2019-03268. Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes  

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    AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus SAS Model A318 series airplanes; Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320 series airplanes; and Model A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a revision of an airworthiness limitation item (ALI) document, which requires more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. This AD requires revising the operator's maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective April 3, 2019.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 3, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0554.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0554; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

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    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

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    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus SAS Model A318 series airplanes; Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320 series airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, and -271N airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2018 (83 FR 33159). The NPRM was prompted by a revision of an ALI document, which requires more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. The NPRM proposed to require revising the operator's maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations.

    We issued a supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus SAS Model A318 series airplanes; Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320 series airplanes; and Model A321 series airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on November 8, 2018 (83 FR 55830). We issued the SNPRM to include revised restrictive requirements and add airplanes to the applicability.

    We are issuing this AD to address a safety-significant latent failure (that is not annunciated), which, in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, could result in a hazardous or catastrophic failure condition.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0180, dated August 27, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A318 series airplanes; Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320 series airplanes; and Model A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations for the Airbus A320 family aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the A318/A319/A320/A321 ALS [Airworthiness Limitations Section] document(s). The airworthiness limitations applicable to the Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR), which are approved by EASA, are published in ALS Part 3.

    Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition.

    Previously, EASA issued AD 2017-0168 to require accomplishment of all maintenance tasks as described in ALS Part 3 at Revision 05.Start Printed Page 6316

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Airbus published the ALS, including new and/or more restrictive requirements, and new A321 models were certified and added to the Applicability of the ALS.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2017-0168, which is superseded, expands the Applicability and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the ALS.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0554.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We have considered the comment received. United Airlines indicated its support for the SNPRM.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the SNPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the SNPRM.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 3, Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR), Revision 06, dated June 13, 2018. The service information describes maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations, including updated inspections and intervals, to be incorporated into the operator's maintenance or inspection program. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 1,250 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    We have determined that revising the operator's maintenance or inspection program takes an average of 90 work-hours per operator, although we recognize that this number may vary from operator to operator. In the past, we have estimated that this action takes 1 work-hour per airplane. Since operators incorporate maintenance or inspection program changes for their affected fleet(s), we have determined that a per-operator estimate is more accurate than a per-airplane estimate. Therefore, we estimate the total cost per operator to be $7,650 (90 work-hours × $85 per work-hour)

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes and associated appliances to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

    (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

    (2) Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

    (4) 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.

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    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    • Air transportation
    • Aircraft
    • Aviation safety
    • Incorporation by reference
    • Safety
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    Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

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    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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    1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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    [Amended]
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    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

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    2019-03-17 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19569; Docket No. FAA-2018-0554; Product Identifier 2018-NM-064-AD.

    (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 3, 2019.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2017-25-04, Amendment 39-19118 (82 FR 58098, December 11, 2017) (“AD 2017-25-04”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus SAS airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued on or before June 13, 2018.

    (1) Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

    (2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

    (3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, -233, -251N, and -271N airplanes.

    (4) Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -251NX, -252N, -252NX, -253N, -253NX, -271N, -271NX, -272N, and -272NX airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a revision of an airworthiness limitation item (ALI) document, which requires more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address a safety-significant latent failure (that is not annunciated), which, in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, Start Printed Page 6317could result in a hazardous or catastrophic failure condition.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the operator's maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 3, Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR), Revision 06, dated June 13, 2018 (“ALS Part 3, CMR, R6”). The initial compliance time for accomplishing the tasks specified in ALS Part 3, CMR, R6, is at the applicable time specified in ALS Part 3, CMR, R6, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (h) Terminating Actions for AD 2017-25-04

    Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD terminates all of the requirements of AD 2017-25-04.

    (i) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After the operator's maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, has been revised as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions and intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 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 International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov.

    (i) 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.

    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2017-25-04, or AD 2014-22-08, Amendment 39-18013 (79 FR 67042, November 12, 2014), that allow incorporation of ALS Part 3, CMR, R6, are considered approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus SAS's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2018-0180, dated August 27, 2018, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0554.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) 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 this AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 3, Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR), Revision 06, dated June 13, 2018.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    (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, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

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    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on February 14, 2019.

    Michael Kaszycki,

    Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

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    [FR Doc. 2019-03268 Filed 2-26-19; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

Document Information

Effective Date:
4/3/2019
Published:
02/27/2019
Department:
Transportation Department
Agency:
Federal Aviation Administration
EntryType:
Rule
Action:
Final rule.
Document Number:
2019-03268
Dates:
This AD is effective April 3, 2019.
Pages:
6315-6317 (3 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket No. FAA-2018-0554, Product Identifier 2018-NM-064-AD, Amendment 39-19569, AD 2019-03-17
RIN:
2120-AA64: Airworthiness Directives
RINLinks:
https://www.federalregister.gov/regulations/2120-AA64/airworthiness-directives
SectionNoes:
39.13
Topics:
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety
PDF File:
2019-03268.pdf
Supporting Documents:
» U.S. DOT/FAA - Regulatory Evaluation Form
CFR: (1)
14 CFR 39.13