In response to the recent call for industry comments by the Federal Aviation Administration to consider updating the rotorcraft airworthiness standards for both normal and transport-category rotorcraft (Part 27 and 29), the Aircraft Electronics Association, along with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Helicopter Association International recently hosted a listening session with aviation stakeholders.
The meeting, in coordination with the FAA – particularly the FAA Rotorcraft Directorate – took place on Tuesday, March 5, during Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.
“In the midst of sequestration concerns faced by the FAA and economic challenges faced by industry, this event was a shining example of industry and regulatory authorities working in-step to address needed changes to an outdated regulatory environment to better reflect the innovative technologies of today’s rotorcraft industry,” said Paula Derks, AEA president. “Similar to the efforts in the past year of working with the FAA in updating Part 23 certification design rules for fixed-wing airplanes, the effort to develop standards more applicable to today’s rotorcraft designs ensures a safer, more efficient, and more economical certification process in the coming years.”
As noted by Kim Smith, manager of the FAA’s Rotorcraft Directorate, the Part 27/29 regulations have not been reviewed in more than 20 years. The event was attended by more than 30 industry representatives, including rotorcraft manufacturers, avionics manufacturers, and maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities.
To ensure harmonization in these efforts, the FAA will coordinate regulatory review with the European Aviation Safety Agency, Transport Canada, ANAC of Brazil, and the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, among other international agencies.