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Revision A, December 2010

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(R) Guidelines for Development of Civil Aircraft and Systems

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Product Details:

  • Revision: Revision A, December 2010
  • Published Date: December 2010
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: SAE International (SAE)
  • Page Count: 115
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

This document discusses the development of aircraft systems taking into account the overall aircraft operating environment and functions. This includes validation of requirements and verification of the design implementation for certification and product assurance. It provides practices for showing compliance with the regulations and serves to assist a company in developing and meeting its own internal standards by considering the guidelines herein.

The guidelines in this document were developed in the context of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14CFR) Part 25 and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Certification Specification (CS) CS-25. It may be applicable to other regulations, such as Parts 23, 27, 29, 33, and 35 (CS-23, CS-27, CS-29, CS-E, CS-P).

This document addresses the development cycle for aircraft and systems that implement aircraft functions. It does not include specific coverage of detailed software or electronic hardware development, safety assessment processes, inservice safety activities, aircraft structural development nor does it address the development of the Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) or Configuration Deviation List (CDL). More detailed coverage of the software aspects of development are found in RTCA document DO-178B, "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification" and its EUROCAE counterpart, ED-12B. Coverage of electronic hardware aspects of development are found in RTCA document DO-254/EUROCAE ED-80, "Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware". Design guidance and certification considerations for integrated modular avionics are found in appropriate RTCA/EUROCAE document DO-297/ED-124. Methodologies for safety assessment processes are outlined in SAE document ARP4761, "Guidelines and Methods for Conducting the Safety Assessment Process on Civil Airborne Systems and Equipment". Details for in-service safety assessment are found in ARP5150, "Safety Assessment of Transport Airplanes In Commercial Service" and ARP5151 Safety Assessment of General Aviation Airplanes and Rotorcraft In Commercial Service." Post-certification activities (modification to a certificated product) are covered in section 6 of this document. The regulations and processes used to develop and approve the MMEL vary throughout the world. Guidance for the development of the MMEL should be sought from the local airworthiness authority.

The relationships between the various development documents, which provide guidelines for safety assessment, electronic hardware and software life-cycle processes and the system development process described herein.


The guidelines herein are directed toward systems that support aircraft-level functions and have failure modes with the potential to affect the safety of the aircraft. Typically, these systems involve significant interactions with other systems in a larger integrated environment. Frequently, significant elements of these systems are developed by separate individuals, groups or organizations. These systems require added design discipline and development structure to ensure that safety and operational requirements can be fully realized and substantiated. A top down iterative approach from aircraft level downwards is key to initiating the processes outlined herein.

The contents are recommended practices and should not be construed to be regulatory requirements. For this reason, the use of words such as "shall" and "must" is avoided except if used in the context of an example. It is recognized that alternative methods to the processes described or referenced in this document may be available to an organization desiring to obtain certification.

This document provides neither guidelines concerning the structure of an individual organization nor how the responsibilities for certification activities are divided. No such guidance should be inferred from the descriptions provided.
AIA/NAS Aerospace Standards