FAA officials have removed, from the Part 43 preventive maintenance category, the task of updating databases used in self-contained, front-panel, or pedestal-mounted navigation equipment. They have also added text that describes which equipment and, under which conditions, pilots can update aeronautical databases as a non-maintenance function. Equipment not meeting this criteria will continue to be updated as a maintenance function.
The revision, which becomes effective 28 Jan. 2013, will “ensure that pilots using specified avionics equipment have the most current and accurate data and thereby increase aviation safety,” reads “Pilot Loading of Aeronautical Database Updates,” introduced by FAA Acting Administrator Michael P. Huerta. (Read 14 CFR Part 43, Docket No. FAA–2011–0763, Amendment No. 43–45, RIN 2120–AJ91 online at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-11-29/pdf/2012-28845.pdf.)
This final rule enables all pilots operating aircraft equipped with certificated avionics equipment as described to perform updates of aeronautical databases.
Two benefits of this rule include increased safety and reduced operational costs, according to Huerta. “The primary safety benefit is that affected aircraft operators will no longer be forced to occasionally operate aircraft without the most current aeronautical database when the database expires and authorized personnel are not available to perform the update. A corollary safety benefit is a reduction in workloads for pilots and air traffic controllers, which accrues a benefit to the aircraft operator and to air traffic control.”
For technical questions, contact Chris Parfitt, Flight Standards Service, Aircraft Maintenance Division—Avionics Maintenance Branch, AFS–360, Federal Aviation Administration, 950 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024; (202) 385–6398; firstname.lastname@example.org.
For legal questions, contact Viola M. Pando, Office of the Chief Counsel, International Law, Legislation, and Regulations Division— Policy and Adjudication Branch, AGC– 210, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington DC 20591; (202) 493–5293; email@example.com.