FAA Flight Standards Service Executive Director John Duncan, Director, Office Safety Standards Rick Domingo and Director, Flight Standards Service Larry Fields provided a policy briefing at the 2018 ATEC Annual Conference. During the question and answer portion, attendees posed the following question: How do I best educate my students on the new part 23?
The new performance-based rule, governing airworthiness standards for general aviation airplanes, went into effect last year. The long-awaited change replaced previous prescriptive design requirements, with a performance-based approach that relies on consensus standards. The forward-thinking regulatory approach allows for greater international harmonization and encourages innovation.
While the new rule was a welcome change, educators were faced with challenges when 1) the knowledge test wasn’t revised in time for the part 23 effective date, students still see questions on the previous rule’s prescriptive airworthiness requirements and 2) very few specific requirements in part 23 left some educators struggling with how best to teach the material.
Following the conference, FAA representatives coordinated a plan to address the issue. The FAA testing standards branch has prioritized review of all part 23 test bank questions. Questions based on historical part 23 regulations will be revised or deleted. Applicants should expect the written test to be in line with the current rule by the June test roll. In the meantime, applicants should still be prepared to answer part 23 questions based on the historical regulation, accessible at eCFR.gov (the old part 23 is available in the library of historic e-CFRs here).
In addition, the agency has agreed to provide a summer webinar on “teaching to the new part 23.” Educators can get an overview of the new rule, better understand the intent of performance-based regulations, and how they can be best incorporated in a training program. Stay tuned for the date and registration details.
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