DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0098; Product Identifier 2020-NM-011-AD; Amendment
39-19844; AD 2020-03-20]
Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain The Boeing Company Model MD-11, MD-11F, and 717-200 airplanes,
all Model 737-8 and 737-9 airplanes, all Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -
800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes, certain Model 747-400 and 747-
400F series airplanes, certain Model 757 and 767 airplanes, and all
Model 777 airplanes. This AD requires revising the existing airplane
flight manual (AFM) to include a limitation to prohibit operations that
require less than 0.3 required navigational performance (RNP) within a
specified area for airplanes having a certain multi-mode receiver (MMR)
with certain software installed. This AD was prompted by reports of the
loss of global positioning system (GPS) data or degraded GPS positional
accuracy while using a certain MMR. The FAA is issuing this AD to
address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective February 18, 2020.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by April 3, 2020.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
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.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-
0098; or in person at Docket Operations 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 (phone:
800-647-5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD
docket shortly after receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Sumner, Aerospace Engineer,
Systems and Equipment Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South
216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3538; email:
In December 2019, the FAA received reports of the loss of GPS data
or degraded GPS positional accuracy while using a certain MMR with
certain software installed. An investigation determined that within a
certain region of the world, operational software (OPS), number COL4D-
0087-0002, COL4E-0087-0001, COL48-0087-0700, or COL49-0087-0701, if
installed on Collins GLU-2100 MMR, part number (P/N) 822-2532-100,
could result in a GPS positional error. The affected area occurs in a
funnel shaped region of the world that mainly extends +/- 20 degrees on
either side of 180 degrees West Longitude, and encompasses the Northern
Hemisphere to 10 degrees Latitude in the Southern Hemisphere. When an
airplane is within this affected region, the software should map the
computed ionospheric pierce point (IPP) to the correct hemisphere, but
the software is not doing that. The consequences of the GPS error are:
An annunciated loss of GPS output, where the Global
Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) bus becomes inactive anywhere from
few seconds to up to 40 minutes.
Un-annunciated reduced positional accuracy in the affected
region when the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) ionosphere
corrections are improperly applied. The positional error will be
bounded to 0.3 nautical miles, but may not be bounded by the horizontal
protection level (HPL) that is output by the GNSS.
This improper mapping within the OPS, if not addressed, could,
during a high-precision approach with a GPS error, result in controlled
flight into terrain.
The FAA is issuing this AD because the agency 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 revising the existing airplane flight manual to
include a limitation to prohibit operations that require less than 0.3
RNP within a specified area for airplanes having a certain MMR with
certain software installed.
The FAA considers this AD interim action. Collins is currently
developing a software update that will further address the unsafe
condition identified in this AD. Once this software update is
developed, approved, and available, the FAA might consider additional
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment
procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds that
those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the
public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the
rulemaking. Similarly, Section 553(d) of the APA authorizes agencies to
make rules effective in less than thirty days, upon a finding of good
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because, as described in the Discussion section of this AD, the loss of
GPS data, or degraded GPS positional accuracy, during a high-precision
approach with a GPS positional error, could result in controlled flight
into terrain. Given the significance of the risk presented by this
unsafe condition, it must be immediately addressed.
Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are
impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C.
553(b)(3)(B). In addition, for the reasons stated above, the FAA finds
that good cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this
amendment effective in less than 30 days.
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-2020-
0098 and Product Identifier 2020-NM-011-AD at the beginning of your
comments. The FAA specifically invites 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.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, 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.
Confidential Business Information
Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial
information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by
its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552),
CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to
this AD contain commercial or financial information that is customarily
treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is
relevant or responsive to this AD, it is important that you clearly
designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your
submission containing CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked
submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed
in the public docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be
sent to David Sumner, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment
Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA
98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3538; email: email@example.com. Any
commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated
as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good
cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and
comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt
this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
Although the FAA estimates the number of airplanes identified in
the applicability of this AD as 3,200 airplanes of U.S. registry, the
AFM revision specified in this AD is required only for the airplanes
having a configuration identified in paragraph (g) of this AD. The FAA
estimates that 409 airplanes of U.S. registry are affected by the AFM
revision specified in paragraph (g) of this AD.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
| AFM revision
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
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 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
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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