New regs for Tuesday: Pilot training, highway safety, food additives

Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for pilot training, broadband Internet access for schools and libraries, food additives, and highway safety.

Here's what is happening:

Pilot training: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is moving forward with new training practices for pilots. The agency on Monday revealed proposed advisory circulars that provide recommended best practices and guidance for academic and flight simulation devices.

Pilots use this training to learn how to prevent upset conditions, such as impending and full stalls, and how to recover from such situations.

The proposed procedures provide more guidance for the new training requirements established by the agency last November. Those rules were developed in coordination with airplane manufacturers, labor organizations, air carriers, training organizations, simulator manufacturers, and industry organizations.

Broadband access: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering a new rule that would give schools and libraries better broadband Internet service as part of the agency's E-rate Modernization proposed rule.

The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau plans to publish a notice in Tuesday's Federal Register seeking comment on how it can better ensure that schools and libraries have affordable access to broadband Internet, in an effort to support digital learning. The agency is also looking for comments about how it can streamline the administration of the program and maximize its cost-effectiveness.

The agency proposed the rule last August, but is now looking for further comment on these specific issues. The new round of comments will be due by April 7.

Food additives: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with new food additive regulations despite objections.

The FDA's new rules will allow for the use of vitamin D2 bakers yeast as a leavening agent and as a source of vitamin D2, as long as the level of D2 does not exceed 400 international units per 100 grams in the food.

The rule went into effect in August 2012, but the FDA received a handful of objections, which called for a response. The agency said it determined that the objections had no merit and confirmed the original rule.

"After reviewing the objections to the final rule, FDA has concluded that they do not provide a basis for amending or revoking the regulations," the agency wrote.

Food standards: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is delaying a rule that would establish new standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding produce for human consumption.

The FDA announced Monday it is extending the public comment period on an environmental impact statement that it has released in tandem with the proposed rule. The agency is also holding a public meeting on the rule.

The deadline to submit comments is April 18.

Highways: The Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering a new standards for state highway regulators.

The proposed rules from the Federal Highway Administration, a division of DOT, would give each state's Transportation Department new measures for carrying out the Highway Safety Improvement Program. It would give these state agencies guidance on how to assess serious injuries and fatalities per vehicle mile traveled.