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Project CS 10/20 - Preparation of an Advisory Circular dealing with the certification of software and complex hardware systems

Topic code: 
Aircraft Registration, Marking and Certification
Project status: 

Closure notes

Project closed 18 March 2013.

The referenced industry standard RTCA/DO-178B is now obsolete. The current industry standard RTCA/DO-178C was released in May 2012. Acceptance of RTCA/DO-178C will harmonise software development certification processes with FAA and EASA.

The original project CS 10/20 did not specify necessary changes to CAO 103.5 - Equipment standards - aircraft equipment software. Revision of CAO 103.5 will be required in parallel with development of an Advisory Circular.

Generation of a new project will be required with recognition of RTCA/DO-178C as the accepted industry standard and revision of CAO 103.5 to recognise RTCA/DO178C.


Aircraft electronic equipment fitted to aircraft are becoming more and more complex. Software installed in equipment controls a significant amount of flight critical and non-critical functions. In addition, some of the equipment is fitted with circuit cards containing application specific integrated circuits having embedded computer code intended to perform specific functions.

Two standards, RTCA/DO/178B (ED-12B) Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification and RTCA/DO-254 (ED-79) Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware are in common use by aircraft manufacturers and recognised NAA.

We need to provide guidance to Australian industry on how CASA intends to apply the principles of these two standards, both in the initial certification of the software or complex hardware systems, any subsequent modification to these items.

Project Objective

The development and release of the advisory material is intended to provide Australian industry with a clear process to be followed when they seek certification of software or complex hardware systems intended for use in aircraft. The confirmation of the standards to be used and the manner of application will provide a level of certainty.


This project was approved by the EM Standards Development & Future Technology Division on 6 September 2010

Project management

Project Leader: Charles Lenarcic

Project Sponsor: Peter Boyd, Executive Manager Standards Development & Future Technology

Standards Development Project Manager: Charles Lenarcic

Project Priority


Project CS 10/20