GA Groups Rally Behind FAA’s Part 23 Rewrite Plan

Nine associations, including AOPA and EAA, are calling for the adoption of the new light aircraft certification standards by the end of the year.

Part 23 Overhaul
Several general aviation groups rallied in support of an overhaul of light aircraft certification rules.Airbus

Ahead of a public hearing on the FAA’s proposal to overhaul decades-old light aircraft certification rules several general aviation groups are signaling their strong support for the changes that aim to spur innovation, cut costs and improve safety.

A coalition of general aviation groups encouraged the FAA in a joint letter to finish work on the so-called Part 23 Rewrite by the end of the year. The groups included the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the Helicopter Association International (HAI), the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

The Part 23 Rewrite notice of proposed rulemaking is the result of the Small Airplane Revitalization Act (SARA) that Congress signed into law on November 27, 2013. In March, the FAA issued the proposed rule, which removes “prescriptive” design requirements and replaces them with performance-based airworthiness standards based on industry-consensus standards and harmonized with global aircraft certification regulations.

“The shift to proportional and objective-based rules within the Part 23 framework will provide general aviation with the ability to more effectively design, certify, produce, operate and maintain the airplanes of today, and it will assure the future of general aviation will only be limited by human imagination,” the associations said in written comments submitted to the Department of Transportation. “This proposed rule takes into account the needs of the entire general aviation community and assures safety improvements will no longer be held captive to outdated and inflexible regulations that don’t keep pace with technological change.”

The FAA held a public hearing on the NPRM today in College Park, Georgia.