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Huerta: FAA Must Improve GA Certification

In an Oct. 11 speech delivered to the Wichita Aero Club, Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta called for an improved certification process and greater international cooperation for general aviation aircraft.

“The FAA acknowledges that we need to find ways to enhance safety, to decrease the costs associated with certification and bring more products to the market,” Huerta said. “Our goal is to improve general aviation safety and cut certification costs in half.”

To meet this challenge, the agency is working with the GA industry through an aviation rulemaking committee to examine 14 CFR part 23 regulations pertaining to airworthiness standards for small airplanes. The current regulatory structure has not been updated since the 1980s, despite rapid technological advances. The committee’s approach will be more proactive and flexible, while retaining the certification lessons learned in the past. Although the FAA is only examining part 23 aircraft, Huerta acknowledged that it will use the lessons learned and evaluate how they may be used in the certification of larger aircraft.

Greater international cooperation is a key component to meeting this goal. If nations can agree on certification testing procedures and consensus standards, it will help save time and money by allowing industry to adopt new technologies more quickly, Huerta said.

Huerta’s remarks also included details about some of the agency’s other GA efforts, including making it easier for GA to use non-required safety equipment and transitioning to lead-free aviation gas.



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