DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-0980; Product Identifier 2019-NM-180-AD; Amendment
39-21004; AD 2019-24-15]
Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) for
certain The Boeing Company Model 737-900ER series airplanes. This AD
requires replacement of nonconforming head strike pads with conforming
head strike pads. This AD was prompted by a report of nonconforming
head strike pads on the left and right mid exit doors. The FAA is
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective January 14, 2020.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 14, 2020.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by February 13, 2020.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
the instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing
Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS),
2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; phone:
562-797-1717; internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view
this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards
Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the
availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also
available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0980.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-
0980; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket
contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments
received, and other information. The street address for Docket
Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket
shortly after receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allie Buss, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin
Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200
South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3564;
The FAA has received a report indicating that nonconforming head
strike pads were installed on the left and right mid exit doors in the
passenger compartment of certain Boeing Model 737-900ER series
airplanes. The nonconforming head strike pads were fabricated using
eight bonded layers of \1/8\-inch-thick foam, instead of the required
1-inch-thick continuous foam. This condition, if not addressed, could
result in injury to passengers in an otherwise survivable emergency
landing and potentially block passenger egress.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Boeing Special Attention Requirements Bulletin
737-25-1831 RB, dated September 24, 2019. This service information
describes procedures for replacement of nonconforming head strike pads
with conforming head strike pads on the left and right mid exit doors.
This service information is reasonably available because the interested
parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by
the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.
The FAA is issuing this AD because the FAA evaluated all the
relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same
This AD requires accomplishment of the actions identified in Boeing
Special Attention Requirements Bulletin 737-25-1831 RB, dated September
24, 2019, described previously, except for any differences identified
as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD.
For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this
service information at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0980.
Explanation of Requirements Bulletin
The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the
Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee
(AD ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement is a process for
annotating which steps in the service information are "required for
compliance" (RC) with an AD. Boeing has implemented this RC concept
into Boeing service bulletins.
In an effort to further improve the quality of ADs and AD-related
Boeing service information, a joint process improvement initiative was
worked between the FAA and Boeing. The initiative resulted in the
development of a new process in which the service information more
clearly identifies the actions needed to address the unsafe condition
in the "Accomplishment Instructions." The new process results in a
Boeing Requirements Bulletin, which contains only the actions needed to
address the unsafe condition (i.e., only the RC actions).
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product,
notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are
unnecessary. In addition, for the reasons stated above, the FAA finds
that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than
This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight
safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public
comment. However, the FAA invites you to send any written data, views,
or arguments about this final rule. Send your comments to an address
listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2019-
0980 and Product Identifier 2019-NM-180-AD at the beginning of your
comments. The FAA specifically invite comments on the overall
regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this final
rule. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date
and may amend this final rule because of those comments.
The FAA will post all comments, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov,
including any personal information you provide.
The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact the agency receives about this final rule.
Costs of Compliance
Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. If an
affected airplane is imported and placed on the U.S. Register in the
future, the FAA provides the following cost estimates to comply with
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
COST PER PRODUCT
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour = $85.
Up to $7,080
Up to $7,165.
According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this AD
may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on
affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for
affected individuals. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs
in the cost estimate.
Authority for This Rulemaking
Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the
authority of the FAA Administrator. "Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs"
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: "General
requirements." Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing
regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator
finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within
the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition
that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this
This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the
Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by
FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is
normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but
during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the
authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes and
associated appliances to the Director of the System Oversight Division.
This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order
13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States,
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various
levels of government.
For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
Adoption of the Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.
Sec. 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness