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, 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 and RTCA. 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.[3] Others, like AC 20-115C, are considerably longer; in this case giving guidance in how to transition from DO-178 revision B to C.[4]

Examples of Published Advisory Circulars
Advisory Circular Title Referenced Standards
AC 20-115 Airborne Software Assurance RTCA DO-178
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 20-115B
  4. ^ AC 20-115C Archived 2014-09-03 at the Wayback Machine.