Staff Instruction (SI) No. 537-001

Application for a Federal Aviation Administration Letter of Technical Standard Order Design Approval

Internal documents and documents hyperlinked and stored on
Transport Canada's intranet mentioned in this document
are available upon request. See Contact Office below.

Issuing Office: Standards    
Activity Area: Qualifying Document No. SI 537-001
File No.: 5009-32-2 Issue No. 01
RDIMS No.: 4586020-V3 Effective Date 2009-05-01

1.0  INTRODUCTION

1.1  Purpose

The purpose of this Staff Instruction (SI) is to:

  1. provide guidance on the process to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Letter of Technical Standard Order (TSO) Design Approval;
  2. identify responsibilities in the approval process;
  3. provide procedural guidelines for processing and evaluating applications;
  4. provide guidance on the role of delegates in the approval process; and
  5. provide sample letters to be used in correspondence between Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), the FAA, and the applicant.

1.2  Applicability

This document is applicable to all TCCA aircraft certification personnel, delegates, and industry.

1.3  Description of Changes

This document, formerly Staff Instruction (SI) 511-006 Issue 01, 2006-12-04—Federal Aviation Administration Technical Standard Order Design Approval Process has been reissued. With the exception of minor editorial changes and updated references, the content is unaltered.

2.0  REFERENCES AND REQUIREMENTS

2.1  Reference Documents

It is intended that the following reference materials be used in conjunction with this document:

  1. Part V Subpart 13 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)—Approval of Modification and Repair Designs;
  2. Part V Subpart 61 of the CARs—Manufacture of Aeronautical Products;
  3. Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA)—Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America for Promotion of Aviation Safety, dated 2000-06-12;
  4. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 21—Certification Procedures for Products and Parts;
  5. FAA Order 8150.1B—Technical Standard Order Program;
  6. FAA Notice N 8150.6—Non-TSO Function(s) Integrated into a TSO Article; and
  7. RTCA Inc. Document No. RTCA/DO-178B (and earlier revisions)—Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification.

2.2  Cancelled Documents

As of the effective date of this document, the following document is cancelled:

  1. SI 511-006, Issue 01, 2006-12-04—Federal Aviation Administration Technical Standard Order Design Approval Process.

3.0  BACKGROUND

  1. A Letter of TSO Design Approval is issued for a foreign designed and manufactured appliance that meets the minimum performance standards specified in a TSO.
  2. Pursuant to 14 CFR § 21.601(b)(3), the FAA is to issue a Letter of TSO Design Approval for the design of an appliance that:

    1. meets the minimum performance standards of an FAA TSO; and
    2. is manufactured outside of the United States of America (USA).
  3. A Letter of TSO Design Approval does not authorize the production or installation of an appliance. Production is authorized by TCCA under Subpart 561 of the CARs. TCCA is responsible for the oversight of both the design and production of the appliance.
  4. An appliance type certificate is not a prerequisite for a Canadian applicant to obtain a Letter of TSO Design Approval. Similarly, a USA resident does not require a Canadian appliance type certificate to install an appliance that has been approved to an FAA TSO in a Canadian registered aircraft. It does require an installation approval under Subpart 513 of the CARs.
  5. The FAA-TCCA Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA), which is part of the BASA, outlines the requirements for obtaining a Letter of TSO Design Approval in its established working procedures section.
  6. The FAA has published the requirements and obligations for obtaining a Letter of TSO Design Approval and for the continued airworthiness of the appliance in Order 8150.1B. Additionally, the FAA provides criteria for non-TSO functions integrated into TSO appliances.
  7. In the past, an application for an FAA Letter of TSO Design Approval was sent to the applicant’s regional office, forwarded to National Aircraft Certification (NAC), and then sent to the New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO). NAC may have retained on file the project data package that was submitted as part of the application. For those applications now managed in the regions, where NAC holds the original TSO project file, NAC is to transfer the files to the regional office for use and retention.

4.0  FAA LETTER OF TSO DESIGN APPROVAL PROCEDURES

4.1  Initial Application for a Letter of TSO Design Approval

  1. The request for a Letter of TSO Design Approval for a new appliance is made to the New York ACO. See Appendices B and C of this SI for more information. The process for Canadian applicants seeking a Letter of TSO Design Approval includes the following:

    1. an application for a Letter of TSO Design Approval shall be sent to the TCCA office in the geographical region in which the applicant’s business is located;
    2. the regional engineer may send the application directly to the FAA New York ACO with substantiating technical data on proper installation, performance, operation, and maintenance of the appliance, as agreed between TCCA and the applicant;
    3. a certifying statement from the Canadian applicant, accompanied by certification by TCCA, that the appliance has been examined, tested, and found to meet the applicable TSO requirements is to be submitted with the application;
    4. certification by TCCA that the performance of an appliance complies with the applicable minimum performance standards of the FAA TSO ; and
    5. the findings of compliance made by TCCA specialists and delegates, as appropriate, and determined by TCCA’s Level of Involvement (LOI).
  2. The initial application is to contain the information identified in the IPA and FAA Order 8150.1B. Subsequent to initial acceptance by TCCA, the applicant and TCCA are to agree on the means of compliance and appropriate LOI, and record this by means of a certification plan.
  3. The certification plan is to identify that:

    1. the applicant is to submit the test program documentation to TCCA for review and acceptance before conducting the test(s) when a regional engineer or appropriate NAC specialist is involved in test witnessing;
    2. the applicant is not required to submit the test program documentation to TCCA before conducting the test(s), when the agreed TCCA retained LOI is involved in test witnessing; or
    3. the delegate is to ensure that the test program is appropriate for the objectives of the test, prior to conducting the test when a delegate is involved in test witnessing.
  4. The regional engineer may request design review meetings with the applicant to become familiar with the appliance design features.
  5. NAC is not involved with the application for a Letter of TSO Design Approval unless a regional engineer requests it (see Appendix A). All copies of FAA Letters of TSO Design Approval are to be scanned and entered into National Aeronautics Products Approval (NAPA) to ensure there is a retained corporate knowledge of Letter of TSO Design Approvals obtained by Canadian applicants. The FAA letter is to be scanned and the project entered under Project Type Group – Other Regional Project, Project Type – TSO Appliance Type Approval.
  6. The regional engineer is to liaise with regional aircraft maintenance and manufacturing personnel to:

    1. obtain confirmation that the applicant:

      1. has a manufacturer certificate as per Subpart 561 of the CARs for the manufacture of aeronautical products; and
      2. has an associated limitation record, which specifies that the manufacturer is authorized to produce the aeronautical product covered by the Letter of TSO Design Approval application;
    2. obtain confirmation that the applicant’s quality audit system meets, or continues to meet, the requirements of TCCA.
  7. The FAA has issued guidelines for software evaluation. These guidelines are to standardize TSO approval criteria for appliances with embedded software:

    1. that specify software guidelines, the review is to be conducted in accordance with those guidelines. If the TSO refers to RTCA DO-178 or RTCA DO-178A, the applicant may elect to comply with RTCA DO-178B subject to agreement with TCCA; and
    2. that do not specify software guidelines, the review is to verify that the applicant’s software development process and procedures meet the objectives of RTCA DO-178B.

4.2  Approval for TSO Deviation

  1. Applicants may deviate from a stated TSO minimum performance standard. However, they are required to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR § 21.609 by ensuring that the standard is compensated by factors or design features that provide an equivalent level of safety.
  2. The regional engineer is to submit the request for approval to deviate with all pertinent data to the New York ACO using the letter format shown in Appendix B of this SI, before submitting the application for a Letter of TSO Design Approval. The FAA will respond directly to the regional engineer.

5.0  DESIGN CHANGES BY THE LETTER OF TSO DESIGN APPROVAL HOLDER

The flowchart in Appendix C of this SI shows the procedure for major or minor design changes to appliances that have a Letter of TSO Design Approval.

5.1  Minor Design Change

  1. A Letter of TSO Design Approval holder may make minor design changes without further approval by TCCA. TCCA concurrence that the design change is minor is required, in which case the changed appliance keeps the original model number and the part number, or a modification designation may be used to identify the minor change. When a change has been determined to be minor, TCCA is to:

    1. retain a record of the minor design changes on file; and
    2. inform the applicant to confirm that the change has been found to be minor.
  2. Where the applicant has delegation for minor change approval, agreement that the change is minor need not be sought from TCCA. The applicant is to submit minor change documentation to TCCA with a delegate’s statement of compliance.

5.2  A Major Design Change

A major design change is any design change by the Letter of TSO Design Approval holder that is extensive enough to require a substantially complete investigation to determine compliance with a TSO. Major changes are to be treated as a new application. Before making such a change, the Letter of TSO Design Approval holder is to assign a new type or model number to the appliance and treat this as a new application by applying for a new Letter of TSO Design Approval.

5.3  Design Changes by Other than the Letter of TSO Design Approval Holder

  1. No person other than the Design Approval Holder may make a change to the appliance unless they make an application for a new approval.
  2. Modifications proposed for incorporation on appliances to be installed on Canadian registered aircraft may be approved through the issue of a supplemental type certificate or repair design approval.

6.0  NATIONAL AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION RESPONSIBILITIES

A regional engineer may request that the Project Management Division in NAC send a letter to the FAA requesting a Letter of TSO Design Approval on behalf of a Canadian applicant. This letter is to meet the format and contents shown in the sample letter in Appendix D of this document. Any comments received from the FAA will be sent directly to the regional engineer for resolution with the applicant. The FAA may issue a Letter of TSO Design Approval to the applicant, once the applicant has resolved all of the comments.

7.0  CONTACT OFFICE

For more information please contact:
Manager, Policies and Procedures (AARTC)

Phone: 613-990-3923
Fax: 613-952-3298
E-mail: martin.thieringer@tc.gc.ca

Suggestions for amendment to this document are invited, and should be submitted via the Transport Canada Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System (CAIRS) at the following Internet address:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/opssvs/secretariat-cairs-menu-209.htm

or by e-mail at: CAIRS_NCR@tc.gc.ca

<< Original signed by Wayne Chapin >>

Don Sherritt
Director Standards
Civil Aviation

APPENDIX A—REQUEST FOR SUPPORT

Request for Support or Recommendation for Issuance of a Letter of TSO Design Approval
Request for: (Specify Checkbox ) Checkbox Letter of TSO Design Approval
Checkbox New
Checkbox Design Change
OPI:

Checkbox Region
Checkbox NAC
Specify TSO Design Change (if applicable) (e.g. Hardware, software, etc.):



Name and Address of Applicant:


Applicant has design responsibility:                           Checkbox Yes    Checkbox No
Applicant has CAR 561 Manufacturer Certificate:    Checkbox Yes    Checkbox No
Description of Aeronautical Appliance:


Aircraft Certification Disciplines Required (specify): Flight Evaluation Required:
Checkbox Avionics and Electrical
Checkbox Electronic Equipment Design Assurance
Checkbox Fuel & Hydro Mechanical Systems
Checkbox Occupant Safety & Environmental Systems
Checkbox Powerplants & Emissions
Checkbox Structures
Checkbox Flight Test
Checkbox Inspection
Checkbox Yes
Checkbox No
List of Documentation and Compliance Statements (Design specifications, Test data, Qualification report, Installation Manual, Operating Manual, Maintenance Manual, Maintenance instruction, Instructions for Continuing Airworthiness, Master Drawing List, etc.):



Statement of Compliance with Applicable Sections of 14 CFR Part 21, Subpart O (if required):


Description of Unusual Design Features:



List of Deviations as per 14 CFR § 21.609 (as applicable):



Regional Request for Support:


Regional Manager Signature:


APPENDIX B—SAMPLE LETTER FOR A REQUEST TO DEVIATE FROM AN FAA TSO

Mr. Anthony Socias, Manager
New York Aircraft Certification Office, ANE-170
Federal Aviation Administration
1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410
Westbury, NY 11590
U.S.A.

SUBJECT:     Application for Approval for Deviation to TSO (applicable TSO number)

Dear Mr. Socias:

Transport Canada has received an application from a Canadian resident (Company Name) for the issuance of a Letter of TSO Design Approval. The applicant has established that they will deviate from a stated performance standard of TSO (applicable TSO number). The applicant has identified that this deviation from the stated performance standard of the TSO, identified below, will be compensated for by factors or design features that provide an equivalent level of safety as documented in the Details section below. Transport Canada has reviewed this submission and the compensating factors and design features and concurs that they provide an equivalent level of safety.

Details:

Description of product: (As a minimum specify the Name of Product, Model Number(s), Hardware Part Number(s), and Software Part Number(s).)

Basis of Certification: (Specify applicable TSOs, applicable software design standards, and any other standards forming part of the basis of certification.)

Deviation from Performance Standard: (Identify the performance standard for which approval to deviate from is requested. Identify and show the compensating factors or design features which provide an equivalent level of safety.)

Associated Data: (Specify all pertinent information.)

Transport Canada requests your approval to deviate from the stated performance standard of the TSO, prior to formally requesting the issuance of an FAA Letter of TSO Design Approval, based on the equivalent level of safety provided by the above factors or design features. Should you require any additional information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact (Contact Name) at (Telephone Number).

Yours truly,

(Regional Manager Name)
Regional Manager, Aircraft Certification

Enclosure(s)

Copies: Applicant

APPENDIX C—PROCESS FLOWCHART

Process Flowchart
Click image to enlarge

APPENDIX D—SAMPLE LETTER FOR INITIAL LETTER OF TSO DESIGN APPROVAL REQUEST

Mr. Anthony Socias, Manager
New York Aircraft Certification Office, ANE-170
Federal Aviation Administration
1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410
Westbury, NY 11590
U.S.A.

SUBJECT:     Application for Initial FAA Letter of Technical Standard Order Design Approval

Dear Mr. Socias:

Transport Canada has received an application from a Canadian resident, (Company Name), for the issuance of an FAA Letter of Technical Standard Order Design Approval.

Transport Canada has reviewed the applicant's submission and hereby certifies that the design of their product complies with TSO (applicable TSO numbers) and meets the criteria specified in 14 CFR § 21.617. Transport Canada hereby also certifies that the applicant's Quality Control System meets the requirements of 14 CFR § 21.143.

Please consider this application as a formal request for the issuance of a Letter of TSO Design Approval under the terms of the Canada/U.S. Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA).

Details:

Applicant: (Full Company Name and Business Address)

Description of product: (As a minimum specify the Name of Product, Model Number(s), Hardware Part Number(s), and Software Part Number(s).)

Basis of Certification: (Specify applicable TSOs, applicable software design standards, and any other standards forming part of the basis of certification.)

Substantive Data: (Specify any other pertinent information. Include methodology for identifying minor changes.)

Should you require any additional information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact (Contact Name) at (Telephone Number).

Yours truly,

(Regional Manager Name)
Regional Manager, Aircraft Certification

Enclosure(s)

Date modified: