How does the 2016 part 23 airworthiness requirements rewrite affect older type certificates?

  • If some aspect of an aircraft does not meet the new requirement do all of those aircraft have to be updated accordingly?
  • If so, what if the aircraft can't be made to meet new requirements, such as climb rate, etc.
  • If one of the new rules are less restrictive than the old can those aircraft take advantage of that?
  • Do newly manufactured aircraft of the same type have to get recertified?
  • If old type certificates are still valid and the FAA wants one of the new rules to be retroactive will they have to issue airworthiness directives for each type that doesn't meet the new standard?
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Old certificates are valid under the rules that they were certified under, they don't have to be recertified or modified in any way, the airframe is grandfathered under the old rules. This is why you can still fly old airplanes without electrical systems. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Sep 19, 2017 at 2:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Sounds like an answer, @RonBeyer. And it makes complete sense, too. I don't think too many Tiger Moths meet current new craft regulations, but I'm sure the FAA would be happy to have one do some flying demonstrations around the country. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Sep 19, 2017 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer That's true with two caveats. First it is still possible to buy a new plane without an electrical system. It's just that it will be subject to severe operating limitations so there's not a lot of market demand; but they do exist. Second is the changed product rule. If you make a major modification to a certificated aircraft, whatever is modified has to comply with the current rules. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Sep 19, 2017 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer I was looking at the question on the C208 Caravan. Under the new rules the 14 seat config is still classified as normal category, level 4, low speed. It doesn't reclassify it as a commuter aircraft like the old rules. I wonder how that affects certification of older 208's $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Sep 19, 2017 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer Modern aircraft are still produced without electrical systems. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2017 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


New rules don't affect t existing designs....

Certification basis is declared by the maker and agreed with the certifying authority...Or authorities... ( ideally it's a common certification basis to avoid extra testing, or building aircraft to different standards) That basis must reflective rules in existence at the time of application. New or pending rules may be imposed by Special Conditions or equivaent. Any modifications to that approved design are normally to the same certification basis.

But if a new design comes along, it's the applicable rules at the time of application..

If a change is needed to all aircraft of a certain "class" e.g. Introduction of TCAS, ACAS , then that is imposed by operational requirements, such as Parts 91, 121, 135 etc or their equivalents.


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