EASA & FAA Reorganize CS-23/Part 23
International Effort & Cooperation to Revive General Aviation
All too often, there has been news of competition between the FAA and EASA- innuendos and reading between the lines; never anything explicit. A recent EASA press release was explicit in its recognition, if not praise, of international cooperation.
The EASA statement addresses its issuance of new rules which establishes innovative criteria and processes for the certification of GA aircraft. Certification Director Trevor Woods presented CS-23 certification rules for small aircraft. He said that “EASA CS-23 are new, smart and flexible rules, prepared with and for a safe innovative GA industry.” But further down the message, the following significant statement is made:
“The best example yet of global cooperation between aviation authorities.
EASA has participated in an international effort and cooperation with the FAA (and others) to reorganise the CS-23/Part 23 in order to revive certified general aviation. Furthermore, a harmonised reorganisation of both the related EU and US rules is vital for a global success. Matthias Betsch, President of Flight Design, underlined this: ‘I am sure the result we see here today is a testament to what we can accomplish when government and industry work hand in hand to achieve a common goal. In fact, it might be the best example yet of global cooperation between aviation authorities.”
The theme of Trans-Atlantic collaboration was reinforced by the EU’s referencing a positive comment by US-based GAMA:
“This is a landmark day for the general aviation industry,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. ‘This rule is nothing less than a total rethinking of how our industry can bring new models of pistons, diesels, turboprops, light jets, and new hybrid and electric propulsion aeroplanes to market, as well as facilitating safety-enhancing modifications and upgrades to the existing fleet. The new CS-23 rule makes it easier for manufacturers to do so by reducing the time, cost, and risk involved in certification. This will provide existing and future pilots with the tools they need to fly safer and more easily.’”
As EASA noted, the CS-23 rule derived from a joint effort. The FAA issued its Revision of Airworthiness Standards for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes on December 30,2017. The new Part 23, with its innovative approach to certification, set August 30, 2017 as the effective date. The Federal Register explained that the 8 months between issuance and implementation was needed to train the staff who will be responsible for applying the new regimen. Further, AIR-1 reorganized her office to support the performance-based certification.
A new innovative certification standard offers great potential to GA manufacturers. Being first to utilize these new rules would be a tremendous competitive advantage. Being first to implement the new Part 23 is extremely tempting. However, both EASA and the FAA chose the same date.
These concurrent dates are a great sign of cooperation and one which hopefully will continue in the future.