FAA To Revisit Aging Aircraft Concerns

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By the year 2020, the average general aviation airplane will be almost 50 years old, says the FAA. The FAA will address the safety of the aging fleet in a public meeting to be held next month in Kansas City, Mo. The FAA held a similar meeting in 2000, but since then, fatal GA accidents and primary component failures blamed on aging have raised further concerns. Issues to be discussed at the meeting include service difficulties, modification and inspection programs, and continued field support from type certificate holders. The meeting will be held March 22-23, and those who can't attend are invited to submit written comments. AOPA's Luis Gutierrez, director of regulatory and certification policy, plans to be there. "Our goal is to make sure the 'cure' is not worse than the 'problem,'" he said. "We want to keep our older aircraft safe, but we also want to keep them affordable." AOPA believes that owner education will provide greater long-term benefits than excessive new regulations.