Advisory circular

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Advisory circular (AC) refers to a type of publication offered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide guidance for compliance with airworthiness regulations, pilot certification, operational standards, training standards, and any other rules within the 14 CFR Aeronautics and Space Title. They define acceptable means, but not the only means, of accomplishing or showing compliance with airworthiness regulations.[1] Generally informative in nature, Advisory Circulars are neither binding nor regulatory; yet some have the effect of de facto standards or regulations.[2]

Advisory circulars typically refer to industry standards from SAE (ARP) and RTCA (DO). With harmonization of technical content and guidance between EASA and the FAA, later advisory circulars also identify corresponding EUROCAE (ED) publications.[3]

Some advisory circulars are only a few pages long and do little more than reference a recommended standard; for example, AC 20-115B referencing DO-178B.[4] Others, like AC 20-115C/D, are considerably longer; in this case giving guidance in how to transition from DO-178 revision B to C.[5]

Examples of Published Advisory Circulars
Advisory Circular Title Referenced Standards
AC 00-69 Best Practices for Airborne Software Development Assurance Using EUROCAE ED-12( ) and RTCA DO-178( )
AC 20-115 Airborne Software Development Assurance Using EUROCAE ED-12( ) and RTCA DO-178( ) ED-12C/DO-178C
AC 20-136 Aircraft Electrical and Electronic System Lightning Protection RTCA DO-160 §22
AC 20-152 Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware RTCA DO-254
AC 20-170 Integrated Modular Avionics Development. Verification, Integration and Approval RTCA DO-297
AC 20-1317 The Certification of Aircraft Electrical and Electronic Systems for Operation in the High Radiated Fields (HIRF) Environment
AC 25.1309-1 System Design and Analysis ARP4754, ARP4761
AC 43.13-1B Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices - Aircraft Inspection and Repair
AC 70-1 Outdoor Laser Operations
AC 91-57 Model Aircraft Operating Standards (relevant to Regulation of UAVs in the United States)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David B. Walen FAA, Civil Aircraft System Safety and Electromagnetic Compatibility, November 16, 2010, p. 6
  2. ^ Approach, Volume 31, Issue 3, Naval Safety Center, 1985 - Aeronautics, p. 25.
  3. ^ AC 20-115D, FAA, Office AIR-134, 2017. "The technical content of this AC is as far as practicable harmonized with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AMC 20-115D, equally based on ED-12C/DO-178C."
  4. ^ AC 20-115B, FAA, 1993.
  5. ^ AC 20-115D, FAA, Office AIR-134, 2017.