The likelihood of survival of rotorcraft occupants in the event of an otherwise survivable crash would be significantly increased through the retroactive application of the current design requirements for crash-resistant fuel systems and crash-resistant seats and structures that were introduced into the certification specifications for rotorcraft in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The safety of rotorcraft occupants of rotorcraft types that were certified before the new certification specifications for rotorcraft became applicable could be significantly improved.
Safety recommendations have been put forward by accident investigation boards on the lack of crash-resistant fuel systems and crash-resistant seats and structures for rotorcraft that were certified before the significant improvements of the rules for emergency landing conditions and fuel system crash resistance were introduced in the 1980s and 1990s.
In November 2015, a new task was assigned by the FAA to the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee Rotorcraft Occupant Protection Working Group (ARAC ROPWG) to provide recommendations regarding rotorcraft occupant protection rulemaking for normal and transport category rotorcraft for older certification basis type designs. EASA participated to the ARAC ROPWG and the conclusions and recommendations have now been published .
This rulemaking task will consider the recommendations of the ARAC ROPWG and the application of the outcome of this rulemaking activity to existing rotorcraft types and existing European rotorcraft fleets.