AOPA President Mark Baker called the hearing “an important step in a process that we hope will ultimately increase safety and lower costs for pilots and aircraft manufacturers alike.”
Part 23 regulatory reform comes from the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013, which called on the FAA to develop small aircraft certification rules based on performance- and risk-based standards rather than the current prescriptive design requirements.
The regulatory changes should “hasten the adoption of safety enhancing technology in type-certificated products while reducing regulatory time and cost burdens for the aviation industry and FAA,” according to the agency.
AOPA has long advocated for the FAA to move toward performance-based standards to promote technological innovation in aviation and reduce the unnecessarily high costs of aircraft and safety-enhancing equipment.
The Small Airplane Revitalization Act gave the FAA a December 2015 rulemaking deadline, but in July of 2014 the FAA told the House Aviation Subcommittee it could not meet the deadline.
AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Jim Coon called the delay “inexcusable.”
The industry letter said “business as usual will not be sufficient” for the FAA to issue a final rule by the end of the year.
In addition to AOPA, the letter was signed by representatives from the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
AOPA representatives will participate in the public hearing and submit formal comments, and AOPA served on the FAA’s Certification Process Study; the Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which developed the recommendations for reforms; and the ASTM F44 Committee, which is developing industry consensus standards for the Part 23 rulemaking effort.