Regulation

FAA’s Final Rule on GA Airworthiness Standards Becomes Effective

By S.L. Fuller | September 6, 2017

FAA SealA December 2016 final rule overhauling airworthiness standards for general aviation airplanes officially went into effect Aug. 30, the FAA said. It said it expects the rule “will enable faster installation of innovative, safety-enhancing technologies into small airplanes, while reducing costs for the aviation industry.”

One of the aspects of the new rule that encourages innovation is the new Part 23, according to the FAA. The new Part 23 changes standards for aircraft weighing 19,000 pounds or less and with 19 or fewer passenger seats. The FAA said it replaces prescriptive requirements with performance-based standards and considers consensus-based compliance methods for specific designs and technologies. It also adds new certification standards that address loss of control accidents and in-fight icing.

The rule aligns with Congress’ mandates that the FAA streamline approval of safety advancements for small GA airplanes and address recommendations from the FAA’s 2013 Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee. The FAA said the new Part 23 also better aligns with foreign partners, like EASA, Transport Canada and Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Authority.

“This regulatory change is a leading example of how the FAA is transforming its Aircraft Certification Service into an agile organization that can support aviation industry innovation in the coming years,” the FAA said. “[Aircraft Certification Service Transformation] improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the Aircraft Certification Safety System by focusing FAA resources on up-front planning, the use of performance-based standards and a robust risk-based systems oversight program, while leveraging industry’s responsibility to comply with regulations.”

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