The FAA plans to formally reexamine the certification standards for helicopters under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs, the agency announced. Currently, Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have nine or fewer passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29 rules.
The FAA sought public comment in February about whether it should change existing weight and seat-based applicability standards for normal and transport rotorcraft. It noted that “commenters indicated a substantial interest in revising and restructuring the certification standards…and the FAA’s rotorcraft directorate will begin establishing appropriate forums to involve interested parties” to include Transport Canada and the EASA.
According to the FAA, “We continue to recognize that the evolution of Parts 27 and 29 has not kept pace with technology and the capability of rotorcraft produced currently.” The FAA said it is interested in new certification standards that would be “more efficient and adaptable to future technology.”