New FAA Policy Encourages the Use of Safety Equipment

Agency to streamline approval process for a wide variety of safety-enhancing gear.

FAA Safety
A new FAA policy statement will make it easier for pilots to access flight safety equipment.Panthera

In an effort to encourage the use of non-required safety equipment in general aviation airplanes and helicopters, the FAA has taken further steps to make the installation of such equipment less expensive to the end user. Previously all equipment installed in the airplane had to through arduous certification processes, making the barriers of bringing new equipment to market very expensive.

The intent of a new policy statement, named Approval of Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE), which was published earlier this spring, is to allow a greater number of pilots access to equipment that makes flying safer but where a failure condition of the equipment is minor. The policy statement is an expansion of the simplified design approval and installation requirements for angle of attack (AOA) indicators, which was published in 2014.

But NORSEE goes far beyond the initial focus on AOA, which helps pilots recognize an imminent stalled condition. Equipment under the new policy includes traffic advisory systems, terrain awareness and warning systems, attitude indicators, fire-extinguishing systems, autopilot or stability augmentation systems and more.

Equipment approved under NORSEE will be published on the FAA's website.