Avionics News February 2016 - 13
I n a dd i t i o n t o t h e l e g i s l a t i v e e n v i ro n m e n t , t h e re a re
a number of rulemaking activities with comment
p e r i o d s t h a t w i l l b e c l o s i n g t h ro u g h o u t t h e fi r s t h a l f
o f t h e y e a r . T h e re g u l a t o r y e n v i ro n m e n t i n t h e U . S .
should be slightly busier than a normal year.
Part 23 expected sometime in the first quarter of the year.
Following closely behind are a number of other rulemakings,
including a revision to the certification procedures of aviation
maintenance technician schools. This is a hugely disappointing
proposal. After nearly 20 years of committee discussions,
the proposal failed to introduce a performance-based rule as
we have seen in every other regulatory change of the past 20
years. Rather than ensuring that the certified schools meet the
minimum regulatory standards and then get out of the way so
the schools can keep up with modern technologies and their
customers' needs, the proposal continues the long-outdated
procedure of the FAA micromanaging the schools and their
A major legislative issue for 2016 will be the FAA reauthorization. For the past two years, the U.S. House of
Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Chairman, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), has said the next FAA
funding bill approved by Congress should be "transformational." The key element of transformational is the privatization
of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization. The privatization of the
ATO was in the news about every other week throughout 2015.
Although there have been leaked rumors from time to time, we
are not sure what other elements are contained in the proposal.
There are plenty of discussions and debate still ahead on
this issue. Most likely, the transformation will not come without a price, and no one wants to pay the bill. So, throughout
first half of 2016, the debates will take up a significant amount
of time. Current funding mechanisms has been at fault for the
delayed implementation of NextGen. The FAA is prohibited
from long-term funding, and when budgets get cut, the longrange infrastructure gets cut. Therefore, we are cautiously
monitoring the funding proposal for this new entity.
The industry currently pays for all of the services that this
new entity will provide through aviation fuel taxes. So where
is the proposal to transfer the current funding mechanism for
the legacy services to this proposed organization? This question and others will need answers. We are looking forward to
seeing the proposed "transformation."
In addition to the legislative environment, there are a
number of rulemaking activities with comment periods that
will be closing throughout the first half of the year. The
regulatory environment in the U.S. should be slightly busier
than a normal year. Add the political activity surrounding
the upcoming primary elections, and all indications are that
Washington, D.C., should continue to be an interesting place
to live and work throughout 2016.
During the middle of 2015, Europe introduced a
"game-changing" rule that not only will have a significant
effect on the installation of avionics in general aviation
aircraft, it will also act as a springboard toward a riskbased approach to EASA involvement in installations,
modifications and repairs. Certification Specifications for
Standard Changes and Standard Repairs, or CS-STAN,
published July 8, 2015, identifies "acceptable methods,
techniques and practices for carry out and identifying
standard changes and standard repairs."
The list of standard changes contained within CS-STAN
include a number of groups with a direct effect on AEA
member companies, such as:
* Survivability equipment.
* Miscellaneous to include the exchange of basic flight
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