FAA To Examine Aging GA Aircraft Fleet

 - January 10, 2007, 5:55 AM
The FAA has scheduled a public meeting on March 22 and 23 in Kansas City, Mo., to address continued airworthiness of the U.S. general aviation fleet of recip and turbine airplanes. The meeting comes nearly six years after the first such gathering in 2000. No rulemaking followed that first meeting, but since then “there have been GA fatal accidents caused by the effects of airplane aging,” the agency said. According to the FAA, the average airplane in the GA fleet is 35 years old. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association said the most recent data shows an average age of 16 years for business jets and 21 for turboprops. “We expect the average age [of all GA aircraft] to be almost 50 years old by 2020,” noted the FAA. In 1991 Congress mandated that the agency establish an aging aircraft program for the airline fleet. The public meeting, at which GAMA will be present on a panel, is intended as a “forum to share information and resolve questions concerning the continued airworthiness of older GA airplanes.” It could also lead to eventual proposed rulemaking.