Fuel Tank NPRM Comment Deadline Extended

 - January 8, 2007, 7:28 AM

The comment deadlines for a November 23 notice of proposed rulemaking to incorporate technology to reduce flammability exposure in transport aircraft fuel tanks and a related advisory circular have been extended from March 23 to May 8. The proposal, published last November, would cover both new and in-production transport-category airplanes with a payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or more, as well as some 3,200 in-service Airbus and Boeing airplanes with center fuel tanks. This rule is the latest in a series of requirements enacted over the past nine years to change fuel tank design and maintenance to eliminate ignition sources and prevent fuel tank explosions, such as that believed to have occurred on TWA Flight 800 in 1996. Meanwhile, the FAA is reviewing nearly 70 comments it received to an October NPRM that also deals with improving fuel tank safety.