Washington, DC, Dec. 2, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) welcomes President Barack Obama's signature into law of the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013, formally enacting valuable legislation to dramatically enhance the certification process for new light general aviation (GA) aircraft, avionics and other equipment. The president signed the bill into law on Nov. 27.
"It has been evident for many years that the FAR Part 23 certification process needed to be adjusted to better suit the level of technology available in general aviation aircraft today," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "This bipartisan legislation removes the arbitrary hurdles in place under the old certification standards, establishing in its place a deliberative and collaborative method to ensure that the latest operational and safety advances are available to the companies relying on business aviation.”
Part 23 outlines Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification standards for most light civil aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds. The legislation calls on the FAA to adopt, no later than Dec. 31, 2015, consensus-based, design-specific standards placing greater emphasis on aircraft- and systems-specific criteria, over broader industry parameters such as the aircraft weight-and-propulsion method.
Originally introduced as H.R. 1848 by Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-4-KS), along with co-sponsors Sam Graves (R-6-MO), Dan Lipinski (D-3-IL), Rick Nolan (D-8-MN) and Todd Rokita (R-4-IN), the act closely follows recommendations made last year by a joint industry-government Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) tasked with revising Part 23 certification standards to enable faster adoption of advances in technology and manufacturing processes.
Following reconciliation last month in the U.S. Senate with comparable legislation (S.1042) introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the final bill signed by Obama was passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 14. The initial version of the legislation passed the House earlier this year by a unanimous vote of 411 to 0.
Bolen praised the bipartisan efforts of congressional lawmakers in seeing the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act enacted. “These lawmakers listened to the concerns of their constituents and stakeholders in spearheading this essential legislation to support and nurture the continuing growth of this vital American industry," said Bolen.