AEA succeeds in gaining recognition of avionics technicians

FAA accepts AEA's petition to recognize AET certification

LEE'S SUMMIT, MISSOURI, Jan. 7, 2019 -- In response to an October 2018 petition by the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Federal Aviation Administration has formally recognized ASTM's National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT) Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) certification as equivalent to formal training when showing eligibility for the issuance of a repairman certificate.

The Federal Aviation Regulations have specific requirements for eligibility for a repairman certificate, including age, qualifications specific to the job assignment, language, and being recommended by the employer; the regulations also list specific requirements for qualifications. To be qualified for recommendation, the applicant must have either at least 18 months of practical experience applicable to the maintenance duties of the specific job, or completed formal training specifically designed to qualify the applicant for the job on which the applicant is employed. This is where the AEA petition focused.

The AEA, in its continuing effort to promote the avionics industry and the value and rewards of an avionics technician career, petitioned the FAA to recognize the scope and details contained within the NCATT AET certification as an acceptable means of compliance to the formal education option as listed in Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) section 65.101(a)(5)(ii). 

As a result of the petition, NCATT AET certification plus one additional NCATT avionics endorsement is now considered equivalent to completing formal training that is acceptable to the administrator as required by the regulations.

"After careful review of the NCATT AET certification and endorsement program, we find that these certifications demonstrate the technicians' knowledge base and will assess the competencies of the qualified individual," wrote Jackie L. Black, manager of the FAA's Aircraft Maintenance Division, in a Dec. 7, 2018, letter to the AEA. Black further wrote that the NCATT AET certification along with a minimum of one additional endorsement meets the intent of the regulation stated in 14 CFR section 65.101 (a)(5)(ii) for the issuance of a repairman's certificate. (Click here to view the FAA's letter)

In addition to completing the AET certification, individuals must complete one of the following ASTM NCATT endorsements:

  • Autonomous Navigation Systems (ANS)
  • Dependent Navigation Systems (DNS)
  • Radio Communication Systems (RCS)
  • Onboard Communications and Safety Systems (OCS)

"The AEA spent the better part of the last 15 years working with ASTM's NCATT to design, develop and promote a nationally recognized certificate for the avionics and electronics community," said AEA President and CEO Paula Derks. "This industry standard for the certification of aircraft electronics technicians is now recognized by the FAA, simplifies the application process for a repairman certificate, and was accomplished without the burden of rulemaking."

This new tool brings to life another phase in the AEA's continuous efforts to help shops recruit and retain professional avionics technicians. For more information and guidance on AET certification and the FAA's process for issuing a repairman certificate, visit


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Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents nearly 1,300 member companies in more than 40 countries, including approved maintenance organizations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of aircraft electronics systems in general aviation aircraft. The AEA membership also includes manufacturers of aircraft electronics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.