The Aircraft Kit manufacturers have wisely formed an association, named the Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA). The initial leadership and members are composed of senior executives involved in the development of kit airplanes such as the Kitfox pictured above. The article points out that the FAA registry includes about 30,000 aircraft and the list grows annually by 1,000.
A spokesman for AKIA stated that the founding fathers are “very independent and strong-willed people who are united behind the same set of common issues.” One of the key issues for AKIA is protecting the 51 per cent rule, which requires builders to complete that percentage of the airplane and which permits the aircraft to be accepted by the FAA.
The NTSB published a study of experimental amateur built aircraft and included therein are some points that AKIA should put on its agenda. Dealing with the NTSB and the FAA would fit naturally into AKIA’s mission and they would be well advised to consult with people with extensive experience in working with regulators.
AKIA would also bring value by providing services to support kit owners, especially during kit assembly and early operation of the aircraft. With a potential for 30,000 plus “associate members” including these owner/operators may make both financial and safety mission sense. Providing these services would create increased professionalism, visibility and safety awareness in addition to revenues to expand services and fund the Association.Share this article: