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FAA Studying Improvement for LSA Industry Compliance

Most issues not related to airworthiness

June 28, 2012 - As the Federal Aviation Administration looks to find methods to assure better compliance by manufacturers of light-sport aircraft (LSA), the rules and standards established to build and sell these aircraft are effective and do not need additional regulations.

The FAA published a notice of policy and request for comments in the Federal Register on Wednesday, focusing on the LSA industry and compliance issues that have been found while auditing current LSA manufacturers. Specifically, FAA officials noted that while the airplanes are airworthy and safe, a number of manufacturers have not met the established compliance standards for the delivery of those aircraft.

"It's important to note that the majority of compliance issues identified in the FAA audit did not specifically involve matters of safety and airworthiness," said Doug Macnair, EAA's vice president of government relations. "Although this has been an entirely new process for certifying recreational aircraft since the rules were introduced in 2004, the LSA regulations and standards have produced the desired outcome of safe and more affordable aircraft.

"When the category was created eight years ago, everyone understood that there would need to be systematic re-evaluations to identify areas that could potentially need improvement. Documented compliance with the rules and standards, especially with required paperwork and continued airworthiness monitoring of the fleet, are among the areas where enhancements are needed."

The FAA is accepting comments to the draft policy through July 30.

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