The United States Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) has substantially rewritten Part 23
of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The new regulations eliminate detailed, prescriptive
standards for new products, and instead, establish general performance objectives for new
products to be placed on the market. This change will make it substantially easier for new
aircraft products to be introduced into the marketplace.
The FAA worked on the rewrite for almost 10 years and the new rule takes effect in
approximately 8 months.
The new rule results in a fundamental shift in how the FAA approaches certification for aircraft
that weigh less than 19,000 pounds and have 19 or fewer seats. It also opens the door for the
development of many new products for these kinds of aircraft.
It is expected that the ruling will allow new companies to enter the general aviation market and
will permit the general aviation aircraft industry to develop and produce new models of pistons,
turboprops, light jets, and electric and hybrid engine propulsion systems.
Along with the changes to the FAA’s certification process for new products, Rule 23 also adopts
additional stricter standards for operating aircraft in icing conditions and requires certain aircraft
to employ aviation enhancements to help prevent aerodynamic stalls.
Written by: Keith Lovendosky, attorney at Bailey & Partners