The FAA announced it will formally re-examine the certification standards for helicopters under FAR Parts 27 and 29. Currently Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have no more than nine passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29.
The FAA sought public comment on the possibility of changes to these rules in February, particularly whether it should change existing weight- and seat-based applicability standards for normal and transport rotorcraft. The FAA 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.
“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 noted. The agency said it is interested in new certification standards that are “more efficient and adaptable to future technology.”