FAA/Industry Grapple with Aviation Halon Replacement

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
Aviation Rulemaking Committee Charter

Effective Date: 7/2/2013

SUBJECT: Halon Replacement Aviation Rulemaking Committee

1. PURPOSE. This charter establishes the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) for Halon Replacement pursuant to the authority of the Administrator
of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under title 49 of the United States Code (49 USC) section 106(p)(5). This charter also outlines the committee’s organization, responsibilities, and tasks.

2. BACKGROUND. Halogenated hydrocarbons (Halons) are the principal fire extinguishing agent used in civil aviation. Due to the significant Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) of Halons, their production was banned per the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty which phased out worldwide production by 1999. These provisions were adopted in the United States through the Clean Air Act, which provides broad statutory authority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement and enforce regulations to reduce the effects of ozone depleting substances.

At present, Halon is utilized in four major aircraft application areas; Lavatory Bottles, Hand-Held Extinguishers, Engine/ APU Nacelles, and Cargo Compartments. As Halon is no longer in production, the aviation industry now relies on reserve stockpiles of “virgin” Halon, supplemented by decontamination and purification processes to “recycle” Halon. While these approaches fulfill current demand for Halon, at some point in the future Halon will no longer be economically viable, and as that timeframe approaches the risk of contamination for Halon reserves is a growing safety concern.

In recognition of the need for aviation to transition from Halon to replacement agents, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted amendments to the international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in two ICAO Annexes (Annex 6-Operation, Annex 8-Airworthiness) addressing the adoption of Halon replacement agents in civil aviation applications. The United States supported the adoption of these amendments.

This Halon Replacement ARC is being established to coordinate United States compliance with international standards for adoption of Halon replacement agents in civil aviation. In achieving compliance, tPis ARC will address safety, environmental, and availability issues that necessitate Halon replacement, while accommodating the complex technical and economic aspects of implementing replacement agents.

3. OBJECTIVES AND TASKS OF THE ARC. This committee will address the safety, environmental, and economic issues that affect the transition from Halon to alternative agents. This review will take into account the timelines that have already been incorporated into ICAO Annexes, as well as those under review by other Civil Aviation Authorities.

Recommendation Report. The Halon Replacement ARC will submit a report detailing the recommendations as described above not later than 12 months from the issuance of this charter.

4. ARC PROCEDURES.
a. The committee provides advice and recommendations to the committee sponsors, the Deputy Assistant Administrator of Aviation Policy, International Affairs, and Environment (APL-2) and the Deputy Associate Administrator of Aviation Safety (AVS-2). The committee acts solely in an advisory capacity.

b. Committee tasks include the following;

i. Investigate, prioritize, and summarize the current issues related to Halon replacement. When investigating, consider the following factors:

1. International standards (through ICAO Annex 6 and 8) that include timelines for Halon replacement in certain capacities.

2. Status of alternative agents for each individual capacity in which Halon is currently used in civil aircraft.

3. Status of existing Halon reserves.

4. Recycling of existing Halon reserves.

5. Feasible timelines for widespread implementation in each capacity in which Halon is used.

6. Airworthiness approval issues related to alternative agents.

7. Environmental issues related to alternative agents (i.e., other adverse environmental affects).

8. Economic issues related to Halon replacement.

9. Production issues related to alternative agents.

10. International issues with Halon replacement.

ii. Identify the key issues and recommend tasks necessary to investigate and resolve these issues.

iii. Upon completion of this review, the Halon Replacement ARC will provide recommendations for collaborative industry-government initiatives on mutually beneficial solutions for Halon replacement, taking into account the safety, environment, and economic issues affecting the need to regulate this replacement. The initiatives should include, but are not limited to, the following items:

1. Recommendations for an industry-government framework and a top-level plan for Halon replacement activities,

2. Recommendation on the organizational structure, scope, and specific work program of this industry-government framework and plan,

3. Proposals for Halon replacement timelines based on existing international standards,

4. Proposals for assuring the safety of Halon reserves through non-regulatory or regulatory mechanisms,

5. Specific implementation plans, in which Halon is used, for each of the four major aircraft application areas: Lavatory Bottles, Hand-Held Extinguishers, Engine/APU Nacelles, and Cargo.

5. ARC ORGANIZATION, MEMBERSHIP, AND ADMINISTRATION. The committee will consist of approximately 10-20 members, selected by the FAA, representing aviation associations, Halon recycling entities, agent and equipment manufacturers, environmental groups, FAA and other government entities, and other aviation industry participants.

Each committee member should represent an identified part ofthe aviation community and have the authority to speak for that community. Membership on the committee will be limited to promote discussions. Active participation and commitment by members will be essential for achieving the committee objectives and for continued membership on the committee. The committee may invite individual participants as subject matter experts to support specialized work groups.

a. The committee will be jointly sponsored by the Deputy Assistant Administrator of Aviation Policy, International Affairs, and Environment (APL-2) and the Deputy Associate Administrator of Aviation Safety (AVS-2), who together will:

1) Appoint members of organization to the committee;

2) Receive all committee recommendations and reports;

3) Select the industry chair and FAA chair for the committee; and,

4) Provide administrative support for the committee.

b. Once appointed, the Co-Chairs will:

1) Coordinate required committee and work group (if any) meetings in order to meet the ARC’s objectives and timelines;

2) Provide notification to all ARC members of the time and place for each meeting;

3) Ensure meeting agendas are established and provided to the committee members in a timely manner;

4) Keep meeting minutes;

5) Perform other responsibilities as required to ensure the ARC’s objectives are met; and,

6) Provide status update in writing to the Committee Sponsors within 6 months and the final report 12 months from the effective date of this charter.

6. COST AND COMPENSATION. The estimated cost to the Federal Government for the Halon Replacement ARC is approximately $2,500. All travel costs for government employees will be the responsibility of the government employee’s organization. Non-government representatives, including the industry co-chair, serve without government compensation and bear all costs related to their participation on the committee.

7. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. ARC meetings are not open to the public. Persons or organizations outside the ARC who wish to attend a meeting must get approval in advance of the meeting from either the industry co-chair or the FAA Co-Chair.

8. AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS. Consistent with the Freedom of Information Act, Title 5, U.S.C., section 552, records, reports, agendas, working papers, and other documents that are made available to or prepared for or by the committee will be available for public inspection and copying at the FAA Office of International Affairs, 600 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20591. Fees will be charged for information furnished to the public according to the fee schedule published in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 7.

You can find this charter on the FAA Committee Database Web site at: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/committees/documents/.

9. DISTRIBUTION. This charter is distributed to director-level management in the Office of the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety; the Office of the Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment; the Office of the Chief Counsel; the Office of Aviation Policy and Plans; and the Office of Rulemaking.

10. EFFECTIVE DATE AND DURATION. This ARC is effective upon issuance of this charter. The ARC will remain in existence for 12 months, unless sooner suspended, terminated, or extended by the Administrator.

The effective date of this charter is July 2, 2013.

Michael P. Huerta
Administrator

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