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FAA Forms ARC to Reorganize Part 23

August 25, 2011 – The FAA has announced formation of a Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) charged with creating a progressive, tier-based system so that small recreational airplanes won’t have to be designed and certificated under the same regulatory requirements as heavier, more complex and higher performance aircraft. The end-result should allow manufacturers to bring small planes to market faster and at less cost.

“The use of industry consensus standards for designing and manufacturing special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) has demonstrated the need for a tier-based version of the regulations that are based upon aircraft complexity and performance-based standards,” said David Oord, EAA government advocacy specialist. “It’s important to match the aircraft certification requirements to the type of operation the aircraft will experience.  An airplane used for simple, recreational flying should not be subject to the requirements of a light jet operated at high altitudes and in harsher weather environments.

“We are optimistic that one of the results of the ARC and resulting reorganization of Part 23 could be safer and more affordable aircraft.”

The ARC stems from the Part 23 Certification Process Study (CPS) begun in 2008. The CPS’ primary objective was to assess the adequacy of the current airworthiness standards throughout a small airplane’s service life while anticipating future requirements. The contents of the study include significant and fresh recommendations to improve GA’s safety and vitality.

EAA is a consensus standards pioneer, pushing for the use of an ASTM committee to benchmark standards by which S-LSA are certificated. This certification method has led to the design and manufacture of more than 110 aircraft types today, and EAA laid the groundwork for this momentous move.

The ARC will be comprised of about 20 members representing the FAA (Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification, and Flight Standards Service) and the aviation community (part 23 aircraft and equipment manufacturers, light-sport airplanes, associations, and foreign aviation authorities).

See the ARC Charter here.


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