FAA Proposes Part 25 Icing Amendments

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The FAA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (big PDF) that would impose extra icing certification requirements on Part 25 (transport category) aircraft that weigh less than 60,000 pounds and would also amend rules for larger aircraft. The rule has been in the making since the 1994 icing-related crash of an ATR 72 in Roselawn, Ind. For smaller aircraft, the rule focuses particularly on ice caused by supercooled large droplets, which can coat surfaces beyond the normal ice protection systems on existing aircraft. "These regulations will help ensure future aircraft can operate safely in some of the toughest icing conditions," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in statement.

The NPRM will also affect engine certification. Turbine engines will have to be able to handle icing conditions that have been the cause of uncommanded shutdowns. The agency estimates the annual industry-wide cost of compliance will be $71 million. The comment period on the NPRM ends Aug. 30.