A direct final rule makes regulatory changes and states those changes will take effect on a specified date unless the NTSB receives an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment by the date specified in the direct final rule published in the Federal Register.
(a) Types of actions appropriate for direct final rulemaking. Rules the Board determines to be non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse public comments may be published in the final rule section of the Federal Register as direct final rules. These include non-controversial rules that:
(1) Make non-substantive clarifications or corrections to existing rules;
(2) Incorporate by reference the latest or otherwise updated versions of technical or industry standards;
(3) Affect internal NTSB procedures;
(4) Update existing forms; and
(5) Make minor changes to rules regarding statistics and reporting requirements, such as a change in reporting period (for example, from quarterly to annually) or eliminating a type of data collection no longer necessary.
(b) Adverse comment. An adverse comment is a comment the NTSB judges to be critical of the rule, to suggest the rule should not be adopted, or to suggest a change should be made to the rule. Under the direct final rule process, the NTSB does not consider the following types of comments to be adverse:
(1) Comments recommending another rule change, unless the commenter states the direct final rule will be ineffective without the change;
(2) Comments outside the scope of the rule and comments suggesting the rule's policy or requirements should or should not be extended to other topics outside the scope of the rule;
(3) Comments in support of the rule; or
(4) Comments requesting clarification.
(c) Confirmation of effective date. The NTSB will publish a confirmation rule document in the Federal Register if it has not received an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment by the date specified in the direct final rule. The confirmation rule document informs the public of the effective date of the rule.
(d) Withdrawal of a direct final rule.
(1) If the NTSB receives an adverse comment or a notice of intent to file an adverse comment within the comment period, it will publish a rule document in the Federal Register, before the effective date of the direct final rule, advising the public and withdrawing the direct final rule.
(2) If the NTSB withdraws a direct final rule because of an adverse comment, the NTSB may issue a notice of proposed rulemaking if it decides to pursue the rulemaking.