Before the Senate concluded its work prior to the current state work period, Senator Lisa Murkowski was proud to see the U.S. Senate unanimously pass the bipartisan Small Aircraft Revitalization Act that she co-sponsored in May to give the the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) a deadline to provide baseline, defined safety standards so that Alaska's aviators can upgrade their aircrafts and avoid many unnecessary risks. Presently, the FAA's archaic Part 23 certification processes hampers aviators' attempts to incorporate 21st century technology for safety and efficiency on their aircraft due to a bureaucratic maze of overlapping and sometimes-contradictory guidelines requiring months or years of approval for inspectors to wade through.
"As we mark the centennial of Alaska aviation, it's critical for our pilots and manufacturers to be able to implement 21st century technology in our planes," said Senator Murkowski. "This bill would ensure that the Federal Aviation Administration meets the needs of our general aviation community by creating a deadline for their certification process -- and creating hard and fast expectations and rules -- so that we can move forward with the best available equipment and innovations."
The Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 establishes a certain date for the modernization and implementation of the FAA's small aircraft and parts certification process -- a much needed fix at a time when the average age of general aviation airplanes in Alaska is close to 40 years. Currently, the cost of investing in new equipment is restricted by outdated or overlapping regulations. The bill directs the FAA to make changes proposed by the Aviation Rulemaking Committee, composed of aviation authorities and industry representatives from around the world, to remove barriers limiting investments in new designs and make available lifesaving safety equipment for existing airplanes.