The FAA expects to release the Part 23 rewrite notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) later this year, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta confirmed. General aviation leaders have pushed the agency to release an NPRM on the light aircraft certification standards this summer, fearing any later release could cause lengthy delays as the rulemaking gets caught up in a change of administrations in 2017. During a recent Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Huerta told lawmakers, “I think it would be ambitious to say, 'I’m going to get it published this summer.' We’re very focused on getting it published this year.”
Huerta, however, also said that “a lot of good work” has gone into developing the NPRM to date and “I think industry will be very pleased with where it is.” Dorenda Baker, director of the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service, added during a Senate aviation subcommittee hearing this week that agency officials are just as anxious to publish a proposal as GA leaders are to see it published. The rulemaking involves a substantial overhaul of certification policies, and the agency’s attorneys are carefully reviewing it to ensure the NPRM is thorough and complete, she said.
The agency hopes to release a final rule in 2017, two years after the congressional mandate of 2015. The Europeans, meanwhile, are setting the pace, recently releasing an advance notice of proposed amendment on CS-23. An NPA is anticipated later this year and a final action could come as soon as next year's first half.