Relief for U.S. Military and Civilian Personnel Who Are Assigned Outside the United States in Support of U.S. Armed Forces Operations

Summary:

This final rule replaces Special Federal Aviation Regulation 100 (SFAR 100). SFAR 100 allowed Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO) to accept expired flight instructor certificates, expired inspection authorizations for renewals, and expired airman written test reports for certain practical tests from U.S. military and civilian personnel (U.S. personnel) who are assigned outside the United States in support of U.S. Armed Forces operations. This action is necessary to avoid penalizing these U.S. personnel who are unable to meet the regulatory time limits of their flight instructor certificate, inspection authorization, or airman written test report because they are serving outside the United States. The effect of this action is to give these U.S. personnel extra time to meet the eligibility requirements under the current rules.

Table of Contents

For further information contact:

John Lynch, Certification Branch, AFS-840, General Aviation and Commercial Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3844.

Supplementary information:

Availability of Rulemaking Documents

You can get an electronic copy using the Internet by:

(1) Searching the Department of Transportation's electronic Docket Management System (DMS) Web page (http://dms.dot.gov/search);

(2) Visiting the Office of Rulemaking's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/arm/index.cfm; or

(3) Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.

You can also get a copy by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Make sure to identify the amendment number or docket number of this rulemaking.

Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996 requiresFAA to comply with small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. If you are a small entity and you have a question regarding this document, you may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. You can find out more about SBREFA on the Internet at http://www.faa.gov/avr/arm/sbrefa.cfm.

Background

Currently, the U.S. Armed Forces are engaged in activities that have resulted in overseas assignments for both military and civilian personnel. Because of the unexpected duration of these assignments, the FAA has determined that the flight instructor certificates, inspection authorizations, and airman written test reports held by some U.S. military and civilian personnel may expire before they return to the United States. If so, these individuals would have to reestablish their qualifications. We believe it is unfair to penalize these military and civilian personnel in this manner. Therefore the FAA has determined that we should provide relief to these U.S. personnel who are unable to comply with the regulatory time constraints as a result of their assignment outside the United States in support of U.S. Armed Forces operations.

Previous Regulatory Action

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many U.S. military and civilian personnel were assigned outside the United States in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. For this reason, we adopted SFAR 96 to provide relief to a narrow range of individuals in a narrow set of circumstances. (67 FR 30524, May 6, 2002).

As a result of the continuing conflicts, the FAA superceded SFAR 96 with SFAR 100 (68 FR 36902, June 20, 2003) that applies to all military and civilian personnel assigned overseas in support of any and all U.S. Armed Forces operations. Most of these U.S. military and civilian personnel are or will be located at military bases that are away from their normal training or work environment. There are no FAA aviation safety inspectors, designated examiners, or FAA facilities readily available in the areas where these U.S. military and civilian personnel are assigned.

This rule does the following:

• Replaces SFAR 100, which expired on June 20, 2005; and

• Ensures U.S. military and civilian personnel, who continue to preserve, protect and defend the American public, between September 11, 2001, through June 20,2010, can attain additional time for renewal of their flight instructor certificates, inspection authorizations, and airman written test reports.

Who Is Affected by This SFAR?

To be eligible for the relief provided by this SFAR, a person must meet two criteria—one related to the person's assignment and the second related to the expiration of the person's certificate, authorization, or test report.

Assignment. The person must have served in a civilian or military capacity outside the United States in support of U.S. Armed Forces operations some time on or after September 11, 2001. The term “United States” is defined under 14 CFR 1.1 and means “the States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the possessions, including the territorial waters and the airspace of those areas.”

“In support of U.S. Armed Forces operations” means an assignment that supports operations being conducted by our U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, including their regular and reserve components. Members serving without component status are also covered. A person seeking relief under this SFAR must be able to show that he or she had an assignment as described above by providing appropriate documentation that is described below.

Expiration. The person's flight instructor certificate, inspection authorization, or airman written test report must have expired some time on or after September 11, 2001.

Renewing a Flight Instructor Certificate

The FAA regulations governing flight instructor certificates provide that theyexpire 24 calendar months after the month of issuance. The regulations also provide that a flight instructor may renew his or her certificate before it expires, but if it expires, the flight instructor must get a new certificate. If you are interested in the details of how to get or renew a flight instructor certificate, please see 14 CFR 61.197 and 61.199.

This SFAR changes the existing regulations for a certain class of individuals by allowing FAA Flight Standards District Offices to accept for a limited amount of time an expired flight instructor certificate for the purpose of renewing the certificate. Therefore, a person who can show the kind of evidence required by this SFAR (described below) can apply for renewal of a flight instructor certificate under 14 CFR 61.197. A person cannot exercise the privileges of a flight instructor certificate if it has expired, but the person can renew the flight instructor certificate under the limited circumstances described in this SFAR.

Airman Written Test Reports of Parts 61, 63, and 65

Generally, FAA regulations give airmen a limited amount of time to take a practical test after passing a knowledge test. For example, 14 CFR 61.39(a)(1) gives a person 24 calendar months. This SFAR permits an extension of the expiration date of the airman written test reports of parts 61, 63, and 65. The extension can be for up to six calendar months after returning to the United States.

Renewing an Inspection Authorization

Under 14 CFR 65.92, an inspection authorization expires on March 31 of each year. Under 14 CFR 65.93, a person can renew an inspection authorization for an additional 12 calendar months by presenting certain evidence to the FAA during the month of March. This SFAR changes the existing regulations for individuals eligible under this SFAR by allowing FAA Flight Standards District Offices to accept for a limited amount of time an expired inspection authorization for the purpose of renewing the authorization. Therefore, a person who can show the kind of evidence required by this SFAR (described below) can apply for renewal of an inspection authorization under 14 CFR 65.93. If an inspection authorization expires, the person may not exercise the privileges of the authorization until that person renews the authorization. In this case, to meet the renewal requirements the person must attend a refresher course (see § 65.93(a)(4)) or submit to an oral test (See § 65.93(a)(5)) within 6 calendar months after returning to the United States from an assignment while outside the United States in support of U.S. Armed Forces operations.

Evidence of an Assignment Outside the United States in Support of U.S. Armed Forces Operations

A person must show one of the following kinds of evidence to establish that the person is eligible for the relief provided by this SFAR:

1. An official U.S. Government notification of personnel action, or equivalent document, showing the person was a U.S. civilian on official duty for the U.S. Government and was assigned outside the United States in support of U.S. Armed Forces operations at some time between September 11, 2001, through June 20, 2010;

2. An official military order that shows the person was assigned to military duty outside the United States in support of U.S. Armed Forces operations at some time betweenSeptember 11, 2001, through June 20, 2010; or

3. A letter from the person's military commander or civilian supervisor providing the dates during which the person served outside the United States in support of U.S. Armed Forces operations at some time between September 11, 2001, through June 20, 2010.

International Compatibility

In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that correspond to these regulations.

Economic Assessment, Regulatory Flexibility Determination, Trade Impact Assessment, and Unfunded Mandates Assessment

Proposed changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs each Federal agency to propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 2531-2533) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, this Trade Act also requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, use them as the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation).

The Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If it is determined that the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposal does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits a statement to that effect and the basis for it be included in the preamble and a full regulatory evaluation cost benefit evaluation need not be prepared. Such a determination has been made for this rule. The reasoning for that determination follows.

The FAA has determined that the expected economic impact of this final rule is so minimal that it does not need a full regulatory evaluation. This action imposes no costs on operators subject to this rule; however, it does provide some unquantifiable benefits to some who would avoid the costs of having to reestablish expired credentials. Since this final rule merely revises and clarifies FAA rulemaking procedures, the expected outcome will have a minimal impact with positive net benefits, and a regulatory evaluation was not prepared.

Regulatory Flexibility Determination

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) establishes “as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objective of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the business, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation.” To achieve that principle, the RFA requires agencies to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions. The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and small governmental jurisdictions.

Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will have a significant economic impact on asubstantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.

However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear.

This action imposes no costs on any small entities subject to this rule. Consequently, the FAA certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of entities.

Trade Impact Analysis

The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 prohibits Federal agencies from establishing any standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Legitimate domestic objectives, such as safety, are not considered unnecessary obstacles. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this final rule and determined that it will not have no impact on international trade by companies doing business in or with the United States.

Unfunded Mandates Assessment

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (the Act) is intended, among other things, to curb the practice of imposing unfunded Federal mandates on State, local, and tribal governments. Title II of the Act requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $120.7 million in lieu of $100 million.

This final rule does not contain such a mandate. The requirements of Title II do not apply.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), the FAA has determined that there are no new requirements for information collection associated with this SFAR.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The FAA analyzed this final rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. We determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, we determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications.

Environmental Analysis

FAA Order 1050.1D defines FAA actions that may be categorically excluded from preparation of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental impact statement. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1D, appendix 4, paragraph 4(j) this rulemaking action qualifies for a categorical exclusion.

Energy Impact

We have assessed the energy impact of this SFAR in accord with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), Pub. L. 94-163, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6362), and FAA Order 1053.1. The FAA has determined that this SFAR is not a major regulatory action under the provisions of the EPCA.

List of subjects

Aircraft, Aircraft pilots, Airmen, Airplanes, Air safety, Air transportation, Aviation safety, Balloons, Helicopters, Rotorcraft, Students.

Air safety, Air transportation, Airman, Aviation safety, Safety, Transportation.

Airman, Aviation safety, Air transportation, Aircraft.

The Rule

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends parts 61, 63, and 65 of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

Part 61—certification: pilots, flight instructors, and groundinstructors

1. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44703, 44707, 44709-44711, 45102-45103, 45301-45302.

2. Add Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 100-1 to read as follows:

SFAR No. 100-1—Relief for U.S. Military and Civilian Personnel Who are Assigned Outside the United States in Support of U.S. Armed Forces Operations

1. Applicability. Flight Standards District Offices are authorized to accept from an eligible person, as described in paragraph 2 of this SFAR, the following:

(a) An expired flight instructor certificate to show eligibility for renewal of a flight instructor certificate under § 61.197, or an expired written test report to show eligibility under part 61 to take a practical test;

(b) An expired written test report to show eligibility under §§ 63.33 and 63.57 to take a practical test; and

(c) An expired written test report to show eligibility to take a practical test required under part 65 or an expired inspection authorization to show eligibility for renewal under § 65.93.

2. Eligibility. A person is eligible for the relief described in paragraph 1 of this SFAR if:

(a) The person served in a U.S. military or civilian capacity outside the United States in support of the U.S. Armed Forces' operation during some period of time from September 11, 2001, through June 20, 2010;

(b) The person's flight instructor certificate, airman written test report, or inspection authorization expired some time between September 11, 2001, and 6 calendar months after returning to the United States, or June 20, 2010, whichever is earlier; and

(c) The person complies with § 61.197 or § 65.93 of this chapter, as appropriate, or completes the appropriate practical test within 6 calendar months after returning to the United States, or June 20, 2010, whichever is earlier.

3. Required documents. The person must send the Airman Certificate and/or RatingApplication (FAA Form 8710-1) to the appropriate Flight Standards District Office. The person must include with the application one of the following documents, which must show the date of assignment outside the United States and the date of return to the UnitedStates:

(a) An official U.S. Government notification of personnel action, or equivalent document, showing the person was a civilian on official duty for the U.S. Government outside the United States and was assigned to a U.S. ArmedForces' operation some time betweenSeptember 11, 2001, through June 20, 2010;

(b) Military orders showing the person was assigned to duty outside the United States and was assigned to a U.S. Armed Forces' operation some time between September 11, 2001 through June 20, 2010; or

(c) A letter from the person's military commander or civilian supervisor providing the dates during which the person served outside the United States and was assigned to a U.S. Armed Forces' operation some time between September 11, 2001 through June 20, 2010.

4. Expiration date. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation No.100-1 expires June 20, 2010, unless sooner superseded or rescinded.

Part 63—certification: flight crewmembers other than pilots

3. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44703, 44707, 44709-44711, 45102-45103, 45301-45302.

4. Add Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 100-1 by reference as follows:

Special Federal Aviation Regulations

* * * * *

SFAR No. 100-1—Relief for U.S. Military and Civilian Personnel Who Are Assigned Outside the United States in Support of U.S. Armed Forces Operations

Part 65—certification: airmen other than flight crewmembers

5. The authority citation for part 65 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44703, 44707, 44709-44711, 45102-45103, 45301-45302.

6. Add Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 100-1 by reference as follows:

Special Federal Aviation Regulations

* * * * *

SFAR No. 100-1—Relief for U.S. Military and Civilian Personnel Who aare AssignedOutside the United States in Support of U.S. Armed Forces Operations

Issued in Washington, DC, on June 24, 2005. Marion C. Blakey,

Administrator.

References

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