Rethinking of GA Certification Regime Stimulates Innovation of European GA Aircraft Development

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ARTICLE: GAMA Praises Efforts on CS-23/Part 23 Reorganization


The world’s aviation regulators have relied on a pre-existing set of rules that define what the Type Certificate applicant must demonstrate. FAR Part 23 was such a “one rule for all TC requests” regime. An FAA ARC, composed of visionary, yet practical FAA and industry leaders, rethought that approach and adopted a new regulatory construct in which the regulatory requirements are reassessed based on the challenges of the design. That was a dramatic breakthrough and the FAA executives who accepted the change are to be commended. This new thinking should be extended to other FARs.

GAMA’s President & CEO, Pete Bunce, is on a missionary trip to Europe urging that EASA adopt the same regime. Although there were representatives of this European aviation authority on the ARC with the intent of adopting the same concepts, their own press’ frequent reference to these civil servants as “Eurocrats” is indicative of where their natural instincts may lie.

Bunce’s gospel seems to have had some traction among his target audience. He commented:

“Adopting new certification rules will help spur new product innovation and the installation of safety-enhancing technologies in existing aeroplanes. We are pleased with the steps EASA and the FAA have taken to date, with the stated goal of doubling safety while cutting certification costs by half.”

Hopefully that is more than wishful thinking. Europe was the leading source of aircraft innovation after the Wright Brothers invention of the aerial vehicle. Today, the continent’s contribution to general aviation innovation has been limited. Revising CS 23 would stimulate aeronautical engineers’ additions to this segment of the industry.

Good work, Aviation Bishop Bunce!

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