The FAA announced in December that it had revamped its airworthiness standards for general aviation airplanes, and as of Aug. 30, those new rules are now officially in effect. The FAA says the new Part 23 will enable faster installation of innovative, safety-enhancing technologies into small airplanes, while reducing costs for the aviation industry. The change in thinking at the FAA already has enabled manufacturers to more quickly install new avionics and safety-enhancing devices. General aviation advocacy groups have been lobbying for the change for a decade, hoping that it will allow manufacturers to offer safer airplanes and bring them to market faster and more cheaply.
When the rule was published in December, GAMA President Pete Bunce said the rule is “nothing less than a total rethinking of how our industry can bring new models of pistons, diesels, turboprops, light jets, and new electric and hybrid propulsion airplanes to market, as well as facilitating safety-enhancing modifications and upgrades to the existing fleet.” The rule also adds new certification standards to address GA loss-of-control accidents and in-flight icing conditions. Also, the rule is designed to comply with similar new rules already in effect in Europe, which should make it easier for manufacturers to sell their airplanes across borders.