The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has begun to help prepare industry for the upcoming sweeping changes to the Part 23 certification process, hosting a series of training sessions in the U.S. and planning future sessions internationally.
The FAA late last year unveiled the Part 23 rewrite, which takes an entirely new performance-based approach to certifying light aircraft and aircraft products. That approach will rely on internationally established consensus standards and provide certification end requirements without dictating each step in achieving those requirements. EASA followed with a similar rewrite of its CS-23 light-aircraft rules earlier this month. The new rules are to take effect in August. Meanwhile, a number of other international aviation authorities have also been deeply involved in the rewrite effort.
GAMA, a driver in the new certification approach, is working with industry to ensure the changes are well understood. The training sessions involve the same materials and training experts that the FAA is using for its own workforce, providing a unified approach to educating both government officials and industry stakeholders on the implementation of the changes.
“I can't think of a more collaborative rulemaking effort,” said Greg Bowles, GAMA vice president of global innovation and policy, who is leading the training sessions. “For one of such scale and significance to be executed so well is evidence of the incredible work of the general aviation community, the FAA and the U.S. Congress. Capping this achievement off with parallel training efforts within the FAA and for the industry is the ideal way to usher in a new era of safe and innovative general aviation aircraft design.”
The first training session was held April 20 at the Boeing facility in Seattle, and future sessions are scheduled for April 27 in Dallas and May 18 in Washington, D.C. GAMA further will support similar sessions in Brazil, Canada, China and Europe over the next year.
“The [sessions] will help ensure the aviation community understands the full and immediate benefits of the new regulatory environment in August, and highlight the possibilities of what could be, if this same type of risk-based international certification rulemaking approach is extended in the future to rotorcraft and transport-category fixed-wing aircraft,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “It’s a testament to the significance of this rule rewrite that Boeing—which doesn’t currently produce small airplanes—was the host site of our first session.”