Going Direct: A Historic Aviation Deadline is Passing . . .

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The Small Airplane Revitalization Act Is Almost ready…what happened to it?

Big changes to small airplane certification are awaiting the president’s signature to become law. While focused on “light” aviation, the legislation would free companies to innovate and cut costs on all manner of Part 23 airplanes.
Big changes to small airplane certification are awaiting the president’s signature to become law. While focused on “light” aviation, the legislation would free companies to innovate and cut costs on all manner of Part 23 airplanes.

Today is one of the most important days in the history of American general aviation. In theory, it is anyway. So in theory…hooray? Today, December 15, 2015, marks the deadline that the government gave itself for issuing a final rule for the law known as the Small Airplane Revitalization Act, often referred to as Part 23 Reform. The idea behind the act is one of the most forward thinking in all of aviation regulation history, and it’s well proven, too.

And the rule is sitting, figuratively speaking that is, on the President’s desk awaiting his signature. It’s a sad picture, because it isn’t going to happen. At least not today. And who knows when.

Think of applying the ideas behind the Light Sport Aircraft certification category, and applying them even more intelligently to the Part 23 segment, the category other than LSA under which just about all of our personal flown airplanes are certificated. Instead of government setting up roadblocks to make certification really expensive and innovation next to impossible, the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act would give the reins of innovation back to the private sector, allowing industry to smartly create its own set of standards by which new models can emerge that are as safe or safer than ones created under the rigors of the old Part 23, but which allow the use of innovative safety and cost saving technologies. Safer airplanes for a lot less dough. More jobs. More economic activity. More American industry. What exactly is wrong with any of this?

Well, if you have an answer, I’d sure like to know, because the administration isn’t saying. Writing such a rule is tough going to be sure, but the hard part has already been done. The only thing standing between the great effort that has already been put in these past several years on this effort, and a final rule being issued, is the will to do so.

I’m dropping my congressman an email today urging him to suggest to President Obama that it’s time to pick up his pen and make this great piece of legislation a reality.

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