Regulations dictating the airworthiness in the USA of aircraft under 19 seats will transition by August 2017 to a new set of rules designed to give manufacturers more flexibility, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has announced. The White House approved on December 9 the first comprehensive rewrite of the Part 23 regulations for business and general aviation since 1957.
Central to the changes is a new framework for approving new technologies that were not around when the rules were first introduced. Instead of regulations dictated to manufacturers by the FAA, Part 23 now sets out guidelines, so it is up to the industry to prove that its solutions comply.
The changes will make it easier to introduce new technology and lead to greater innovation. There may also be a growing market for retrofitting newer and emerging technology to older aircraft, such as safety-enhancing hardware.
Michael Huerta, FAA administrator, said, “The rule is a model of what we can accomplish for American competitiveness when government and industry work together, and demonstrates that we can simultaneously enhance safety and reduce burdens on industry.”
Anthony Foxx, US transportation secretary, added, “Aviation manufacturing is our nation’s top export and general aviation alone contributes approximately US$80bn and 400,000 jobs to our economy. The FAA’s rule replaces prescriptive design requirements with performance-based standards, which will reduce costs and leverage innovation without sacrificing safety.”