New FAR Part 23 rules have been enacted on August 30th 2017, simplifying certification for small airplanes.

Will the FAA still require:

  • Designated Engineering Representative (DER) approval for each drawing, and
  • Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) conformity of each part?

This is not required for Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA).


1 Answer 1


It's not entirely clear how the process will work. The FAA hasn't updated AC 23-17C in response to the rule changes. I also haven't seen any discussion of changes to Production Certificates.

That said, Part 23 is still "AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY AIRPLANES" and there hasn't been any change to Part 21, so it appears that there still will be Type Certificates, and per 21.20 you stll need to show compliance to the relevant standards, which for normal Category is Part 23.

The big change to Part 23 is that it is more performance based instead of design based (what it must do, instead of how to do it). So the actual means of showing compliance will need to change. I don't see DERs and DARs going away with respect to Part 23. I do expect that what they review and how they do it will likely change.

To your point, LSA receive a Special Airworthiness Certificate (based on ASTM Concensus Standards), as opposed to a Type Certificate defined in Part 21.21.

  • $\begingroup$ Looks like the FAA and industry has more work to do if they truly want to reduce the cost of certification for Part 23 aircraft. And no the DER/DAR are not going away because of all the other catagories of $\endgroup$ Sep 11, 2017 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristopherGagliano OK, Fair enough: 'DER/DAR are not going away with respect to Part 23' - see edit. Also, the FAA Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) is undergoing a 'Transformation'. It's a nice concept, but any change in an organization that size will not happen quickly or easily. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Sep 12, 2017 at 1:46

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