WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate Commerce Committee’s voice vote passage Tuesday, July 30, of the Small Airplane Revitalization Act moved the bill closer to passage by the full Congress, requiring the FAA to put into effect changes to Part 23 that would make available less expensive and more practical products for general aviation airplanes.
The full House of Representatives passed the bill two weeks ago.
Both the Senate and House bills would require the FAA to make rule changes proposed by a committee of industry and FAA leaders no later than Dec. 31, 2015. The full 335-page report of the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) was released to the public July 28. The FAA has said it favors the changes.
Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), praised the speed with which the bill is making its way through Congress. He said this demonstrates the widespread bipartisan support it is receiving and “demonstrates the need for the FAA to address the ARC’s recommendations as soon as possible.”
He added the legislation will help the general aviation industry and the FAA develop and adopt more effective regulations and standards that will spur manufacturers’ investment in new aircraft designs and will also help in putting critical lifesaving equipment into the existing fleet.
Officials at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), representing individuals and companies who own and fly the products, were equally pleased with the Senate committee action.
Craig Fuller, AOPA president and CEO, called the Senate action gratifying.
“We can only hope that the full Senate will act with similar speed,” he said.
Fuller added the changes to FAA Part 23 regulations covering design and manufacture of small aircraft and avionics would make certification of these products less expensive, allowing for practical changes in new products, but also allow present owners to install today’s more advanced avionics and safety features at a lower cost.