In a move lauded by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is peeling back certain additional regulatory reviews put in place in late 2019. GAMA has been concerned that the added layers of reviews had impeded the release of key technical standards that are necessary for the development of new products.
On Dec. 27, 2019, the DOT issued “administrative rulemaking, guidance, and enforcement procedures,” changing how different agencies, including the FAA, promulgate rules. The rulemaking cast a wide net, leading to extended reviews for regulatory and guidance actions that previously did not need such scrutiny, GAMA v-p of engineering and maintenance Walter Desrosier told AIN last year. These included interpretive rules, implementing guidance, and implementing policy, such as advisory circulars, guidance, orders, and acceptance of standards.
As a result, the rule had provided barriers to what Derosier had called “enablers” for technology and safety features. However, the DOT is releasing a new rulemaking that will remove some of the required internal review policies and procedures surrounding the issuance of rulemaking and guidance documents.
GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce said the association appreciates the step. “While some industries may have welcomed a dramatic slowdown in regulations under the previous administration’s philosophy, we believe the law of unintended consequences applies to the one-size-fits-all approach,” he said. “The aviation industry relies on technical standards to be routinely updated through rulemaking and guidance to address safety and incorporate evolving technology.”
Over the past few years, the industry has found that some of the rules and guidance being shelved “proved to be a significant barrier to progress,” Bunce added.