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Part 23 Revision Effort Gains House Support

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The FAA, manufacturers and GA advocates have been working to change the federal rules that govern certification for GA aircraft, and this week a bill was passed by a House committee that sets a December 2015 deadline for those changes to take effect. The Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013, passed on Wednesday by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, directs the FAA to implement, by the deadline, the recommendations of the Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee. The ARC aimed to enhance safety and cut certification costs in half for light GA airplanes by switching to a system of consensus-based industry standards. What that means for pilots, Greg Bowles of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association told AVweb, is that products will be more cost-effective and new products will hit the market more frequently.

Pilots often are frustrated that new products available for experimental aircraft take a long time to be approved for certified airplanes, Bowles said. "In this new environment," he said, "a lot of those things will now be available." The bill now goes to the full House for consideration. GAMA said the measure has strong bipartisan support in Congress. The 18-month-long ARC effort, which included input from more than 150 government and industry representatives, was co-chaired by Bowles, GAMA's director of engineering and manufacturing. Other GA groups also welcomed Wednesday's committee vote, including NBAA, AOPA, EAA and NATA. 

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