FAA rules on small airplane safety certification standards

US Department of Transportations Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a final rule regarding airworthiness standards for small general aviation airplanes, the department said.

This rule will reduce the time it takes to move safety enhancing technologies for small airplanes into the marketplace and will also reduce costs for the aviation industry.

Aviation manufacturing contributes approximately USD80 billion and 400,000 jobs to the US economy, said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The FAA rule replaces prescriptive design requirements with performance-based standards, which will reduce costs and leverage innovation without sacrificing safety.

FAAs new Part 23 rule establishes performance-based standards for airplanes that weigh less than 19,000 pounds with 19 or fewer seats and recognizes consensus-based compliance methods for specific designs and technologies. It also adds new certification standards to address general aviation loss of control accidents and in-flight icing conditions.

The rule responds to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013, which directed the FAA to streamline the approval of safety advancements for small general aviation aircraft.