LIGHT SPORTS AIRCRAFT - LSA Harmonization in Europe
Category: GA Buyer Europe Magazine
Author: Light Aircraft News
European Aim is for More Affordable
Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA)
EAA and ASTM International are providing support to harmonization efforts in Europe that may lead to more affordable light-sport aircraft. Earl Lawrence, EAA’s vice president of government and industry relations and chairman of ASTM International’s light-sport aircraft (LSA) committee, was recently in Prague, Czech Republic, providing input and expertise on discussions regarding widespread adoption of ASTM consensus standards for LSA manufacturers in Europe.
The December meetings involved European lightsport aircraft manufacturers, recreational aviation associations, and European Aviation Authority officials including representatives of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the French civil aviation agency (DGAC). Jan Fridrich of the Czech Republic’s Light Aircraft Association; Graham Newby of the Popular Flying Association in the United Kingdom; and Jo Konrad, president of DULV, the German Microlight Association, led the meetings.
Harmonizing to the ASTM consensus standards could
lead to lowercost LSA coming out of Europe
Harmonizing to the ASTM consensus standards could lead to lower-cost LSA coming out of Europe for sale in countries that have adopted those standards, which currently include the U.S., Australia, Chile, and Columbia. Many other countries have contacted EAA and ASTM International about adopting LSA-type regulations and ASTM consensus standards. Additionally, it could increase the sale of U.S. manufactured LSA in European countries.
“ASTM standards are becoming the de facto world standards for LSA,” said Lawrence, who is also an ASTM International board member. “Most of the certificated LSA come from European manufacturers, so it only stands to reason that if they could certificate their aircraft to a single set of approved standards, their costs would decrease, and they could also develop the tremendous growth potential throughout Europe.”
Currently there is no set of standards for certificating
LSA in the various European countries
Currently there is no set of standards for certificating light-sport aircraft in the various European countries. Instead, a regulatory patchwork increases production expenses for manufacturers marketing their aircraft in a variety of European countries. Harmonization to ASTM consensus standards would allow companies to significantly reduce their manufacturing costs and pave the way for more affordable aircraft.
“Everyone is beginning to see how the ASTM process and the new LSA regulations being adopted around the world are putting the power of standard-setting in the hands of worldwide conscientious peer groups instead of individual governments,” Lawrence added. “The outcome is a set of high-quality standards resulting from pooling the best expertise in the industry.”
For more detail on ASTM International Committee F37 work relating to Light Sports Aircraft harmonization worldwide visit -