Avionics News March 2018 - 14

F R O M
R I C
P E R I
A EA V I C E P R ES I D E N T O F G OV E R N M E N T & I N D U ST RY A F FA I RS

The Aircraft Electronics Association's international membership continues to grow. Currently, the AEA represents
avionics businesses in more than 40 countries throughout the world. To better serve the needs of the AEA's international
membership, the "International News and Regulatory Updates" section of Avionics News offers a greater focus on
international regulatory activity, international industry news and an international "Frequently Asked Questions" column
to help promote standardization. If you have comments about this section, send emails to avionicsnews@aea.net.

UNITED STATES

News & Regulatory Updates
The Aircraft Electronics Association recently submitted
the following comments written by Ric Peri, vice president
of government and industry affairs, to the Federal Aviation
Administration.

Normal and Transport Category
Rotorcraft Certification
(Docket No. FAA-2017-0990)
The Aircraft Electronics Association appreciates the
opportunity to comment on the recent Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking on amending the certification standards of normal
and transport category helicopters.
The association represents more than 1,300 aviation
businesses worldwide, including repair stations that
specialize in maintenance, repair and installation of avionics
and electronic systems in general aviation aircraft. AEA
membership also includes instrument facilities, manufacturers
of avionics equipment, instrument manufacturers, airframe
manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major
distributors, and educational institutions.
The AEA supports the proposed amendments.
As technology advances, it is imperative that the
certification standards for rotorcraft, as well as all aircraft,
provide a performance-based outcome objective without
prescriptively defining what technology can satisfy the
requirement.
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2018

While a relatively prescriptive regulatory system was
acceptable for the first half-century of flight, it is clear that in
the last two decades, technology is advancing faster than the
speed of rulemaking. Therefore, it is critically important for
the agency to eliminate defining the performance criteria based
on yesterday's accepted technology but rather define the safety
objective wherever and whenever possible.
The one area of concern in the proposed amendment is with
reference to Rotorcraft Equipment, Systems, and Installations
(ยงยง 27.1309, 29.1309, and Appendix C to Part 27). New
technology often "looks different": six independent instruments
are now combined into a single screen. While the revised
amendment is intended to modernize these criteria, the agency
must modernize its oversight of the certifications. Instruments
provide information and data, and the certification of the next
generation of instrumentation must focus on the data rather than
the looks of the instrument. Many legacy engineers reject new
technologies because they are not familiar with the technology:
"I was trained on steam gauges and these new 'flat-screen
displays' are too confusing to me" is not the position I would
expect the certifying agency to be in.
It is critically important that (1) the agency provide the
resources necessary to train and educate the certifying
authorities on the technologies they are being asked to approve;
and (2) the agency must provide enough oversight to recognize
the personal biases that may exist in certifying authority.
In closing, the Aircraft Electronics Association supports this
proposed regulation as written.
The Aircraft Electronics Association appreciates the
opportunity to comment on this proposed regulation and
the opportunity to support these safety-enhancing additional
changes. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate
to contact us at (202) 589-1144 or email ricp@aea.net.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News March 2018

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