The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed new legislation that would dramatically enhance the certification process for new light general aviation aircraft.
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-4-KS), a stalwart of general aviation, the “Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013” (H.R. 1848) calls on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement recommendations from the Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to adopt consensus-based, design-specific performance requirements to achieve FAA certification. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Sam Graves (R-6-MO), Dan Lipinski (D-3-IL), Rick Nolan (D-8-MN) and Todd Rokita (R-4-IN).
Current Part 23 certification standards are largely based on aircraft weight and propulsion method. Proponents note the revisions would help achieve goals set forth by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to double aircraft safety, while halving the cost necessary to achieve FAA certification.
Citing the significant time and cost necessary under the current certification process as the primary hindrance to the introduction of new and substantially revised aircraft, Rep. Pompeo emphasized the ARC recommendations would also spur needed innovation in the aircraft manufacturing sector, by streamlining the existing certification process for most new GA aircraft and equipment.
“The existing outdated certification process needlessly increases the cost of safety and technology upgrades by up to 10 times,” Pompeo said in introducing the legislation. “With this bill, we can ensure that the general aviation industry has what it needs to thrive.”
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen welcomed Pompeo’s bill, saying it would allow the business aviation industry to benefit from new technologies in certified aircraft.
“We thank Congressman Pompeo for his strong leadership in championing general aviation and cutting regulations,” Bolen said. “It has been evident for many years that the Part 23 certification process needs to be adjusted to better suit the level of technology available in general aviation aircraft today. This legislation would remove the arbitrary hurdles in place under current certification standards, while also establishing a standardized, deliberative method to ensure that the latest operational and safety advances are available to the companies relying on business aviation, as quickly as possible.”
Part 23 outlines FAA certification standards for most light civil aircraft weighing less than 12,500 lbs. If enacted into law, H.R. 1848 would require the FAA to implement the ARC recommendations by the end of calendar year 2015.
The recommendations came following an 18-month review of the Part 23 certification process by 150 international regulatory and aviation industry representatives on the ARC.
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