FAA Streamlines Aircraft Certification Process

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17–As part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ongoing efforts to improve its responsiveness to the U.S. aviation industry as it certificates new products and operators, the agency took an important step today to streamline the aircraft certification process to help the industry get products to market faster and retain competitiveness.

The FAA is replacing project sequencing with a new process to prioritize all U.S. aircraft certification projects. While the new process continues to use a project’s safety benefit and complexity to prioritize and allocate resources, it now offers applicants increased predictability and a commitment to a response time for the review of the applicant’s compliance data. The time it takes for certification depends on the complexity of the project and the experience of the company. Once an application package has been accepted, applicants will be able to initiate projects without delay; particularly if they have an Organization Designation Authorization or are using FAA approved individual delegated engineering representatives

This new process responds to the recommendations from the Aircraft Certification Process Review and Reform Aviation Rulemaking Committee formed in accordance with Section 312 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

Due to limited resources, the FAA began sequencing certification projects in 2005. The agency was unable to tell applicants when a project would start which often resulted in long project delays until resources became available.

Last year, the FAA certificated approximately 10,000 aviation products. There is currently no backlog or queue for certification projects. 

The FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service’s 1,300 engineers, scientists, inspectors, test pilots and other experts are responsible for the design and production approval, airworthiness certification, and continued airworthiness programs of all U.S. civil aviation products.