What Document Accompanies an Aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet for Certification?


Larry Thompson

Aircraft certification is a complex process that involves extensive documentation to ensure the safety and airworthiness of an aircraft. One important document that accompanies an Aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet is the Certification Basis.

What is a Certification Basis?

The Certification Basis outlines the specific regulations, standards, and requirements that an aircraft manufacturer must meet to obtain a Type Certificate for their aircraft model. It serves as a roadmap for the certification process and provides a clear understanding of the applicable rules and guidelines.

Understanding the Contents of a Certification Basis

The Certification Basis typically consists of:

  • Regulations: This section includes all relevant regulations that govern the design, construction, and performance of the aircraft. These regulations are set by aviation authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States or the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Europe.
  • Special Conditions: In some cases, an aircraft may have unique features or technologies that require additional scrutiny.

    Special conditions are specific requirements imposed by the certification authority to address these unique aspects.

  • Advisory Circulars (ACs): ACs provide guidance on complying with regulations and cover various topics such as design considerations, testing procedures, maintenance practices, and more. While compliance with ACs is not mandatory, they are often used as a means to demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations.
  • Industry Standards: Industry standards, such as those developed by organizations like the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) or ASTM International, may be referenced in the Certification Basis. These standards cover areas like materials specifications, testing methods, manufacturing processes, and more.

The Importance of Compliance

Compliance with the Certification Basis is crucial to ensure the airworthiness and safety of an aircraft. Manufacturers must demonstrate that their design, construction, and systems meet all applicable regulations and standards outlined in the Certification Basis.

Why is Compliance Important?

Compliance with the Certification Basis ensures that an aircraft meets minimum safety standards set by regulatory authorities. It also ensures uniformity and consistency in aircraft design, which simplifies maintenance, repairs, and modifications throughout the aircraft’s life cycle.

The Role of the Aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet

The Aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) is a document issued by the certification authority that summarizes key information about a certified aircraft model. It includes important details such as type certificate holder, model designation, engine options, weight limits, seating capacity, and more.

The TCDS serves as a quick reference guide for operators, maintenance personnel, and regulatory authorities. It helps ensure that all stakeholders have access to accurate information about the certified aircraft model.


In conclusion, when applying for an Aircraft Type Certificate, it is crucial to include a comprehensive Certification Basis document. This document outlines the specific regulations and requirements that must be met during the certification process.

Compliance with these regulations ensures the airworthiness and safety of the aircraft model. Additionally, the Aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet provides a summary of key information about the certified aircraft model for easy reference. By following these processes and documentation requirements correctly, manufacturers can obtain approval for their aircraft models while ensuring adherence to industry standards.

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