Europe Pushing for Swift Part 23 Rewrite

As the FAA drags its heels on a Congressionally mandated overhaul of light aircraft certification rules — or, as some charge, digs in its heels — the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is hosting a high-profile aviation summit in Europe to press for similar reform there.

The global initiative in Brussels, attended by nearly 100 participants from the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency and the aviation industry, is aimed at moving forward the "CS/Part-23 Reorganisation," a rewrite of aircraft certification regulations which, just as in the United States, seeks to cut certification costs and increase safety of new general aviation airplanes by replacing decades-old regulations with new rules better suited to the 21st century.

Leaders from the European Commission and EASA pledged their support for the rule rewrite at a workshop hosted by GAMA and the global standards body ASTM International. It was the first meeting of the General Aviation standards committee of ASTM International in Brussels as part of a "global dialogue" — which includes the FAA — on new standards for Part 23, known in Europe as CS-23.

"GAMA is pleased to be hosting this meeting, which marks the beginning of a week-long effort to bring together all segments of our industry as we seek to bring new, life-saving technologies into the cockpit and reduce overly burdensome government regulations," said Brian Davey, Director of European and International Affairs for GAMA. "In the near future, general aviation manufacturers will be able to certify their products more efficiently and effectively, meaning more safety in more airplanes."

The CS/Part-23 initiative is a framework for the world's aviation authorities to modernize their own aircraft certification rules. The globally agreed-upon standards will be set within the ASTM Committee, similar to how rules were written for light sport aircraft.

"As this process matures, it's a great endorsement to have both the European Commission and EASA here with us today, talking about the importance of general aviation, and this initiative in particular, for the future of the sector," Davey said.

GAMA has been critical of the FAA for delaying the Part 23 rewrite after the agency told Congress it will miss a deadline to craft new rules by a full two years. The Small Aircraft Revitalization Act, which passed unanimously in both the House and Senate in 2013, called on the FAA to issue new Part 23 certification rules by December 2015. The agency now says new rules will be delayed until at least December 2017 as the agency grapples with how to make the changes without losing any safety benefits now in place.

Get exclusive online content like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free enewsletter.

We welcome your comments on In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter