GAMA Welcomes New Part 23 ARC

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The FAA has formed a new Aviation Rulemaking Committee to overhaul the old Part 23 rules that govern the manufacture of most light aircraft, a move welcomed this week by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. "The increasing cost of certification and manufacturing oversight ... has led to a lack of cost-effective, entry-level products which attract new pilots," said GAMA President Pete Bunce on Monday. "GAMA believes the FAA's vision for the new Part 23 rules will enhance the vitality of GA for future generations of pilots and aircraft owners." The updated rules should be easier for manufacturers to follow and will result in safer, less expensive aircraft, according to GAMA. The overhaul of the rules has been under discussion for a couple of years already, but the formation of the ARC is a major step forward.

As the FAA has dealt with the increasing complexity and performance of light aircraft, the certification process has become over-burdensome, says GAMA. The rewrite of the certification rules will align the requirements to address simple products with equivalent rules while eliminating the need for special conditions on high-performance and complex aircraft such as light jets. This makes certification and manufacturing for a particular product more efficient, thereby decreasing the cost of these airplanes and acting as a catalyst for the resurgence of the light end of the market, says GAMA. "We could not be more pleased that the FAA has taken on this initiative," concluded Bunce.

AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with GAMA's director of engineering and manufacturing, Greg Bowles, for more details about how this process will work and what it all means to general aviation pilots. Click here for that podcast.