FAA issues final rule for small general aviation airplanes

WASHINGTON. Officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a final rule that overhauls the airworthiness standards for small general aviation airplanes. The new Part 23 rule will reduce costs for the aviation industry as well streamline approval of new technologies into the marketplace.

The rule affects airplane manufacturers, engine manufacturers, and operators of affected equipment. FAA’s new Part 23 rule (PDF) establishes performance-based standards for airplanes that weigh less than 19,000 pounds with 19 or fewer seats and recognizes consensus-based compliance methods for specific and . It also adds new certification standards to address general loss of control accidents and in-flight conditions.

“Aviation manufacturing is our nation’s top export and general aviation alone contributes approximately $80 billion and 400,000 jobs to our economy,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The FAA’s rule replaces prescriptive design requirements with performance-based standards, which will reduce costs and leverage innovation without sacrificing safety.”

The rule was written in response to the the FAA's and the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 and it also addresses recommendations from the FAA’s 2013 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee.

“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,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says.

The rule promotes regulatory harmonization among the FAA’s foreign partners as well, including the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and Brazil’s Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), which should help to minimize costs for airplane and engine manufacturers and operators of affected equipment who seek certification to sell products globally.

The rule will be effective eight months from publication in the Federal Register. To learn more from the FAA and industry about the benefits of streamlined certification, click here.