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RTCA Standards Documents

RTCA issues Minimum Operating Performance Standards (MOPS) documents, Minimum Aviation Systems Performance Standards (MASPS) documents and Process and Guidance documents.

Regulators all over the world call out RTCA MASPS for implementing technologies in their airspaces. ICAO documents call out RTCA’s MASPS to help companies understand both the intended function of a technology and assist CAAs in determining how to integrate new technologies while maintaining airspace safety.  RTCA MOPS documents are used to support Technical Standard Order (TSO) functions. Guidance documents can be used by aviation industries to better understand existing standards and the paths to certification. RTCA documents help the aviation industry produce consistent, high quality avionics. All documents are written by consensus of committee members who come from industry, regulators and academia.

RTCA Documents

  • RTCA provides process documents to assist with software and hardware development methods which streamlines the evaluation of your company’s products by regulators. Visit DO-160 and DO-178 pages for more details.  How well your company implements the processes is evaluated by your regulator.

  • Minimum Operational Performance standards provide baseline requirements for manufacturers and customers of avionics equipment. A MOPS focuses on the functional performance and avoids being prescriptive to provide manufacturers with the maximum design space while preserving the safety of the airspace. MOPS are often called out by the FAA, EASA and other regulators to support the approval of a Technical Standing Order for a function. Compliance to a MOPS is evaluated by your regulator.

  • Minimum Aviation System Performance Standards define the intended functions of a technology and identify the impacts, good and bad, of integrating that function. MASPS may be referenced from a MOPS or an Advisory Circular from the FAA, a SARPS from ICAO or other regulators. Compliance to a MASPS is evaluated by your regulator.

  • Several types of guidance documents are produced by RTCA special committees to provide additional context to aviation technology and integration issues. Guidance documents are not generally evaluated for compliance, but instead provide valuable information for new entrants or expansion into new technologies.

Globally Harmonized Standards

RTCA’s committees, working in conjunction with EUROCAE’s working groups, create integrated performance standards that meet the changing global aviation environment and ensure the safety, security, and overall health of the aviation ecosystem.

Need to Certify a Product?


Does RTCA certify products?

RTCA does not certify products.

Does RTCA have a recommendation for where I can conduct testing for my products?

RTCA doesn’t endorse any particular testing labs.

What specific documents referenced in FAA’s certification requirements does RTCA supply?

RTCA has several documents referenced in FAA’s advisory circulars.  Our most requested documents are:

DO-160() – Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment 

DO-178() – Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification

DO-326() – Airworthiness Security Process Specification


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