Sun 'n Fun Debuts Factory-Built Sport Planes...

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S-LSAs Arrive On Market

In Lakeland, Fla., this week, aviators are gathering for Sun 'n Fun, and the FAA is making the most of it by getting past a huge bump on the rocky road to light sport aviation -- as of Friday, manufacturers that build fixed-wing airplanes can now get airworthiness certificates for them and sell them as special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA). The FAA has signed the final papers that put in place all the necessary procedures, and will start training designated airworthiness representatives, who will conduct inspections to be sure the airplanes are in compliance. Sun 'n Fun opens tomorrow, and those S-LSAs are going to be for sale all over the field. What kind of response they get will be closely watched by many. Is the pent-up demand there? Or is the takeoff point for LSA still somewhere in the future? Either way, the momentum of the industry is sure to get a kick. Even if sales are slow at Sun 'n Fun, there is a whole summer season ahead to push the marketing effort.