Development Assurance Principles for Aerospace Vehicles and Systems
The purpose of this document is to provide a minimum set of safety principles for aircraft and system development. This document provides a basis to: Assess the acceptability of processes for aircraft and/or system development where experience has already demonstrated their effectiveness. Apply emerging technologies where existing techniques are not effective and alternate strategies are not documented in industry guidance. While portions of this AIR may not be applicable to your product, a Safety Assessment Process and other associated activities should still be conducted according to their applicable standards.
Rationale: In the last several years, technical advances and regulatory pressures have motivated the need for flexible, simple, and performance-based solutions for conducting development assurance in support of a system safety assessment process. Additionally, the affected design space for commercial vehicles has been growing beyond the conventional regulations for airplanes, rotorcraft, engines, and propellers, addressed by current Aerospace Recommended Practices (ARPs). This space is beginning to include commercial technologies such as unmanned aerial systems, multi-stage spacecraft systems, and road-able aircraft. These developing areas are each accompanied with their own development assurance expectations in support of their safety criteria. Concurrently, the industry and regulators are working to simplify guidance for system safety and development assurance, which has been foundational in the aircraft industry for decades. From the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 23 reorganization to the Overarching Properties Workshops, the existing regulations and guidance are under pressure to adjust to new expectations within these technical areas. There are several challenges with the existing development assurance guidance which complicates both its application to these new technical areas and its alignment with these overarching property expectations. These challenges include application to programs with a combination of new and legacy systems and ARP alignment with regulations and other guidance. Meeting these challenges requires a shift from overly prescriptive and complex guidance to a proposal which provide clear expectations towards planning for, assessing, and achieving safety principles that align with regulations. This work seeks to capture the fundamental safety principles, to promote balanced application and the flexibility of methods that may be applied to them in a changing environment. It proposes a single regulatory guidance document which incorporates the content of this AIR which will address these issues, while still permitting the continued use of ARPs as guidance.