After years in the making the FAA have released its rewrite of the Part 23 regulations governing small aircraft, making them more performance based and less prescriptive.
The new rules for Part 23 make a lot of sense and have drawn universal praise by the private and business aviation industry.
The rule takes effect in eight months, has been worked up between the FAA and EASA, and moves the away from its history of establishing detailed prescriptive standards for new products moving to a performance-based approach.
This new certification ruling establishes performance objectives for new products and gives the manufacturer flexibility on how it meets those objectives.
The thinking behind the new rules is that the FAA no longer want to tell manufacturers how to build things. The FAA and indeed EASA know they are not in the engineering business of design and manufacture, and instead of requiring certain technologies or designs, they are defining the performance objectives they want to be achieved.
The rule applies to aircraft that weigh less than 19,000 pounds and with 19 or fewer seats. It opens the door for the use of standards established by an international ASTM committee. More than 300 people representing aviation authorities from seven countries, manufacturers, design specialists and a range of other interested parties are part of the ASTM committee. In the past three years alone, that committee has agreed upon 21 standards and is ready to review its next set of technologies.
Link: FAA small aircraft