FAA Resumes Aircraft Kit Approvals

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The FAA last week ended its suspension of amateur-built aircraft kit evaluations, which had been in effect since February 2008. The FAA had put the kit evaluations on hold while it worked on a revision of its interpretation of the "51-percent" regulations that govern amateur-built aircraft. In a new policy statement, the FAA outlines its procedures for creating a National Kit Evaluation Team and establishes a standard methodology for evaluating amateur-built aircraft kits. The team will determine if a kit would allow an amateur builder to meet the "major portion" requirements of the FARs, but the team does not certify, approve, or recommend any of the kits, the FAA said. Submission of kits for examination is not required. EAA's Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, welcomed the news and called it further evidence that there will be no surprises when the FAA proclaims its final policy for interpreting and enforcing the amateur-built aircraft regulations -- a policy that the experimental/amateur-built community has been anxious to see for some time.

Kits that are evaluated and are determined to meet the major-portion requirement of the FARs will be added to the List of Amateur-Built Aircraft Kits located on the FAA Web site.