AOPA, GAMA and NBAA hailed the signing of the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 by President Obama on Wednesday. His signature formally enacts legislation to enhance–and, the industry hopes, to reduce the cost of–the certification process for new general aviation aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds, their avionics and other equipment.
Civil aviation authorities
The FAA is reminding aircraft operators through a special airworthiness information bulletin– NOTC5068, issued November 22–about a few idiosyncrasies to keep in mind when updating aircraft navigational databases. “The cyclical updates may exclude certain navigation data, including approach procedures, which makes this information unavailable for selection on the aircraft flight management system or navigation equipment,” warned the bulletin.
Effective December 1, most general aviation flights in China will enjoy a significantly simpler planning process, with military approval for such civil flights no longer required. The long awaited alleviation of the “regulations on the approval and management of general aviation flight mission” was announced on November 18 by the People’s Liberation Army general staff department and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The FAA is requesting comments on the draft of an advisory circular (AC 120-27F) to provide operators with guidance on developing and receiving approval for a weight-and-balance control program for aircraft operated under Part 91, Part 91 Subpart K and Parts 121, 125 and 135. Comments must be received by December 7.
Duncan Aviation’s location in Provo, Utah, has been designated by Mexico’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation as an approved aircraft maintenance organization. In addition, the company’s Battle Creek, Mich. location recently received approval from the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation. Besides the FAA, Duncan Aviation’s locations in Lincoln, Neb., Battle Creek and Provo hold certificates from 10 more civil aviation authorities around the world.
It is a common perception among operators and maintenance facilities that trying to get approval criteria from the FAA for just about anything is a moving target that varies from region to region and even among inspectors. “Shopping around” to get the answer you want to hear has been common for as long as anyone can remember. Loosely defined criteria can present a serious safety hazard, and it’s widely recognized that they are a significant waste of time and money for both the applicant and the FAA.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched an industry-wide project to identify smaller airports within Britain that could benefit from the development of new instrument approach procedures. All industry sectors from airport managers to air traffic controllers to pilots and commercial operators are encouraged to offer suggestions on potential airport recipients.
Boeing and the Flight Safety Foundation have named Lee Wan-Lee of Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Authority the recipient of their lifetime achievement safety award for his work in flight standards, aircraft certification, regulatory upgrading, international safety cooperation and the dissemination of flight safety information. The award was announced at the FSF’s 66th annual International Aviation Safety Summit on October 30 in Washington.
Patrick Ky, the new executive director at the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), is willing to take into account peculiarities of general aviation, which includes business aviation and helicopters, in future regulation. Prompted to react to the industry’s unease at often being lumped with the airline world, Ky confirmed that EASA is carrying on with its efforts, with the FAA, toward less restrictive and more performance-based certification rules, he told AIN.
Just prior to this year’s NBAA convention, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) held its first regional symposium in Marrakech, Morocco. A range of topics was discussed, highlighting not only the many issues that face business aviation as it grows on the continent, but also the strides that have been made by AfBAA itself since it was launched at EBACE in May last year.