In a move aimed at streamlining approval of new technologies, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a final rule to overhaul airworthiness standards for small general aviation (GA) airplanes.
The FAA said on Dec. 16 that the new Federal Aviation Regulations Part 23 rule would shorten the time required to introduce safety-enhancing technologies into the marketplace.
The rule establishes performance-based standards for airplanes weighing less than 19,000 pounds that have no more than 19 seats. It also recognizes “consensus-based compliance methods” for specific technologies and adds certification standards that address GA loss of control accidents and in-flight icing conditions, the FAA said.
The rule is intended to promote “regulatory harmonization” among the FAA and other regulators, including the European Aviation Safety Agency, Transport Canada and the Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority. The harmonization could help limit costs for aircraft and engine manufacturers and operators of the affected equipment, the FAA said.
“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 said.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx added that the rule “replaces prescriptive design requirements with performance-based standards, which will reduce costs and leverage innovation without sacrificing safety.”