NBAA Members Slighted by FAA TAWS Rule

Washington, DC, March 31, 2000 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) was troubled by the FAA’s final rule requiring all turbine-powered aircraft with six or more passenger seats to install Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (TAWS).

The final rule, issued on Wednesday, March 29, requires the installation of one of two types of TAWS equipment, classified as Class A or Class B, based on the regulatory environment the aircraft is operated under. The FAA has set a five-year compliance deadline of March 29, 2005, for completion of equipment installation.

NBAA President Jack Olcott said, “The decision to require this type of equipment seems to ignore the excellent safety record of business aviation. Business aircraft operations flown by professional crews are as safe, and at times safer, than commercial airlines. The safety culture of NBAA’s Member companies has a much greater impact on our safety record than any single piece of equipment.

Olcott continued, “NBAA and the general aviation community have committed significant resources to support the FAA’s Safer Skies initiatives through the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (JSC), Joint Safety Analysis and Implementation Teams, and other government/industry partnerships. This cooperative work is addressing the issue of Controlled Flight Into Terrain: the types of accidents that TAWS seeks to prevent. TAWS may be only one of many possible interventions. We are disturbed by the FAA’s apparent lack of coordination between this TAWS requirement and the final report of the GA JSC concerning CFIT, which was submitted recently

Olcott continued, “NBAA seriously doubts that manufacturers will be able to produce a sufficient quantity of Class B TAWS to meet the demand of over 12,000 general aviation aircraft by the rule deadline. This doesn’t even consider the additional cost and time required for installation and approval of the new equipment.

Currently, no manufacturers have installation approval from the FAA. Only one manufacturer is close to having an approved FAA Class B TAWS and only two manufacturers are expected to produce a Class B TAWS.

NBAA represents the aviation interests of over 6,100 companies which own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.