Congress has endorsed the concept of Part 23 aircraft relying on consensus standards as the basis for updates to airworthiness standards.
This was a key part of the Pat 23 ARC (an Industry-FAA rulemaking committee) recommendations, in which the reliance on consensus standards was meant to permit the FAA to update airworthiness standards more rapidly to reflect changing technical standards. It is hoped that this will permit companies to more readily develop safety improvements for the general aviation fleet.
For companies manufacturing Part 23 aircraft or parts for such aircraft, it will be important for them to identify the consensus-standards-setting bodies and to track or participate in their efforts to the extent that they affect the company’s projects.
Yesterday, the House agreed to the Senate version of the bill (H.R. 1848), which clears the bill for the President’s signature. The bill recognizes that the FAA shall issue new regulations by December 15, 2015 that will permit the establishment of broad, outcome-driven safety objectives in the hopes that they will spur innovation and technology adoption.