LEE'S SUMMIT, MO., May 9, 2013 -- With the introduction of the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 (H.R. 1848) on Tuesday, May 7, it appears the collaborative effort during the past 18 months by the Federal Aviation Administration Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) has paid off and resulted in proposed legislation.
U.S. House Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) introduced the bipartisan-supported bill, which would update and streamline burdensome regulations on the general aviation industry and thereby improve safety, decrease costs and free private-sector innovation. The bill is co-sponsored by Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Rick Nolan (D-Minn.).
"The Aircraft Electronics Association has taken an active role in the Part 23 ARC and helped craft the recommendations on maintenance and retrofit of the existing general aviation fleet, as well as the certification of the next generation of avionics and safety-enhancing electronics," said Paula Derks, AEA president. "The AEA commends Mr. Pompeo's leadership by introducing a bill that encourages the acceptance and use of consensus standards. The AEA also has been active with ASTM International in developing consensus standards for the next generation of nonessential, nonrequired safety-enhancing avionics technologies.
"General aviation safety can be improved by modernizing and revamping the regulations for this sector to clear the path for technology adoption and cost-effective means to retrofit the existing fleet with new safety technologies. As general and business aviation has suffered from the Obama administration's constant rhetoric during the past five years, this bill gives general aviation a much-needed boost and will help those products be more efficiently certified for general aviation installations."
The AEA played host to the FAA Part 23 ARC's working group twice in 2012 at its international headquarters in Lee's Summit, Mo. Members of the ARC were charged with creating a progressive, tiered certification system -- from low-complexity, low-performance airplanes all the way to high-complexity, high-performance airplanes -- so small recreational airplanes won't have to be designed and certificated under the same regulatory requirements as heavier, more complex, and higher-performance aircraft. The focus was on improved safety, reduced cost and promoting innovation. Part 23 outlines FAA certification standards for most light civil aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds.
The Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 incorporates many of the ideas brought forth by the ARC's working group, which included Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs. The bill would require the FAA to implement the ARC recommendations by the end of calendar year 2015.
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Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents nearly 1,300 member companies in more than 40 countries, including approved maintenance organizations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of aircraft electronics systems in general aviation aircraft. The AEA membership also includes manufacturers of aircraft electronics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.