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Senate Approves Small Airplane Revitalization Act

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Legislation that would update FAR Part 23 and streamline aircraft certification, the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013, has now passed through the Senate and will go back to the House of Representatives where it is expected to pass (again). The House passed its version of the bill back in July with a 411-0 vote before sending it on to the Senate. The bill aims to provide a more direct path for the certification of new aircraft designs that integrate new technology and safety enhancements. It would also provide a more effective path for existing aircraft to be upgraded and may reduce costs for pilots seeking upgrades.

The bill directs the FAA to set up a system of compliance through consensus-based standards with outcome-driven objectives. In broad terms, less complicated aircraft would not be subjected to the same rules as far more complicated aircraft. Industry groups including GAMA, NBAA, EAA, AOPA and NATA have expressed support for the legislation. If approved by the president, the legislation could go into effect by a Dec. 31, 2015 deadline. If the rules serve as intended they may improve safety for pilots, facilitate avionics upgrades and reduce costs.

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