LSA Weight Limit Increase And FAA Funding
Two big “good news” pieces jumped into news tickers this week with FAA sources confirming that the FAA plans to raise the maximum weight for light sport aircraft to 3600 pounds. Rulemaking could be introduced as early as January 2019.
In a formal statement, AOPA President Mark Baker said: “Over the past two years, AOPA has been working with the FAA, ASTM International Light-Sport committee and other general aviation organizations to improve and advance light-sport aircraft, including increasing the weight limit and incorporate new technologies like electric propulsion.
The FAA has indicated it is on track to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in early 2019 which will include many of the suggestions for improvement. The rule will be a major step in making new, innovative aircraft accessible to pilots, by removing prescriptive barriers that are limiting aircraft designers, the flight training industry, and the strength of the pilot population.
In other positive news, the impossible has finally happened and President Trump has signed H.R. 302. The bill will authorize FAA funding and programs until 2023, making it the longest re-authorization legislation for the agency in decades. The bill is available for download here.
Last but not least, the FAA will be extending the $500 Rebate program for aircraft owners seeking to comply with ADS-B 2020. Coincidentally, more affordable solutions have appeared on the market after most of the rebate programs had expired.