FAA Releases MOSAIC Preview for Light Sport Aircraft

The agency issued its Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification proposal ahead of schedule.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

Editor's note: This column first appeared in ByDanJohnson.com.

Whenever I write about the FAA’s Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates (MOSAIC) regulation, especially when I mentioned the date it predicted, a substantial percentage of all readers shrug this off, believing that the FAA will never complete it on time.

What if I told you the agency was ahead of schedule? Is that an unbelievable claim? Perhaps, but the proof is right here, right now! Can’t wait? The notice of proposed rulemaking may be found here.

Consider the following communication from the ASTM committee working on LSA standards. In case you don’t know what that is, ASTM is an industry standards group that operates privately, creating and getting agreement on standards used by the FAA to accept Light-Sport Aircraft into the aviation fleet. (This is different than conventional FAA “certification.”)


Honestly, from almost the beginning, the FAA has moved faster than most of us imagined. At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022, the FAA announced it would remove the drone portion of MOSAIC, which was delaying the overall regulation as that community works out its issues. FAA officials said removing all that language could take some months. In fact, it was done in a few weeks. That told me something. Once the internal or procedural impediments to progress are removed, the MOSAIC team can move swiftly.

Yes, I wrote that—the FAA moved swiftly.

The FAA official I videoed last year at AirVenture claimed that the regulation would be ready by August 2023. Days later, still at AirVenture, other FAA officials said about him, “Oh, he’s usually rather optimistic.” They were implying it might not happen by that date. Maybe they were trying to allow some wiggle room?

Later, when I reported the official’s “August 2023” statement and gave talks referencing it, I would estimate a third of all those listening or reading doubted the FAA would meet their own deadline. The belief isn’t all wrong; the FAA has missed deadlines before.

One thing no one thought: the FAA would complete the thing ahead of schedule.

Now, hear this…

“[ASTM] received this communication this morning—Wednesday, July 19, 2023 — from Jim Newberger, who is the FAA lead for the MOSAIC rule development (officially his position is: Production & Airworthiness Section; AIR-632; Aircraft Certification Service).

This is exciting news and will definitely impact, positively, our discussions,” stated leaders of the ASTM committee for LSA, Rian Johnson and Adam Morrison.

Leaders encouraged F37 committee members (more than 200 persons around the world), “Once the NPRM is posted (see below!), if you have available time, please try to review as much as you can and capture your questions/comments for group discussion next week [at AirVenture 2023 meetings]. These are generally pretty lengthy documents. We’ll all be freshly digesting the NPRM, so everyone’s perspectives and interpretations will be important to help bring clarity as quickly as possible.”

From FAA’s official lead…

“I wanted to let you know that the Office of the Federal Register is scheduled to:

  • Post the related “MOSAIC” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for “display” today at approximately 1115 ET.
  • Publish this NPRM in the Federal Register on Monday (July 24, 2023).

“After the above milestones, you may use the following info to search/locate the NPRM on Regulations.gov:

  • Document 2023-14425, Category PROPOSED RULES
  • Docket Id is Docket No.: FAA-2023-1377; Notice No. 23-10
  • Rulemaking Identification Number (RIN) is 2120-AL50
  • The subject of this document is Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification
  • The submitting Agency is (FAA) Federal Aviation Administration

Feel free to share this information with the F37 committee* and take advantage of opportunities explained in Monday’s publication for providing comments.”

Message for Readers!

I know this material will not digest easily, but it affects your future of flying. I hope many of you will read the NPRM, discuss it among your pilot friends, and think about how you will offer responses to this rule. You should have at least 90 days to comment.

Thanks to longtime F37 committee member Anna Mracek Dietrich, checking this out got much easier. Here you go…

Happy Reading! It runs 318 pages.

Dan JohnsonContributor

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