Compliance Countdown

Within 6 Months

 April 24, 2017
Part 135 Rotorcraft Radio Altimeters

Under new Part 135.160 rotorcraft must be equipped with an operable FAA-approved radio altimeter, or an FAA-approved device that incorporates a radio altimeter, after April 24, 2017  Deviations from this requirement may be authorized for helicopters in which radio altimeters cannot physically be installed in the cockpit. The request for deviation authority is applicable to rotorcraft with a maximum gross takeoff weight no greater than 2,950 pounds. The radio altimeter mandate is contained in the final rule upgrading private, air taxi and air ambulance helicopter operations, published on Feb. 21, 2014.

 April 30, 2017
Estimated Finish for Southern Calif. ATC Redesign

From November 2016 through April 2017, the FAA will phase in the Southern California Metroplex (SoCal Metroplex) Project. The project involves replacing dozens of existing conventional ATC procedures with new satellite-based procedures. Before publishing the procedures, however, the agency will conduct public meetings to inform people about the changes. Specific dates for these meetings will be announced on the FAA’s NextGen Community Engagement webpage for the SoCal Metroplex project. The project will affect instrument arrivals and departures for 21 airports in southern California.

 May 1, 2017
Medical Certification for Certain Private Pilots

Private pilots may fly certain small aircraft under limited conditions without having to meet FAA medical certification requirements under this new rule. Pilots who meet eligibility requirements and qualify for an FAA medical exemption are limited to small airplanes (turbine or non-turbine) with no more than six seats, a maximum airspeed of 250 kias and a maximum altitude of 18,000 ft msl. The flight may be flown IFR or VFR but may not be for hire or compensation.    

 July 3, 2017
EASA Proposes to Require FDRs on Light Aircraft

So-called “lightweight, crash-resistant” flight data recorders (FDRs) would be required on certain light aircraft under a notice of proposed amendment from the European Aviation Safety Agency. If adopted, the rule would require FDRs on airplanes and helicopters that are commercially operated, manufactured starting three years after the effective date of the rule and have passenger seating for more than nine (for airplanes) or are turbine powered with an mtow of 6,500 pounds or more (for airplanes and helicopters).

Comments on the proposal are due by July 3 this year.

 August 30, 2017
New FAR Part 23 Effective Date

The FAA’s rewrite of Part 23 small airplane certification rule goes into effect on Aug. 30, 2017. The revised airworthiness standards will apply to normal-, utility-, acrobatic- and commuter-category airplanes, and replace current “prescriptive design requirements with performance-based” airworthiness standards. These standards also replace the current weight and propulsion divisions with “performance- and risk-based divisions of airplanes with a maximum seating capacity of 19 passengers or less and a mtow of 19,000 pounds or less. The new rules enact additional airworthiness standards to address certification for flight in icing conditions, enhanced stall characteristics, and minimum control speeds for multiengine airplanes. Additionally, revised rules will apply to Part 91, 121 and 135 operations to correspond with the new airworthiness standards.

Within 12 Months

 December 7, 2017 and January 30, 2020
Expansion of Datalink Com in North Atlantic

Phase 2 of the North Atlantic datalink mandate began with Phase 2a in February 2015, at which time flights within the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT) between FL350 and FL390 must be equipped with Fans 1/A controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) and ADS-C systems. The program expands to these altitudes in the entire ICAO NAT region on Dec. 7, 2017, and to all flights in this region above FL290 on Jan. 30, 2020, a month sooner than the previous revised date. 

 January 1, 2018
Deadline for European 8.33-kHz Spacing

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, aircraft might not be able to operate in any EU member states’ controlled airspace unless they are equipped with communications systems that have 8.33-kHz voice-channel spacing capability. Eurocontrol says extending 8.33 kHz below FL195 down to ground level is important, as “Europe has a known shortage of voice communication frequencies.” The 8.33-kHz requirement for higher altitudes in controlled airspace has been in effect for some time. According to Eurocontrol, the consequences should this shortage of com frequencies not be addressed are “significant: there will be more air traffic delays; it will be harder to implement safety improvements; and we will lose flexibility in introducing operational enhancements.”

Beyond 12 Months

 June 16, 2018 and January 1, 2019
Upgraded CVRs and Underwater Locators Required

New regulations from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will require upgraded CVRs and underwater locating devices (ULDs) to be installed. Starting June 16, 2018, ULDs must be capable of transmitting for at least 90 days instead of 30 days. By Jan. 1, 2019, airplanes with an mtow of at least 59,500 pounds with more than 19 passenger seats and performing transoceanic flights must be retrofitted with an “additional ULD with a very long detection range.” Also by Jan. 1, 2019, all CVRs with a 30-minute recording duration must be replaced by units with two-hour recording capability. Additionally, CVRs recording on magnetic tape must be replaced by solid-state units.

 November 8, 2018
ICAO Adopts 15-min. Position Reporting

The International Civil Aviation Organization Council adopted a tracking standard for certain international flights that requires crews to report their aircraft’s position at least every 15 minutes. It will become effective in March 2016 and applicable Nov. 8, 2018. The new requirement will be formalized as Amendment 39 to Annex 6–Operation of Aircraft, Part I. The new standard is the outcome of recommendations stemming from the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China, on March 8, 2014. The search for that aircraft was called off in January 2017.

 June 16, 2018 and January 1, 2019
Upgraded CVRs and Underwater Locators Required

New regulations from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will require upgraded CVRs and underwater locating devices (ULDs) to be installed. Starting June 16, 2018, ULDs must be capable of transmitting for at least 90 days instead of 30 days. By Jan. 1, 2019, airplanes with an mtow of at least 59,500 pounds with more than 19 passenger seats and performing transoceanic flights must be retrofitted with an “additional ULD with a very long detection range.” Also by Jan. 1, 2019, all CVRs with a 30-minute recording duration must be replaced by units with two-hour recording capability. Additionally, CVRs recording on magnetic tape must be replaced by solid-state units.

 December 31, 2019
Taiwan ADS-B Compliance Delayed

The Republic of China will postpone from December 31 this year to Dec. 31, 2019, compliance with ADS-B out equipment within the Taiwan FIR above FL290. China is forced to delay compliance because too few aircraft are equipped to render the original ADS-B plan achievable. However, the new deadline for Taiwan essentially coincides with the Jan. 1, 2020 U.S. mandate for ADS-B out compliance. Europe’s ADS-B out mandate remains scheduled for June 7, 2020.

 January 1, 2020
U.S. ADS-B out Mandate

ADS-B out equipment must be operational starting Jan.1, 2020 in aircraft that fly in the U.S. under IFR and where transponders are currently required, namely class A, B and C airspace.

 January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2023
Aircraft CO2 Emissions Standards Adopted

The first international standards for CO2 aircraft emissions have been enacted by ICAO and initially apply to large subsonic jets, including business jets, for which the application for a type certificate was submitted on or after Jan. 1, 2020. The standard would apply to new deliveries of current in-production large aircraft starting Jan 1, 2023. All covered in-production airplanes must meet the standard by Jan. 1, 2028. Jet airplanes with an mtow under 12,500 pounds, and piston-engine airplanes and turboprops below 19,000 pounds mtow, are exempt. 

 December 7, 2017 and January 30, 2020
Expansion of Datalink Com in North Atlantic

Phase 2 of the North Atlantic datalink mandate began with Phase 2a in February 2015, at which time flights within the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT) between FL350 and FL390 must be equipped with Fans 1/A controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) and ADS-C systems. The program expands to these altitudes in the entire ICAO NAT region on Dec. 7, 2017, and to all flights in this region above FL290 on Jan. 30, 2020, a month sooner than the previous revised date. 

 February 5, 2020
European Controller-Pilot Datalink Comm

Europe won’t require aircraft operators to equip for controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) until February 2020, due to technical problems. The European Commission expects the entity managing the Single European Sky ATM Research effort will recommend remedial actions for ground infrastructure issues next year. Additionally, European Commission figures showed that only 40 percent of operators would have been ready to use CPDLC by the original deadline of February this year.

 June 7, 2020
European ADS-B out Mandate

The ADS-B Out retrofit requirement in Europe takes effect June 7, 2020. This date is about six months later than the U.S. ADS-B Out mandate. The ADS-B Out requirement in Europe had been June 8, 2016 for new aircraft. 

 January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2023
Aircraft CO2 Emissions Standards Adopted

The first international standards for CO2 aircraft emissions have been enacted by ICAO and initially apply to large subsonic jets, including business jets, for which the application for a type certificate was submitted on or after Jan. 1, 2020. The standard would apply to new deliveries of current in-production large aircraft starting Jan 1, 2023. All covered in-production airplanes must meet the standard by Jan. 1, 2028. Jet airplanes with an mtow under 12,500 pounds, and piston-engine airplanes and turboprops below 19,000 pounds mtow, are exempt.