President Barack Obama signed into law the Small Airplane Revitalization Act (SARA), a bill that requires the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt new certification regulations that should reduce the cost of aircraft and avionics upgrades. SARA gives the FAA until Dec. 31, 2015 to adopt changes to the Federal Aviation Regulation Part 23, which governs the certification of many general aviation aircraft.
“We applaud President Obama for making the Small Airplane Revitalization Act the law of the land today,” said Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Joining Bunce in the affirmation was Mark Baker, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), who said the passage of SARA is great news for the general aviation community. “Reforming the way the FAA certifies aircraft can help more pilots fly more safely while lowering their costs—and that’s exactly the kind of support general aviation needs to thrive,” said Baker. Both leaders acknowledged the bipartisan efforts of the House and Senate GA Caucus members who developed this bill and saw it through.
Manufacturers say that a streamlined Part 23 will reduce certification costs and thus the price of new aircraft. The changes should also reduce the certification cost and price of modifications of all types, from avionics to airbags and seats to restraints, making it more affordable for owners to install modern safety equipment in older aircraft.
The legislation, which moved the legislative process quickly, unanimously passed the Senate in October and the House in November. The bill’s lead sponsors were Congressman Pompeo (R-Kansas) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota).