European Light Aircraft regulations changing

PRIBRAM, CZECH REPUBLIC – The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Friday April 25th will for the first time publicly reveal their new plans for initial airworthiness of light aircraft weighing less than 2,000 kg (4,410 lbs). This is part of a complete overhaul of the regulatory system for certifying light aircraft, pilot licensing and operations for all 27 countries within the European Union. The presentation will be made at a day-long workshop held during the Aero Expo show held at the Pribram Airport April 25-27. The proposed changes were released April 17th by EASA in a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA). NPA No. 2008-07 describes EASA’s intention to “create a lighter regulatory regime based around a new process for the European Light Aircraft (ELA) and to introduce a concept of standard changes and repairs.” EASA states that “ELA is not a new category of aircraft defined by criteria such as stalling speed or certification code, but is a substantially simpler new process for the regulation of aircraft and related products, parts and appliances. The intention is to issue type certificates for the type and certificates of airworthiness for the individual aircraft.”

ELA is sub-divided into two sub-processes: ELA 1 (Maximum Take-Off Mass less than 1000 kg) and ELA 2 (Maximum Take-Off Mass less than 2000 kg). Under ELA 1, EASA is proposing to create a Certification Specification - Light Sport Aeroplane (CS-LSA) to complement existing CS (CS-22 for sailplanes and powered sailplanes, CS-VLA for very light aeroplanes, etc). This CS would define the applicability (criteria would include maximum take-off mass of 600 kg) and refer to the ASTM standard that is used in the FAA light sport aircraft rule.

Serving the light aircraft industry since 1984

LAMA European Office chief, Jo Konrad participated in the working group of industry and EASA members whose multi-year effort to develop the proposal has finally been realized. “It is a relief to now have the NPA published,” said Konrad. “I am concerned that some EASA requirements will still cost too much money for smaller manufacturers to pay for certification of their products.”

LAMA will be studying the NPA and will collect member input on the NPAs impact to LSA production in Europe and abroad. Deadline for comments to the NPA is July 18, 2008.

“Jo and I are looking forward to hearing what EASA has to say,” commented LAMA President Tom Gunnarson who will be present at the workshop. “They are showing a willingness to accept the ASTM standards for LSA which is a major step toward creating a worldwide LSA standard that will save the industry millions in certification costs over time.”

LAMA is an international trade association headquartered just outside Washington, DC representing 100 of the world’s leading manufacturers of light aviation aircraft, engines, avionics and related equipment. LAMA’s members also operate fleets of aircraft, fixed based operations, and pilot training and maintenance training facilities. For more information contact LAMA at +1 301-693-2223 or at [email protected].


Source: Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association
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