Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC), 67659-67665 [2019-26602]

Download as PDF 67659 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 238 Wednesday, December 11, 2019 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. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 73 [NRC–2019–0128] RIN 3150–AK34 Miscellaneous Corrections; Correction Nuclear Regulatory Commission ACTION: Final rule; correction. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is correcting a rule that was published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2019, regarding miscellaneous corrections to NRC regulations. The action is necessary to insert language that was inadvertently omitted from the regulatory text. DATES: The correction is effective on December 18, 2019. 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[FR Doc. 2019–26651 Filed 12–10–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA–2015–8672; Amdt. No. 91–340B] RIN 2120–AL44 Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This action extends the prohibition against certain flight operations in specified areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC) by all: U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier. The FAA finds this action necessary to address the continued hazards to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations from the ongoing fighting and instability in Yemen, as well as terrorist and militant activity. The FAA also republishes, with minor revisions, the approval process and exemption information for this flight prohibition Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR); makes a technical correction to the SFAR to show that operations on jet route M999 are permitted; makes editorial changes to this SFAR to clarify prohibited and permitted operations; makes a minor editorial change to the title of the rule; and makes other minor revisions for consistency with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs. DATES: This final rule is effective on December 11, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dale E. Roberts, Air Transportation Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone 202–267–8166; email dale.e.roberts@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Executive Summary This action extends the expiration date of SFAR No. 115, title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 91.1611, from January 7, 2020, until January 7, 2022. SFAR No. 115 prohibits certain flight operations in specified areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC), the boundaries of which are set forth in paragraph (b) of this final rule, by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is a E:\FR\FM\11DER1.SGM 11DER1 67660 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 11, 2019 / Rules and Regulations foreign air carrier. Consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs, this action also republishes, with minor revisions, the approval process and exemption information for this SFAR; makes editorial changes to this SFAR to clarify prohibited and permitted operations; and makes a minor editorial change to the title of the rule for consistency. This action also makes a technical correction to the SFAR to show that operations on jet route M999 are permitted. II. Legal Authority and Good Cause A. Legal Authority The FAA is responsible for the safety of flight in the U.S. and for the safety of U.S. civil operators, U.S.-registered civil aircraft, and U.S.-certificated airmen throughout the world. The FAA Administrator’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in 49 U.S.C. 106(f) and (g). Subtitle VII of title 49, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. Section 40101(d)(1) provides that the Administrator shall consider in the public interest, among other matters, assigning, maintaining, and enhancing safety and security as the highest priorities in air commerce. Section 40105(b)(1)(A) requires the Administrator to exercise this authority consistently with the obligations of the U.S. Government under international agreements. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 49 U.S.C. 44701, General requirements. Under that section, the FAA is charged broadly with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing, among other things, regulations and minimum standards for practices, methods, and procedures that the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce and national security. This regulation is within the scope of FAA’s authority, because it continues to prohibit the persons described in paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, from conducting flight operations in specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) due to the continuing hazards to the safety of U.S. civil flight operations, as described in the preamble to this final rule. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with RULES B. Good Cause for Immediate Adoption Section 553(b)(3)(B) of title 5, U.S. Code, authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency for ‘‘good cause’’ finds that those procedures are ‘‘impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ Section 553(d) VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Dec 10, 2019 Jkt 250001 also authorizes agencies to forgo the delay in the effective date of the final rule for good cause found and published with the rule. In this instance, the FAA finds good cause exists to forgo notice and comment because notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. In addition, it is contrary to the public interest to delay the effective date of this SFAR. The risk environment for U.S. civil aviation in airspace managed by other countries with respect to safety of flight risks posed by weapons capable of targeting, or otherwise negatively affecting, U.S. civil aviation, as well as other hazards to U.S. civil aviation associated with fighting, extremist/ militant activity, or heightened tensions, is fluid. This fluidity and the need for the FAA to rely upon classified information in assessing these risks make seeking notice and comment impracticable and contrary to the public interest. With respect to the impracticability of notice and comment procedures, the potential for rapid changes in the risks to U.S. civil aviation significantly limits how far in advance of a new or amended flight prohibition the FAA can usefully assess the risk environment. Furthermore, to the extent that these rules and any amendments to them are based upon classified information, the FAA is not legally permitted to share such information with the general public, who cannot meaningfully comment on information to which they are not legally allowed access. Under these conditions, public interest considerations also favor not seeking notice and comment for these rules and any amendments to them. While there is a public interest in having an opportunity for the public to comment on agency action, there is a greater public interest in having the FAA’s flight prohibitions, and any amendments thereto, reflect the agency’s most current understanding of the risk environment for U.S. civil aviation. This allows the FAA to appropriately protect the safety of U.S. operators’ aircraft and the lives of their passengers and crews without overrestricting U.S. operators’ routing options. The FAA has identified an ongoing need to maintain the flight prohibition for U.S. civil aviation operations in specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) due to continued safety-of-flight hazards associated with ongoing political instability, fighting involving various militia/extremist/ militant elements, and military activity by foreign sponsors supporting various elements operating in the specified PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). These hazards, which are further described in the preamble to this rule, require that the FAA’s flight prohibition for U.S. civil aviation operations in specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) continue without interruption. Because the final rule makes no changes to the boundaries of an existing FAA flight prohibition for U.S. civil aviation operations, it is also contrary to the public interest to delay the effective date of the rule. Delaying the effective date would not change the compliance obligations of U.S. operators and airmen up to January 7, 2020, and, depending upon the date on which the final rule is published in the Federal Register, could result in a gap in the regulation’s effectiveness of as many as 30 days between January 7, 2020, and the new effective date. Such an outcome would be contrary to the interests of U.S. civil aviation safety due to the hazards to U.S. civil flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). For these reasons, the FAA finds good cause exists to forgo notice and comment and any delay in the effective date for this rule. III. Background On January 7, 2016, the FAA published SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, to prohibit U.S. civil aviation operations in specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), due to the hazardous situation faced by U.S. civil aviation from ongoing military operations, political instability, violence from competing armed groups, and the continuing terrorism threat from extremist elements associated with the fighting and instability in Yemen.1 In taking that action, the FAA determined international civil air routes that transited the then-specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) and aircraft operating to and from Yemeni airports were at risk from terrorist and militant groups potentially employing antiaircraft-capable weapons, including man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), small-arms fire, and indirect fire from mortars and rockets. Due to the fighting and instability, as of January 2016, the FAA stated that there was a risk of possible loss of state control over more advanced anti-aircraft-capable weapons to terrorist and militant groups. Some of the weapons that the FAA was concerned about have the capability to target aircraft at higher altitudes or during approach and departure and have weapon ranges that 1 Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa (OYSC) Flight Information Region (FIR) final rule, 81 FR 727. E:\FR\FM\11DER1.SGM 11DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 11, 2019 / Rules and Regulations could extend into the near off-shore areas along Yemen’s coastline. In the January 2016 final rule, the FAA also indicated that U.S. civil aviation was at risk from combat operations and other military-related activity associated with the fighting and instability and that there was an ongoing threat of terrorism. Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remained active in Yemen and had demonstrated the capability and intent to target U.S. and Western aviation interests. Various Yemeni airports had been attacked during the fighting, including Sanaa International Airport (OYSN) and Aden International Airport (OYAA), resulting in instances of damage to airport facilities and temporary closure of the airports. In December 2017, the FAA amended SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, to shrink the boundaries of its prohibition of U.S. civil aviation operations in specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC).2 Between January 2016, and December 2017, the situation in Yemen had slightly improved, as a coalition of Yemeni government forces, supporting nations, and allied militia elements successfully limited the area of opposition force control and reduced some of the opposition force’s weapon capabilities. As of December 2017, opposition elements in Yemen did not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities. As a result, the FAA found that there was a sufficiently reduced level of risk to U.S. civil aviation operations on certain international air routes that transit offshore areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) to again permit U.S. civil aviation operations on those routes. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with RULES IV. Discussion of the Final Rule The FAA continues to assess the situation in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) as being hazardous for U.S. civil aviation. Significant risk to U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) continues to exist due to the ongoing conflict between the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and Huthi-aligned forces, as well as an enduring extremist/militant threat to U.S. civil aviation operations in those areas. During the conflict, there have been multiple reported surface-toair incidents, including successful shoot downs of military tactical and surveillance aircraft by Huthi forces armed with a variety of anti-aircraftcapable weapons. Huthi elements, with 2 Amendment of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa (OYSC) Flight Information Region final rule, 82 FR 58722 (Dec. 14, 2017). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Dec 10, 2019 Jkt 250001 international assistance, have received or developed, and successfully employed, innovative anti-aircraftcapable weapons, ballistic missiles and unmanned aircraft systems capabilities. These capabilities present a risk to U.S. civil aviation, which may be deliberately or inadvertently targeted while operating in the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). Airports within the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) have been attacked by various entities using multiple capabilities. Additionally, extremist/militant elements continue to exploit the conflict for control of territory to launch attacks. Both Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and extremists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) operate in Yemen. Both AQAP and ISIS have previously conducted attacks on U.S. interests, including targeting civil aviation. The FAA continues to assess that opposition elements in Yemen do not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities or control territory from which surface-to-air weapons possessed by those opposition forces are capable of reaching air routes off the southern and western coasts of Yemen. Therefore, the FAA maintains without change the boundaries of its prohibition on U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). Operations on jet routes UT702 and M999 continue to be permitted. Therefore, as a result of the significant continuing risks to the safety of U.S. civil aviation in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), the FAA extends the expiration date of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, from January 7, 2020 until January 7, 2022. By this action, the FAA prohibits flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) at all altitudes by all: U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier. While the FAA’s flight prohibition does not apply to foreign air carriers, DOT codeshare authorizations prohibit foreign air carriers from carrying a U.S. codeshare partner’s code on a flight segment that operates in airspace for which the FAA has issued a flight prohibition. The FAA will continue to actively monitor the situation and evaluate the extent to which U.S. civil operators and airmen may be able to operate safely in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). Amendments to SFAR No. 115, PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 67661 § 91.1611, may be appropriate if the risk to aviation safety and security changes. The FAA may amend or rescind SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, as necessary, prior to its expiration date. By this action, the FAA also makes minor editorial changes to correct the formatting of the name of the FIR; clarify the operations that are prohibited and those that are permitted; and clarify the procedures for considering approval and exemption requests. These changes are consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs. The FAA is also republishing the details concerning the approval and exemption processes in Sections V and VI of this preamble, so that interested persons will be able to refer to this final rule for comprehensive information about requesting relief from the FAA from the provisions of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611. Finally, the FAA makes a technical correction to the final rule to clarify that operations on jet route M999 are permitted. V. Approval Process Based on a Request From a Department, Agency, or Instrumentality of the United States Government A. Approval Process Based on an Authorization Request From a Department, Agency, or Instrumentality of the United States Government In some instances, U.S. Government departments, agencies, or instrumentalities may need to engage U.S. civil aviation to support their activities in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The FAA is clarifying the approval process for SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs, as previously indicated. If a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government determines that it has a critical need to engage any person described in SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, including a U.S. air carrier or commercial operator, to conduct a charter to transport civilian or military passengers or cargo, or other operations, in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), that department, agency, or instrumentality may request the FAA to approve persons described in SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, to conduct such operations. An approval request must be made directly by the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government to the FAA’s Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety in a letter signed by an appropriate senior official of the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality. The FAA will not accept or consider requests for E:\FR\FM\11DER1.SGM 11DER1 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with RULES 67662 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 11, 2019 / Rules and Regulations approval from anyone other than the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality. In addition, the senior official signing the letter requesting FAA approval on behalf of the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality must be sufficiently positioned within the organization to demonstrate that the senior leadership of the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality supports the request for approval and is committed to taking all necessary steps to minimize operational risks to the proposed flights. The senior official must also be in a position to: (1) Attest to the accuracy of all representations made to the FAA in the request for approval and (2) ensure that any support from the requesting U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality described in the request for approval is in fact brought to bear and is maintained over time. Unless justified by exigent circumstances, requests for approval must be submitted to the FAA no less than 30 calendar days before the date on which the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality wishes the proposed operations to commence. The letter must be sent to the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591. Electronic submissions are acceptable, and the requesting entity may request that the FAA notify it electronically as to whether the approval request is granted. If a requestor wishes to make an electronic submission to the FAA, the requestor should contact the Air Transportation Division, Flight Standards Service, at (202) 267–8166, to obtain the appropriate email address. A single letter may request approval from the FAA for multiple persons described in SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, or for multiple flight operations. To the extent known, the letter must identify the person(s) expected to be covered under the SFAR on whose behalf the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality is seeking FAA approval, and it must describe— • The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the mission being supported; • The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by the SFAR; • To the extent known, the specific locations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) where the proposed operation(s) will be conducted, including, but not limited to, the flight path and altitude of the aircraft while it is operating in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) and the airports, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Dec 10, 2019 Jkt 250001 airfields or landing zones at which the aircraft will take off and land; and • The method by which the department, agency, or instrumentality will provide, or how the operator will otherwise obtain, current threat information and an explanation of how the operator will integrate this information into all phases of the proposed operations (i.e., the premission planning and briefing, in-flight, and post-flight phases). The request for approval must also include a list of operators with whom the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality requesting FAA approval has a current contract(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s) (or its prime contractor has a subcontract(s)) for specific flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The requestor may identify additional operators to the FAA at any time after the FAA approval is issued. However, all additional operators must be identified to, and obtain an Operations Specification (OpSpec) or Letter of Authorization (LOA) from, the FAA, as appropriate, for operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), before such operators commence such operations. The approval conditions discussed below apply to any such additional operators. Updated lists should be sent to the email address to be obtained from the Air Transportation Division by calling (202) 267–8166. If an approval request includes classified information, requestors may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Dale E. Roberts for instructions on submitting it to the FAA. His contact information is listed in the For Further Information Contact section of this final rule. FAA approval of an operation under SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, does not relieve persons subject to this SFAR of their responsibility to comply with all other applicable FAA rules and regulations. Operators of civil aircraft must comply with the conditions of their certificate, OpSpecs, and LOAs, as applicable. Operators must also comply with all rules and regulations of other U.S. Government departments or agencies that may apply to the proposed operation(s), including, but not limited to, regulations issued by the Transportation Security Administration. B. Approval Conditions If the FAA approves the request, the FAA’s Aviation Safety Organization will send an approval letter to the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality, informing it that the FAA’s approval is subject to all of the following conditions: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (1) The approval will stipulate those procedures and conditions that limit, to the greatest degree possible, the risk to the operator, while still allowing the operator to achieve its operational objectives. (2) Before any approval takes effect, the operator must submit to the FAA: (a) A written release of the U.S. Government from all damages, claims, and liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and expenses, relating to any event arising out of or related to the approved operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC); and (b) The operator’s written agreement to indemnify the U.S. Government with respect to any and all third-party damages, claims, and liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and expenses, relating to any event arising from or related to the approved operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). (3) Other conditions that the FAA may specify, including those that may be imposed in OpSpecs or LOAs, as applicable. The release and agreement to indemnify do not preclude an operator from raising a claim under an applicable non-premium war risk insurance policy issued by the FAA under chapter 443 of title 49, U.S. Code. If the FAA approves the proposed operation(s), the FAA will issue an OpSpec or LOA, as applicable, to the operator(s) identified in the original request authorizing them to conduct the approved operation(s), and will notify the department, agency, or instrumentality that requested the FAA’s approval of any additional conditions beyond those contained in the approval letter. VI. Information Regarding Petitions for Exemption Any operations not conducted under an approval the FAA issues through the approval process set forth previously must be conducted under an exemption from SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611. A petition for exemption must comply with 14 CFR part 11. The FAA will consider whether exceptional circumstances exist beyond those contemplated by the approval process described in the previous section. In addition to the information required by 14 CFR 11.81, at a minimum, the requestor must describe in its submission to the FAA— • The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the operation; • The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by the SFAR; E:\FR\FM\11DER1.SGM 11DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 11, 2019 / Rules and Regulations lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with RULES • The specific locations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) where the proposed operation(s) will be conducted, including, but not limited to, the flight path and altitude of the aircraft while it is operating in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) and the airports, airfields or landing zones at which the aircraft will take off and land; • The method by which the operator will obtain current threat information, and an explanation of how the operator will integrate this information into all phases of its proposed operations (i.e., the pre-mission planning and briefing, in-flight, and post-flight phases); and • The plans and procedures the operator will use to minimize the risks, identified in this preamble, to the proposed operations, to establish that granting the exemption would not adversely affect safety or would provide a level of safety at least equal to that provided by this SFAR. The FAA has found comprehensive, organized plans and procedures of this nature to be helpful in facilitating the agency’s safety evaluation of petitions for exemption from flight prohibition SFARs. Additionally, the release and agreement to indemnify, as referred to previously, are required as a condition of any exemption that may be issued under SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611. The FAA recognizes that the operations SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, might affect could include operations planned for the governments of other countries with the support of the U.S. Government. While the FAA will not permit these operations through the approval process, the FAA will consider exemption requests for such operations on an expedited basis and prior to any private exemption requests. If a petition for exemption includes security-sensitive or proprietary information, requestors may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Dale E. Roberts for instructions on submitting it to the FAA. His contact information is listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this final rule. VII. Regulatory Notices and Analyses Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Dec 10, 2019 Jkt 250001 Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96–39), as codified in 19 U.S.C. Chapter 13, prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Agreements Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (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, the FAA has determined that this final rule has benefits that justify its costs. This rule is a significant regulatory action, as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, as it raises novel policy issues contemplated under that Executive Order. As notice and comment under 5 U.S.C. 553 are not required for this final rule, the regulatory flexibility analyses described in 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 regarding impacts on small entities are not required. This rule will not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector, by exceeding the threshold identified previously. A. Regulatory Evaluation Due to the significant hazards to U.S. civil aviation described in the preamble of this final rule, this rule continues to prohibit U.S. civil flights in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The FAA believes there are very few U.S. operators who wish to operate in the specified areas of the Sanaa (OYSC) FIR where U.S. civil aviation operations will continue to be prohibited. The FAA receives few requests for approval or petitions for exemption to conduct flight operations in airspace managed by other countries in which the FAA has prohibited U.S. civil aviation from flying and expects that this pattern will hold true for this rule. In addition, the rule continues to allow U.S. civil aviation to use the M999 and UT702 air routes, so flight times and operating expenses, such as PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 67663 fuel, for U.S. operators that transit the Middle East on those routes are not affected by this final rule. Therefore, the FAA finds that the costs of extending SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, will be minimal and are exceeded by the benefits of avoided risks of deaths, injuries, and property damage that could result from a U.S. operator’s aircraft being shot down (or otherwise damaged) while operating in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). B. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), in 5 U.S.C. 603, requires an agency to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing impacts on small entities whenever an agency is required by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for any proposed rule. Similarly, 5 U.S.C. 604 requires an agency to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis when an agency issues a final rule under 5 U.S.C. 553, after being required by that section or any other law to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking. The FAA found good cause to forgo notice and comment and any delay in the effective date for this rule. As notice and comment under 5 U.S.C. 553 are not required in this situation, the regulatory flexibility analyses described in 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 are similarly not required. C. International Trade Impact Assessment The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96–39) prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to this Act, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this final rule and determined that its purpose is to protect the safety of U.S. civil aviation from hazards to their operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), a location outside the U.S. Therefore, the rule is in compliance with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979. E:\FR\FM\11DER1.SGM 11DER1 67664 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 11, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 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 million in lieu of $100 million. This final rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply. 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 final rule. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with RULES F. International Compatibility and Cooperation In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA’s policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that correspond to this regulation. The FAA finds that this action is fully consistent with the obligations under 49 U.S.C. 40105(b)(1)(A) to ensure that the FAA exercises its duties consistently with the obligations of the United States under international agreements. While the FAA’s flight prohibition does not apply to foreign air carriers, DOT codeshare authorizations prohibit foreign air carriers from carrying a U.S. codeshare partner’s code on a flight segment that operates in airspace for which the FAA has issued a flight prohibition. In addition, foreign air carriers and other foreign operators may choose to avoid, or be advised or directed by their civil aviation authorities to avoid, airspace for which the FAA has issued a flight prohibition. G. Environmental Analysis The FAA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 12114, Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions (44 FR 1957, January 4, 1979), and DOT Order 5610.1C, Paragraph 16. Executive Order 12114 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Dec 10, 2019 Jkt 250001 requires the FAA to be informed of environmental considerations and take those considerations into account when making decisions on major Federal actions that could have environmental impacts anywhere beyond the borders of the United States. The FAA has determined that this action is exempt pursuant to Section 2–5(a)(i) of Executive Order 12114 because it does not have the potential for a significant effect on the environment outside the United States. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ paragraph 8– 6(c), FAA has prepared a memorandum for the record stating the reason(s) for this determination; this memorandum has been placed in the docket for this rulemaking. VIII. 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 would 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 would not be a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under the executive order and would 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 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 this action would have no effect on international regulatory cooperation. D. Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs This rule is not subject to the requirements of E.O. 13771 (82 FR 9339, Feb. 3, 2017) because it is issued with respect to a national security function of the United States. IX. Additional Information A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained from the internet by— • Searching the docket for this rulemaking at https:// www.regulations.gov; • Visiting the FAA’s Regulations and Policies web page at https:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies; or • Accessing the Government Publishing Office’s website at https:// www.govinfo.gov. Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by amendment or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM–1, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267–9677. Except for classified material, all documents the FAA considered in developing this rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the internet through the docket for this rulemaking. B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) (Pub. L. 104–121) (set forth as a note to 5 U.S.C. 601) requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this document may contact its local FAA official, or the persons 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 in 14 CFR Part 91 Air traffic control, Aircraft, Airmen, Airports, Aviation safety, Freight, Yemen. E:\FR\FM\11DER1.SGM 11DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 238 / Wednesday, December 11, 2019 / Rules and Regulations The Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 1. The authority citation for part 91 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40101, 40103, 40105, 40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506–46507, 47122, 47508, 47528– 47531, 47534, Pub. L. 114–190, 130 Stat. 615 (49 U.S.C. 44703 note); articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11). ■ 2. Revise § 91.1611 to read as follows: lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with RULES § 91.1611 Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 115—Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC). (a) Applicability. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) applies to the following persons: (1) All U.S. air carriers and U.S. commercial operators; (2) All persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and (3) All operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier. (b) Flight prohibition. Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, no person described in paragraph (a) of this section may conduct flight operations in the portion of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC) that is west of a line drawn direct from KAPET (163322N 0530614E) to NODMA (152603N 0533359E), northwest of a line drawn direct from NODMA to ORBAT (140638N 0503924E) then from ORBAT to PAKER (115500N 0463500E), north of a line drawn direct from PAKER to PARIM (123142N 0432712E), and east of a line drawn direct from PARIM to RIBOK (154700N 0415230E). Use of jet route UN303 is not authorized. (c) Permitted operations. This section does not prohibit persons described in paragraph (a) of this section from conducting flight operations in the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) under the following circumstances: (1) Flight operations may be conducted in the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) in that airspace east of a line drawn direct from KAPET (163322N 0530614E) to NODMA (152603N 0533359E), VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Dec 10, 2019 Jkt 250001 southeast of a line drawn direct from NODMA to ORBAT (140638N 0503924E) then from ORBAT to PAKER (115500N 0463500E), south of a line drawn direct from PAKER to PARIM (123142N 0432712E), and west of a line drawn direct from PARIM to RIBOK (154700N 0415230E). Use of jet routes UT702 and M999 are authorized. All flight operations conducted under this subparagraph must be conducted subject to the approval of, and in accordance with the conditions established by, the appropriate authorities of Yemen. (2) Flight operations may be conducted in the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) in that airspace west of a line drawn direct from KAPET (163322N 0530614E) to NODMA (152603N 0533359E), northwest of a line drawn direct from NODMA to ORBAT (140638N 0503924E) then from ORBAT to PAKER (115500N 0463500E), north of a line drawn direct from PAKER to PARIM (123142N 0432712E), and east of a line drawn direct from PARIM to RIBOK (154700N 0415230E) if such flight operations are conducted under a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government (or under a subcontract between the prime contractor of the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality and the person subject to paragraph (a)), with the approval of the FAA, or under an exemption issued by the FAA. The FAA will consider requests for approval or exemption in a timely manner, with the order of preference being: First, for those operations in support of U.S. Government-sponsored activities; second, for those operations in support of government-sponsored activities of a foreign country with the support of a U.S. government department, agency, or instrumentality; and third, for all other operations. (d) Emergency situations. In an emergency that requires immediate decision and action for the safety of the flight, the pilot in command of an aircraft may deviate from this section to the extent required by that emergency. Except for U.S. air carriers and commercial operators that are subject to the requirements of 14 CFR part 119, 121, 125, or 135, each person who deviates from this section must, within 10 days of the deviation, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays, submit to the responsible Flight Standards office a complete report of the operations of the aircraft involved in the deviation, including a description of the deviation and the reasons for it. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 67665 (e) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until January 7, 2022. The FAA may amend, rescind, or extend this SFAR as necessary. Issued in Washington, DC, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f) and (g), 40101(d)(1), 40105(b)(1)(A), and 44701(a)(5), on December 4, 2019. Steve Dickson, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–26602 Filed 12–10–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA–2007–27602; Amdt. No. 91–339B] RIN 2120–AL46 Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in the Territory and Airspace of Somalia Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This action extends the prohibition against certain flight operations in the territory and airspace of Somalia at altitudes below Flight Level (FL) 260 by all: U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier. The FAA is taking this action because it has determined there continues to be an unacceptable risk to U.S. civil aviation operating in the territory and airspace of Somalia at altitudes below FL260 from terrorist and militant activity. The FAA also republishes, with minor revisions, the approval process and exemption information for this flight prohibition Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) and makes minor editorial changes to this SFAR to clarify prohibited and permitted operations, consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs. DATES: This final rule is effective on December 11, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dale E. Roberts, Air Transportation Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\11DER1.SGM 11DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 11, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67659-67665]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26602]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 91

[Docket No.: FAA-2015-8672; Amdt. No. 91-340B]
RIN 2120-AL44


Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified 
Areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC)

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action extends the prohibition against certain flight 
operations in specified areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region 
(FIR) (OYSC) by all: U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; 
persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by 
the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.-registered 
aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered 
civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is a foreign 
air carrier. The FAA finds this action necessary to address the 
continued hazards to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight 
operations from the ongoing fighting and instability in Yemen, as well 
as terrorist and militant activity. The FAA also republishes, with 
minor revisions, the approval process and exemption information for 
this flight prohibition Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR); 
makes a technical correction to the SFAR to show that operations on jet 
route M999 are permitted; makes editorial changes to this SFAR to 
clarify prohibited and permitted operations; makes a minor editorial 
change to the title of the rule; and makes other minor revisions for 
consistency with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs.

DATES: This final rule is effective on December 11, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dale E. Roberts, Air Transportation 
Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 
800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone 202-267-
8166; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Executive Summary

    This action extends the expiration date of SFAR No. 115, title 14 
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 91.1611, from January 7, 2020, until 
January 7, 2022. SFAR No. 115 prohibits certain flight operations in 
specified areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC), 
the boundaries of which are set forth in paragraph (b) of this final 
rule, by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons 
exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, 
except when such persons are operating U.S.-registered aircraft for a 
foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, 
except when the operator of such aircraft is a

[[Page 67660]]

foreign air carrier. Consistent with other recently published flight 
prohibition SFARs, this action also republishes, with minor revisions, 
the approval process and exemption information for this SFAR; makes 
editorial changes to this SFAR to clarify prohibited and permitted 
operations; and makes a minor editorial change to the title of the rule 
for consistency. This action also makes a technical correction to the 
SFAR to show that operations on jet route M999 are permitted.

II. Legal Authority and Good Cause

A. Legal Authority

    The FAA is responsible for the safety of flight in the U.S. and for 
the safety of U.S. civil operators, U.S.-registered civil aircraft, and 
U.S.-certificated airmen throughout the world. The FAA Administrator's 
authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in 49 U.S.C. 
106(f) and (g). Subtitle VII of title 49, Aviation Programs, describes 
in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. Section 40101(d)(1) 
provides that the Administrator shall consider in the public interest, 
among other matters, assigning, maintaining, and enhancing safety and 
security as the highest priorities in air commerce. Section 
40105(b)(1)(A) requires the Administrator to exercise this authority 
consistently with the obligations of the U.S. Government under 
international agreements.
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 49 
U.S.C. 44701, General requirements. Under that section, the FAA is 
charged broadly with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air 
commerce by prescribing, among other things, regulations and minimum 
standards for practices, methods, and procedures that the Administrator 
finds necessary for safety in air commerce and national security.
    This regulation is within the scope of FAA's authority, because it 
continues to prohibit the persons described in paragraph (a) of SFAR 
No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, from conducting flight operations in specified 
areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) due to the continuing hazards to the 
safety of U.S. civil flight operations, as described in the preamble to 
this final rule.

B. Good Cause for Immediate Adoption

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of title 5, U.S. Code, authorizes agencies to 
dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency 
for ``good cause'' finds that those procedures are ``impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' Section 553(d) also 
authorizes agencies to forgo the delay in the effective date of the 
final rule for good cause found and published with the rule. In this 
instance, the FAA finds good cause exists to forgo notice and comment 
because notice and comment would be impracticable and contrary to the 
public interest. In addition, it is contrary to the public interest to 
delay the effective date of this SFAR.
    The risk environment for U.S. civil aviation in airspace managed by 
other countries with respect to safety of flight risks posed by weapons 
capable of targeting, or otherwise negatively affecting, U.S. civil 
aviation, as well as other hazards to U.S. civil aviation associated 
with fighting, extremist/militant activity, or heightened tensions, is 
fluid. This fluidity and the need for the FAA to rely upon classified 
information in assessing these risks make seeking notice and comment 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. With respect to the 
impracticability of notice and comment procedures, the potential for 
rapid changes in the risks to U.S. civil aviation significantly limits 
how far in advance of a new or amended flight prohibition the FAA can 
usefully assess the risk environment. Furthermore, to the extent that 
these rules and any amendments to them are based upon classified 
information, the FAA is not legally permitted to share such information 
with the general public, who cannot meaningfully comment on information 
to which they are not legally allowed access.
    Under these conditions, public interest considerations also favor 
not seeking notice and comment for these rules and any amendments to 
them. While there is a public interest in having an opportunity for the 
public to comment on agency action, there is a greater public interest 
in having the FAA's flight prohibitions, and any amendments thereto, 
reflect the agency's most current understanding of the risk environment 
for U.S. civil aviation. This allows the FAA to appropriately protect 
the safety of U.S. operators' aircraft and the lives of their 
passengers and crews without over-restricting U.S. operators' routing 
options. The FAA has identified an ongoing need to maintain the flight 
prohibition for U.S. civil aviation operations in specified areas of 
the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) due to continued safety-of-flight hazards 
associated with ongoing political instability, fighting involving 
various militia/extremist/militant elements, and military activity by 
foreign sponsors supporting various elements operating in the specified 
areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). These hazards, which are further 
described in the preamble to this rule, require that the FAA's flight 
prohibition for U.S. civil aviation operations in specified areas of 
the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) continue without interruption.
    Because the final rule makes no changes to the boundaries of an 
existing FAA flight prohibition for U.S. civil aviation operations, it 
is also contrary to the public interest to delay the effective date of 
the rule. Delaying the effective date would not change the compliance 
obligations of U.S. operators and airmen up to January 7, 2020, and, 
depending upon the date on which the final rule is published in the 
Federal Register, could result in a gap in the regulation's 
effectiveness of as many as 30 days between January 7, 2020, and the 
new effective date. Such an outcome would be contrary to the interests 
of U.S. civil aviation safety due to the hazards to U.S. civil flight 
operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC).
    For these reasons, the FAA finds good cause exists to forgo notice 
and comment and any delay in the effective date for this rule.

III. Background

    On January 7, 2016, the FAA published SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, 
to prohibit U.S. civil aviation operations in specified areas of the 
Sanaa FIR (OYSC), due to the hazardous situation faced by U.S. civil 
aviation from ongoing military operations, political instability, 
violence from competing armed groups, and the continuing terrorism 
threat from extremist elements associated with the fighting and 
instability in Yemen.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of 
the Sanaa (OYSC) Flight Information Region (FIR) final rule, 81 FR 
727.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In taking that action, the FAA determined international civil air 
routes that transited the then-specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) 
and aircraft operating to and from Yemeni airports were at risk from 
terrorist and militant groups potentially employing anti-aircraft-
capable weapons, including man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), 
surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), small-arms fire, and indirect fire from 
mortars and rockets. Due to the fighting and instability, as of January 
2016, the FAA stated that there was a risk of possible loss of state 
control over more advanced anti-aircraft-capable weapons to terrorist 
and militant groups. Some of the weapons that the FAA was concerned 
about have the capability to target aircraft at higher altitudes or 
during approach and departure and have weapon ranges that

[[Page 67661]]

could extend into the near off-shore areas along Yemen's coastline.
    In the January 2016 final rule, the FAA also indicated that U.S. 
civil aviation was at risk from combat operations and other military-
related activity associated with the fighting and instability and that 
there was an ongoing threat of terrorism. Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian 
Peninsula (AQAP) remained active in Yemen and had demonstrated the 
capability and intent to target U.S. and Western aviation interests. 
Various Yemeni airports had been attacked during the fighting, 
including Sanaa International Airport (OYSN) and Aden International 
Airport (OYAA), resulting in instances of damage to airport facilities 
and temporary closure of the airports.
    In December 2017, the FAA amended SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, to 
shrink the boundaries of its prohibition of U.S. civil aviation 
operations in specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC).\2\ Between 
January 2016, and December 2017, the situation in Yemen had slightly 
improved, as a coalition of Yemeni government forces, supporting 
nations, and allied militia elements successfully limited the area of 
opposition force control and reduced some of the opposition force's 
weapon capabilities. As of December 2017, opposition elements in Yemen 
did not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM 
capabilities. As a result, the FAA found that there was a sufficiently 
reduced level of risk to U.S. civil aviation operations on certain 
international air routes that transit offshore areas of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC) to again permit U.S. civil aviation operations on those routes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Amendment of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in 
Specified Areas of the Sanaa (OYSC) Flight Information Region final 
rule, 82 FR 58722 (Dec. 14, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Discussion of the Final Rule

    The FAA continues to assess the situation in the specified areas of 
the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) as being hazardous for U.S. civil aviation. 
Significant risk to U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified 
areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) continues to exist due to the ongoing 
conflict between the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and Huthi-aligned 
forces, as well as an enduring extremist/militant threat to U.S. civil 
aviation operations in those areas. During the conflict, there have 
been multiple reported surface-to-air incidents, including successful 
shoot downs of military tactical and surveillance aircraft by Huthi 
forces armed with a variety of anti-aircraft-capable weapons. Huthi 
elements, with international assistance, have received or developed, 
and successfully employed, innovative anti-aircraft-capable weapons, 
ballistic missiles and unmanned aircraft systems capabilities. These 
capabilities present a risk to U.S. civil aviation, which may be 
deliberately or inadvertently targeted while operating in the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC). Airports within the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) have been attacked by 
various entities using multiple capabilities. Additionally, extremist/
militant elements continue to exploit the conflict for control of 
territory to launch attacks. Both Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula 
(AQAP) and extremists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-
Sham (ISIS) operate in Yemen. Both AQAP and ISIS have previously 
conducted attacks on U.S. interests, including targeting civil 
aviation.
    The FAA continues to assess that opposition elements in Yemen do 
not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities or 
control territory from which surface-to-air weapons possessed by those 
opposition forces are capable of reaching air routes off the southern 
and western coasts of Yemen. Therefore, the FAA maintains without 
change the boundaries of its prohibition on U.S. civil aviation 
operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). Operations 
on jet routes UT702 and M999 continue to be permitted.
    Therefore, as a result of the significant continuing risks to the 
safety of U.S. civil aviation in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC), the FAA extends the expiration date of SFAR No. 115, Sec.  
91.1611, from January 7, 2020 until January 7, 2022. By this action, 
the FAA prohibits flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa 
FIR (OYSC) at all altitudes by all: U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial 
operators; persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate 
issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.-
registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-
registered civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is 
a foreign air carrier. While the FAA's flight prohibition does not 
apply to foreign air carriers, DOT codeshare authorizations prohibit 
foreign air carriers from carrying a U.S. codeshare partner's code on a 
flight segment that operates in airspace for which the FAA has issued a 
flight prohibition.
    The FAA will continue to actively monitor the situation and 
evaluate the extent to which U.S. civil operators and airmen may be 
able to operate safely in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). 
Amendments to SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, may be appropriate if the 
risk to aviation safety and security changes. The FAA may amend or 
rescind SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, as necessary, prior to its 
expiration date.
    By this action, the FAA also makes minor editorial changes to 
correct the formatting of the name of the FIR; clarify the operations 
that are prohibited and those that are permitted; and clarify the 
procedures for considering approval and exemption requests. These 
changes are consistent with other recently published flight prohibition 
SFARs. The FAA is also republishing the details concerning the approval 
and exemption processes in Sections V and VI of this preamble, so that 
interested persons will be able to refer to this final rule for 
comprehensive information about requesting relief from the FAA from the 
provisions of SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611. Finally, the FAA makes a 
technical correction to the final rule to clarify that operations on 
jet route M999 are permitted.

V. Approval Process Based on a Request From a Department, Agency, or 
Instrumentality of the United States Government

A. Approval Process Based on an Authorization Request From a 
Department, Agency, or Instrumentality of the United States Government

    In some instances, U.S. Government departments, agencies, or 
instrumentalities may need to engage U.S. civil aviation to support 
their activities in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The 
FAA is clarifying the approval process for SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, 
consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs, as 
previously indicated. If a department, agency, or instrumentality of 
the U.S. Government determines that it has a critical need to engage 
any person described in SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, including a U.S. 
air carrier or commercial operator, to conduct a charter to transport 
civilian or military passengers or cargo, or other operations, in the 
specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), that department, agency, or 
instrumentality may request the FAA to approve persons described in 
SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, to conduct such operations.
    An approval request must be made directly by the requesting 
department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government to the 
FAA's Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety in a letter signed by 
an appropriate senior official of the requesting department, agency, or 
instrumentality. The FAA will not accept or consider requests for

[[Page 67662]]

approval from anyone other than the requesting department, agency, or 
instrumentality. In addition, the senior official signing the letter 
requesting FAA approval on behalf of the requesting department, agency, 
or instrumentality must be sufficiently positioned within the 
organization to demonstrate that the senior leadership of the 
requesting department, agency, or instrumentality supports the request 
for approval and is committed to taking all necessary steps to minimize 
operational risks to the proposed flights. The senior official must 
also be in a position to: (1) Attest to the accuracy of all 
representations made to the FAA in the request for approval and (2) 
ensure that any support from the requesting U.S. Government department, 
agency, or instrumentality described in the request for approval is in 
fact brought to bear and is maintained over time. Unless justified by 
exigent circumstances, requests for approval must be submitted to the 
FAA no less than 30 calendar days before the date on which the 
requesting department, agency, or instrumentality wishes the proposed 
operations to commence.
    The letter must be sent to the Associate Administrator for Aviation 
Safety, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, 
Washington, DC 20591. Electronic submissions are acceptable, and the 
requesting entity may request that the FAA notify it electronically as 
to whether the approval request is granted. If a requestor wishes to 
make an electronic submission to the FAA, the requestor should contact 
the Air Transportation Division, Flight Standards Service, at (202) 
267-8166, to obtain the appropriate email address. A single letter may 
request approval from the FAA for multiple persons described in SFAR 
No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, or for multiple flight operations. To the 
extent known, the letter must identify the person(s) expected to be 
covered under the SFAR on whose behalf the U.S. Government department, 
agency, or instrumentality is seeking FAA approval, and it must 
describe--
     The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the 
mission being supported;
     The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by the 
SFAR;
     To the extent known, the specific locations in the 
specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) where the proposed operation(s) 
will be conducted, including, but not limited to, the flight path and 
altitude of the aircraft while it is operating in the specified areas 
of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) and the airports, airfields or landing zones at 
which the aircraft will take off and land; and
     The method by which the department, agency, or 
instrumentality will provide, or how the operator will otherwise 
obtain, current threat information and an explanation of how the 
operator will integrate this information into all phases of the 
proposed operations (i.e., the pre-mission planning and briefing, in-
flight, and post-flight phases).
    The request for approval must also include a list of operators with 
whom the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality 
requesting FAA approval has a current contract(s), grant(s), or 
cooperative agreement(s) (or its prime contractor has a subcontract(s)) 
for specific flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC). The requestor may identify additional operators to the FAA at 
any time after the FAA approval is issued. However, all additional 
operators must be identified to, and obtain an Operations Specification 
(OpSpec) or Letter of Authorization (LOA) from, the FAA, as 
appropriate, for operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC), before such operators commence such operations. The approval 
conditions discussed below apply to any such additional operators. 
Updated lists should be sent to the email address to be obtained from 
the Air Transportation Division by calling (202) 267-8166.
    If an approval request includes classified information, requestors 
may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Dale E. Roberts for instructions 
on submitting it to the FAA. His contact information is listed in the 
For Further Information Contact section of this final rule.
    FAA approval of an operation under SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, 
does not relieve persons subject to this SFAR of their responsibility 
to comply with all other applicable FAA rules and regulations. 
Operators of civil aircraft must comply with the conditions of their 
certificate, OpSpecs, and LOAs, as applicable. Operators must also 
comply with all rules and regulations of other U.S. Government 
departments or agencies that may apply to the proposed operation(s), 
including, but not limited to, regulations issued by the Transportation 
Security Administration.

B. Approval Conditions

    If the FAA approves the request, the FAA's Aviation Safety 
Organization will send an approval letter to the requesting department, 
agency, or instrumentality, informing it that the FAA's approval is 
subject to all of the following conditions:
    (1) The approval will stipulate those procedures and conditions 
that limit, to the greatest degree possible, the risk to the operator, 
while still allowing the operator to achieve its operational 
objectives.
    (2) Before any approval takes effect, the operator must submit to 
the FAA:
    (a) A written release of the U.S. Government from all damages, 
claims, and liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and 
expenses, relating to any event arising out of or related to the 
approved operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC); and
    (b) The operator's written agreement to indemnify the U.S. 
Government with respect to any and all third-party damages, claims, and 
liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and expenses, 
relating to any event arising from or related to the approved 
operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC).
    (3) Other conditions that the FAA may specify, including those that 
may be imposed in OpSpecs or LOAs, as applicable.
    The release and agreement to indemnify do not preclude an operator 
from raising a claim under an applicable non-premium war risk insurance 
policy issued by the FAA under chapter 443 of title 49, U.S. Code.
    If the FAA approves the proposed operation(s), the FAA will issue 
an OpSpec or LOA, as applicable, to the operator(s) identified in the 
original request authorizing them to conduct the approved operation(s), 
and will notify the department, agency, or instrumentality that 
requested the FAA's approval of any additional conditions beyond those 
contained in the approval letter.

VI. Information Regarding Petitions for Exemption

    Any operations not conducted under an approval the FAA issues 
through the approval process set forth previously must be conducted 
under an exemption from SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611. A petition for 
exemption must comply with 14 CFR part 11. The FAA will consider 
whether exceptional circumstances exist beyond those contemplated by 
the approval process described in the previous section. In addition to 
the information required by 14 CFR 11.81, at a minimum, the requestor 
must describe in its submission to the FAA--
     The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the 
operation;
     The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by the 
SFAR;

[[Page 67663]]

     The specific locations in the specified areas of the Sanaa 
FIR (OYSC) where the proposed operation(s) will be conducted, 
including, but not limited to, the flight path and altitude of the 
aircraft while it is operating in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC) and the airports, airfields or landing zones at which the 
aircraft will take off and land;
     The method by which the operator will obtain current 
threat information, and an explanation of how the operator will 
integrate this information into all phases of its proposed operations 
(i.e., the pre-mission planning and briefing, in-flight, and post-
flight phases); and
     The plans and procedures the operator will use to minimize 
the risks, identified in this preamble, to the proposed operations, to 
establish that granting the exemption would not adversely affect safety 
or would provide a level of safety at least equal to that provided by 
this SFAR. The FAA has found comprehensive, organized plans and 
procedures of this nature to be helpful in facilitating the agency's 
safety evaluation of petitions for exemption from flight prohibition 
SFARs.
    Additionally, the release and agreement to indemnify, as referred 
to previously, are required as a condition of any exemption that may be 
issued under SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611.
    The FAA recognizes that the operations SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, 
might affect could include operations planned for the governments of 
other countries with the support of the U.S. Government. While the FAA 
will not permit these operations through the approval process, the FAA 
will consider exemption requests for such operations on an expedited 
basis and prior to any private exemption requests.
    If a petition for exemption includes security-sensitive or 
proprietary information, requestors may contact Aviation Safety 
Inspector Dale E. Roberts for instructions on submitting it to the FAA. 
His contact information is listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section of this final rule.

VII. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct that each 
Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned 
determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its 
costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (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 of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as codified in 19 U.S.C. 
Chapter 13, prohibits agencies from setting standards that create 
unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In 
developing U.S. standards, the Trade Agreements Act requires agencies 
to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they 
be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act of 1995 (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, the FAA has determined that this 
final rule has benefits that justify its costs. This rule is a 
significant regulatory action, as defined in section 3(f) of Executive 
Order 12866, as it raises novel policy issues contemplated under that 
Executive Order. As notice and comment under 5 U.S.C. 553 are not 
required for this final rule, the regulatory flexibility analyses 
described in 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 regarding impacts on small entities 
are not required. This rule will not create unnecessary obstacles to 
the foreign commerce of the United States. This rule will not impose an 
unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments, or on the 
private sector, by exceeding the threshold identified previously.

A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Due to the significant hazards to U.S. civil aviation described in 
the preamble of this final rule, this rule continues to prohibit U.S. 
civil flights in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The FAA 
believes there are very few U.S. operators who wish to operate in the 
specified areas of the Sanaa (OYSC) FIR where U.S. civil aviation 
operations will continue to be prohibited. The FAA receives few 
requests for approval or petitions for exemption to conduct flight 
operations in airspace managed by other countries in which the FAA has 
prohibited U.S. civil aviation from flying and expects that this 
pattern will hold true for this rule.
    In addition, the rule continues to allow U.S. civil aviation to use 
the M999 and UT702 air routes, so flight times and operating expenses, 
such as fuel, for U.S. operators that transit the Middle East on those 
routes are not affected by this final rule.
    Therefore, the FAA finds that the costs of extending SFAR No. 115, 
Sec.  91.1611, will be minimal and are exceeded by the benefits of 
avoided risks of deaths, injuries, and property damage that could 
result from a U.S. operator's aircraft being shot down (or otherwise 
damaged) while operating in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC).

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), in 5 U.S.C. 603, requires an 
agency to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing 
impacts on small entities whenever an agency is required by 5 U.S.C. 
553, or any other law, to publish a general notice of proposed 
rulemaking for any proposed rule. Similarly, 5 U.S.C. 604 requires an 
agency to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis when an 
agency issues a final rule under 5 U.S.C. 553, after being required by 
that section or any other law to publish a general notice of proposed 
rulemaking. The FAA found good cause to forgo notice and comment and 
any delay in the effective date for this rule. As notice and comment 
under 5 U.S.C. 553 are not required in this situation, the regulatory 
flexibility analyses described in 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 are similarly 
not required.

C. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities 
that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States. Pursuant to this Act, the establishment of standards is not 
considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the 
United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic 
objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a 
manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also 
requires consideration of international standards and, where 
appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards.
    The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this final rule and 
determined that its purpose is to protect the safety of U.S. civil 
aviation from hazards to their operations in the specified areas of the 
Sanaa FIR (OYSC), a location outside the U.S. Therefore, the rule is in 
compliance with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979.

[[Page 67664]]

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

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 final rule.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, it is FAA's policy to conform to 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices 
that correspond to this regulation. The FAA finds that this action is 
fully consistent with the obligations under 49 U.S.C. 40105(b)(1)(A) to 
ensure that the FAA exercises its duties consistently with the 
obligations of the United States under international agreements.
    While the FAA's flight prohibition does not apply to foreign air 
carriers, DOT codeshare authorizations prohibit foreign air carriers 
from carrying a U.S. codeshare partner's code on a flight segment that 
operates in airspace for which the FAA has issued a flight prohibition. 
In addition, foreign air carriers and other foreign operators may 
choose to avoid, or be advised or directed by their civil aviation 
authorities to avoid, airspace for which the FAA has issued a flight 
prohibition.

G. Environmental Analysis

    The FAA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 12114, 
Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions (44 FR 1957, 
January 4, 1979), and DOT Order 5610.1C, Paragraph 16. Executive Order 
12114 requires the FAA to be informed of environmental considerations 
and take those considerations into account when making decisions on 
major Federal actions that could have environmental impacts anywhere 
beyond the borders of the United States. The FAA has determined that 
this action is exempt pursuant to Section 2-5(a)(i) of Executive Order 
12114 because it does not have the potential for a significant effect 
on the environment outside the United States.
    In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ``Environmental Impacts: 
Policies and Procedures,'' paragraph 8-6(c), FAA has prepared a 
memorandum for the record stating the reason(s) for this determination; 
this memorandum has been placed in the docket for this rulemaking.

VIII. 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 would 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 
would not be a ``significant energy action'' under the executive order 
and would 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.

D. Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs

    This rule is not subject to the requirements of E.O. 13771 (82 FR 
9339, Feb. 3, 2017) because it is issued with respect to a national 
security function of the United States.

IX. Additional Information

A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained from 
the internet by--
     Searching the docket for this rulemaking at https://www.regulations.gov;
     Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies web page at 
https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies; or
     Accessing the Government Publishing Office's website at 
https://www.govinfo.gov.
    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by 
amendment or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation 
Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue 
SW, Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677.
    Except for classified material, all documents the FAA considered in 
developing this rule, including economic analyses and technical 
reports, may be accessed from the internet through the docket for this 
rulemaking.

B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(SBREFA) (Pub. L. 104-121) (set forth as a note to 5 U.S.C. 601) 
requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information or 
advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its 
jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this document may 
contact its local FAA official, or the persons 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 in 14 CFR Part 91

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

[[Page 67665]]

The Amendment

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

PART 91--GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES

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

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40101, 40103, 40105, 40113, 
40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 
44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 47122, 
47508, 47528-47531, 47534, Pub. L. 114-190, 130 Stat. 615 (49 U.S.C. 
44703 note); articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International 
Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11).


0
2. Revise Sec.  91.1611 to read as follows:


Sec.  91.1611   Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 115--
Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa 
Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC).

    (a) Applicability. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 
applies to the following persons:
    (1) All U.S. air carriers and U.S. commercial operators;
    (2) All persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate 
issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.-
registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and
    (3) All operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when 
the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier.
    (b) Flight prohibition. Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and 
(d) of this section, no person described in paragraph (a) of this 
section may conduct flight operations in the portion of the Sanaa 
Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC) that is west of a line drawn 
direct from KAPET (163322N 0530614E) to NODMA (152603N 0533359E), 
northwest of a line drawn direct from NODMA to ORBAT (140638N 0503924E) 
then from ORBAT to PAKER (115500N 0463500E), north of a line drawn 
direct from PAKER to PARIM (123142N 0432712E), and east of a line drawn 
direct from PARIM to RIBOK (154700N 0415230E). Use of jet route UN303 
is not authorized.
    (c) Permitted operations. This section does not prohibit persons 
described in paragraph (a) of this section from conducting flight 
operations in the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) under the following circumstances:
    (1) Flight operations may be conducted in the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) in 
that airspace east of a line drawn direct from KAPET (163322N 0530614E) 
to NODMA (152603N 0533359E), southeast of a line drawn direct from 
NODMA to ORBAT (140638N 0503924E) then from ORBAT to PAKER (115500N 
0463500E), south of a line drawn direct from PAKER to PARIM (123142N 
0432712E), and west of a line drawn direct from PARIM to RIBOK (154700N 
0415230E). Use of jet routes UT702 and M999 are authorized. All flight 
operations conducted under this subparagraph must be conducted subject 
to the approval of, and in accordance with the conditions established 
by, the appropriate authorities of Yemen.
    (2) Flight operations may be conducted in the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) in 
that airspace west of a line drawn direct from KAPET (163322N 0530614E) 
to NODMA (152603N 0533359E), northwest of a line drawn direct from 
NODMA to ORBAT (140638N 0503924E) then from ORBAT to PAKER (115500N 
0463500E), north of a line drawn direct from PAKER to PARIM (123142N 
0432712E), and east of a line drawn direct from PARIM to RIBOK (154700N 
0415230E) if such flight operations are conducted under a contract, 
grant, or cooperative agreement with a department, agency, or 
instrumentality of the U.S. Government (or under a subcontract between 
the prime contractor of the U.S. Government department, agency, or 
instrumentality and the person subject to paragraph (a)), with the 
approval of the FAA, or under an exemption issued by the FAA. The FAA 
will consider requests for approval or exemption in a timely manner, 
with the order of preference being: First, for those operations in 
support of U.S. Government-sponsored activities; second, for those 
operations in support of government-sponsored activities of a foreign 
country with the support of a U.S. government department, agency, or 
instrumentality; and third, for all other operations.
    (d) Emergency situations. In an emergency that requires immediate 
decision and action for the safety of the flight, the pilot in command 
of an aircraft may deviate from this section to the extent required by 
that emergency. Except for U.S. air carriers and commercial operators 
that are subject to the requirements of 14 CFR part 119, 121, 125, or 
135, each person who deviates from this section must, within 10 days of 
the deviation, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays, 
submit to the responsible Flight Standards office a complete report of 
the operations of the aircraft involved in the deviation, including a 
description of the deviation and the reasons for it.
    (e) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until January 7, 
2022. The FAA may amend, rescind, or extend this SFAR as necessary.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 
106(f) and (g), 40101(d)(1), 40105(b)(1)(A), and 44701(a)(5), on 
December 4, 2019.
Steve Dickson,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-26602 Filed 12-10-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P