AVIATION / Deadline for Airworthiness Directive 2012-11-09 to restore supplemental oxygen to lavatories on specified aircraft.

This action adds termination criteria and an expiration date to Special Federal Aviation Regulation 111, which temporarily authorizes variances from existing standards related to the provisioning of supplemental oxygen inside lavatories. 

January 28, 2013, Final rule

“The FAA issued Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 111 to address the noncompliance with the regulations created by compliance with AD 2011-04-09. Because no solution was available at that time that would both comply with the AD and provide oxygen to occupants of lavatories, the SFAR was intended to be in effect until superseded by further action.

“As discussed in the preambles to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and final rule adopting AD 2012-11-09, the FAA chartered an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to identify methods of restoring oxygen in lavatories without creating security vulnerabilities. The FAA is in the process of developing rulemaking to adopt new standards for chemical oxygen generator system installations, based on the ARC recommendations, and has issued Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-04, Chemical Oxygen Generator Installations. Applicants may use the guidance in that policy statement for approval of chemical oxygen generator systems. Further, the FAA has issued AD 2012-11-09, which mandates installation of a supplemental oxygen system in all airplanes affected by AD 2011-04-09.

“The FAA is now establishing an expiration date for SFAR 111 that coincides with the compliance date of AD 2012-11-09. While we fully expect that the compliance time specified in the AD is sufficient to enable all affected operators to comply within that time, it is possible there will be circumstances beyond an operator’s control under which the operator’s compliance will be delayed. If the delay is adequately justified, per § 39.19, the FAA may approve an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) or extension of compliance time. To avoid having to initiate additional rulemaking or to grant a separate exemption from the regulations referenced in SFAR 111, paragraph (e) would allow for an extension of the expiration of the SFAR corresponding to the duration of any such extension of compliance time.”