The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the first types in a newly created certification category for light aircraft. Following the PS-28 Cruiser from Czech Sport Aircraft and the Flight Design CTLS-ELA, the Evektor SportStar RTC is the third aircraft type to be certified under new specifications designed specifically for Light Sports Aircraft (LSA). Airplanes in this category have up to two seats and a maximum gross takeoff weight of less than 1300 pounds.
EASA has been actively working to address feedback from industry and operators stating that the regulatory framework applying to recreational aircraft is too burdensome. The publication in June 2011 of new Certification Specifications for LSA (CS-LSA), based on international standards, was the first result of this work. It has now allowed LSA to be certified and operated in Europe.
Commenting on this development, EASA Executive Director, Patrick Goudou, said “I am very pleased to see industry make use of these new Certification Specifications for LSA, which will benefit manufacturers, operators, and pilots. Going forward, LSA and other light aircraft are likely to become an economic and environmentally friendly replacement for part of the ageing General Aviation fleet.”
EASA continues to work closely with the aviation community, and further improvements to certification procedures for European Light Aircraft (ELA) are expected in the near future. The Agency’s Rulemaking proposal (Opinion 01/2011), which provides a more proportionate certification process for light aircraft and introduces a concept for standard changes and repairs, is expected to be adopted by the European Commission in the second part of 2012.