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RTCA Special Committee Process

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RTCA develops standards that serve as the basis for the certification of equipment and products used in the aviation industry. Standards being developed today will drive the reliability, safety and expansion of the aviation industry tomorrow. These standards are developed by Special Committees (SC), which are formed at the request of the FAA or when petitioned to do so by two or more RTCA member companies.

Special Committees bring together diverse and sometimes competing interests to build consensus and develop comprehensive, industry-vetted and endorsed standards that are used as a means of compliance with FAA and other civil aviation authority regulations. When a request is received to form a new committee, it is up to RTCA’s Program Management Committee (PMC) to evaluate and approve the establishment of the committee. Whoever requests the SC provides a draft Terms of Reference (TOR) to the PMC outlining the need for the new document, the boundaries of the work to be accomplished, and the intended use of the new document. When RTCA members request the formation of an SC, the member companies must be willing to provide leadership for the SC. If the PMC approves the TOR, RTCA assigns a program director to set up and advise the new SC. An SC is usually given two years to complete their initial task.


After an SC has finished drafting a document, an important part of the process is to ask for feedback (including from the public) and incorporate this feedback into the final draft of the document. This is known as Final Review and Comment, or FRAC. Documents are made available for review and comment by anyone on the RTCA website. RTCA documents following the standard process are available for public comment for at least 30 days.

Once all comments are received, the SC reviews and disposition all comments and delivers the document to the PMC requesting publication.



To become involved in the RTCA Special Committee work, please visit our Membership page and contact the Program Director team.



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