Gaining Approval for Seats with Integrated Electronics in Accordance with AC 21-49 Section 7.b
This SAE Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) provides a framework for establishing methods and stakeholder responsibilities to ensure that seats with integrated electronic components (e.g., actuation system, reading light, inflatable restraint, inflight entertainment equipment, etc.) meet the seat TSO minimum performance standard. These agreements will allow seat suppliers to build and ship TSO-approved seats with integrated electronic components. The document presents the roles and accountabilities of the electronics manufacturer (EM), the seat supplier, and the TC/ATC/STC applicant/holder in the context of AC 21-49 Section 7.b (“Type Certification Using TSO-Approved Seat with Electronic Components Defined in TSO Design”). This document applies to all FAA seat TSOs C39( ), C127( ), etc.
The document defines the roles and responsibilities of each party involved in the procurement of electronics, their integration on a TSO-approved seat, and the seat’s installation on an aircraft. Requirements for design and quality control and the methods for communicating design and change data between electronics manufacturers (EM) and seat suppliers are defined such that standardization is possible across the industry to ensure continued airworthiness of TSO-approved seats with integrated electronic components. This document primarily focuses on correspondence between the seat supplier and the electronics manufacturer.
Appendix A: Presents key characteristics of electronic components and guidance on how changes are classified per the requirements of Table 1 of AC 21-49.
Appendix B: Provides an outline of a typical data approval process and the change management process between electronics manufactures and seat suppliers.
Appendix C: While the responsibility rests solely with the seat supplier to ensure all TSO attributes identified in Table 1 of AC 21-49 are acceptable, Appendix C has been included to outline the process for delegating EMs authorization to assess the impact of changes on their equipment with respect to seat TSO attributes. This authorization will allow the classification of the change and the appropriate administration of the change by the electronics manufacturer via seat supplier delegation.
Appendix D: Given the mix of business arrangements that can exist in the seat, in-flight, and aircraft procurement lifecycle (buyer furnished equipment, supplier furnished equipment, customer furnished equipment), there is discussion on the potential need for separate agreements between the EMs and seat suppliers to ensure binding flow down of design and quality control requirements. As such, a working together agreement (WTA) template is provided as Appendix D.
The FAA issued AC 21-49, which provides guidance on methods for approving passenger seats with integrated electronics. The seat industry required a recognized means of documenting the processes required to enact the business changes required by this AC. This SAE Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) captures an acceptable means by which data can be exchanged between all parties when following Section 7.b of AC 21-49.
Revision A is a general update/reorganization of ARP6448 and its appendices for clarity and to improve accuracy; the procedures and agreements used for data exchange between the seat suppliers, TC/ATC/STC applicant/holder, electronics manufacturers, and the customers have not changed. This revision provides more succinct instructions on implementation of TSO holder—electronics manufacturer data exchange agreements and change approval delegation. Appendix A, which defines key characteristics of change types, is updated with improved direction for assessing change impact with respect to the TSO attributes listed in Table 1 of AC 21-49. Appendix B is updated to include Figure B6, which is a flowchart for design change submittal and approval process using the EMNOC form. Appendix C is updated to clarify the process for delegation from the seat supplier to the electronics manufacturer. Appendix D is added to provide an example of a working together agreement (WTA). References to Section 9 of AC 21-49 are added where appropriate to ensure that the effects of changes to electronic components are evaluated at the aircraft installation level in addition to ensuring TSO MPS are not affected by the change.