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NPA 2016-05

Reorganisation of CS-23

This Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) proposes a reorganisation of Certification Specifications ‘CS-23’ — Certification Specifications for Normal, Utility, Aerobatic, and Commuter Category Aeroplanes.

Through this reorganisation of the current CS-23, a new concept will be introduced. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification specifications will be replaced by objective requirements that are design-independent. These objective requirements, due to their higher abstract level, will become also suitable for current CS-VLA aeroplanes. The proposed new CS-23 will therefore also replace CS-VLA.

Acceptable means of compliance (AMC) will capture the technical details and, when applicable, provide differentiation for the variety of aeroplane designs within the scope of CS-23 and CS-VLA. The proposed AMC in this NPA contain a set of draft consensus standards that EASA proposes to accept to demonstrate compliance with these objective rules. It is anticipated that the use of consensus standards as AMC will allow for a faster adoption of new technologies and better up-to-date standards. This improved flexibility is intended to encourage the introduction of safety-enhancing features and reduce certification costs for these types of aeroplanes. Future amendments of these consensus standards will be subject to acceptance by EASA, following an appropriate rulemaking process.

Similar to this NPA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently published notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 16-01 for the restructuring of part 23. EASA has been observing and cooperating in this restructuring of part 23 from the early days of the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), and strongly supports the initiative that is aiming to change the airworthiness requirements in a way that supports General Aviation development and innovation. It is believed and clearly expressed by stakeholders in Europe and the US, that harmonisation of this restructuring is vital for a global success.

This NPA therefore considers the feedback that EASA received through the consultation of Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment (A-NPA) 2015-06 that explained the new concept, as well as the FAA NPRM. The proposal for the reorganised CS-23 in this NPA reflects EASA’s current position that is not fully in line with the FAA NPRM. Since harmonisation is an important goal of this rulemaking activity, stakeholders’ comments especially on the differences between this NPA and the FAA NPRM are appreciated.