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Pompeo Introduces Legislation To Help Revitalize General Aviation

On Tuesday, May 7, U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced legislation that will improve safety, decrease costs, and free private-sector innovation. The legislation calls for the FAA to reorganize certification requirements to streamline the approval of safety advancements.

The Small Aircraft Revitalization Act (SARA), H.R. 1848, seeks to cut burdensome regulations on the general aviation industry. The legislation helps to address decline in the sales of new private aircraft, the number of new pilots and flight activity. Pompeo stated that businesses looking to manufacture aircraft face many regulatory hurdles that hurt, and sometimes stall, production. By modernizing outdated regulations for this sector, the legislation states, this will result in a “clear path for technology adoption and cost effective means to retrofit the existing fleet with new safety technology.”

 

A FAA Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) has been working for 18 months to devise a new regulatory standard for light aircraft. New regulations, the ARC discusses in its report recently filed with the FAA, will simplify the design requirements to performance-based, rather than the current technology-dependent that are not always accurate. The new design requirements will allow for updated safety-enhancing products to be produced and applied. The bill requires implementation of the ARC’s recommendations by the end of 2015.

 

In a hearing of the House Aviation Subcommittee, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta recognized the importance of the certification process and stated that by summer, the Part 23 ARC will have recommendations to report that will be taken into consideration. The goal of reorganizing the certification process, the Administrator stated, is to ensure safety and restructure in the most efficient way.

 

Pompeo said in a press release that general aviation has “never asked for a bailout” but that removing some of the existing red tape could improve safety and cut the cost of building new airplanes.

“The existing outdated certification process needlessly increases the cost of safety and technology upgrades by up to 10 times,” Pompeo stated. “With this bill, we can ensure that the general aviation industry has what it needs to thrive.”

 

The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Sam Graves (R-MO), Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Rick Nolan (D-MN), all members of the House General Aviation Caucus.