule to ``aviation training device,'' noting BATDs and 
AATDs ``as being aviation training devices (ATD) are defined'' in an 
advisory circular.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since the 2009 final rule, Sec.  61.65(i) has provided that no more 
than 10 hours of instrument time received in an ATD may be credited 
toward the instrument time requirements of that section. In addition, 
appendix C to part 141 permits an ATD to be used for no more than 10% 
of the total flight training hour requirements of an approved course 
for an instrument rating.
    Prior to the 2009 final rule, the FAA had issued hundreds of LOAs 
to

[[Page 21451]]

manufacturers of devices that permitted some ATDs (as well as ground 
trainers, and FTDs (levels 1 through 3)) to be used to a greater extent 
than was ultimately set forth in the regulations. The FAA continued to 
issue LOAs for AATDs in excess of the express limitations in the 
regulations after the publication of the 2009 final rule.
    On January 2, 2014, the FAA published a notice of policy requiring 
manufacturers of ATDs to obtain new LOAs reflecting the appropriate 
regulatory allowances for ATD use. 79 FR 20.\4\ The notice of policy 
stated the FAA's conclusion that it could not use LOAs to exceed 
express limitations that had been placed in the regulations through 
notice and comment rulemaking. The FAA noted that, since August 2013, 
LOAs issued for new devices reflect current regulatory requirements. 
However, manufacturers and operators who held LOAs issued prior to 
August 2013 acted in reliance on FAA statements that were inconsistent 
with the regulations. Therefore, the FAA granted a limited exemption 
from the requirement in the regulations to provide manufacturers, 
operators, and pilots currently training for an instrument rating time 
to adjust to the reduction in creditable hours. This short-term 
exemption was intended to provide an interim period to transition the 
LOAs for all previously approved devices in accordance with the new 
policy. The FAA found the exemption to be in the public interest in 
order to prevent undue harm caused by reasonable reliance on the LOAs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ ``Notice of Policy Change for the Use of FAA Approved 
Training Devices,'' January 2, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As stated in the notice of policy, this short term exemption 
expired on January 1, 2015. The FAA explained that after that date, no 
applicant training for an instrument rating under part 61 may use more 
than 10 hours of instrument time in an ATD toward the minimum 
aeronautical experience requirements required to take the practical 
test for an instrument rating.\5\ In addition, no instrument rating 
course approved under appendix C to part 141 may credit more than 10% 
of training in ATDs toward the total flight training hour requirements 
of the course (unless that program has been approved in accordance with 
Sec.  141.55(d) or (e)).\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Under Sec.  61.65, a person who applies for an instrument 
rating must have completed 40 hours of actual or simulated 
instrument time of which 15 hours must have been with an authorized 
instructor who holds the appropriate instrument rating.
    \6\ Under appendix C, each approved course for an instrument 
rating must include 35 hours of instrument training for an initial 
instrument rating or 15 hours of instrument training for an 
additional instrument rating.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To address the discrepancy between the level of ATD credit allowed 
historically by LOA and the lower allowances placed in the regulations, 
the FAA published a direct final rule that would have amended the 
regulations governing the use of ATDs.\7\ The direct final rule would 
have increased the use of these devices for instrument training 
requirements above the levels established in the 2009 final rule. In 
developing this direct final rule, the FAA noted that ATD development 
has advanced to an impressive level of capability. Many ATDs can 
simulate weather conditions with variable winds, variable ceilings and 
visibility, icing, turbulence, high definition (HD) visuals, hundreds 
of different equipment failure scenarios, navigation specific to 
current charts and topography, specific navigation and communication 
equipment use, variable ``aircraft specific'' performance, and more. 
The visual and motion component of some of these devices permit 
maneuvers that require outside visual references in an aircraft to be 
successfully taught in an AATD. Many of these simulation capabilities 
were not possible in previously approved devices (such as PCATDs).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ 79 FR 71634, Dec. 3, 2014, withdrawn at 80 FR 2001, Jan. 15, 
2015 (RIN 2120-AK62).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the direct final rule, the FAA stated its belief that permitting 
pilots to log increased time in ATDs would encourage pilots to practice 
maneuvers until they are performed to an acceptable level of 
proficiency. In an ATD, a pilot can replay the training scenario, 
identify any improper action, practice abnormal/emergency procedures, 
and determine corrective actions without undue hazard or risk to 
persons or property. In this fashion, a pilot can continue to practice 
tasks and maneuvers in a safe, effective, and cost efficient means of 
maintaining proficiency.

IV. The Direct Final Rule

    As described in the previous section, to address the discrepancy 
between FAA regulations and prior policy, on December 3, 2014, the FAA 
published a direct final rule that would have increased the allowed use 
of ATDs. The FAA received 20 comments to the direct final rule.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ The direct final rule and the comments received thereto may 
be found in FAA Docket No. FAA-2014-0987 at http://www.regulations.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Credit for aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument 
rating: The direct final rule would have increased the maximum time 
that may be credited in an ATD toward the aeronautical experience 
requirements for an instrument rating under Sec.  61.65(i). The direct 
final rule would have permitted a person to credit a maximum of 20 
hours of aeronautical experience acquired in an approved ATD toward the 
requirements for an instrument rating. Devices that qualify as AATDs 
would have been authorized for up to 20 hours of experience to meet the 
instrument time requirements. Devices that qualify as BATDs would have 
been authorized for a maximum of 10 hours of experience to meet the 
instrument time requirements.
    Approved instrument rating courses: The direct final rule also 
would have amended appendix C to part 141 to increase the limit on the 
amount of training hours that may be accomplished in an ATD in an 
approved course for an instrument rating. An ATD would have been 
permitted to be used for no more than 40% of the total flight training 
hour requirements in an approved instrument rating course.
    Comments received: The FAA received 20 comments regarding these 
provisions. Eighteen comments supported the provisions. However, two 
commenters raised concerns. As those comments were adverse to the 
direct final rule, the FAA was required to withdraw the direct final 
rule, 80 FR 2001, (Jan. 15, 2015). 14 CFR 11.13. The comments received 
to the direct final rule and FAA's responses were discussed in the 
notice of proposed rulemaking published June 16, 2015. 80 FR 34338.
    View-limiting devices: Under Sec.  61.51(g), a person may log 
instrument time only for that flight time when the person operates an 
aircraft solely by reference to the instruments under actual or 
simulated conditions. When instrument time is logged in an aircraft, a 
pilot wears a view-limiting device to simulate instrument conditions 
and ensure that he or she is flying without utilizing outside visual 
references. Currently, Sec.  61.65(i) requires a pilot who is logging 
instrument time in an ATD to wear a view-limiting device. The direct 
final rule would have revised Sec.  61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the 
requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a 
view-limiting device.
    The purpose of a view-limiting device is to prevent a pilot (while 
training in an aircraft during flight) from having outside visual 
references that would naturally be present otherwise. These references 
are not available in a training device and a pilot has no opportunity 
to look outside for any useful visual references pertaining to the 
simulation. The FAA recognizes that the majority of these devices have 
a simulated visual

[[Page 21452]]

display that can be configured to be unavailable or represent ``limited 
visibility'' conditions that preclude any need for a view-limiting 
device to be worn by the student. This lack of visual references 
requires the pilot to give his or her full attention to the flight 
instruments which is the goal of any instrument training or experience. 
The FAA believes that using a training device can be useful because it 
trains the pilot to focus on, appropriately scan and interpret the 
flight instruments. Since these devices incorporate a visual system 
that can be configured to the desired visibility level, use of a view-
limiting device would have no longer been required by the direct final 
rule.
    When the FAA introduced Sec.  61.65(i)(4) requiring view-limiting 
devices in the 2009 final rule, the preamble was silent as to why a 
view-limiting device was necessary. 74 FR 42500, 42523. Based on 
comments from industry, the FAA has determined that due to the 
sophistication of the flight visual representation for ATDs and the 
capability of presenting various weather conditions appropriate to the 
training scenario, a view-limiting device is unnecessary. Because 
persons operating an ATD can simulate both instrument and visual 
conditions, FAA LOAs specifically reference Sec.  61.51 that stipulates 
a pilot can log instrument time only when operating the aircraft solely 
by reference to the instruments in actual or simulated instrument 
flight conditions.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ AC 61-136A Appendix 4, Training Content and Logging 
Provisions references limitations for logging instrument time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comments received: The FAA received one comment in response to this 
provision in the direct final rule. The comment received to the direct 
final rule and FAA's response were discussed in the notice of proposed 
rulemaking published June 16, 2015. 80 FR 34338.

V. The Proposed Rule

    After consideration of the comments received to the direct final 
rule, on June 16, 2015, the FAA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (80 FR 34338) proposing the following changes to 14 CFR 
parts 61 and 141. These changes were the same as in the direct final 
rule, 79 FR 71634, (Dec. 3, 2014), withdrawn at 80 FR 2001, (Jan. 15, 
2015).
    The FAA received a total of 60 comments to the notice of proposed 
rulemaking, 50 from individuals; five from flight schools; three from 
organizations representing pilots and flight instructors, including the 
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), the Aircraft Owners 
and Pilots Association (AOPA), and the National Association of Flight 
Instructors (NAFI); one from an anonymous commenter purporting to 
represent Garmin International; and one from ATD manufacturer Redbird 
Flight Simulations. The proposed provisions, the comments received, and 
FAA's responses are discussed in the following sections.

A. Credit for the Aeronautical Experience Requirements for an 
Instrument Rating and Approved Instrument Rating Courses

    The FAA proposed to increase the maximum time that may be credited 
in an ATD toward the instrument time requirements for an instrument 
rating under Sec.  61.65(i). A person would be permitted to credit a 
maximum of 20 hours of instrument time in an approved ATD toward the 
requirements for an instrument rating.\10\ Devices that qualify as 
AATDs would be authorized for up to 20 hours of instrument time. 
Devices that qualify as BATDs would be authorized for a maximum of 10 
hours of instrument time. In light of this difference, pilots must--as 
required by current regulations--include in their logbooks the type and 
identification of any ATD that is used to accomplish aeronautical 
experience requirements for a certificate, rating, or recent flight 
experience. 14 CFR 61.51(b)(1)(iv). The FAA is retaining the existing 
limit of 20 hours of combined time in FFSs, FTDs, and ATDs that may be 
credited towards the aeronautical experience requirements for an 
instrument rating.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ As required under Sec.  61.51(g)(4), to log instrument time 
in an ATD for the purpose of a certificate or rating, an authorized 
instructor must be present.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA also proposed to amend appendix C to part 141 to increase 
the limit on the amount of training hours that may be accomplished in 
an ATD in an approved course for an instrument rating. An ATD could be 
used for no more than 40% of the total flight training hour 
requirements in an instrument rating course. The proposed rule did not 
change the current provisions in appendix C which limit credit for 
training in FFSs, FTDs, and ATDs, that if used in combination, cannot 
exceed 50% of the total flight training hour requirements of an 
instrument rating course.
    In addition, the FAA proposed to amend Sec.  141.41 to clarify the 
existing qualification and approval requirement for FSTDs and to add 
the qualification and approval of ATDs by the FAA, which is currently 
conducted pursuant to Sec.  61.4(c).
1. Comments Supporting the Proposed Provisions
    The FAA received 57 comments in support of these proposed 
provisions, with 47 from individuals and 10 from organizations. Of the 
57 comments received in support of the proposed rule, five recommended 
changes to the proposed regulations.
    Nineteen individual commenters provided general support for the 
proposed rule. Nine commenters who identified themselves as pilots who 
had used ATDs for their own training provided support for the rule. 
They emphasized the value of being able to have a flight instructor 
pause the training, discuss the scenario, provide instant feedback and 
additional instruction, and then continue the training session. These 
individuals also believed that their training was enhanced by the 
ability to focus on the specific training tasks and ensure accurate, 
appropriate learning of the lesson. Commenters also noted that in an 
ATD instructors can focus solely on teaching rather than dividing their 
focus between teaching important instrument skills and general aircraft 
operations.
    Commenters also emphasized the value of being presented with 
training scenarios that cannot be accomplished safely in the aircraft. 
Commenters cited emergency procedures, flight into thunderstorms, 
icing, and turbulent conditions as primary examples of conditions that 
can be simulated safely in ATDs.
    SAFE, NAFI, and Redbird Flight Simulations also noted the ability 
of current ATDs to simulate a variety of aircraft types and 
configurations, as well as to simulate various conditions inside and 
outside the aircraft.
    A number of individual commenters also noted the value, both 
financial and time saving, of accomplishing more repetitions in the 
same amount of time when using an ATD as opposed to using an aircraft. 
Two individual commenters estimated that time in an approved simulator 
with an instructor costs about $100 per hour, while dual time in an 
instrument flight rules-certified aircraft is $200 per hour or more. 
These commenters asserted that adding an extra 10 hours of simulator 
time cuts $1,000 from the overall training cost. NAFI also noted that 
because the training is independent of weather and air traffic control 
conditions, a training syllabus can be followed more closely with use 
of the ATDs and the student can avoid unplanned, non-productive

[[Page 21453]]

time delays when attempting to practice a procedure.
    Thirteen commenters who identified themselves as flight instructors 
supported the rule. They echoed the sentiments of those commenters who 
identified themselves as pilots who had used ATDs for their own 
training. Commenters discussed the belief that ATDs save lives, reduce 
training time and cost, reduce atmospheric and noise pollution, and 
produce safer pilots. They particularly noted the ability to train 
scenarios that would not be trained using an aircraft--thunderstorms, 
icing, etc. They emphasized the value of scenario-based training, 
followed closely by training in an aircraft. These commenters noted the 
importance of being able to train students regarding emergency 
procedures using meaningful repetition, until the commenters confirm 
the student's mastery of those skills. AOPA supported this view, 
stating that simulator training for an instrument rating allows 
instructors to provide a safer, more effective training experience. 
Redbird Flight Simulations also supported this view, stating that the 
ATD is the ideal place to learn, ask questions and practice, and the 
aircraft is the place where the student demonstrates what he or she has 
learned and can focus on gaining real-world flying experience with the 
basic fundamental instrument skills already engrained.
    A few commenters noted that students whom they had trained 
initially in ATDs found the experience so useful that they returned for 
recurrent training in those same ATDs. One commenter noted FAA's 
inferred endorsement of the use of AATDs in Instrument Practical Test 
Standard (FAA-S-8081-4E, Chg 5) by the inclusion of tasks for an 
instrument proficiency check which may be credited using an AATD.
    Five commenters commenting on behalf of flight schools also 
concurred with these comments. These commenters discussed the ability 
for pilots to practice situations and procedures that would not 
``normally'' be possible to accomplish safely in an aircraft, including 
various weather conditions and simulated instrument failures. 
Commenters focused on the unique training that ATDs allow instructors 
to provide. As two commenters noted,

    Aircraft are not classrooms and as such they are poor 
environments for learning. The AATDs allow for students experiencing 
difficult learning situations the opportunity to repeat the lesson 
easily, safely and as frequently as needed. Importantly, the 
instructor is able to focus entirely on teaching rather than 
splitting his/her attention on traffic, ATC instructions and safe 
aircraft operation.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Stephen Cunningham, Docket No. FAA-2015-1846-0034. 
Anonymous, Docket No. FAA-2015-1846-0038.

    These commenters emphasized that ATDs are only one component of the 
training curriculum and process, and that all learning in an ATD would 
be accompanied by training in the aircraft. They also noted that ATDs 
and aircraft do not replace each other. NAFI agreed, pointing out that 
a significant portion of training would still be required in an 
aircraft under the proposed regulations.
    Commenters, including SAFE and several individuals, noted the use 
of simulators by other industries, including the United States military 
and air carriers. SAFE specifically cited a 1998 United States Air 
Force study regarding the transfer of training effectiveness.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Carretta, Thomas R., and Dunlap, Ronald D. ``Transfer of 
Training Effectiveness in Flight Simulation: 1986-1997.'' United 
States Air Force Research Laboratory, 1998. http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA362818.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenters who support 
increased training time allowances in ATDs, including the statements 
discussing the increased dynamic training capability of these devices, 
cost savings, time savings, effective use of scenario-based training, 
and recent technical advancements that enhance the capabilities of 
ATDs. With over 30 years of experience evaluating, approving, and 
providing oversight for FSTDs and over 10 years approving ATDs, the FAA 
recognizes their evolving capabilities, safety benefits, and improved 
design justifying their increased use and credit for minimum pilot 
experience requirements.
    One commenter noted the safety benefit of ATDs related to 
decommissioning of very high frequency omni-directional radio range 
(VORs), non-directional beacons (NDBs), the scarcity of localizer back-
courses, and scarcity of outer markers. The commenter noted that the 
practical test standards still require the demonstration of a VOR 
approach for an instrument candidate. As the commenter explained:

    Thus, instrument instructors must use a more limited set of VORs 
to conduct VOR instrument approach training, resulting in greater 
congestion around VORs during training maneuvers. Numerous FAA 
publications suggest avoiding concentrations around VORS, such as 
FAA-P-8740-51, `How to Avoid a Midair Collision.' When one considers 
finding VOR approaches located on the airport (without a final 
approach fix) and those conducted off airport (those with a final 
approach fix), the amount of time an instructor must spend exposed 
to the risk of a midair collision is quite large. The risk of a 
midair collision is non-existent in an ATD.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Anonymous, Docket No. FAA-2015-1846-0035.

    FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenter that ATDs provide 
for unlimited choices when practicing electronic navigation, including 
instrument approaches, and the safety advantages afforded in these 
training devices. Traffic conflicts and geographic location are not a 
limitation when training in an FSTD or ATD. ATDs come with a database 
affording significant navigational choices. Advantages include 
executing navigation or instrument approach procedures to an airport 
that a pilot may not have experienced or executed in flight before.
2. Comments Providing Institutional Research Related to the Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking
    In the NPRM, the FAA specifically sought ``. . . comment regarding 
any additional relevant data or institutional research that supports 
the training and safety advantages when using ATDs, or establishes that 
such devices do not enhance pilot training and flight safety.'' \14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ 80 FR 34338 at 34342.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA received two comments that specifically addressed this 
request.
    One individual commenter cited an unpublished dissertation \15\ 
that the commenter believed supported the use of ATDs. The commenter 
stated:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Kearns, S. (2007). ``The Effectiveness of Guided Mental 
Practice in a Computer-Based Single Pilot Resource Management (SRM) 
Training,'' Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University).

    In her dissertation study, Kearns compared simulators far less 
capable then [sic] ATDs to a guided mental practice experimental 
technique. Though her results did not specifically evaluate ATDs, 
Kearn [sic] demonstrated how ATD-level simulators (and guided mental 
practice) effectively train skills enhancing mental workload and 
situational awareness.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Anonymous, Docket No. FAA-2015-1846-0035.

    FAA Response: The FAA obtained and reviewed the unpublished Kearns 
dissertation.
    The study author described the study as follows:

    The purpose of this investigation was to assess the feasibility 
of guided mental practice, as an instructional strategy, embedded 
within an asynchronous computer-based non-technical training program 
for pilots. Two asynchronous computer-based single pilot resource 
management (SRM) training programs were developed for the study, 
varying only in the

[[Page 21454]]

method of active practice. One version incorporated hands-on 
practice and another utilized a form of mental practice, termed 
guided mental practice. The term guided mental practice was 
developed to describe the process of mental practice which is 
facilitated by a computer-based training program, such as through 
the presentation of a video of a flight simulator scenario.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ Kearns, at 80.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The study author defined guided mental practice as:

. . . practice that took place without any hands-on interaction yet 
was facilitated by a computer-based flight simulator scenario 
embedded within an asynchronous online SRM training program. 
Participants were asked to view a video of a flight simulator in a 
particular scenario and imagine themselves as the pilot of the 
flight. Guided mental practice differs from traditional mental 
practice, which is typically an entirely internal process, as an 
external medium guides the learner through the practice 
exercise.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ Kearns, at 12.

    Three groups were formed in the study (a) SRM training with hands-
on practice, (b) SRM training with mental practice, and (c) a control 
group that received no training. The study used a sample size of 12 
participants per condition.\19\ All three groups of participants 
completed a high-fidelity flight simulator evaluation in which metrics 
assessed their situation awareness and mental workload, the two 
constructs targeted in the SRM training program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ Kearns, at 63.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The study found that although no difference existed between the 
practice conditions, groups that completed training with either hands-
on or mental practice demonstrated improved situation awareness over 
the group that did not receive any training as measured by the 
situation awareness global assessment technique (SAGAT). Significant 
findings were not found with either of the metrics meant to assess 
workload: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's task load 
index (NASA-TLX), and secondary task (ST) metrics.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ Kearns, at 82-83.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While this study did not directly address whether ATDs or other 
simulators provide benefit by increasing learning of piloting skills, 
it does appear to indicate that deliberate practice is important to 
pilot training, and that any practice, whether in a simulator or 
watching a video of a simulation and imagining oneself as the pilot, is 
more beneficial than no use of simulation at all in advance of the 
skill evaluation. While the FAA believes that this study may provide 
useful information for its area of interest, the study was not focused 
on the decision point the FAA was considering regarding whether to move 
forward with this regulatory change--that is, data or institutional 
research that supports the training and safety advantages when using 
ATDs, or establishes that such devices do not enhance pilot training 
and flight safety. Situational awareness is one of many elements to be 
considered in evaluating pilot training and safety. The study did not 
consider whether skill sets were better learned by use of either guided 
mental practice or hands-on use of a simulator as compared with 
training in an aircraft only.
    SAFE asserted that research shows that when properly utilized as 
part of a comprehensive training program such training devices actually 
speed up the learning process by allowing students to bypass areas of 
successful understanding and to concentrate on areas where more 
understanding and practice is required.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Carretta, Thomas R., and Dunlap, Ronald D. ``Transfer of 
Training Effectiveness in Flight Simulation: 1986-1997.'' United 
States Air Force Research Laboratory, 1998. http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA362818.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FAA Response: The abstract of the study cited by SAFE reads as 
follows:

    The purpose of this report was to review recent studies 
regarding the effectiveness of flight simulators as augmentation for 
``hands-on'' flying training. Simulation-based training has been 
proposed to reduce costs, extend aircraft life, maintain flying 
proficiency, and provide more effective training, especially in 
areas difficult to train in operational aircraft. A review of the 
literature from 1986 to 1997 identified 67 articles, conference 
papers, and technical reports regarding simulator flying training 
and transfer. Of these, only 13 were related directly to transfer of 
training from the simulator to the aircraft. Studies of simulator 
effectiveness for training landing skills constituted a majority of 
the transfer studies, although a few examined other flying skills 
such as radial bombing accuracy and instrument and flight control. 
Results indicate that simulators are useful for training landing 
skills, bombing accuracy, and instrument and flight control. 
Generally, as the number of simulated sorties increases, performance 
improves, but this gain levels off after approximately 25 missions. 
Further, several studies indicate that successful transfer may not 
require high-fidelity simulators or whole-task training, thus 
reducing simulator development costs.
    Evaluation of this literature is difficult for many reasons. 
Typically, researchers fail to report sufficient detail regarding 
research methods, training characteristics, and simulator fidelity. 
In addition to these methodological concerns, there is a lack of 
true simulator-to-aircraft transfer studies involving complex pilot 
skills. This may be due to problems such as inadequate simulator 
design, cost, and availability, and access to simulators in 
operational flying units. Future directions in simulator transfer of 
training are discussed.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ Ibid.

    Their literature review found that numerous studies conducted 
between 1986 and 1997 indicated that simulators were found to be useful 
for training landing skills. As the number of simulated sorties 
increased, performance increased, but the performance gain appeared to 
level off after approximately 25 missions. Two other studies considered 
for the literature review suggest that simulators provide an effective 
means to train instrument procedures and flight control. The results 
suggest that in order to produce transfer to the aircraft it may be 
necessary to train only the critical components of the task rather than 
the whole task. Authors emphasized the limitations of the literature 
review, including a lack of information regarding the simulator 
fidelity characteristics, research methods, and training 
characteristics among other challenges.
    While the FAA found this literature review to provide some limited 
support for the agency's position, the review did not provide 
significant support for this position. Given the lack of information 
regarding simulators used, the effectiveness of the skills transfer, 
and the age of the review itself, it is likely that the literature 
review cannot be used to directly support the FAA's position. The FAA 
notes that FSTD and ATD technology has evolved significantly since this 
literature review was written and for that reason alone it is possible 
that studies conducted today would show different conclusions regarding 
the effectiveness of skill transfer, as simulators at all levels are 
more realistic and have greater information from which to provide 
simulation than that which existed 20 years ago.
    Nonetheless, the FAA agrees that the use of ground based training 
devices in advance of flight training in an aircraft speeds up the 
overall process of learning. The FAA believes that practice decreases 
the time required in an actual aircraft to reach a level of proficiency 
required to successfully complete a practical test for a pilot 
certificate or rating. The Air Force research paper referenced by SAFE 
supports this assertion, but does not directly address the current 
capabilities of ATDs.
    The individual commenter also believed that allowing increased 
hours in ATDs would increase economic demand for ATDs, thereby 
increasing competition and resulting in lower ATD

[[Page 21455]]

prices and increased ATD innovation. The commenter cited a textbook 
that he or she believed supported this position.\23\ The commenter 
further asserted that this increased competition will increase the 
quality of ATDs. The commenter compared the current situation regarding 
the use of ATDs to digital chart maturation,\24\ arguing that when 
regulation is applied inappropriately, innovation may be stifled. Thus, 
the commenter asserted, expanded use of ATDs has derivative benefits 
consistent with a long-term view of aviation and safety.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Vasigh, B., Fleming, K., Tacker, T. (2008) Introduction to 
Air Transport Economics: From Theory to Applications. Burlington, 
VT: Ashgate). http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&isbn=9781409454878&lang=cy-GB.
    \24\ Tuccio, W.A. (2013). Aviation Approach Charts in an iPad 
World. Journal of Navigation, 66(1). Retrieved from http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8777261&fileId=S0373463312000409.

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

    FAA Response: The FAA generally agrees that permitting the greater 
use of ATDs may increase the demand for ATDs. In turn, the increased 
demand for ATDs may result in more firms entering the market, 
increasing competition, and perhaps in more technical innovation in 
ATDs. The FAA, however, restricts the economic impact analysis to the 
initial impact, as each succeeding economic impact is more speculative.
    As noted previously, the intent of the specific request for 
information was to seek any additional relevant data or institutional 
research that supports the training and safety advantages when using 
ATDs, or establishes that such devices do not enhance pilot training 
and flight safety. The intent of this regulation is not to foster 
development of ATDs. The FAA emphasizes that even without this 
regulation persons are permitted to use ATDs and FSTDs to gain further 
experience in addition to any time that may be expressly creditable 
when using ATDs or FSTDs under the regulations.
    Finally, the commenter asserted that economic growth of ATDs will 
offer enhanced applications of ATDs by researchers and innovators, 
contributing to aviation safety.\25\ The commenter argued that ATD 
maturation in operational training environments will enable such 
forward-thinking training frameworks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ Tuccio, W.A. (2011). Heuristics to Improve Human Factors 
Performance in Aviation. Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & 
Research, 20(3). from http://commons.erau.edu/jaaer/vol20/iss3/8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FAA Response: The FAA agrees that it is likely that the purchase 
and use of ATDs will increase with the additional FAA allowances 
provided for minimum pilot experience requirements. Additionally, the 
Tuccio research paper referenced by the commenter generally supports 
the use of simulation in aviation pilot training specific to heuristics 
\26\ but does not speak directly to any particular simulator design or 
capability.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Heuristics Merriam-Webster definition: Involving or serving 
as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental 
and especially trial-and-error methods  ; also: Of or relating to exploratory problem-
solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques (as the 
evaluation of feedback) to improve performance .
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Comments Supporting the Proposed Provisions With Changes
    The FAA received five comments supporting the proposed rule but 
recommending changes to the proposed regulations. One commenter noted 
that in the proposed rule the FAA differentiated between the number of 
hours that were proposed to be credited toward the aeronautical 
experience requirements in an AATD (20 hours) versus a BATD (10 hours). 
The commenter noted that these differences were not stipulated in the 
proposed text of 14 CFR 61.65(i) regarding credit for aeronautical 
experience for the instrument rating, and that no differentiation was 
made between AATDs and BATDs in part 141 regarding approved instrument 
rating courses--either in the preamble or the regulatory text.
    FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenter and believes that 
providing explicit and separate regulatory allowances for BATDs and 
AATDs, as currently provided in the FAA LOAs, is appropriate. 
Specificity in the regulation will better inform individuals receiving 
instrument training as to the appropriate allowances for the different 
levels of ATDs. Therefore, in this final rule the FAA is revising Sec.  
61.65 and appendix C to part 141 to include a specified allowance of 10 
hours for BATDs and 20 hours for AATDs in part 61 (combined use not to 
exceed 20 hours), and 25% of creditable time in BATDs and 40% of 
creditable time for AATDs under part 141 (not to exceed 40% total time) 
for the instrument rating.
    Currently, under the conditions and limitations set forth in the 
LOAs, training providers must provide copies of LOAs to people who 
receive training in the device. By providing a copy of the LOA, pilots 
who receive training will know the amount of training that may be 
logged in the device for the purpose of meeting the aeronautical 
experience requirements for a certificate or rating.
    The same commenter believed that there could be confusion regarding 
the amount of time that can be credited when using a BATD, and when 
using percentages of simulator, FTD, AATD and BATD time that can be 
used in combination. For example, the commenter asserted that under 
appendix C to part 141, section 4(b)(4) as proposed, providing 40% of 
the required training in a BATD and 10% in a simulator would satisfy 
the letter of the rule.
    FAA Response: As discussed previously, the FAA agrees with the 
commenter and is providing for separate specific regulatory allowances 
for BATDs and AATDs and clarifying the total creditable percentages of 
time when using BATDs and AATDs in combination with other FAA approved 
training devices.
    The same commenter believed that the FAA was being inconsistent in 
its treatment of time that could be credited when using a BATD in part 
61 versus part 141. The commenter noted that the FAA had proposed that 
10 hours of the 40 hours required could be obtained using a BATD under 
part 61 (25% of the hours needed), whereas the FAA had proposed that 
10% of the hours could be credited in a BATD under part 141 (3.5 
hours).\27\ Based on the commenter's understanding of the FAA proposal, 
the commenter recommended that the total number of hours that could be 
credited when using a BATD under part 141 be increased to 20% of the 
total hours (7 hours of the 35 hours required).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ The 3.5 hours reflects 10% of the 35 hours of instrument 
training that is the minimum curriculum hours under appendix C to 
part 141.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenter and will provide a 
consistent allowance in the regulation for ATD credit when using a BATD 
or AATD under part 61 and part 141. To provide a consistent allowance 
under part 141 training requirements for the instrument rating, in this 
final rule the FAA is allowing up to a 25% credit (8.75 hours) when 
using a BATD for the minimum training time requirements.
    One commenter noted that the FAA does not differentiate regarding 
the use of AATDs versus BATDs anywhere else in part 141. The commenter 
believed that by differentiating AATDs from BATDs, it would now be 
possible to allow credit for AATD use toward flight times for private 
pilot, commercial pilot, flight instructor and additional rating 
courses. Another commenter requested that the FAA consider expanding 
the utilization of these devices for the private pilot rating as well 
from the current 2.5 hours to 10 hours. Another

[[Page 21456]]

commenter requested that appendix G of part 141 be revised to permit 
flight instructors to use AATDs in their own training. The commenter 
asserted that if instrument instructors are to teach effectively in 
ATDs, then it is logical those same instructors should use ATDs during 
their own training in order to realize economic and safety benefits of 
ATDs similar to those provided by the new rule under appendix C to part 
141, and learn effective ATD training techniques. Yet another commenter 
suggested expanding the creditable use of ATDs to all certificates--
airline transport pilot, commercial, private, flight instructor, etc.
    FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenters and is providing 
separate regulatory allowances for BATDs and AATDs as described 
previously and clarifying the amount of creditable time when BATDs and 
AATDs are used in combination with FSTDs for instrument training. The 
FAA notes that part 61 provides time allowances for private pilot, 
commercial pilot, and airline transport pilot in an FSTD that is 
representative of the aircraft category, class, and type if 
appropriate. Currently, the FAA approves the use of ATDs for private 
pilot, commercial pilot, and airline transport pilot certification 
through the issuance of LOAs under the Administrator's authority in 
Sec.  61.4(c). The FAA will consider this comment concerning specific 
regulatory credit for ATDs to meet the requirements for pilot 
certificates and may address it in other rulemakings as appropriate.
    One commenter asserted that current regulations regarding the use 
of ATDs for instrument proficiency checks under 14 CFR 61.57 is 
confusing. The commenter noted that Sec.  61.57(d)(1)(i) specifies that 
the instrument proficiency check must be conducted in an aircraft while 
the Instrument Practical Test Standard specifies that both FSTDs or 
AATDs may be used for part or all of the instrument proficiency check. 
The commenter recommended that the regulations be clarified to 
correspond to the practical test standard.
    FAA Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed 
rule. The FAA notes, however, that Sec.  61.57(d)(1)(ii) provides an 
allowance for use of an FSTD that is representative of the aircraft 
category when conducting the instrument proficiency check. The FAA will 
consider this comment concerning the use of an ATD for the instrument 
proficiency check and the reference in the Instrument Practical Test 
that allows its use and will address it in other rulemakings as 
appropriate.
    One commenter requested a variety of changes to Sec.  61.57(c) 
regarding instrument experience and recency for pilots in command. The 
commenter highlighted differences between current requirements for 
completing instrument experience using an ATD to maintain instrument 
experience (Sec.  61.57(c)(3)); completing instrument recency 
experience using a combination of an aircraft and a full flight 
simulator, FTD, and ATD (Sec.  61.57(c)(4)); and completing instrument 
experience using a combination of a flight simulator or FTD, and an ATD 
(Sec.  61.57(c)(5)).
    FAA Response: These comments are beyond the scope of this 
rulemaking. The FAA will consider these comments and may address them 
in other rulemakings as appropriate.
    Finally, one commenter recommended changes to permit ground 
instructors to use ATDs to train their students.
    FAA Response: The FAA allows ground instructors certain privileges. 
This includes training for aeronautical knowledge typically in a 
classroom environment and authorizing students for knowledge tests. 
While a ground instructor may use an ATD to illustrate ground training 
concepts, such training may not be logged to meet the aeronautical 
experience requirements for certificates and ratings. Providing flight 
training--or training in FSTDs or ATDs that can substitute for some of 
the required flight training--is a privilege reserved for flight 
instructors who have been evaluated during a practical test on the 
ability to provide flight training. Expanding this privilege to ground 
instructors is beyond the scope of this rulemaking.
4. Comments Opposing the Proposed Provisions
    Three commenters opposed the proposed provisions.
    One commenter, who identified himself as a flight instructor, 
believed that new instrument pilots need the stress, noise, and feeling 
of the real airplane when forming their habits and acquiring their 
skills, not the quiet, controlled, sterile atmosphere of a simulator. 
While the commenter supported the use of simulators later, he did not 
believe they are appropriate for new pilots.
    FAA Response: The FAA somewhat disagrees with this commenter's 
general statement that pilots ``. . . need the stress and noise and 
feeling of the real item when forming their habits and acquiring their 
skills, not the quiet controlled sterile atmosphere of a SIM.'' The FAA 
contends that training in an ATD allows reduction in unnecessary 
distractions during initial training and permits focus on the important 
fundamental instrument skills and tasks necessary for safe and 
controlled instrument flight. This includes practicing emergency 
procedures and other maneuvers that cannot be safely accomplished in an 
aircraft. Practice in an FSTD or ATD until a pilot performs a 
particular segment of a procedure or action correctly, before 
attempting to do the same complex tasks in an aircraft, is an 
acceptable and desirable practice.
    The FAA also contends that because a significant portion of the 
instrument time must be accomplished in an aircraft, the stress and 
noise experience and the feeling for the real environment discussed by 
the commenter will be provided during that time. Additionally, the FAA 
notes that Sec.  61.65(d)(2)(i) (airplane) and Sec.  61.65(e)(2)(i) 
(helicopter) currently require that three hours of training must be 
accomplished in an aircraft within two months of the practical test. 
The required instrument training on cross country procedures under 
instrument flight rules, including a flight of 250 nautical miles with 
at least three different instrument approaches and an instrument 
approach at each airport, must also be accomplished in an aircraft.
    The FAA believes that training in FSTDs and ATDs, when used in 
conjunction with training in an aircraft, teach an instrument student 
to trust the appropriate sense, vision, in order to successfully 
operate an aircraft in low visibility conditions. Training in an ATD 
reinforces this necessary skill. Any reliance on ``sounds or feel'' may 
ultimately lead to loss of control when operating an aircraft in 
instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Because ignoring the 
postural senses involves relying on visual clues, the ATD provides an 
excellent platform for a pilot to develop this portion of his or her 
instrument flying skills. A person must use his or her vision and focus 
on the flight instruments to successfully operate an aircraft, FSTD, or 
ATD in IMC conditions. The FAA recognizes that training devices do not 
require motion in order to be approved as an ATD; thus, these devices 
are limited in that they cannot completely train the pilot to ignore 
outside sensory perceptions. However, the FAA finds that a pilot can 
develop this ability during the aeronautical experience that an 
applicant for an instrument rating must obtain in an aircraft.
    Another commenter, who also identified himself as a flight 
instructor, believed that FTDs and simulators do a good job at 
pretending to be an airplane in terms of learning procedures, but

[[Page 21457]]

they are not an airplane. The commenter believed that an ATD cannot 
give the true feeling of transitioning from visual meteorological 
conditions (VMC) to IMC, especially while climbing or turning. The 
commenter asserted that unless a provision is added to the rule to 
require the student to have more flight training in IMC conditions (the 
commenter recommended 5 hours), adding 10 hours of ATD time will only 
make the instrument pilots of the future less capable of flying in IMC.
    FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenter that these trainers 
(ATDs) do a great job for learning procedures, but disagrees that ATDs 
cannot adequately provide for simulated transitions from VMC to IMC. 
Very often a pilot does not ``feel'' anything in an aircraft during 
these transitions. The FAA has evaluated hundreds of ATD visual systems 
and has found them to have adequate fidelity and capabilities, as 
required in AC 61-136A, to simulate visibility transition scenarios. In 
fact, many of the FAA approved visual systems provide for numerous 
scenarios including flying through multiple layers of clouds and 
varying visibility conditions. This commenter fails to provide an 
adequate explanation to support his or her position. Additionally, the 
commenter's discussion of FFSs, FTDs and PCATDs is outside the scope of 
this ATD rulemaking.
    The third commenter addressed specific comments relating to a 
particular ATD. The commenter referenced Redbird ATDs, and asserted 
that:

    [T]heir panels are limiting in the sense that switches are not 
the same in the simulator as it is [sic] in the airplane. . . . The 
Redbird simulator does not provide a volume knob for either the COM 
or NAV which contains the ID mode. This is a required step in order 
to properly identify a VOR station. . . . The standby instruments is 
graphically depicted but the position of these instruments does not 
reflect the real location of where these instruments are 
installed.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Anonymous, Docket No. FAA-2015-1846-0031.

    The commenter also expressed concern regarding updated databases to 
these training devices. The commenter believed that any ATD should be 
required to have the latest navigation database running on the ATD.
    FAA response: The FAA notes that the commenter's discussion is 
concentrated on the dislike of the functionality of the Redbird 
trainer, rather than the ATD allowances for the proposed rule. The FAA 
agrees, however, that ATDs (the FAA assumes that the commenter is 
discussing a particular Redbird AATD based on the content of his 
initial statements) are not identical to the actual aircraft. The FAA 
emphasizes that, assuming the ATD in question received a LOA from the 
FAA, it met or exceeded the minimum fidelity and capability 
requirements specified for such devices in AC 61-136A. ATD fidelity 
requirements do not require that ATDs be exactly like that of the 
aircraft. The FAA notes that the Redbird Flight Simulations ATDs the 
FAA has approved through LOA do provide for the ability to update the 
database to reflect current instrument approach procedures. Appendix 2 
of the AC states: The ATD must have at least a navigational area 
database that is local to the training facility to allow reinforcement 
of procedures learned during actual flight in that area. All 
navigational data must be based on procedures as published per 14 CFR 
part 97 (STANDARD INSTRUMENT PROCEDURES). The FAA has evaluated many of 
the Redbird training devices and finds that they meet the standards in 
AC 61-136A for ATD approval. If one were to prefer greater fidelity or 
more exacting duplication of certain aircraft configurations, then the 
FAA would suggest the use of a higher fidelity FAA approved training 
device such as an FTD or FFS. However, the FAA standards set forth in 
AC 61-136A are appropriate to training instrument procedures as 
described in Appendix 4, Training Content and Logging Provisions. This 
describes what instrument tasks can be successfully taught in ATDs.
5. Comments Opposing the Process
    Two commenters expressed strong objections to the path the FAA took 
regarding this rulemaking. They objected to the withdrawal of the 
direct final rule, and believed that the adverse comments the FAA 
received during the comment period for the direct final rule should not 
have caused the agency to withdraw the rulemaking. They also believed 
the FAA should have acted more quickly once the original discrepancy 
between the regulations and policy was identified.
    FAA Response: Part 11 of title 14 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations mandates the process and responsibilities associated with 
rulemaking. The FAA is required to follow those requirements even if 
viewed as unnecessary or inconvenient by a segment of the public. The 
Administrative Procedure Act requires the FAA to provide the public an 
opportunity to comment on proposed rulemakings, allowing the public to 
influence or suggest changes to those proposals. The FAA is committed 
to regulate fairly, promote safety, and works diligently within the 
confines of the rulemaking process.

B. View-Limiting Device

    The FAA proposed to revise Sec.  61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the 
requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a 
view-limiting device. The FAA emphasizes, however, that a pilot--
whether in an aircraft, FFS, FTD, or ATD--may log instrument time only 
when the pilot is operating solely by reference to the instruments 
under actual or simulated conditions. If a pilot is using an ATD and 
the device is providing visual references upon which the pilot is 
relying, this would not constitute instrument time under Sec.  
61.51(g).
    Comments received: The FAA received six comments from SAFE, NAFI, 
and four individuals, supporting the elimination of the requirement 
that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a view-
limiting device. SAFE explained its support for removal of the 
provision, noting that a benefit of using ATDs is simulation of the 
cockpit environment. SAFE asserted that that benefit is lost when the 
student is required to wear such a device. SAFE asserted that most 
students quickly become so immersed in the ATD experience that there is 
no need for a view-limiting device to further focus them on the 
instrument panel. All other commenters provided general support and did 
not explain or further justify their support for removal of this 
requirement.
    FAA response: As the FAA stated when discussing the support it 
received for removing this requirement in the direct final rule, the 
FAA agrees that it is unnecessary for a student to wear a view-limiting 
device when using an ATD. The FAA finds that this requirement is not 
necessary because ATDs do not afford relevant outside references. 
Therefore, the FAA is revising 14 CFR 61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the 
requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a 
view-limiting device.

C. Conforming Amendments and Nomenclature Change

    While considering these changes, the FAA became aware that other 
appendices in part 141 reference Sec.  141.41(a) when discussing FFS, 
and Sec.  141.41(b) when discussing FTDs and ATDs. As this rule 
consolidates requirements related to FFS and FTDs into Sec.  141.41(a), 
and adds new paragraph (b) related to ATDs, the FAA

[[Page 21458]]

is correcting cross-references in appendices C, D, E, F, G, J, K, and 
M.
    Further, while considering these regulatory changes, the FAA noted 
that the nomenclature regarding flight simulators has changed. The 
definition as found in Sec.  1.1 references a ``full flight simulator'' 
whereas the regulations often use the older nomenclature ``flight 
simulator.'' Therefore, in the sections the FAA has determined need to 
be revised as part of the final rule, the FAA is removing the words 
``flight simulator'' wherever they appear and replacing them with the 
words ``full flight simulator.''

VI. Advisory Circulars and Other Guidance Materials

    To further implement this rule, the FAA is revising the following 
FAA Order: FAA Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management 
System, Volume 11, Chapter 10, Section 1, (Basic and Advanced Aviation 
Training Device) Approval and Authorized Use under 14 CFR parts 61 and 
141.

VII. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 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 (Pub. 
L. 96-354), as codified in 5 U.S.C. 603 et seq., requires agencies to 
analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. 
Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 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, this Trade 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 
(Pub. L. 104-4), as codified in 2 U.S.C. Chapter 25, requires agencies 
to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other 
effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate 
likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 
1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of 
the economic impacts of this final rule.
    In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined that this rule: 
(1) Has benefits that justify its costs; (2) is not an economically 
``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866; (3) is not ``significant'' as defined in DOT's 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; (5) will not 
create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States; and (6) will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments, or on the private sector by exceeding the threshold 
identified above. These analyses are summarized below.
    Department of Transportation DOT Order 2100.5 prescribes policies 
and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. 
If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule 
does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement 
to that effect and the basis for it be included in the preamble if a 
full regulatory evaluation of the costs and benefits is not prepared. 
Such a determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning 
for this determination follows.
    The provisions included in this rule are either relieving or 
voluntary. The elimination of the requirement to use a view-limiting 
device is a relieving provision. The other two provisions are voluntary 
and cost relieving--additional ATD credit for instrument time for an 
instrument rating and additional ATD credit for approved instrument 
courses, if acted upon, is less expensive than flight training time. 
The FAA made the same cost-benefit determination as part of the direct 
final rule (79 FR 71634, Dec. 3, 2014) and on this part of the notice 
of proposed rulemaking (80 FR 34338, Jun. 16, 2015) and received no 
comments.
    Two commenters, both of whom identified themselves as private 
pilots working toward their instrument ratings, discussed the potential 
for cost relief provided by the proposed rule. Both commenters 
estimated that time in an approved simulator with an instructor costs 
about $100 per hour, while dual time in an instrument flight rules-
certified aircraft is $200 per hour or more. These commenters asserted 
that adding an extra 10 hours of simulator time reduces $1,000 from the 
overall training cost.
    Persons who use the new provisions will do so only if the benefit 
they will accrue from their use exceeds the costs they might incur to 
comply. Given the hundreds of LOAs issued, industry's high usage of 
ATDs, and SAFE's, AOPA's, and NAFI's endorsements of ATDs, the change 
in requirements is likely to be relieving. Benefits will exceed the 
costs of a voluntary rule if just one person voluntarily complies.
    Since this rule will offer a lower cost alternative, will provide 
regulatory relief for the use of view-limiting devices, and will allow 
greater voluntary use of ATDs, the expected outcome will be cost 
relieving to minimal impact with positive net benefits.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) 
establishes ``as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall 
endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable 
statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale 
of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions 
subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required 
to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain 
the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given 
serious consideration.'' The RFA covers a wide range of small entities, 
including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small 
governmental jurisdictions.
    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.
    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the 
agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required. The certification must include a statement providing the 
factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be 
clear.
    Most of the parties affected by this rule will be small businesses 
such as flight instructors, aviation schools, and fixed base operators. 
The general lack of publicly available financial information from these 
small businesses precludes a financial analysis of these small 
businesses. While there is likely a substantial number of small 
entities affected, the provisions of this rule are either relieving 
(directly provides cost relief) or voluntary (provides benefits or 
costs only if a person voluntarily chooses to use the rule provision). 
Thus,

[[Page 21459]]

the FAA determines that this rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The FAA made the same 
determination as part of the direct final rule (79 FR 71634, Dec. 3, 
2014) and as part of the notice of proposed rulemaking (80 FR 34338, 
Jun. 16, 2015) and, in both cases, we requested, but did not receive, 
any comments.
    If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, 
the head of the agency may so certify under section 605(b) of the RFA. 
Therefore, as provided in section 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.

C. International Trade Impact Assessment

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

D. 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 $155.0 million in lieu of $100 
million.
    This rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the 
requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

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

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and 
has identified no differences with these regulations.

G. Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1F identifies FAA actions that are categorically 
excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or 
environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy 
Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has 
determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical 
exclusion identified in paragraph 5-6.6 and involves no extraordinary 
circumstances.

VII. Executive Order Determinations

A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this 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, would not have Federalism implications.

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

    The FAA analyzed this 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 
will not be a ``significant energy action'' under the executive order 
and will not be 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 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.

VIII. Additional Information

A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the 
Internet by--
     Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);
     Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at 
http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies, or
     Accessing the Government Publishing Office's Web page at 
http://www.fdsys.gov.
    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by 
docket or amendment number of the rule) to the Federal Aviation 
Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677.
    All documents the FAA considered in developing this rule, including 
economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the 
Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced previously.

B. Comments Submitted to the Docket

    Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions to search the 
docket number for this action. Anyone is able to search the electronic 
form of all comments received into any of the FAA's dockets by the name 
of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(SBREFA) requires FAA to comply with

[[Page 21460]]

small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with 
statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. A small entity with 
questions regarding this document may contact its local FAA official, 
or the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading 
at the beginning of the preamble. To find out more about SBREFA on the 
Internet, visit http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects

14 CFR Part 61

    Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Teachers.

14 CFR Part 141

    Airmen, Educational facilities, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Schools.

The Amendment

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

PART 61--CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND 
INSTRUCTORS

0
1. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701-44703, 44707, 
44709-44711, 44729, 44903, 45102-45103, 45301-45302.


0
2. Amend Sec.  61.65 as follows:
0
a. In paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(8)(ii), (c) introductory text, and (h), 
remove the words ``flight simulator'' and add in their place the words 
``full flight simulator''; and,
0
b. Revise paragraph (i) and add paragraph (j).
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  61.65  Instrument rating requirements.

* * * * *
    (i) Use of an aviation training device. A maximum of 10 hours of 
instrument time received in a basic aviation training device or a 
maximum of 20 hours of instrument time received in an advanced aviation 
training device may be credited for the instrument time requirements of 
this section if--
    (1) The device is approved and authorized by the FAA;
    (2) An authorized instructor provides the instrument time in the 
device; and
    (3) The FAA approved the instrument training and instrument tasks 
performed in the device.
    (j) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, a 
person may not credit more than 20 total hours of instrument time in a 
full flight simulator, flight training device, aviation training 
device, or a combination towards the instrument time requirements of 
this section.

PART 141--PILOT SCHOOLS

0
3. The authority citation for part 141 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701-44703, 44707, 
44709, 44711, 45102-45103, 45301-45302.


0
4. Revise Sec.  141.41 to read as follows:


Sec.  141.41  Full flight simulators, flight training devices, aviation 
training devices, and training aids.

    An applicant for a pilot school certificate or a provisional pilot 
school certificate must show that its full flight simulators, flight 
training devices, aviation training devices, training aids, and 
equipment meet the following requirements:
    (a) Full flight simulators and flight training devices. Each full 
flight simulator and flight training device used to obtain flight 
training credit in an approved pilot training course curriculum must 
be:
    (1) Qualified under part 60 of this chapter, or a previously 
qualified device, as permitted in accordance with Sec.  60.17 of this 
chapter; and
    (2) Approved by the Administrator for the tasks and maneuvers.
    (b) Aviation training devices. Each basic or advanced aviation 
training device used to obtain flight training credit in an approved 
pilot training course curriculum must be evaluated, qualified, and 
approved by the Administrator.
    (c) Training aids and equipment. Each training aid, including any 
audiovisual aid, projector, mockup, chart, or aircraft component listed 
in the approved training course outline, must be accurate and relevant 
to the course for which it is used.

0
5. In appendix B to part 141, revise paragraph (c) in section 4 to read 
as follows:

Appendix B to Part 141--Private Pilot Certification Course

* * * * *
    4. Flight training. * * *
    (c) For use of full flight simulators or flight training devices:
    (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or 
flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft 
for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this 
paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor.
    (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements 
of Sec.  141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 20 percent of the 
total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of 
this section, whichever is less.
    (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 15 
percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved 
course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (4) Training in full flight simulators or flight training devices 
described in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in 
combination, may be credited for a maximum of 20 percent of the total 
flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this 
section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight 
training device that meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) cannot 
exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
* * * * *

0
6. In appendix C to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to read 
as follows:

Appendix C to Part 141--Instrument Rating Course

* * * * *
    4. Flight training. * * *
    (b) For the use of full flight simulators, flight training devices, 
or aviation training devices--
    (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator, 
flight training device, or aviation training device, provided it is 
representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets 
the requirements of this paragraph, and the training is given by an 
authorized instructor.
    (2) Credit for training in a full flight simulator that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) cannot exceed 50 percent of the total 
flight training hour requirements of the course or of this section, 
whichever is less.
    (3) Credit for training in a flight training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a), an advanced aviation training device 
that meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(b), or a combination of 
these devices cannot exceed 40 percent of the total flight training 
hour requirements of the course or of this section, whichever is less. 
Credit for training in a basic aviation training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(b) cannot exceed 25 percent of the total 
training hour requirements permitted under this paragraph.
    (4) Credit for training in full flight simulators, flight training 
devices, and aviation training devices if used in

[[Page 21461]]

combination, cannot exceed 50 percent of the total flight training hour 
requirements of the course or of this section, whichever is less. 
However, credit for training in a flight training device or aviation 
training device cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph 
(b)(3) of this section.
* * * * *

0
7. In appendix D to part 141, revise paragraph (c) in section 4 to read 
as follows:

Appendix D to Part 141--Commercial Pilot Certification Course

* * * * *
    4. Flight training. * * *
    (c) For the use of full flight simulators or flight training 
devices:
    (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or 
flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft 
for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this 
paragraph, and is given by an authorized instructor.
    (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements 
of Sec.  141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 30 percent of the 
total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of 
this section, whichever is less.
    (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 20 
percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved 
course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (4) Training in the flight training devices described in paragraphs 
(c)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in combination, may be credited 
for a maximum of 30 percent of the total flight training hour 
requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is 
less. However, credit for training in a flight training device that 
meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) cannot exceed the limitation 
provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
* * * * *

0
8. In appendix E to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to read 
as follows:

Appendix E to Part 141--Airline Transport Pilot Certification Course

* * * * *
    4. Flight training. * * *
    (b) For the use of full flight simulators or flight training 
devices--
    (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or 
flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft 
for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this 
paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor.
    (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements 
of Sec.  141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 50 percent of the 
total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of 
this section, whichever is less.
    (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 25 
percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved 
course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (4) Training in full flight simulators or flight training devices 
described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in 
combination, may be credited for a maximum of 50 percent of the total 
flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this 
section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight 
training device that meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) cannot 
exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
* * * * *

0
9. In appendix F to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to read 
as follows:

Appendix F to Part 141--Flight Instructor Certification Course

* * * * *
    4. Flight training. * * *
    (b) For the use of flight simulators or flight training devices:
    (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or 
flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft 
for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this 
paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor.
    (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements 
of Sec.  141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the 
total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of 
this section, whichever is less.
    (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 5 
percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved 
course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (4) Training in full flight simulators or flight training devices 
described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in 
combination, may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total 
flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this 
section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight 
training device that meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) cannot 
exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
* * * * *

0
10. In appendix G to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to 
read as follows:

Appendix G to Part 141--Flight Instructor Instrument (For an Airplane, 
Helicopter, or Powered-Lift Instrument Instructor Rating, as 
Appropriate) Certification Course

* * * * *
    4. Flight training. * * *
    (b) For the use of full flight simulators or flight training 
devices:
    (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or 
flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft 
for which the course is approved for, meets requirements of this 
paragraph, and the training is given by an instructor.
    (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements 
of Sec.  141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the 
total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of 
this section, whichever is less.
    (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 5 
percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved 
course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (4) Training in full flight simulators or flight training devices 
described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, if used in 
combination, may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total 
flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this 
section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight 
training device that meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(b) cannot 
exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
* * * * *

0
11. In appendix J to part 141, revise paragraph (b) in section 4 to 
read as follows:

Appendix J to Part 141--Aircraft Type Rating Course, For Other Than an 
Airline Transport Pilot Certificate

* * * * *
    4. Flight training. * * *
    (b) For the use of full flight simulators or flight training 
devices:
    (1) The course may include training in a full flight simulator or 
flight training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft 
for which the course is approved, meets requirements of this

[[Page 21462]]

paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor.
    (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements 
of Sec.  141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 50 percent of the 
total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of 
this section, whichever is less.
    (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a), may be credited for a maximum of 25 
percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved 
course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (4) Training in the full flight simulators or flight training 
devices described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, if used 
in combination, may be credited for a maximum of 50 percent of the 
total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of 
this section, whichever is less. However, credit training in a flight 
training device that meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) cannot 
exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
* * * * *

0
12. In appendix K to part 141, revise section 4 to read as follows:

Appendix K to Part 141--Special Preparation Courses

* * * * *
    4. Use of full flight simulators or flight training devices. (a) 
The approved special preparation course may include training in a full 
flight simulator or flight training device, provided it is 
representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets 
requirements of this paragraph, and the training is given by an 
authorized instructor.
    (b) Except for the airline transport pilot certification program in 
section 13 of this appendix, training in a full flight simulator that 
meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(a), may be credited for a 
maximum of 10 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of 
the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (c) Except for the airline transport pilot certification program in 
section 13 of this appendix, training in a flight training device that 
meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(a), may be credited for a 
maximum of 5 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of 
the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (d) Training in the full flight simulators or flight training 
devices described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, if used in 
combination, may be credited for a maximum of 10 percent of the total 
flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this 
section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight 
training device that meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) cannot 
exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (c) of this section.
* * * * *

0
13. In appendix M to part 141, revise paragraph (c) of section 4 to 
read as follows:

Appendix M to Part 141--Combined Private Pilot Certification and 
Instrument Rating Course

* * * * *
    4. Flight training.
* * * * *
    (c) For use of full flight simulators or flight training devices:
    (1) The course may include training in a combination of full flight 
simulators, flight training devices, and aviation training devices, 
provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is 
approved, meets the requirements of this section, and the training is 
given by an authorized instructor.
    (2) Training in a full flight simulator that meets the requirements 
of Sec.  141.41(a) may be credited for a maximum of 35 percent of the 
total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of 
this section, whichever is less.
    (3) Training in a flight training device that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(a) or an aviation training device that 
meets the requirements of Sec.  141.41(b) may be credited for a maximum 
of 25 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the 
approved course, or of this section, whichever is less.
    (4) Training in a combination of flight simulators, flight training 
devices, or aviation training devices, described in paragraphs (c)(2) 
and (3) of this section, may be credited for a maximum of 35 percent of 
the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or 
of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a 
flight training device and aviation training device, that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  141.41(b), cannot exceed the limitation provided 
for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 
106(f), 44701(a)(5), and 44703(a), on April 4, 2016.
Michael P. Huerta,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-08388 Filed 4-8-16; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P