New rules will spur innovation

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany — During AERO, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President Pete Bunce praised EASA and the FAA for their efforts to put into place the CS-23/Part 23 Reorganization, which would regulate the safety of GA aircraft based on requirements based on the complexity and performance of the airplane, rather than on existing arbitrary divisions based on weight and propulsion.

The lighter segments of GA have suffered in terms of new product innovation as a result of overly prescriptive and rigid rules, he said.

“Adopting new certification rules will help spur new product innovation and the installation of safety-enhancing technologies in existing airplanes,” Bunce said. “We are pleased with the steps EASA and the FAA have taken to date, with the stated goal of doubling safety while cutting certification costs by half.”

GAMA has worked with EASA, the FAA and the industry over the past year on these new certification rules, which would allow compliance through consensus-based standards. EASA has also worked with the FAA to establish formal rulemaking initiatives to develop the new system. Officials in other  countries such as Canada, Brazil and China, have also been involved in this initiative, and remain committed to adopting a harmonized global approach, he noted.

In addition to the CS-23 effort, Bunce emphasized the importance of implementing the broader General Aviation Safety Strategy developed last year by EU Member States, EASA and industry.

“The Strategy represents an opportunity to rethink how we approach GA regulation in Europe, to ensure proportionality in areas such as operations, licensing and maintenance,” Bunce said.

Both of these initiatives represent significant opportunities to address some of the challenges faced by GA in Europe, he noted.


  1. Kent Misegades says

    I will admit I have not studied these new regulations, but they appear illogical when one considers that the most innovation in light aircraft in the past 20+ years has occurred among homebuilders (E-AB) and LSA (ASTM) sectors.

    How does getting giant bureaucracies like EASA and FAA, which are largely responsible for the red-tape and over-regulation from the past. really simplify matters beyond what is now in place for E-AB and LSAs?

    The fact that the president of GAMA, an organization that has largely ignored light aircraft, is involved, concerns me. Is this truly in the interest of light aircraft designers and producers, or is GAMA attempting to slow their progress? After all, the same companies that only a few years ago built light two-seat aircraft are now clearly eating away at the market share for long-time GAMA members.

    This is the nature of a free market, which will always tend towards conditions most favorable, especially those free from oppressive regulation and government meddling. Free markets provide the natural mechanism to assure safety and efficiency – profit for those who succeed, bankruptcy for those who don’t.

    Why not try a different approach: In the future, eliminate government certification of aircraft altogether, and allow industry groups to self-police. It has worked well for E-AB, why not for factory-built aircraft?

    For those who think that only government is capable of approving and regulating industry, consider all its great achievements, if you can point to one that is. The best example is the former Soviet Union and all the wonderful household products this highly-regulated society produced, can you name any?

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