Frederick, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) today heralded a significant legislative step toward making general aviation aircraft safer and more affordable as the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure directed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to adopt changes to its Part 23 aircraft certification regulation.
The bill now goes to the full House for a vote. A companion bill has also been introduced in the U.S. by Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The FAA and aviation industry groups, including AOPA, have been working jointly on revisions to Part 23 that will streamline aircraft certification, while making it easier and far more affordable for manufacturers to produce new aircraft with safety enhancing equipment and for pilots to modify their aircraft with new technology.
“This is an important step forward for all pilots and for the improvement of general aviation safety,” said Craig Fuller, AOPA’s president and CEO. “It has become clear in recent years that advances in aviation technology have eclipsed the original intent of Part 23 as written.
“The FAA has recognized this fact, and we call on FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to move as quickly as possible with these changes. A revised Part 23 will help to revitalize the general aviation industry through affordable new aircraft and a better-equipped and safer fleet.”
On Wednesday, the House committee unanimously passed H.R. 1848, also known as the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act (SARA). The lead sponsor, General Aviation (GA) Caucus member Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) was joined by a bipartisan group of original co-sponsors consisting of Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), the House GA Caucus co-chair and an AOPA member, as well as GA Caucus members Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), and another AOPA member Todd Rokita (R-Ind.).
Industry groups,.led by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and including AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the National Air Transport Association and the National Business Aviation Association, recently co-authored a letter asking the House committee to take swift action on the bill.
The resolution passed today directs the FAA to enact the recommendations of the industry-government Part-23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) by Dec. 31, 2015.
Manufacturers have long acknowledged that the cost of meeting Part 23 regulatory requirements has led to substantial price increases for aircraft and avionics, while the same technology in light sport and experimental aircraft costs far less. Huerta himself has stated that a revised Part 23 should double safety measures while cutting certification costs in half.
Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts. With a membership base of nearly 400,000, AOPA is the largest aviation association in the world. With representatives based in Frederick, M.D., Washington, D.C., and seven regions across the United States, AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, flight planning products, safety programs and award-winning media products. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org.
- AOPA -