September 13, 2018 — Using momentum gained from an in-depth meeting with FAA officials during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, the Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates (MOSIAC) rulemaking initiative has made substantial progress in the past six weeks.
MOSIAC, which was detailed earlier this summer, would bring more flexibility to the construction process for kit aircraft. For example, it could allow someone to receive professional building assistance beyond the current 51 percent rule, or could allow a contractor to build an entire aircraft for a client.
“At AirVenture we had a wonderful opportunity to drive home the realities of what we’re asking for with the senior executives at the FAA, and to inspire them to support MOSIAC,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety, who was in Washington, D.C. this week for further discussion with top FAA officials. “We are pursuing improved operating limitations that are much less restrictive for certain parts of the amateur-built community.”
EAA has been clear from the outset that MOSIAC will not alter or inhibit the traditional path to amateur-built in any way, but instead will offer an additional avenue for those wishing to use it. The FAA understands and has thus far shown nothing but support for this position. The modernization project appears to be on track to enter official rulemaking status at the FAA by early 2019.
The rulemaking package also contains language causing major reform to light-sport aircraft. The intent is to make the category more robust and commercially viable going forward, and while a specific proposal is not yet on the table, it is expected that a reformed LSA category would contain more qualifying aircraft as well as long-sought features including electric propulsion.
At this point in the discussion, EAA and the FAA are close in expectations and alignment on MOSIAC. If successful, it will be a significant improvement for the homebuilt community and a showcase of how EAA’s advocacy team can work with regulators to make positive changes for members.
“This is another example of how to achieve real, lasting reforms by leveraging EAA’s relationship with the FAA,” Elliott said. “The FAA views EAA as a major partner in this rulemaking process and we will continue to provide input to the agency as much as we are permitted by law.”
EAA will be consulting with several advisory groups and divisions to provide feedback and details, such as the Homebuilt Aircraft Council, Warbirds of America, the Vintage Aircraft Association, the Legal Advisory Council, and the EAA Board of Directors Safety Committee.