According to Notice N8000.331, which is available for review here and should also soon be available on the FAA’s website here, “airplanes equipped with retractable landing gear, flaps, and a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) meet the definition of being a complex airplane and may be used for commercial pilot and flight instructor certification.” Up until now, the definition of a complex aircraft applied to aircraft with a controllable or “constant-speed propeller controlled by the pilot. FADEC controls the propeller and engine speed automatically through using a computer. N8000.331 updates the definition of complex aircraft and also updates commercial pilot and flight instructor practical test standards to incorporate this new definition.
Currently, the only aircraft acknowledged by the Notice as having the FADEC is the Diamond DA42 TwinStar. However, several of the aircraft manufacturers are working on developing aircraft with FADEC engines and several STC developers have already obtained approval for incorporation of FADEC engines in existing production aircraft. If you have any questions regarding the updated definition, you should contact Flight Standards AFS-810 at (202) 267-8212.