Beginning about the time this magazine lands in your mailbox, the FAA’s long-awaited revision to FAR Part 23—the regulations setting forth small aircraft certification rules—will go into effect. Manufacturers and user groups are enthusiastic about the coming changes, which they say promise to reform and modernize the agency’s approval process for airframes, engines and equipment like avionics. The new rules go into effect August 30, 2017. In preparation, the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service (ACS) in July began working under a reorganization plan it says will “implement a new, functionally-aligned organizational structure to execute the certification strategy. Realignment is the first visible phase of the transformation process.”
The new Part 23 eliminates airplane certification categories like aerobatic, utility and commuter in favor of four levels of performance and risk, based on the aircraft’s maximum seating capacity. Two performance levels will be designated: low speed (maximum cruise less than or equal to 250 KTAS) or high speed (greater than 250 KTAS). Perhaps more important, especially to manufacturers, applicants for type certificates may use acceptable consensus standards to demonstrate how compliance with certification standards will be achieved.
According to AOPA, “The change creates flexibility for applicants in developing means of compliance, and identifies consensus standards that the FAA, and other authorities, may find acceptable.” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta welcomed the new approach—which will regulate production of airplanes weighing less than 19,000 pounds or equipped with 19 seats or fewer—and labeled it an “absolutely critical” step representing a “fundamental shift in how the FAA approaches certification.”
Meanwhile, benefits from the ACS reorganization are expected to include improved consistency and standardization by streamlining certification, standards and system oversight. The FAA also says the new plan “fosters innovation by engaging applicants and industry early to understand new concepts and ensure a viable path to compliance. Establishing metrics-based business practices to determine efficacy of its efforts and those of the industry it regulates also will be a feature of the reorganization.
Cold-Temperature Airports List Updated
On July 18, the FAA published an update to its list of “Cold Temperature Restricted Airports,” those facilities at which cold-weather altimetry errors may be great enough to create hazards. The updated list removed some airports and added others.
A complete explanation of the program and the procedures flight crews are required to use during the coming winter months was published in the Notices to Airmen publication effective July 20, 2017, and provides a list of affected airports, the relevant route segments and the procedures needed to correct published altitudes at the restricted temperatures.
Pilots must be cleared by ATC to apply a cold temperature compensation to an ATC-assigned altitude or when flying on a radar vector in
lieu of a published missed approach procedure. Pilots must not correct altitudes published on Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs), Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) and Standard Terminal Arrivals (STARs) but they must use the corrected Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) or Decision Altitude/ Decision Height (DA) as the minimum for an approach.
Pilots of aircraft not equipped with an RNAV system capable of temperature compensation must use the ICAO Cold Temperature Error Table found in the AIM at Para. 7−2−3 to calculate a cold temperature altitude correction. The calculations for the approach will be performed for three points on the approach. Pilots of aircraft equipped with an RNAV system capable of temperature compensation, and choosing to use this system, must ensure the system is active and operating. If the system is not operating, or not being used, the pilot must manually calculate and apply a cold weather altitude correction using the AIM’s ICAO Cold Temperature Error Table. Importantly, pilots must not make an altimeter change to accomplish an altitude correction. Pilots must ensure that the altimeter is set to the current altimeter setting provided by ATC.
The application of the correction procedure should be infrequent, but failure to apply it when required could result in altimetry errors placing an aircraft inappropriately close to terrain.
Facilities Added To Cold-Temperature Restricted Airports
Idaho: Driggs-Reed Memorial (KDIJ) (-31C)
Maine: Greenville Muni (3B1) (-29C)
New Hampshire: Laconia Muni (KLCI) (-25C), Parlin Field (2B3) (-24C)
Pennsylvania: Washington County (KAFJ) (-27C)
South Dakota: Pine Ridge (KIEN) (-33C)
Washington: Richland (KRLD) (-19C)
Facilities Deleted From List
Alaska: Perryville (PAPE), Togiak (PATG), Willow (PAUO), White Mountain (PAWM)
Colorado: Spanish Peaks Airfield (4V1), McElroy Airfield (20V), Walden-Jackson County (33V)
Maine: Eastern Slopes Rgnl (KIZG)
Maryland: Greater Cumberland Rgnl (KCBE)
Massachusetts: Walter J. Koladza (KGBR)
Minnesota: St Paul Downtown Holman Fld (KSTP), Tower Municipal (12D)
Montana: Cut Bank Intl (KCTB), Deer Lodge City County (38S)
Nevada: Carson (KCXP), Minden-Tahoe (KMEV)
New Hampshire: Dillant-Hopkins (KEEN)
New Mexico: Taos Rgnl (KSKX)
New York: Dansville (KDSV), Massena Intl-Richards Field (KMSS), Hamilton Muni (KVGC), Cortland County-Chase Field (N03), Randall (06N), Schenectady County (KSCH)
North Dakota: Watford City Muni (S25)
Oregon: Astoria Rgnl (KAST)
Pennsylvania: Seamans Field (9N3)