Small Airplane Revitalization Act Passes House, Heads to Senate
July 18, 2013 - The Small Airplane Revitalization Act, introduced in May by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), passed the House 411-0 and will now head to the Senate.
The Senate bill is sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The legislation would compel the FAA to adopt the recommendations presented by the Part 23 Reorganization Advisory and Rulemaking Committee (ARC), of which EAA was a member.
The Part 23 ARC, composed of association and industry representatives, recommended sweeping changes to the certification and maintenance of light aircraft as well as the parts and avionics approved for installation. A major concern for the ARC was that outdated certification standards were preventing manufacturers from creating and successfully marketing new safety equipment for light aircraft.
"It is not helping aviation when mature safety technology like airbags, inflatable shoulder harnesses, and wing levelers cannot be retrofitted in small aircraft because no manufacturer can spend the huge amount of money necessary to certify the devices for individual legacy airframes," said Sean Elliott, vice president of EAA advocacy and safety. "The certification rules, originally designed to enhance safety, are actually a hindrance and are acting against the best interests of advancing pilot situational awareness and increasing accident survivability with technology."
If the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law, the FAA would most likely create a new noncommercial category for aircraft equipped with parts and avionics that did not undergo the traditional certification process.
Rep. Pompeo, a steadfast advocate for GA in the House, urged senators to "pass this common-sense regulation."
"By focusing on common-sense regulatory reform, we can strengthen general aviation while not taking a dime from the American taxpayer. That's a win-win." Pompeo said. "These new streamlined regulations will decrease costs, increase safety, and improve global competitiveness."