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GA Groups to FAA: Act Quickly on Part 23 Changes

Cessna 172 in the hangar area of an airport - GA Groups to FAA: Act Quickly on Part 23 Changes

AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association), GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association), AEA (Aircraft Electronics Association), and EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) are continuing to call on the FAA to act quickly on implementing the proposed part 23 changes, stating that “this must be an absolute priority for the FAA.”

In a recent report featuring comments from the groups, they praised the FAA’s efforts on thus far, “On behalf of the aviation community, we would like to extend appreciation to the staff at the FAA who have understood to the concerns of the general aviation industry, who have worked so hard to implement the critical change being proposed. The process of creating this proposal was over 9‐years in the making and it is clear the work that has been put into the proposal was worthwhile.” Then, over the course of the 27 pages of comments in the report, the GA groups address many detailed technical issues related to the current proposed rules.

Part 23 Letter to the NTSB

AOPA, EAA, and AEA also recently sent a letter to the NTSB, which while noting the NTSB’s goal of improving safety in general aviation, also addressed some assertions the NTSB made in reply to the part 23 changes. Among the items noted by the letter were that the NTSB’s discussion of potential risks was based on issues with an aircraft model that didn’t conform to current industry agreed standards, and that the NTSB’s concerns over the proposed certification process appear to have been drawn from incidents involving part 25, or transport category airplanes, and not ones under part 23.

The groups had this to say, “We strongly believe that proposed Part 23—including the use of performance-based regulations and industry-consensus standards—accomplishes this goal and will lay the foundation for the next generation of innovative and safe products for the GA community.

AOPA’s Part 23 Letter to The FAA

AOPA’s President Mark Baker also recently sent an additional letter to the FAA, explaining the group’s interest in the having the issue addressed in a timely manner. According to Baker, “The FAA has begun moving down the path toward a risk-based approach to certification of new aircraft. Now we’re asking them to do the same for retrofitting the existing fleet. The average single-engine piston-powered airplane in this country is 45 years old. At the current rate of aircraft production, it will take decades to replace the GA fleet. Add to that the fact that new aircraft are far too costly for most pilots, and it’s imperative that we modernize the aircraft that are already flying.

More Detail on the Part 23 Changes

Both the 27-page report and the letter to the NTSB regarding the part 23 changes are now available in full for those who are interested, as well as an article from AOPA “Understanding Part 23 Rewrite.

Featured Image: Dmitry Sumin

Anders Clark was introduced to aviation a few short years ago, and has developed an interest in aviation history and what the future of aviation will bring. A writer and editor, Anders enjoys researching and sharing the stories of aviation.