Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC), 69167-69173 [2021-26521]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 7, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: ■ 2021–23–19 Pacific Aerospace Limited: Amendment 39–21818; Docket No. FAA–2021–0213; Project Identifier 2018–CE–036–AD. (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective January 11, 2022. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to Pacific Aerospace Limited Model 750XL airplanes, serial numbers up to and including 222, certificated in any category, with the battery installed within the engine bay at the firewall. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 2400, Electrical Power System. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 (e) Reason This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI identifies the unsafe condition as insufficient separation of ground terminations for individual power sources and static grounds. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct ground terminations with insufficient separation, which could lead to loss of primary and secondary power sources if the ground connection fails and consequent simultaneous loss of multiple airplane systems. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 06, 2021 Jkt 256001 (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Inspection and Corrective Action (1) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, inspect the battery installation in the engine bay to determine if the ground leads connect to a single ground stud as shown in the Accomplishment Instructions, figure 2, of Pacific Aerospace Mandatory Service Bulletin PACSB/XL/104, Issue 1, dated May 2, 2018 (PACSB/XL/ 104I1). (2) If the ground leads connect to a single ground stud, before further flight, separate the battery ground lead connections by following the Accomplishment Instructions, steps 4 through 36, of PACSB/XL/104I1. (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD or email: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@ faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (i) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD contact Mike Kiesov, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; (816) 329–4144; fax: (816) 329–4090; email: mike.kiesov@faa.gov. (2) Refer to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of New Zealand AD DCA/750XL/30, dated July 5, 2018, for related information. You may examine the CAA AD at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0213. (j) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Pacific Aerospace Mandatory Service Bulletin PACSB/XL/104, Issue 1, dated May 2, 2018. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For Pacific Aerospace Limited service information identified in this AD, contact the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, Level 15, Asteron Centre, 55 Featherston Street, Wellington 6011; phone: +64 4 560 9400; fax: +64 4 569 2024; email: info@ caa.govt.nz. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 69167 (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329–4148. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, email: fr.inspection@nara.gov, or go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ ibr-locations.html. Issued on November 4, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–26495 Filed 12–6–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA–2015–8672; Amdt. No. 91–340C] RIN 2120–AL69 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: This action extends the Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) prohibiting certain flights in the 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 hazards to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations due to significant, continuing safety-of-flight risks to U.S. civil aviation operations in that airspace associated with the ongoing conflict between the Saudi Arabian-led Coalition and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces. The FAA extends the expiration date of this SFAR from January 7, 2022, until January 7, 2025. Additionally, the FAA republishes the approval process and exemption information for this SFAR, consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07DER1.SGM 07DER1 69168 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 7, 2021 / Rules and Regulations This final rule is effective on December 7, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Moates, Air Transportation Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone 202–267–8166; email stephen.moates@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: I. Executive Summary This action extends the prohibition against certain flights in the 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. Specifically, this amendment continues to prohibit all persons described in paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 115, title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), § 91.1611, from conducting civil flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), as described in paragraph (b) of the rule, until January 7, 2025, due to the significant, continuing safety-of-flight risks to U.S. civil aviation operations in that airspace associated with the ongoing conflict between the Saudi Arabian-led Coalition (SLC) and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 II. Legal Authority and Good Cause A. Legal Authority The FAA is responsible for the safety of flight in the U.S. and the safety of U.S. civil operators, U.S.-registered civil aircraft, and U.S.-certificated airmen throughout the world. Sections 106(f) and (g) of title 49, United States Code (U.S.C.), subtitle I, establish the FAA Administrator’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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. The FAA is promulgating this rulemaking under the authority described in 49 U.S.C. 44701, General requirements. Under that section, the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 06, 2021 Jkt 256001 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 the FAA’s authority because it continues to prohibit the persons described in paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, from conducting civil flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) due to significant, continuing risks 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)(B) of title 5, U.S.C., 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 a 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 allow any lapse in the effectivity of the prohibition of U.S. civil flights in the areas to which this SFAR applies, making it appropriate to waive any delay in effective date. The risk environment for U.S. civil aviation in airspace managed by other countries with respect to the safety of flight is often fluid in circumstances involving 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 and militant activity, or heightened tensions. This fluidity and the need for the FAA to rely upon classified information in assessing these risks make issuing notice and seeking comments 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, PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 who cannot meaningfully comment on information to which they are not legally allowed access. As a result, engaging in notice and comment would be impracticable. Additionally, while there is a public interest in having an opportunity for the public to comment on agency action, it is crucial that the FAA’s flight prohibitions, and any amendments thereto, reflect the agency’s current understanding of the risk environment for U.S. civil aviation. This allows the FAA to protect the safety of U.S. operators’ aircraft and the lives of their passengers and crews without overrestricting U.S. operators’ routing options. As described in the preamble to this rule, extending the flight prohibition for U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) is necessary due to significant, continuing safety-of-flight hazards associated with the ongoing conflict between the SLC and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces. Such circumstances establish that engaging in notice and comment for this rule would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Accordingly, 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 the 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 The FAA determined international civil air routes that transited the thenspecified 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), surfaceto-air missiles (SAMs), small-arms fire, and indirect fire from mortars and rockets. At the time it promulgated the January 2016 final rule, the FAA found that due to the fighting and instability, there was a risk of possible loss of state control over more advanced antiaircraft-capable weapons to terrorist and 1 Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa (OYSC) Flight Information Region (FIR) final rule, 81 FR 727 (Jan. 7, 2016). E:\FR\FM\07DER1.SGM 07DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 7, 2021 / Rules and Regulations lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 militant groups. Some of the weapons about which the FAA was concerned had the capability to target aircraft at higher altitudes or during approach and departure and had weapon ranges that could extend into the near offshore 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 in Yemen 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 those airports. On December 14, 2017, the FAA amended SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, to reduce the boundaries of its prohibition of U.S. civil aviation operations in the 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. In December 2017, opposition elements in Yemen did not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities. As a result, the FAA found 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 permit U.S. civil aviation operations on those routes again. However, U.S. civil aviation operations remained prohibited in the rest of the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). On December 11, 2019, after it again assessed the situation in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), the FAA determined the situation continued to be hazardous for U.S. civil aviation.3 Significant risk to U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) continued to exist due to the ongoing conflict between the 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). 3 Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC) final rule, 84 FR 67659 (Dec. 11, 2019). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 06, 2021 Jkt 256001 SLC and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces and an enduring extremist/militant threat to U.S. civil aviation operations in those areas. There had been multiple reported surface-to-air incidents, including successful shoot downs of military tactical and surveillance aircraft by Houthi forces armed with a variety of anti-aircraft-capable weapons. With international assistance, Houthi elements had received or developed, and successfully employed, innovative anti-aircraft-capable weapons, ballistic missiles, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) capabilities. Various entities using multiple capabilities had attacked airports within the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). Additionally, extremist or militant elements continued to exploit the conflict for control of territory to launch attacks. As of December 2019, both AQAP and extremists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) operated in Yemen. Both of these international extremist or militant organizations have a history of targeting U.S. interests, including civil aviation. The FAA continued to assess that opposition elements in Yemen did not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities and did not control territory from which surface to air weapons could reach air routes off the southern and western coasts of Yemen. IV. Discussion of the Final Rule The FAA continues to assess the situation in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) as presenting significant, continuing safety-of-flight risks for U.S. civil aviation due to the ongoing conflict between the SLC and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces and the enduring extremist or militant threat to U.S. civil aviation operations in those areas. Houthi forces have continued to develop, acquire, and employ advanced weapons capabilities, including nontraditional air defense capabilities, UAS, and missile capabilities. Collectively, such capabilities pose risks to U.S. civil aviation operations at all altitudes in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) and airports in Yemen. Houthi forces operate multiple air defense systems capable of targeting aircraft at various altitudes. Notably, they have employed increasingly capable Iranian-supplied SAMs and electro-optical/infrared seeker (E.O./IR) air-to-air (AA) missiles modified for use as SAMs to engage manned and unmanned military aircraft. In 2020, Houthi elements reportedly shot down multiple SLC tactical manned and unmanned aircraft operating in Yemeni airspace, including a Tornado fighter aircraft in February 2020 and an SLC PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 69169 UAS in December 2020. Houthi air defense capabilities pose an inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations due to the potential for misidentification or miscalculation by irregular forces using advanced air defense capabilities for which they may not have received adequate training and may not have adequate air surveillance information to distinguish accurately between civil aircraft and potential airborne threats. The FAA continues to assess Houthi forces in Yemen do not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities. Additionally, Houthi elements have targeted international airports in the region using weaponized UAS, as well as ballistic and cruise missiles. In December 2020, an attack on Aden International Airport (OYAA) occurred shortly after the arrival of a commercial aircraft from Saudi Arabia carrying senior members of the internationallyrecognized Government of Yemen. Although some Houthi offensive weapons systems have range capabilities that would allow them to reach the limited areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) in which the FAA permits U.S. civil aviation to operate, Houthi forces have not demonstrated an intent to conduct weaponized UAS or missile attacks in those areas. Instead, they have focused these types of attacks primarily on targets in Saudi Arabia and targets in contested areas of Yemen. In addition, Houthi weaponized UAS operations would only present a safety of flight hazard to civil aircraft operating off the Yemeni coast if such aircraft were operating below cruising altitudes. Besides the safety-of-flight risks associated with the conflict between the SLC and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces, extremist or militant groups operating in Yemen likely have access to antiaircraft-capable weapons, including MANPADS, presenting a risk up to 25,000 feet. AQAP continues to operate in Yemen and historically has attempted to attack Western civil aviation through novel improvised explosive devices, including the 2009 failed underwear bombing attempt on a U.S.-bound flight and the 2010 printer cartridge plot targeting U.S.-bound cargo flights. Additionally, Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) cells remain active in Yemen. As a result of the significant, continuing unacceptable risks to the safety of U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) described in this rule, the FAA extends the expiration date of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, from January 7, 2022, until January 7, 2025. E:\FR\FM\07DER1.SGM 07DER1 69170 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 7, 2021 / Rules and Regulations In addition, the FAA has determined U.S. civil aviation operations may continue safely at this time in the remainder of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). Specifically, U.S. civil aviation operations remain permitted in that airspace west of a line drawn direct from KAPET (163322N 0530614E) to NODMA (152603N 0533359E), southwest 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). Operations on jet routes UT702 and M999 also remain permitted. Further amendments to SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, might be appropriate if the risk to U.S. civil aviation safety and security changes. In this regard, the FAA will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate the extent to which persons described in paragraph (a) of this rule might be able to operate safely in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The FAA also republishes the details concerning the approval and exemption processes in sections V and VI of this preamble, consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs, to enable interested persons to refer to this final rule for comprehensive information about requesting relief from the FAA from the provisions of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 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). If a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government determines that it has a critical need to engage any person described in paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, including a U.S. air carrier or commercial operator, to transport civilian or military passengers or cargo or conduct 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 paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, to conduct such operations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 06, 2021 Jkt 256001 The requesting U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality must submit the request for approval 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.4 The FAA will not accept or consider requests for approval from anyone other than the requesting U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality. In addition, the senior official signing the letter requesting FAA approval must be sufficiently positioned within the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality to demonstrate that the organization’s senior leadership supports the request for approval and is committed to taking all necessary steps to minimize aviation safety and security 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, requesting U.S. Government departments, agencies, or instrumentalities must submit requests for approval to the FAA no less than 30 calendar days before the date on which the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality wishes the proposed operation(s) to commence. The requestor must send the request 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 FAA grants the request for approval. 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 multiple flight operations. To the extent known, the letter must identify the person(s) the 4 This approval procedure applies to U.S. Government departments, agencies, or instrumentalities; it does not apply to the public. The FAA describes this procedure in the interest of providing transparency with respect to the FAA’s process for interacting with U.S. Government departments, agencies, or instrumentalities that seek to engage U.S. civil aviation to operate in the area in which this SFAR would prohibit their operations in the absence of specific FAA approval. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 requester expects the SFAR to cover on whose behalf the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality seeks FAA approval, and it must describe— • The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the mission being supported; • The service the person(s) covered by the SFAR will provide; • To the extent known, the specific locations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) where the proposed operation(s) will occur, 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 requesting 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 issues its approval. Neither the operators listed in the original request, nor any operators the requestor subsequently seeks to add to the approval, may commence operations under the approval until the FAA issues them an Operations Specification (OpSpec) or Letter of Authorization (LOA), as appropriate, for operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The approval conditions discussed below apply to all operators. Requestors should send updated lists to the email address they obtain from the Air Transportation Division by calling (202) 267–8166. If an approval request includes classified information, requestors may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Stephen Moates for instructions on submitting it to the FAA. His contact information appears 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 the responsibility to comply with all E:\FR\FM\07DER1.SGM 07DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 7, 2021 / Rules and Regulations lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 other applicable FAA rules and regulations. Operators of civil aircraft must comply with the conditions of their certificates, OpSpecs, and LOAs, as applicable. Operators must also comply with all rules and regulations of other U.S. Government departments, agencies, or instrumentalities 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 U.S. Government 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 out of or related to the approved operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). (3) Other conditions the FAA may specify, including those the FAA might impose 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 the FAA issues under chapter 443 of title 49, U.S.C. 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 and any operators the requestor subsequently adds to the approval, authorizing them to conduct the approved operation(s). In addition, as stated in paragraph (3) of this section V.B., the FAA notes that it may include additional conditions beyond those contained in the approval letter in any OpSpec or LOA associated with a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 06, 2021 Jkt 256001 particular operator operating under this approval, as necessary in the interests of aviation safety. U.S. Government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities requesting FAA approval on behalf of entities with which they have a contract or subcontract, grant, or cooperative agreement should request a copy of the relevant OpSpec or LOA directly from the entity with which they have any of the foregoing types of arrangements, if desired. VI. Information Regarding Petitions for Exemption Any operations not conducted under an approval the FAA issues through the approval process set forth previously may only occur in accordance with 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 described in the approval process in the previous section. To determine whether a petition for exemption from the prohibition this SFAR establishes fulfills the standard of 14 CFR 11.81, the FAA consistently finds necessary the following information: • The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the operation; • The service the person(s) covered by the SFAR will provide; • The specific locations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) where the proposed operation(s) will occur, 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 support the relief sought and that granting such relief 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. The FAA includes, as a condition of each such exemption it issues, a release PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 69171 and agreement to indemnify, as described previously. The FAA recognizes that, with the support of the U.S. Government, the governments of other countries could plan operations that may be affected by SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611. 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 in accordance with the order of preference set forth in paragraph (c) of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611. If a petition for exemption includes security-sensitive or proprietary information, requestors may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Stephen Moates 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 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 E:\FR\FM\07DER1.SGM 07DER1 69172 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 7, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Executive order. As 5 U.S.C. 553 does not require notice and comment for this final rule, 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 do not require regulatory flexibility analyses regarding impacts on small entities. 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. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 A. Regulatory Evaluation This action extends without change the prohibition against certain U.S. civil flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) for an additional three years, due to the significant, continuing hazards to U.S. civil aviation operations in that airspace, as described in the preamble of this final rule. 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. The FAA acknowledges the continued prohibition of U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) might result in additional costs to some U.S. operators, such as increased fuel costs and other operational-related costs. However, the FAA expects the benefits of this action exceed the costs because it will result in the avoidance of risks of fatalities, injuries, and property damage that could occur if a U.S. operator’s aircraft were shot down (or otherwise damaged) while operating in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The FAA will continue to monitor and evaluate the safety and security risks to U.S. civil operators and airmen as a result of conditions in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) and the surrounding region. 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 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law requires an agency 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 that section or any other law requires publication of a general notice of proposed rulemaking. The FAA concludes good cause exists to forgo notice and comment and to not delay the effective date for this rule. As VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 06, 2021 Jkt 256001 5 U.S.C. 553 does not require notice and comment in this situation, 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 similarly do not require regulatory flexibility analyses. 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 risks to their operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), a location outside the U.S. Therefore, the rule complies with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979. 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 the FAA to consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens it imposes on the public. The FAA has determined no new requirement for information collection is associated with this final rule. F. International Compatibility and Cooperation In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the FAA’s policy is to PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices correspond to this regulation. The FAA finds this action is fully consistent with the obligations under 49 U.S.C. 40105(b)(1)(A) to ensure the FAA exercises its duties consistent 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 for U.S. civil aviation. 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 for U.S. civil aviation. G. Environmental Analysis The FAA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 12114, Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions, 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 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), the FAA has prepared a memorandum for the record stating the reason(s) for this determination and has placed it 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. The agency has determined this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, this E:\FR\FM\07DER1.SGM 07DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 7, 2021 / Rules and Regulations rule will 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. The agency has determined it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under the executive order and will not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation Executive Order 13609 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 will have no effect on international regulatory cooperation. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with RULES1 IX. Additional Information A. Electronic Access 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. Those documents may be viewed online at https://www.regulations.gov using the docket number listed above. A copy of this rule will be placed in the docket. Electronic retrieval help and guidelines are available on the website. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. An electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded from the Office of the Federal Register’s website at https:// www.federalregister.gov and the Government Publishing Office’s website at https://www.govinfo.gov. A copy may also be found at the FAA’s Regulations and Policies website at https:// www.faa.gov/regulations_policies. Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM–1, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267–9677. Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this rulemaking. B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Dec 06, 2021 Jkt 256001 (SBREFA) (Pub. L. 104–121) (set forth as a note to 5 U.S.C. 601) requires the 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 https://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. The Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows: ■ 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. Amend § 91.1611 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows: ■ § 91.1611 Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 115—Prohibition Against Certain Flights in Specified Areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC). * * * * * (e) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until January 7, 2025. 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 or about December 1, 2021. Steve Dickson, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2021–26521 Filed 12–6–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 69173 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R05–OAR–2020–0385; FRL–8826–02– R5] Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Sulfur Dioxide Clean Data Determination for St. Clair Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making a determination that the St. Clair sulfur dioxide (SO2) nonattainment area has attained the 2010 primary SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (2010 SO2 NAAQS). This determination suspends certain planning requirements and sanctions for the nonattainment area for as long as the area continues to attain the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. EPA proposed this action on August 17, 2021, and received four supportive comments and one set of adverse comments. DATES: This final rule is effective on December 7, 2021. ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA–R05–OAR–2020–0385. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either through www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays and facility closures due to COVID–19. We recommend that you telephone Mary Portanova, Environmental Engineer, at (312) 353–5954 before visiting the Region 5 office. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Portanova, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR–18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353–5954, portanova.mary@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document whenever SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07DER1.SGM 07DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 232 (Tuesday, December 7, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 69167-69173]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-26521]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 91

[Docket No.: FAA-2015-8672; Amdt. No. 91-340C]
RIN 2120-AL69


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.

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

SUMMARY: This action extends the Special Federal Aviation Regulation 
(SFAR) prohibiting certain flights in the 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 hazards to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight 
operations due to significant, continuing safety-of-flight risks to 
U.S. civil aviation operations in that airspace associated with the 
ongoing conflict between the Saudi Arabian-led Coalition and Iranian-
aligned Houthi forces. The FAA extends the expiration date of this SFAR 
from January 7, 2022, until January 7, 2025. Additionally, the FAA 
republishes the approval process and exemption information for this 
SFAR, consistent with other recently published flight prohibition 
SFARs.

[[Page 69168]]


DATES: This final rule is effective on December 7, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Moates, 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 prohibition against certain flights in the 
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. Specifically, 
this amendment continues to prohibit all persons described in paragraph 
(a) of SFAR No. 115, title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Sec.  
91.1611, from conducting civil flight operations in the specified areas 
of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), as described in paragraph (b) of the rule, 
until January 7, 2025, due to the significant, continuing safety-of-
flight risks to U.S. civil aviation operations in that airspace 
associated with the ongoing conflict between the Saudi Arabian-led 
Coalition (SLC) and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces.

II. Legal Authority and Good Cause

A. Legal Authority

    The FAA is responsible for the safety of flight in the U.S. and the 
safety of U.S. civil operators, U.S.-registered civil aircraft, and 
U.S.-certificated airmen throughout the world. Sections 106(f) and (g) 
of title 49, United States Code (U.S.C.), subtitle I, establish the FAA 
Administrator's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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.
    The FAA is promulgating this rulemaking 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 the FAA's authority because 
it continues to prohibit the persons described in paragraph (a) of SFAR 
No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, from conducting civil flight operations in the 
specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) due to significant, continuing 
risks 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)(B) of title 5, U.S.C., 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 a 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 
allow any lapse in the effectivity of the prohibition of U.S. civil 
flights in the areas to which this SFAR applies, making it appropriate 
to waive any delay in effective date.
    The risk environment for U.S. civil aviation in airspace managed by 
other countries with respect to the safety of flight is often fluid in 
circumstances involving 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 and militant 
activity, or heightened tensions. This fluidity and the need for the 
FAA to rely upon classified information in assessing these risks make 
issuing notice and seeking comments 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. As a result, engaging in notice and 
comment would be impracticable.
    Additionally, while there is a public interest in having an 
opportunity for the public to comment on agency action, it is crucial 
that the FAA's flight prohibitions, and any amendments thereto, reflect 
the agency's current understanding of the risk environment for U.S. 
civil aviation. This allows the FAA to protect the safety of U.S. 
operators' aircraft and the lives of their passengers and crews without 
over-restricting U.S. operators' routing options.
    As described in the preamble to this rule, extending the flight 
prohibition for U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas 
of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) is necessary due to significant, continuing 
safety-of-flight hazards associated with the ongoing conflict between 
the SLC and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces. Such circumstances establish 
that engaging in notice and comment for this rule would be 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Accordingly, 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 the 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 (Jan. 7, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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. At 
the time it promulgated the January 2016 final rule, the FAA found that 
due to the fighting and instability, there was a risk of possible loss 
of state control over more advanced anti-aircraft-capable weapons to 
terrorist and

[[Page 69169]]

militant groups. Some of the weapons about which the FAA was concerned 
had the capability to target aircraft at higher altitudes or during 
approach and departure and had weapon ranges that could extend into the 
near offshore 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 in Yemen 
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 those airports.
    On December 14, 2017, the FAA amended SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, 
to reduce the boundaries of its prohibition of U.S. civil aviation 
operations in the 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. In December 2017, opposition elements in Yemen did 
not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities. 
As a result, the FAA found 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 permit 
U.S. civil aviation operations on those routes again. However, U.S. 
civil aviation operations remained prohibited in the rest of the 
specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \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).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On December 11, 2019, after it again assessed the situation in the 
specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), the FAA determined the 
situation continued to be hazardous for U.S. civil aviation.\3\ 
Significant risk to U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified 
areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) continued to exist due to the ongoing 
conflict between the SLC and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces and an 
enduring extremist/militant threat to U.S. civil aviation operations in 
those areas. There had been multiple reported surface-to-air incidents, 
including successful shoot downs of military tactical and surveillance 
aircraft by Houthi forces armed with a variety of anti-aircraft-capable 
weapons. With international assistance, Houthi elements had received or 
developed, and successfully employed, innovative anti-aircraft-capable 
weapons, ballistic missiles, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) 
capabilities. Various entities using multiple capabilities had attacked 
airports within the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). Additionally, extremist or 
militant elements continued to exploit the conflict for control of 
territory to launch attacks. As of December 2019, both AQAP and 
extremists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) 
operated in Yemen. Both of these international extremist or militant 
organizations have a history of targeting U.S. interests, including 
civil aviation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in 
Specified Areas of the Sanaa Flight Information Region (FIR) (OYSC) 
final rule, 84 FR 67659 (Dec. 11, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA continued to assess that opposition elements in Yemen did 
not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities 
and did not control territory from which surface to air weapons could 
reach air routes off the southern and western coasts of Yemen.

IV. Discussion of the Final Rule

    The FAA continues to assess the situation in the specified areas of 
the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) as presenting significant, continuing safety-of-
flight risks for U.S. civil aviation due to the ongoing conflict 
between the SLC and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces and the enduring 
extremist or militant threat to U.S. civil aviation operations in those 
areas. Houthi forces have continued to develop, acquire, and employ 
advanced weapons capabilities, including non-traditional air defense 
capabilities, UAS, and missile capabilities. Collectively, such 
capabilities pose risks to U.S. civil aviation operations at all 
altitudes in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) and airports 
in Yemen.
    Houthi forces operate multiple air defense systems capable of 
targeting aircraft at various altitudes. Notably, they have employed 
increasingly capable Iranian-supplied SAMs and electro-optical/infrared 
seeker (E.O./IR) air-to-air (AA) missiles modified for use as SAMs to 
engage manned and unmanned military aircraft. In 2020, Houthi elements 
reportedly shot down multiple SLC tactical manned and unmanned aircraft 
operating in Yemeni airspace, including a Tornado fighter aircraft in 
February 2020 and an SLC UAS in December 2020. Houthi air defense 
capabilities pose an inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations 
due to the potential for misidentification or miscalculation by 
irregular forces using advanced air defense capabilities for which they 
may not have received adequate training and may not have adequate air 
surveillance information to distinguish accurately between civil 
aircraft and potential airborne threats. The FAA continues to assess 
Houthi forces in Yemen do not possess functional medium-/long-range 
strategic SAM capabilities.
    Additionally, Houthi elements have targeted international airports 
in the region using weaponized UAS, as well as ballistic and cruise 
missiles. In December 2020, an attack on Aden International Airport 
(OYAA) occurred shortly after the arrival of a commercial aircraft from 
Saudi Arabia carrying senior members of the internationally-recognized 
Government of Yemen.
    Although some Houthi offensive weapons systems have range 
capabilities that would allow them to reach the limited areas of the 
Sanaa FIR (OYSC) in which the FAA permits U.S. civil aviation to 
operate, Houthi forces have not demonstrated an intent to conduct 
weaponized UAS or missile attacks in those areas. Instead, they have 
focused these types of attacks primarily on targets in Saudi Arabia and 
targets in contested areas of Yemen. In addition, Houthi weaponized UAS 
operations would only present a safety of flight hazard to civil 
aircraft operating off the Yemeni coast if such aircraft were operating 
below cruising altitudes.
    Besides the safety-of-flight risks associated with the conflict 
between the SLC and Iranian-aligned Houthi forces, extremist or 
militant groups operating in Yemen likely have access to anti-aircraft-
capable weapons, including MANPADS, presenting a risk up to 25,000 
feet. AQAP continues to operate in Yemen and historically has attempted 
to attack Western civil aviation through novel improvised explosive 
devices, including the 2009 failed underwear bombing attempt on a U.S.-
bound flight and the 2010 printer cartridge plot targeting U.S.-bound 
cargo flights. Additionally, Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) 
cells remain active in Yemen.
    As a result of the significant, continuing unacceptable risks to 
the safety of U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas of 
the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) described in this rule, the FAA extends the 
expiration date of SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, from January 7, 2022, 
until January 7, 2025.

[[Page 69170]]

    In addition, the FAA has determined U.S. civil aviation operations 
may continue safely at this time in the remainder of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC). Specifically, U.S. civil aviation operations remain permitted 
in that airspace west of a line drawn direct from KAPET (163322N 
0530614E) to NODMA (152603N 0533359E), southwest 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). Operations on jet routes UT702 and M999 also remain 
permitted.
    Further amendments to SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, might be 
appropriate if the risk to U.S. civil aviation safety and security 
changes. In this regard, the FAA will continue to monitor the situation 
and evaluate the extent to which persons described in paragraph (a) of 
this rule might be able to operate safely in the specified areas of the 
Sanaa FIR (OYSC).
    The FAA also republishes the details concerning the approval and 
exemption processes in sections V and VI of this preamble, consistent 
with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs, to enable 
interested persons 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.

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). If a 
department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government 
determines that it has a critical need to engage any person described 
in paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, including a U.S. air 
carrier or commercial operator, to transport civilian or military 
passengers or cargo or conduct 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 paragraph (a) of 
SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611, to conduct such operations.
    The requesting U.S. Government department, agency, or 
instrumentality must submit the request for approval 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.\4\ The FAA will not accept or consider requests for 
approval from anyone other than the requesting U.S. Government 
department, agency, or instrumentality. In addition, the senior 
official signing the letter requesting FAA approval must be 
sufficiently positioned within the requesting department, agency, or 
instrumentality to demonstrate that the organization's senior 
leadership supports the request for approval and is committed to taking 
all necessary steps to minimize aviation safety and security 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, 
requesting U.S. Government departments, agencies, or instrumentalities 
must submit requests for approval to the FAA no less than 30 calendar 
days before the date on which the requesting department, agency, or 
instrumentality wishes the proposed operation(s) to commence.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ This approval procedure applies to U.S. Government 
departments, agencies, or instrumentalities; it does not apply to 
the public. The FAA describes this procedure in the interest of 
providing transparency with respect to the FAA's process for 
interacting with U.S. Government departments, agencies, or 
instrumentalities that seek to engage U.S. civil aviation to operate 
in the area in which this SFAR would prohibit their operations in 
the absence of specific FAA approval.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The requestor must send the request 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 FAA grants the request for approval. 
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 multiple flight 
operations. To the extent known, the letter must identify the person(s) 
the requester expects the SFAR to cover on whose behalf the U.S. 
Government department, agency, or instrumentality seeks FAA approval, 
and it must describe--
     The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the 
mission being supported;
     The service the person(s) covered by the SFAR will 
provide;
     To the extent known, the specific locations in the 
specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) where the proposed operation(s) 
will occur, 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 requesting 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 issues its approval. Neither the operators 
listed in the original request, nor any operators the requestor 
subsequently seeks to add to the approval, may commence operations 
under the approval until the FAA issues them an Operations 
Specification (OpSpec) or Letter of Authorization (LOA), as 
appropriate, for operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC). The approval conditions discussed below apply to all operators. 
Requestors should send updated lists to the email address they obtain 
from the Air Transportation Division by calling (202) 267-8166.
    If an approval request includes classified information, requestors 
may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Stephen Moates for instructions 
on submitting it to the FAA. His contact information appears 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 the responsibility to 
comply with all

[[Page 69171]]

other applicable FAA rules and regulations. Operators of civil aircraft 
must comply with the conditions of their certificates, OpSpecs, and 
LOAs, as applicable. Operators must also comply with all rules and 
regulations of other U.S. Government departments, agencies, or 
instrumentalities 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 U.S. 
Government 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 out of or related to the approved 
operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC).
    (3) Other conditions the FAA may specify, including those the FAA 
might impose 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 the FAA issues under chapter 443 of title 49, U.S.C.
    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 and any operators the requestor subsequently adds to 
the approval, authorizing them to conduct the approved operation(s). In 
addition, as stated in paragraph (3) of this section V.B., the FAA 
notes that it may include additional conditions beyond those contained 
in the approval letter in any OpSpec or LOA associated with a 
particular operator operating under this approval, as necessary in the 
interests of aviation safety. U.S. Government departments, agencies, 
and instrumentalities requesting FAA approval on behalf of entities 
with which they have a contract or subcontract, grant, or cooperative 
agreement should request a copy of the relevant OpSpec or LOA directly 
from the entity with which they have any of the foregoing types of 
arrangements, if desired.

VI. Information Regarding Petitions for Exemption

    Any operations not conducted under an approval the FAA issues 
through the approval process set forth previously may only occur in 
accordance with 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 described 
in the approval process in the previous section. To determine whether a 
petition for exemption from the prohibition this SFAR establishes 
fulfills the standard of 14 CFR 11.81, the FAA consistently finds 
necessary the following information:
     The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the 
operation;
     The service the person(s) covered by the SFAR will 
provide;
     The specific locations in the specified areas of the Sanaa 
FIR (OYSC) where the proposed operation(s) will occur, 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 
support the relief sought and that granting such relief 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.
    The FAA includes, as a condition of each such exemption it issues, 
a release and agreement to indemnify, as described previously.
    The FAA recognizes that, with the support of the U.S. Government, 
the governments of other countries could plan operations that may be 
affected by SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611. 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 in 
accordance with the order of preference set forth in paragraph (c) of 
SFAR No. 115, Sec.  91.1611.
    If a petition for exemption includes security-sensitive or 
proprietary information, requestors may contact Aviation Safety 
Inspector Stephen Moates 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 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

[[Page 69172]]

Executive order. As 5 U.S.C. 553 does not require notice and comment 
for this final rule, 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 do not require regulatory 
flexibility analyses regarding impacts on small entities. 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

    This action extends without change the prohibition against certain 
U.S. civil flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR 
(OYSC) for an additional three years, due to the significant, 
continuing hazards to U.S. civil aviation operations in that airspace, 
as described in the preamble of this final rule. 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.
    The FAA acknowledges the continued prohibition of U.S. civil 
aviation operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) 
might result in additional costs to some U.S. operators, such as 
increased fuel costs and other operational-related costs. However, the 
FAA expects the benefits of this action exceed the costs because it 
will result in the avoidance of risks of fatalities, injuries, and 
property damage that could occur if a U.S. operator's aircraft were 
shot down (or otherwise damaged) while operating in the specified areas 
of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). The FAA will continue to monitor and evaluate 
the safety and security risks to U.S. civil operators and airmen as a 
result of conditions in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) and 
the surrounding region.

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 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law 
requires an agency 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 that section or any other law 
requires publication of a general notice of proposed rulemaking. The 
FAA concludes good cause exists to forgo notice and comment and to not 
delay the effective date for this rule. As 5 U.S.C. 553 does not 
require notice and comment in this situation, 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 
similarly do not require regulatory flexibility analyses.

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 risks to their operations in the specified areas of the 
Sanaa FIR (OYSC), a location outside the U.S. Therefore, the rule 
complies with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979.

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 
the FAA to consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens it imposes on the public. The FAA has determined no 
new requirement for information collection is associated with this 
final rule.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation, the FAA's policy is to conform to 
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and 
Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has 
determined no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices correspond to 
this regulation. The FAA finds this action is fully consistent with the 
obligations under 49 U.S.C. 40105(b)(1)(A) to ensure the FAA exercises 
its duties consistent 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 
for U.S. civil aviation. 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 for U.S. civil aviation.

G. Environmental Analysis

    The FAA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 12114, 
Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions, 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 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), the FAA has prepared a 
memorandum for the record stating the reason(s) for this determination 
and has placed it 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. The agency has determined this action will not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship 
between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. 
Therefore, this

[[Page 69173]]

rule will 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. The agency 
has determined it is not a ``significant energy action'' under the 
executive order and will not be likely to have a significant adverse 
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation

    Executive Order 13609 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 will have no 
effect on international regulatory cooperation.

IX. Additional Information

A. Electronic Access

    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.
    Those documents may be viewed online at https://www.regulations.gov 
using the docket number listed above. A copy of this rule will be 
placed in the docket. Electronic retrieval help and guidelines are 
available on the website. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days 
each year. An electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded 
from the Office of the Federal Register's website at https://www.federalregister.gov and the Government Publishing Office's website 
at https://www.govinfo.gov. A copy may also be found at the FAA's 
Regulations and Policies website at https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies.
    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677. 
Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of 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 the 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 https://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.

The Amendment

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

PART 91--GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES

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

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 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. Amend Sec.  91.1611 by revising paragraph (e) 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).

* * * * *
    (e) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until January 7, 
2025. 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 or about 
December 1, 2021.


Steve Dickson,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2021-26521 Filed 12-6-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P