NOTICE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

N 8900.471

 

National Policy

Effective Date:
5/31/18

 

 

Cancellation Date: 5/31/19

 

SUBJ:

Verification of Flammability Reduction Means (FRM)

1.    Purpose of This Notice. This notice announces the availability and required completion of the Safety Assurance System (SAS) National/Regional Custom Data Collection Tool (C DCT) titled “Verification of Flammability Reduction Means (FRM),” for Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 certificate holders, and Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) code 4635/6635, for 14 CFR part 125 certificate holders or A125 Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) holders and 14 CFR part 129 or § 129.14 foreign air carriers/foreign persons, to mitigate risk associated with FRM.

2.    Audience. The primary audience for this notice is the Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO), certificate management offices (CMO), International Field Offices (IFO), and aviation safety inspectors (ASI) responsible for oversight of parts 121, 125, and 129 certificate holders/operators that are required to comply with FRM of part 121, § 121.1117; part 125, § 125.509; and part 129, § 129.117. The secondary audience includes all other Flight Standards divisions, branches, and offices.

3.    Where You Can Find This Notice. You can find this notice on the MyFAA employee website at https://employees.faa.gov/tools_resources/orders_notices. Inspectors can access this notice through the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) at http://fsims.avs.faa.gov. Operators can find this notice on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website at http://fsims.faa.gov. This notice is available to the public at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices.

4.    Background. In 2008, the FAA published the Reduction of Fuel Tank Flammability in Transport Category Airplanes final rules (§§ 121.1117, 125.509, and 129.117). These final rules amended FAA regulations that required certificate holders/operators and manufacturers of transport category airplanes to take steps that, in combination with other required actions, should greatly reduce the chances of a catastrophic fuel tank explosion. These regulations prescribed new safety standards for the design of transport category airplanes; new requirements necessary for the design, production, operation, and maintenance of those airplanes; and for other practices, methods, and procedures related to those airplanes. Parts 121, 125, and 129 require certificate holders/operators to incorporate approved FRM or ignition mitigation means (IMM) into their fleet. At the time, it was estimated that approximately 2,700 existing Airbus and Boeing airplanes operating in the United States as well as about 2,300 newly manufactured airplanes that enter U.S. airline passenger service will be affected.

5.    Discussion.

a.    In 2017, several certificate holders/operators petitioned for exemption to the December 26, 2017 FRM retrofit compliance date citing various reasons for not being able to meet the date. In 2018, Flight Standards became aware from aircraft manufacturers of an increase in orders/requests for FRM retrofit kits.

b.    This notice is intended for inspectors to verify that parts 121, 125, and 129 certificate holders/operators’ aircraft affected by the FRM rules have incorporated an FRM, and to collect additional information on the aircraft that have not incorporated an FRM.

6.    Action. The principal inspectors (PI) (or assigned ASIs) must verify the certificate holder/operator’s aircraft have incorporated/installed FRM. Verification and recording must be completed within 30 calendar-days after the publication of this notice. Verification of the incorporation of FRM and compliance dates includes:

a.    Verify the certificate holder’s aircraft issued an original Certificate of Airworthiness or export airworthiness approval prior to and including December 27, 2010 are FRM compliant.

b.    Verify the certificate holders with Operations Specification (OpSpec) A570, One-Year Extension of Compliance Times in Sections 121.1117(e) and 129.117(e), list aircraft by make, model, and series (M/M/S) and N‑number and are scheduled to be retrofitted by December 2018 (for parts 121 and 129 only).

c.    Verify the certificate holder’s new production aircraft issued an original Certificate of Airworthiness or export airworthiness approval after December 27, 2010 are FRM compliant.

7.    Recording. The PIs (or assigned ASIs) will record their actions for verifying the certificate holder/operator’s aircraft have FRM incorporated/installed.

a.    Custom Data Collection Tools (C DCT). For part 121 certificate holders, Airworthiness PIs (or assigned ASIs) will use the SAS National/Regional C DCT Performance Assessment titled “Verification of Flammability Reduction Means (FRM).”

(1)    PIs will load and use the C DCT to collect data in accordance with this notice.
(2)    Instructions for creating and adding the National/Regional C DCT to the PI’s Comprehensive Assessment Plan (CAP) can be found in the SAS Automation User Guide, Chapter 6, pages 307-309, How to Create a National/Regional (NR) Custom DCT, or the “Adding a Custom DCT” Quick Reference Card (Q Card).
(3)    PIs will enter “FRM” in the “Local/National/Regional” block of the C DCT.
(4)    PIs (or assigned ASIs) will document the assessments by answering the questions in the National/Regional C DCT.
(5)    PIs (or assigned ASIs) will enter in the “Supporting Comments” field any aircraft found not to have FRM incorporated, listed by M/M/S and “N” registration number.

b.    Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS). For part 125 certificate holders or A125 LODA holders/operators and part 129 or § 129.14 foreign air carriers/foreign persons, this notice requires PIs (or assigned ASIs) to:

(1)    Provide a copy of this notice to their certificate holders, foreign air carriers, or foreign persons that the FRM rules apply.
(2)    Verify the certificate holder/operator’s new production aircraft issued an original Certificate of Airworthiness or export airworthiness approval after December 27, 2010 have FRM incorporated.
(3)    Verify the certificate holder/operator’s aircraft issued an original Certificate of Airworthiness or export airworthiness approval prior to December 27, 2010 are retrofitted with an FRM.
(4)    Record the results of the task using PTRS code 4635/6635. Enter “FRM” within the “National Use” block of the PTRS. Note in the “Comments” section any aircraft found not to have FRM incorporated, listed by M/M/S and “N” registration number. This will enable further evaluation and risk analysis for these FRM compliance tasks.

8.    Disposition. We will not incorporate the information in this notice into FAA Order 8900.1 before this notice expires. Direct questions concerning this notice to the Aircraft Maintenance Division, Air Carrier Maintenance Branch at 202-267-1675, or via email at 9-AWA-AFS-300-Maintenance@faa.gov.

ORIGINAL SIGNED by

/s/ John S. Duncan

Executive Director, Flight Standards Service