I mentioned that the FAA had announced at Sun 'n Fun that it would not re-evaluate kits that are currently on the approved list. Here is the official word from the agency.
The FAA said that it "recently concluded that a temporary suspension of kit evaluations is necessary because existing policy and guidance used to evaluate these kits has resulted in inconsistent determinations regarding regulatory compliance." This announcement in February set off a torrent of angst among the kit manufacturers and the building community, most of whom feared that currently approved kits would have their approval revoked.
Not going to happen, says the FAA. "Since publication of the notice of the agency's temporary suspension of kit evaluations in the Federal Register, amateur-built aircraft kit manufacturers have expressed concerns that the FAA would re-evaluate or remove kits on the current eligibility list as a result of re-evaluating previously evaluated kits using the new evaluation procedures. The FAA does not intend to re-evaluate or remove any of the kits from the current eligibility list as a result of developing new evaluation procedures."
This news, good as it seems, does not mean the agency won't alter the way builder assistance is scored for compliance with the existing Amateur-Built rules. But it does give the industry confidence that quickbuild kits as we have come to know them will remain viable.
EAA's Earl Lawrence had this to say: "The policy published today represents a significant victory in the EAA community’s ongoing advocacy to preserve the enormous recreational and educational value of the vast majority of today’s amateur-building practices." See the whole release.