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Opinion 05/2021

Part 21 Light — Certification and declaration of design compliance of aircraft used for sport and recreational aviation and related products and parts, and declaration of design and production capability of organisations

The objective of the proposed ‘Part 21 Light’ is to provide cost-efficient and proportionate rules in the field of the initial airworthiness of aircraft used for sport and recreational aviation.

Compared to Part 21, the proposed ‘Part 21 Light’ provides a lighter approach to the certification of those general aviation aircraft, and introduces the possibility for a declaration of design compliance to be submitted as an alternative to certification. The proposed ‘Part 21 Light’ also provides for the possibility to demonstrate design and production capabilities through a declaration, instead of an approval, and for certain low-risk production activities the demonstration of production capabilities is not required at all.

The Opinion captures the outcome of a series of focused consultation workshops that have been used by the Agency to develop this Opinion. Furthermore, following consultation of the draft Opinion with the Advisory Bodies, the regulatory text of ‘Part 21 Light’ has been further refined to accommodate concerns about proportionality (e.g. removal of safety management elements).

With these new possibilities, it is expected that the barriers to the entry into the European regulatory system will be lowered while maintaining aviation safety. This is expected to invigorate and stimulate the general aviation sector and permit the easier development of new aircraft types.

The proposed ‘Part 21 Light’ and related amendments of existing Regulations are expected to reduce the regulatory burden for the designers and manufacturers of aircraft used for sport and recreational aviation while continuing to ensure a high level of safety.