AOPA pushes for relief from FAA aircraft modification policy

March 1, 2003

AOPA is continuing to push the FAA to make its field approval process more "GA friendly." At the FAA's request, AOPA recently met with agency managers to discuss AOPA's concern that general aviation has been negatively impacted by last year's changes to the field approval policy.

That change has made it much more difficult for aircraft owners to obtain common modifications to their aircraft such as installing wing-tip strobes, converting generators to alternators, and converting drum brakes to disc brakes. AOPA's primary goal is to ensure these common practices will continue. AOPA is also pushing to make GPS installations easier by asking the FAA to eliminate the need for a field approval altogether.

At the meeting, AOPA reaffirmed its previous formal request that the FAA rescind the September change to its field approval policy and work on developing a more GA-friendly policy. The FAA has rescinded the new policy in Alaska because of the problems it created, but it hasn't budged on rescinding it for the Lower 48.

"The FAA should take immediate action to bring the service in the Lower 48 to a more acceptable pre-September 2002 level, as it had already done in Alaska," said Melissa K. Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic, regulatory and certification policy.

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