New rules to transform general aviation market for light aircraft

These new rules likely to be employed virtually worldwide…..

THE US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new Part 23 rule promises to be a breakthrough for the light end of the general aviation marketplace … and likely much more.

“This rule will usher in a new era of safety and a new era of innovation in general aviation here in the United States,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in announcing the rule at a press conference held recently at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Noting that the new rule represented a “fundamental shift in how the FAA approaches certification,” Huerta added that it “will allow American businesses to create good manufacturing jobs and to better compete in the global market.”

The Part 23 rewrite—which was years in the making—will allow manufacturers of, and suppliers for, small aircraft to develop and deliver innovative products to their customers more quickly and to better leverage new technologies.

new rules

Instead of having to comply with unnecessarily prescriptive design requirements, manufacturers will now have the ability to respond more nimbly and cost-effectively through performance-based airworthiness safety rules and consensus standards for compliance.

“This rule is nothing less than a total rethinking of how our industry can bring new models of pistons, diesels, turboprops, light jets, and new electric and hybrid propulsion airplanes to market, as well as facilitating safetyenhancing modifications and upgrades to the existing fleet,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “The new Part 23 rule makes it easier for manufacturers to do so by reducing the time, cost, and risk involved in certification, while improving safety for customers,” Bunce added.

“As the leader of an aircraft manufacturing company, I can tell you firsthand that this rule will allow Piper Aircraft to bring new safety-enhancing technologies and aircraft to our customers without being held back by outdated and inflexible regulations,” GAMA Chairman, Simon Caldecott, President and CEO of Piper Aircraft, noted.

“This new Part 23 rule will help us to keep pace with new developments and allow us to more readily leverage innovation,” added Brad Mottier, Vice President and General Manager of Business and General Aviation & Integrated Systems for GE Aviation.

The Part 23 effort is part of a global initiative to streamline the way light aircraft are certified and ensure harmonisation. The European Aviation Safety Agency is also in the process of rewriting its CS-23 rule for small airplanes, and is slated to announce the finalisation of its rule this year. Other regulatory authorities worldwide are expected to follow suit. The new US rule is based on the work of the Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), which GAMA co-chaired.


Statistics illustrating the wide range of general aviation aircraft usage worldwide, were released by the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA) recently and gives a dramatic eye-opener as to just how extensive this section of the aviation industry actually is.

The association defines “General Aviation” by saying that the sector includes over 416 000 general aviation aircraft flying worldwide today, ranging from two-seat training aircraft and utility helicopters to intercontinental business jets, of which over 210 000 aircraft are based in the United States and over 140 000 aircraft are based in Europe…………………… For the FULL ARTICLE please subscribe to our digital edition.