EASA: New VLJ Certification Requirements Possible
The European Aviation Safety Agency may put very light jets through additional scrutiny, adapting requirements beyond those of basic certification and addressing an aircraft's specific performance envelope and complexity, according to Flight International. Considering that the Eclipse 500 VLJ can cruise at 41,000 feet, but has no spoilers to facilitate an emergency descent, EASA has suggested that it may devise regulatory requirements to address that and other issues -- regardless of the 500's (or another given aircraft model's) acceptance by the FAA. Such requirements may include tougher testing for software or hardware used in advanced heavily integrated avionics suites often found aboard VLJ designs, tougher checks for backup electrical power, and perhaps a requirement for demonstration of more precise navigational capability that may include a requirement for Mode S transponders. Eclipse is hoping for EASA certification of its Eclipse 500 by late 2009. EASA seems to be setting the stage for the potential introduction of some additional hurdles.