Fri, Sep 21, 2012
Comments Due To The Agency By November 19
The FAA has published proposed new standards for Stage 3 helicopter noise in the Federal Register as an NPRM. The proposal would set more stringent noise certification standards for helicopters that are certificated in the U.S. This rule would apply to applications for a new helicopter type design and for a supplemental type certificate for those new type designs.
A helicopter type certificated under this standard would be designated as a Stage 3 helicopter. This rule proposes to adopt the same noise certification standards for helicopters that exist in the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Although ICAO adopted increased noise stringency standards for helicopters in 2002, the United States has yet to adopt these standards into part 36. There has been heightened public awareness of helicopter noise in the United States, and the FAA has determined that the public would benefit from adoption of these more stringent standards. The FAA says the adoption of these more stringent certification standards would also satisfy its goal of "harmonizing U.S. regulations with international standards."
The standards in the NPRM would apply to any person submitting an application for a new helicopter type design on and after the effective date of the final rule. This proposal is consistent with the effort of the fifth session of CAEP and its approval of the ICAO standards for helicopter noise that were developed internationally.
The FAA says that the proposed rule has two major benefits: It may result in quieter helicopter operations for those models type certificated under these proposed standards, and would make it easier to sell U.S. Stage 3 helicopters outside the United States because the noise standards will be the same as those of ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Chapter 8 and 11 standards.
Given the complexity and expense in developing new helicopter models, the FAA estimates that applications for two new helicopter type designs will be submitted in the next 10 year period; this would mirror the development of helicopter type designs in the last decade. This proposed rule is not expected to result in additional costs. The U.S. testing procedures for helicopter noise certification already exist and require no changes when certificating a helicopter to Stage 3 standards. Further, these proposed standards are not retroactive.
Comments are due to the FAA by November 19th, 2012.
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