FAA Seeks Input On Aircraft Design Rules

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The FAA is mulling over major changes to the rules for certifying small aircraft, and the public is invited to chime in at a meeting to be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., June 8 and 9. "Specifically, we would like feedback from manufacturers, pilots, owners, mechanics, instructors and anyone else with an interest in the small airplane industry," the FAA said. The Scottsdale meeting is one of several that will be held around the country, and follows a similar event in Wichita, Kan., in February. The FAA wants to reorganize Part 23 so it's based on airplane performance and complexity, instead of the current divisions based on weight and propulsion. "New small turbine engines, composite airframes, and lightweight digital electronics offer part 23 airplanes the operational capability and performance of traditionally larger part 25 airplanes," the FAA said in its certification study. "The slow, simple Part 23 airplanes have suffered as the standards have shifted toward more complex airplanes."

More details about the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate and a PDF of the Part 23 study can be found here. The FAA's official notice about the Scottsdale meeting can be found here. Attendance is open to the interested public, but since space is limited, anyone who would like to go is asked to notify Lowell Foster, FAA Regulations and Policy, by phone at (816) 329-4125 or via e-mail at lowell.foster@faa.gov.