The Rotorcraft Directorate is responsible for:

  • FAA regulations and policy related to engineering certification of rotorcraft and powered-lift aircraft
  • FAA certification of rotorcraft worldwide, and both fixed and rotary wing aircraft within the FAA Southwest Region
  • Approving the design and production for all fixed and rotary wing aircraft manufactured or modified within the FAA Southwest Region.

Certification of Rotorcraft

Rotorcraft Occupant Safety

Helicopters equipped with crash resistant fuel systems, crash resistant seats and structures provide the highest level of protection for pilots and passengers. Learn more about crash resistant fuel systems and crash resistant seats with our Helicopter Occupant Safety Toolkit (PDF).

Special Emphasis

Rotorcraft Accident Dashboard

The FAA’s publicly accessible rotorcraft dashboard allows any stakeholder the opportunity to stay informed of the latest numbers and emerging trends in rotorcraft safety metrics. The metrics include rotorcraft rates per 100,000 flight hours, accidents by specific industry sector, and the latest fatal accident rate data from the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST). The site is regularly updated using rotorcraft accident data from the National Transportation Safety Board and the preliminary accident reports received by the FAA.

Click here to view the complete Rotorcraft Accident Dashboard

Safety Promotion Concept for Design and Equipment

The Rotorcraft Safety Promotion Concept (RSPC) is intended as a resource to inform and educate stakeholders about voluntary design and equipment features that may be installed to enhance the safety of the rotorcraft. The RSPC consists of different categories of equipment that chosen from a review of government and industry safety recommendations to improve occupant survivability and reduce fatal accidents. Within each equipment category, there is a continuum of voluntary options. Each option offers a different incremental level of safety enhancement. It is up to each stakeholder to determine the equipment categories and options within each category that are appropriate for them. The RSPC offers a flexible approach because it acknowledges that priorities are different from one stakeholder to another and are influenced by the realities of operational needs, budget, and personal risk tolerances.

Bird Strike Protection and Mitigation

Last updated: Friday, January 20, 2023