FAA Accepts Second Set of Part 23 Consensus Standards

 - October 1, 2020, 12:41 PM

The FAA has signed off on a series of Part 23 aircraft standards developed through the international government/industry standards body, ASTM International, marking another step in the evolution of the light aircraft certification process.

In the newly released notice of availability (NOA), the agency outlined 35 new and revised consensus standards that are viewed as acceptable means of compliance. The NOA was the second that the agency has released in support of new performance-based standards for Part 23 aircraft; it released the first in May 2018.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), which was deeply involved in the rewrite of Part 23 to provide for a consensus-based approach to developing performance-based standards for new aircraft and products, lauded the release of the NOA, saying the accepted consensus standards will encourage safety and innovation, as well as developments in advanced air mobility.

“We applaud the FAA’s work to accept the latest set of important means of compliance standards,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “Going forward, the FAA needs to continue working to improve and standardize the acceptance process because it will support a regulatory environment that advances innovation and development of safety-enhancing technologies. This effort is about being future-ready for the opportunities that await this vital and vibrant industry.”

The standards cover a range of areas, including simplified loads criteria, fuel and energy storage and delivery, and safety assessment of systems, as well as methods of addressing high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF) and indirect effects of lightning, GAMA said.

An ASTM International committee on general aviation aircraft involving more than 400 industry and government representatives from around the world developed the standards. Work is ongoing on other areas of certification and is particularly important as new forms of aircraft, such as eVTOLs, continue to be developed.

“This recognition of updated and new standards demonstrates how the collaborative relationships between authorities and industry enable equipage of safety-enhancing and innovative technologies into general aviation in a timely manner,” GAMA said.