Certification reform will be delayed, FAA tells Congress

July 24, 2014

The FAA will miss a December 2015 deadline to reform aircraft certification processes by two years, the agency told the House Aviation Subcommittee during a July 23 hearing.

The hearing titled “Domestic Aviation Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities” focused largely on the FAA’s efforts to makes its certification processes more efficient in order to stimulate domestic aviation manufacturing and innovation.

Peggy Gilligan, the FAA’s associate administrator for aviation safety, testified that the agency is working to change its approach to certification, but said the FAA will miss a December 2015 deadline to produce a final rulemaking on streamlining certification. She estimated the rulemaking would not be complete until 2017, two years after the deadline set by the Small Airplane Revitalization Act passed in 2013.

Gerald Dillingham, director of civil aviation issues for the Government Accountability Office, told subcommittee members that the FAA is moving toward a risk-based approach to certification but faces the slow and difficult task of changing its culture as part of that effort.

In addition to Gilligan and Dillingham, others testifying at the hearing included Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association; Joe Brown, president of Hartzell Propeller; Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; and Dave Cox, lead administrator of the Air Washington Project.

Elizabeth Tennyson

Elizabeth A Tennyson | Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications, AOPA

Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.