Even FAA Opposes FAA Noise NPRM

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When the FAA asked for comments on its proposed new noise regulation for single-engine aircraft (see AVweb's prior coverage), it probably didn't expect to get publicly blasted by one of its own -- but that's what it got. "We request that this proposal be withdrawn and reconsidered," Scott Sedgwick, manager of the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate Standards Office, said in a memo posted to the public docket. Among his reasons for wanting to boot the proposal: "The assumption that single-engine training airplanes are a significant source of airplane noise is not valid ...The proposed noise levels do not reflect current technology ... They will place an uneven regulatory burden on the U.S. industry with no public gain." Not only that, but the memo critiques the studies, data and international standards cited in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, saying they are either lacking or outdated or incorrect ... and goes on to cite AVweb as its source for current and useful data on the GA industry. AOPA also posted public comments, saying the rule should be limited to newly type-certificated aircraft, and supplemental type certificates (STCs) should be excluded. "Under this proposal, a newly certificated aircraft the weight of a Cessna 172 would have to be quieter than a handsaw or lawnmower," AOPA said in a news release. "And FAA really needs to talk to FAA. The Small Aircraft Directorate must be allowed to evaluate the impact of this rule on existing aircraft and the businesses supporting them," AOPA said. Maule Aircraft and Cessna weighed in with public comments. Cessna said its 206H model would fail to meet the proposed new noise level, and it would require a large effort and high cost to comply, with no clear benefit. Maule also said several of its models would not meet the proposed levels. The comment period closed June 10. The comments can be viewed at the DOT Web site by searching for Docket No. 17041.