FAA Administrator Michael Huerta reiterated the agency’s commitment to rewriting Part 23 regulations, but still had no firm timeline for when the long-awaited proposal might be released. “I’ve asked my team to shorten time frames wherever possible so we can get this rule completed,” he said. “It’s a big undertaking. The new rule will touch many different aspects of aviation, so we have to make sure it’s fair, can be measured and doesn’t have an adverse effect on safety or airworthiness.”
FAA officials have in past indicated that a proposal could be out before year-end, but GAMA “can’t predict a date.” The association hoped to see a proposal out by last summer, but is nonetheless encouraged that indications are the proposal “is moving through the system. We believe a lot of progress is being made, and that the various entities involved know it's important.”
Huerta also noted that the recently passed short-term extension of the agency's authorization is “far from ideal.” Acknowledging talk of the air traffic control restructuring, he said the agency is “certainly open to having this discussion.” But the agency's top priority is that reauthorization addresses budget instability, lack of predictability and lack of flexibility, Huerta added. “We are hopeful Congress will act soon to provide us with a long-term reauthorization that will provide the FAA with the tools necessary to meet the demands of the future and to minimize disruption to the progress we’ve already made,” he said.