FAA Issues Final Rule on Small Airplane Safety Standards


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a final rule that overhauls the airworthiness standards for small general aviation airplanes. This innovative rule will reduce the time it takes to move safety enhancing technologies for small airplanes into the marketplace and will also reduce costs for the aviation industry.

According to a statement released by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “Aviation manufacturing is our nation’s top export and general aviation alone contributes approximately $80 billion and 400,000 jobs to our economy. The FAA’s rule replaces prescriptive design requirements with performance-based standards, which will reduce costs and leverage innovation without sacrificing safety.”

FAA’s new Part 23 rule (PDF) establishes performance-based standards for airplanes that weigh less than 19,000 pounds with 19 or fewer seats and recognizes consensus-based compliance methods for specific designs and technologies. It also adds new certification standards to address general aviation loss of control accidents and in-flight icing conditions.

The rule affects airplane manufacturers, engine manufacturers, and operators of affected equipment.