The European Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA) has announced the culmination
of a years-long effort to rewrite European
certification specifications for many types of
smaller aeroplanes (CS-23).
As a result,
consensus-based standards developed by organizations
such as ASTM International will play a stronger role
in determining compliance and airworthiness. The new
rules are effective Aug. 15.
The shift marks a
turn from prescriptive, design-specific requirements
in which factors such as weight were emphasized.
This former approach was widely considered to be
overly prescriptive for simple designs while
requiring special conditions for complex designs.
This led to confusion, delays, cost increases, and
other negative impacts.
The new rules
include performance-based requirements that rely on
“acceptable means of compliance.” This includes
standards from ASTM International’s committee on
general aviation aircraft (F44), which met last week
in Cologne, Germany, to discuss issues related to
“This new approach
will help foster innovation and new safety-enhancing
technologies at the same time,” said
F44 chairman and vice president of global innovation
and policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers
Association (GAMA). “It’s a win-win for the aviation
community on a truly global scale.”
Over the past
decade, both the EASA and the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration have worked to overhaul and harmonize
such regulations. Generally, the newly published
CS-23 harmonizes with FAA’s new Part 23 regulations,
which were published in December.
An overview of ASTM International's key standards in
aviation is available here