The House of Representatives passed the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 on July 16. A companion bill has already been introduced in the Senate.
The bill, H.R. 1848, calls for the establishment of FAA safety and regulatory improvements for general aviation by having the FAA Administrator “advance the safety and continued development of small airplanes by reorganizing the certification requirements to streamline the approval of safety advancements.” It instructs the FAA to issue a final rule based on recommendations from the FAA’s Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) established in August 2011. The deadline for the final rule is Dec. 31, 2015. A key element of the ARC is replacement of current prescriptive requirements in FAA rules with performance-based regulations, and using FAA-accepted consensus standards to clarify how the Part 23 safety objectives may be met by specific designs and technologies.
The FAA and government and aviation industry groups have been working jointly for 18 months on revisions to Part 23 that will streamline aircraft certification, while making it easier and more affordable for manufacturers to produce new aircraft with safety-enhancing equipment and for pilots to modify their aircraft with new technology.