Founded as the Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics in 1935, RTCA has provided the foundation for many modern technical advances in aviation. An independent Standards Development Organization (SDO), RTCA’s comprehensive products serve as the basis for government certification of equipment used by the tens of thousands of aircraft flying daily through the world’s airspace. A private, not-for-profit corporation, RTCA works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), industry experts from the US and around the world to develop comprehensive, industry-vetted, and endorsed recommendations on technical performance standards and the operating environment for utilizing standards. These standards can be used as means of compliance with FAA regulations and other aviation regulatory authorities.
RTCA’s historic role in aviation has been to provide the forum and consensus industry voice for government/industry cooperation on concepts of operations for the air traffic control system along with the standards and guidelines needed for implementing new systems in aircraft. As technological advances leading to improved safety and efficiency of the NAS grew to require deployment of integrated operational capabilities with components both in the cockpit and on the ground, the need for enhanced public-private partnership has grown.
The unique institutional mechanism that is RTCA enables the industry to convene private sector participants consistent with U.S Antitrust laws to work together in an open, fair and balanced partnership via the development of recommendations. This includes Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS), Minimum Aviation System Performance Standards (MASPS) and guidelines that shape the certification of the safety and efficiency of new equipment and provide a competitive market for the provision of these technologies.
RTCA has more than 550 highly active member organizations employing thousands of people worldwide in aviation businesses/organizations. Volunteers from the membership, facilitated by the RTCA staff, meet to develop consensus among hundreds of experts from all corners of the aviation industry.
RTCA has an unprecedented record of accomplishment. In the arenas of standard setting, participatory decision-making, and consensus building with the aviation community, the organization has served with distinction and effectiveness.