Compliance Countdown: August 2012

 - August 7, 2013, 4:05 AM

Within Six Months

Aug. 26, 2013:

Harmonization of FAA Gust and Maneuver Load Requirements with EASA Airworthiness Regulations

This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) would amend certain airworthiness regulations for transport-category airplanes based on recommendations from the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee. Adopting the NPRM would eliminate certain regulatory differences between the airworthiness standards of the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) without affecting current industry design practices. This action would revise the pitch maneuver design loads criteria; the gust and turbulence design loads criteria; the application of gust loads to engine mounts, high-lift devices and other control surfaces; the engine torque loads criteria and the ground gust design loads criteria; and add a “round-the-clock” discrete gust criterion and a multi-axis discrete gust criterion for airplanes equipped with wing-mounted engines and an engine failure dynamic load condition. It would also revise the criteria used to establish the rough-air design speed and require the establishment of a rough-air Mach number.

Sept. 3, 2013:

Adoption of a Final Rule Prohibiting Non-Stage 3 Jets Weighing 75,000 pounds or Less From Operating in the U.S. after Dec. 31, 2015

This rulemaking amends the airplane operating regulations to include certain provisions of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FAA reauthorization) that affect jet airplanes with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds or less operating in the U.S. The law provides that after Dec. 31, 2015, such airplanes will not be allowed to operate in the contiguous U.S. unless they meet Stage 3 noise levels. This final rule incorporates that prohibition and describes the circumstances under which an otherwise prohibited airplane may be operated. While this rule becomes effective on Sept. 3, 2015, compliance is not required until Dec. 31, 2015.

The FAA said it is authorized under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) 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.” Under the APA, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment before the rulemaking.

This final rule completes the elimination of Stage 2 jet airplane noise that was begun with the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990, which phased out civil jet airplanes weighing more than 75,000 pounds from operating at Stage 2 noise levels by the end of 1999. This latest FAA reauthorization act affects 599 airplanes, some of which can be modified to meet Stage 3 noise levels with the installation of a hushkit.


Sept. 9, 2013:

Requirements for Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EVFS) and Revision To Cockpit View Requirements for Vision Systems

The FAA is proposing to permit operators to use an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) in lieu of natural vision to continue descending from 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation to the runway and land on certain straight-in instrument approach procedures under IFR. This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) would also permit certain operators using EFVS-equipped aircraft to dispatch, release or take off under IFR, and to initiate and continue an approach when the destination airport weather is below authorized visibility minimums for the runway of intended landing.

Under this NPRM, pilot training, recent flight experience and proficiency would be required for operators who use EFVS in lieu of natural vision to descend below decision altitude (DA), decision height (DH) or minimum descent altitude (MDA). EFVS-equipped aircraft conducting operations to touchdown and rollout would be required to meet additional airworthiness requirements. This proposal would also revise pilot compartment view certification requirements for vision systems using a transparent display surface located in the pilot’s outside view.

There are currently no training, recent flight experience or proficiency requirements in Part 61 for pilots conducting EFVS operations.

Jan. 14, 2014:

Flight Crewmember Duty and Rest Requirements

This final rule amends the FAA’s existing flight, duty and rest regulations applicable to certificate holders operating under domestic, flag and supplemental operations rules. The new requirements eliminate the current distinctions among domestic, flag and supplemental passenger operations and are based on time of day, whether an individual is acclimated to a new time zone and the likelihood of being able to sleep under different circumstances. This rule places a joint responsibility on the certificate holder and each flight crewmember to report for a flight duty period (FDP) properly rested. For the crewmember to report properly rested, the certificate holder must provide the crewmember with a meaningful rest opportunity that will allow the crewmember to get the proper amount of sleep. Likewise, the crewmember bears the responsibility of actually sleeping. A pilot who reports for duty without being properly rested is prohibited from beginning or continuing an FDP until he or she is properly rested.

Within 12 Months

July 4, 2014: Taws Equipage for Canadian Aircraft with Six or More Passenger Seats

Transport Canada (TC) announced on July 4, 2012, new regulations that would improve safety for small aircraft that fly into remote wilderness or mountainous areas where the danger of flying into terrain is highest. Under the new regulations, commercial operators will have to install a terrain awareness and warning system (Taws) in turbine-powered airplanes with six or more passenger seats. Operators will have two years from implementation to equip their airplanes with Taws. The regulations comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s standards and bring Canadian regulations close to those of other aviation authorities, including the U.S. and European Union. Canada’s TSB also recommended the wider use of Taws to help pilots assess their proximity to terrain. Operators will have five years to equip with an enhanced altitude accuracy function.