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DOT/FAA RIN: 2120-AK65 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Revision of Airworthiness Standards for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes (RRR) 

This rulemaking would revise Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 23 as a set of performance based regulations for the design and certification of small transport category aircraft. This rulemaking would: (1) reorganize part 23 into performance-based requirements by removing the detailed design requirements from part 23. The detailed design provisions that would assist applicants in complying with the new performance-based requirements would be identified in means of compliance (MOC) documents to support this effort; (2) promote the adoption of the newly created performance-based airworthiness design standard as an internationally accepted standard by the majority of other civil aviation authorities; (3) re-align the part 23 requirements to promote the development of entry-level airplanes similar to those certified under Certification Specification for Very Light Aircraft (CS-VLA); (4) enhance the FAA's ability to address new technology; (5) increase the general aviation (GA) level of safety provided by new and modified airplanes; (6) amend the stall, stall warning, and spin requirements to reduce fatal accidents and increase crashworthiness by allowing new methods for occupant protection; and (7) address icing conditions that are currently not included in part 23 regulations.

Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 14 CFR 23   
Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g)    49 U.S.C. 40113    49 U.S.C. 44701    49 U.S.C. 44702    49 U.S.C. 44704   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Statutory  NPRM (Pub. L. 113-53)  12/15/2015 

Statement of Need:

The FAA's strategic vision – Destination 2025, communicates FAA goals to increase safety throughout general aviation by enabling and facilitating innovation and development of safety enhancing products. This project intends to provide an appropriate and globally competitive regulatory structure that allows small transport category airplanes to achieve FAA safety goals through innovation and compliance with performance-based safety standards. One focus area is Loss of Control (LOC) accidents, which continues to be the largest source of fatal GA accidents. To address LOC accidents, the Small Airplane Directorate is focused on establishing standards based on a safety continuum that balances the level of certitude, appropriate level of safety, and acceptable risk for each segment of GA. This risk-based approach to certification has already served the FAA and public well, with the application of section 23.1309 to avionics equipment in part 23 airplanes, leading to the successful introduction of glass cockpits in small GA airplanes. To improve the GA fleet's safety level over that of today's aging fleet, the FAA needs to allow industry to build new part 23 certificated airplanes with today's safety enhancing technologies. Although a number of new small airplanes are being built, many are certified to the Civil Air Regulations (CAR 3) part 3, or very early amendment levels of part 23, and reflect the level of safety technology available when they were designed decades ago. Without new airplanes and improved existing airplanes, we will not see the safety improvements in GA that are possible with the technology developed since the 1970's. This rulemaking effort targets: increasing the safety level in new airplanes; reducing the cost of certification to encourage newer and safer airplane development; and create new opportunities to address safety related issues, not just in new airplanes, but eventually with the existing fleet.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702, 44704. Additionally, Public Law 113-53, Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 (Nov. 27, 2013), requires that the FAA issue a final rule revising these standards by December 15, 2015.


Several alternatives are considering. 1. Retaining part 23 in its current form without adopting the recommendations of the ARC and the CPS. 2. Revising part 23 using a tiered approach and adopting a performance and complexity tiering structure instead of the propulsion and weight-based approach used today, but retaining the detailed design requirements in the rule. 3. Allowing an industry standard for part 23 entry-level airplanes as an alternative to part 23. Airplanes other than entry-level would still be regulated within the confines of the existing part 23.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

For the timeframe 2017 to 2036 (2014 $ Millions), the total costs are $3.9 ($3.9 present value) and the total benefits are $30.8 ($11.6 present value).


To be determined

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  03/14/2016  81 FR 13452   
NPRM Comment Period End  05/13/2016 
Final Rule  12/00/2016 
Additional Information: Additionally, Public Law 113-53, Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 states: "SEC. 3. SAFETY AND REGULATORY IMPROVEMENTS FOR GENERAL AVIATION. (a) IN GENERAL.-Not later than December 15, 2015, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue a final rule-"
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Lowell Foster
Department of Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
901 Locust St.,
Kansas City, MO 64106

Analiese Marchesseault
Attorney, Office of the Secretary
Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-4723