SAE International Publishes Statement of Concerns for Artificial Intelligence in Aeronautical Systems

SAE International announced today the publishing of AIR6988 Artificial Intelligence in Aeronautical Systems: Statement of Concerns. Developed in partnership by SAE International’s G-34 committee and EUROCAE’s WG-114 committee, this document reviews current aerospace software, hardware and system development standards used in the certification/approval process of safety-critical airborne and ground-based systems, and assesses whether these standards are compatible with a typical artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) development approach.

“AIR6988 marks the first step on our journey to develop safe and reliable standards for artificial intelligence and machine learning in the aviation domain,” said Mark Roboff, CEO of SkyThread.aero, G-34 committee chair. “Through consensus amongst many experts and practitioners in industry and academia, this critical document enables us to define what is necessary to demonstrate compliance for the certification of AI or machine learning in safety critical airborne and ground-based systems.”

In order achieve compliance for safe AI certifications within aeronautical systems, SAE’s G-34 committee and EUROCAE’s WG-114 committee will review for existing standards and perform a gap analysis to ensure existing AI and ML standards are reliable. The document outlines the requirements needed to produce a standard that provides the necessary accommodations to support AI-enabled, sub-system integration into safety-critical airborne and ground-based systems and details next steps in the production process.

This document also assesses whether these standards are compatible with a typical AI and ML development approach, including:

  • A survey of established AI techniques and their application to various problem domains and development workflow

  • An assessment of current aerospace industry standards and guidelines and their applicability to systems that incorporate ML technologies

  • A proposal of use cases for potential applications of AI to aerospace domains for airborne and ground-based systems

  • A proposal of a staged plan for developing a future standard for AI techniques and processes and technologies to be assessed against in the context of aeronautical systems


“AI technologies are becoming more embedded into the digital systems used to design, manufacture, operate and maintain both aerial vehicles and ground-based systems. As a result, there is an urgent call for regulation and the emergence of norms around acceptable usage. SAE International is leading the way to introduce safety guidelines for AI technologies,” added Roboff.

For additional information on AIR6988 Artificial Intelligence in Aeronautical Systems, please visit: https://www.sae.org/standards/content/air6988/.

About SAE International
SAE International is a global association committed to advancing mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity. By engaging nearly 200,000 engineers, technical experts and volunteers, we connect and educate mobility professionals to enable safe, clean, and accessible mobility solutions. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including award-winning programs like A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™. More at www.sae.org.

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