Technology has been the key to advancements in commercial transport airplane avionic systems over the past several decades. These advancements have included discrete operational improvements to existing functions and the addition of new airborne functions with the goal of improving economics, maintenance, and safety of flight.Technology in the 1990s will support new functions as well as multifunction integration. For commercial transport avionics it will bring economic, performance, maintenance, and safety benefits that have never before been achievable. Standardization, chip-level redundancy, modularization, and fault-tolerant designs will revolutionize the basic concepts for system design.Until now, most efforts to develop and apply technology advancements were carried on in a “federated” system atmosphere where even major functions of the total system were designed and developed without considering interfacing system functions. Today, however, integrated system architectures and functional partitioning possible with new technology require that overall transportation system operation and performance requirements be defined before we proceed with development of design and performance specifications for discrete system functions. Similarly, the “charters” of organizations responsible for the design, operation, and control of the 21st century transportation system-developed in the federated environment-must be revamped to support early definition of system-level requirements.