AOPA and the FAA recently hosted a two-day GA Engine Summit attended by representatives of numerous aircraft engine manufacturers and industry associations to discuss ways for the industry and government to work more effectively together.
Among the key issues under discussion at the Dec. 2 and 3 conference was how to involve the industry sooner in the risk-analysis process that could eventually lead to an airworthiness directive (AD). Another critical topic was finding ways to allow the industry to explore an alternative method of compliance for an AD when it makes sense to do so from both safety and operational perspectives.
"This was the first summit of its kind, and we spent a very productive two days examining GA safety data, looking at the AD process, and finding ways to work together more effectively,” said David Oord, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. “As a result of these conversations, we hope to find solutions to airworthiness issues that will enhance safety while making it easier and more cost effective for aircraft owners and operators to comply.”
The meeting, which took place at the FAA’s Engine and Propeller Directorate in Burlington, Massachusetts, featured presentations from the FAA, manufacturers, and AOPA on topics including the state of engine safety, the move toward a more streamlined risk-based approach to regulation, and the full scope of the AD process, including how the FAA determines when an AD might be warranted.
"We were quite pleased by the response from industry and the associations participating in the summit," said Colleen D'Alessandro, manager of the FAA's Engine and Propeller Directorate. "The high degree of engagement showed much common ground when it comes to developing more efficient processes for airworthiness solutions and introducing new technologies to GA reciprocating engines. We send our thanks to each of the participants for making this initial summit a success."
At the conclusion of the meeting, FAA representatives agreed to involve industry and engine manufacturers in the risk-analysis process as soon as practical, so that identified risks can be most effectively addressed.