AOPA Wants Field Approval Process Streamlined

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AOPA says the field approval process needs to be changed to stop months-long delays in the installation of new navigation gear on airplanes. A shortage of FAA inspectors means those who want the latest stuff on their panel can wait a long time before it's legal to switch it on. AOPA says the agency has put field inspections of private aircraft alterations low on the priority list and it's preventing pilots from using the latest and greatest improvements in navigation and situational awareness. AOPA is suggesting that mechanics be able to sign off on these types of installations as long as the plane is unpressurized and weighs less than 12,500 pounds. "Advances in aviation technology benefit pilots by providing better situational awareness and ultimately enhancing safety and utility for general aviation," said AOPA's Melissa Rudinger. "AOPA believes that streamlining the approval process will allow for easier safety-enhancing alterations to be made on general aviation aircraft."