AOPA Statement On FAA’s Release Of Final Rule On Small Aircraft Certification

Published in Midwest Flyer – February/March 2017 issue

FREDERICK, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) issued the following statement after the FAA’s release of the final Part 23 rule that reforms small aircraft certification standards with groundbreaking new provisions that allow manufacturers to use performance-based, industry-consensus standards in place of the “prescriptive” manufacturing methods that have long hindered development of new designs and technologies, and caused aircraft certification costs to soar.

“We acknowledge the FAA’s achievements with Part 23 reform and anticipate a much improved certification process for new aircraft with new innovations, exciting designs and technologies incorporated, but we must also focus on ways to modernize the existing fleet,” said AOPA President & CEO Mark Baker.

Under the final rule’s provisions, categories such as utility, aerobatic and commuter will be eliminated for future Part 23 airplane certifications. Instead, four levels of performance and risk will be used, based on the aircraft’s maximum seating capacity.

AOPA will continue to press for reforms allowing the existing type-certificated aircraft fleet to be retrofitted with modern, low-cost equipment (www.aopa.org).

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