Congressmen Push Part 23 Rewrite


A bipartisan group of U.S. House members led by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., has introduced a bill designed to propel revisions to FAA Part 23 certification standards into law. The Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 will establish a “date certain” for implementation of FAA’s Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) recommendations, which were sent to the agency last week. Date certain is a legal term setting a deadline for putting the measures on the books although it’s not clear what date will be set. The Part 23 revisions are aimed at making certification easier and allowing easier incorporation of new technologies in certified aircraft. It would set up a system of compliance through consensus-based standards. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association cheered the bill’s introduction.

GAMA has been a key player in the Part 23 rewrite and GAMA President Pete Bunce told AVweb at Aero 2013 a couple of weeks ago that the changes are needed. “When you can go and put modern equipment into an amateur-built aircraft and have it perform just tremendously well, but then it costs ten times as much to be able to put that into a certified airplane … wait a second, our regulatory process is defeating the purpose for which it was set up, and that’s to enhance safety. We, as an industry, need to change that,” he said. Bunce said Tuesday the bill will keep the process focused. “We hope the bill will spur the FAA to move quickly in adopting the ARC’s recommendations to improve safety and help to revitalize the lighter end of the aircraft market.”