Federal Aviation
Administration

MMEL Policy Letter (PL) 130, Revision 0

Date:

December 6, 2013

To:

All Region Flight Standards Division Managers
All Aircraft Evaluation Group Managers

From:

Manager, Air Transportation Division, AFS-200

Reply to Attn of:

Manager, New Program Implementation and International Support Branch, AFS-240

MMEL GLOBAL CHANGE (GC)

This GC is an approved addendum to all aircraft MMELs with part 117 rest facilities.  Operators may seek use of the specific relief contained in this PL by revising their Minimum Equipment List (MEL).  In doing so, each proviso in this PL must be copied verbatim, or by using the equivalent terminology, in the operator’s MEL.  Approval of a revised MEL is gained utilizing established procedures, through the operator’s assigned Principal Operations Inspector (POI).  GC expiration date: 12/6/2017.

SUBJECT:

Flight Crew Rest Facilities (FCRF)

MMEL CODE:

25 (Equipment/Furnishings)

REFERENCE:

14 CFR part 117; part 121 Subpart Q, R & S, § 43.13, AC 117-1, AC 121-31

PURPOSE:

To provide standardized Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) requirements for items required to comply with part 117 rest facilities.

DISCUSSION:

Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) §117.3 Flight and Duty Limitations and Rest Requirements: Flightcrew Members, Definitions, specify the requirements of Class 1, 2, and 3 crew rest facilities.  Part 117, Table C, Flight Duty Period (FDP), Augmented Operations, indicates the maximum FDP (in hours) for an acclimated flightcrew based on the level of rest facility used and number of pilots assigned.

The part 117 final rule was published on January 4, 2012 with an effective date of January 4, 2014.  The part 117 final rule rewrote duty and rest requirements for passenger-carrying aircraft operating under part 121 (and all-cargo carriers that choose to comply with the rule).  Codified in part 117, the rule permits carriers to augment flight crews with more than two pilots, to permit longer FDP and flight times.  In order to utilize the longer augmented flightcrew FDP, a carrier must provide a flight crew rest facility (FCRF) that meets the definition of an onboard rest facility prescribed in § 117.3.  If an item in a FCRF, qualified as a class 1, 2, or 3, is inoperable and is not currently addressed in the applicable MMEL, the FAA may consider granting MEL relief as described below.  The regulatory basis for dispatching with inoperative items of equipment is found in § 121.628.

Part 117 identifies specific requirements for each class of FCRF.  For class 1 these are: a surface that provides a flat sleeping surface; a separate location from both the flight deck and passenger cabin; must be temperature controlled; flightcrew member light control; and isolation from noise and disturbance.  For class 2 the requirements are: a seat in an aircraft cabin that allows for flat or near flat sleeping position; separation from passengers by a minimum of a curtain to provide darkness and some sound mitigation; and is reasonably free from disturbance by passengers or flightcrew members.  Class 3 requirements are a seat in an aircraft cabin or flight deck that reclines a least 40 degrees and provides leg and foot support.

Within the part 117 requirements, only three specific instrument and equipment items are mentioned: the sleep surface (class 1), a seat and curtain (class 2), and a seat for class 3.  The remaining requirements are functional in nature, e.g. position of sleeping surface; location of the FCRF; temperature control; isolation, darkness, sound mitigation, etc.

1.            The functional requirements of part 117, for each class of FCRF, are not authorized MMEL relief.

2.   Under certain conditions, an inoperative item that continues to provide a functional requirement of part 117 may allow for the desired class of FCRF to be maintained.

      3.   Inoperative items that provide for the functional requirements of part 117 may not be “temporarily repaired” unless performed in accordance with 14 CFR § 43.13.

      4.   No MMEL relief will be granted for an inoperative item in order to maintain a specific class rest facility if that item is required by part 117 to be operative. 

Example #1:  A class 1 FCRF contains a window shade used for light control.  The window shade is stuck in the down position and written-up as inoperable.  Although identified as inoperable and the shade is stuck in the down position, it is still performing its function per part 117 for light control.  As long as there is a light source within the FCRF (not a hand-held flashlight) that allows for the function of light control, the FCRF remains a class 1 rest facility.  If there is no light source and the shade is stuck in the down position, or, if the shade is stuck in any other position than the down position, the FCRF cannot perform its function of light control.  The FCRF may not be used as a class 1 FCRF and must be downgraded appropriately until repaired.  In this example, no “temporary repairs” are made.

            Example #2:  A seat in a class 2 FCRF uses an electric internal motor to reposition it to flat or near flat position.  The electric internal seat motor is inoperative.  However, the seat may still be safely secured in a flat, or near flat position.  The seat may continue to be used as a class 2 FCRF as it is fulfilling the flat or near flat sleeping surface function requirements of part 117.  If the seat cannot be safely secured in a flat, or near flat position, then the facility cannot perform its flat or near flat sleeping surface function and must be downgraded appropriately until repairs are made.  In this example, no “temporary repairs” are made.

            Example #3:  A class 2 rest facility uses a curtain for providing darkness and some sound control.  The curtain is torn.  The damaged curtain is not performing the required functions of providing darkness and some sound control.  Because “temporary repairs” are not authorized to maintain the desired class of facility, the only two options are to downgrade the facility or replace the curtain.

            Example #4:  The item that allows for temperature control is inoperative in a Class I rest facility.  The FCRF may not be used as a Class I rest facility until the temperature control item is repaired.

Aircraft with crew rest facilities certificated under part 121 that have not been upgraded to meet part 117 requirements, may not operate utilizing the longer FDP and flight times found in part 117.

In some existing MMELs, there are a number of FCRF items already addressed that render the crew rest facility non-useable under part 117, but still allow the aircraft to be operated in part 121 service.  These items were part of how the crew rest facility was originally certified and must be addressed in the way they are currently listed in the MMEL.  The FOEB Chair should be consulted for all questions pertaining to the relief allowed for FCRF items currently found in the MMEL.

AFS-200 has final authority on FCRF issues and should be contacted when issues arise that cannot be answered at the AEG level.

POLICY:

1.            The functional requirements of part 117, for each class of FCRF, are not authorized MMEL relief.

2.   Under certain conditions, an inoperative item that continues to provide a functional requirement of part 117 may allow for the desired class of FCRF to be maintained.

      3.   Inoperative items that provide for the functional requirements of part 117 may not be “temporarily repaired” unless performed in accordance with 14 CFR § 43.13.

      4.   No MMEL relief will be granted for an inoperative item in order to maintain a specific class rest facility if that item is required by part 117 to be operative.

 

The following MMEL provisos and repair categories are adopted for items entitled “Flight Crew Rest Facilities”, or equivalent, that complies with part 117 for passenger carrying operations:

25 (Equipment/Furnishings)

Repair Interval

Number Installed

Number Required for Dispatch

Remarks or Exceptions

 

25-XX

***

Flight Crew Rest Facilities and Equipment 14 CFR § 117.3

Class 1 or 2

 

C

-

0

(O) May be inoperative provided appropriate adjustments to flightcrew FDP times are applied.

 

 

 

   C

   -

0

May be inoperative provided operations do not require their use.

 

25-XX

***

Flight Crew Rest

Facilities and Equipment

14 CFR § 117.3

Class 3

 

   C

   -

0

May be inoperative provided the airplane is not used for augmented flightcrew member operations.

 

 

   C

   -

0

May be inoperative provided operations do not require their use.

 

Each Flight Operations Evaluation Board (FOEB) Chair should apply this Policy to affected MMELs through the normal FOEB process.

 

 

 

Jodi S. Baker for

 

Leslie H. Smith

Manager, Air Transportation Division