FAA Solves Antenna Misstep

REFERENCE: FAA Memorandum 021810 8900.1

SUMMARY: On Feb. 18, 2010, the FAA published a memorandum clarifying the intent of FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 9, regarding field approvals specifically for antenna installations on Part 25 aircraft.

From the memo: This memo transmits an interpretation and clarification of one specific item in the figure 4-68 tables of FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 9.

There is an item in the section for “Transport Airplane Structural Strength” that states, “Changes to principle or primary structural elements (principle elements that carry flight, ground or pressure loads) defined by AC 25.571-1, as amended,” which requires such changes to be approved by STC. However, this has been determined to be too broad of a description to be useful in the field since requiring an STC for any change to a principle or primary element could encompass such routine major alterations as small antenna cutouts, which wouldn’t necessarily warrant an STC.

AEA COMMENTARY: This memorandum is a good “stop-gap” measure to resolve confusion and misinterpretation of FAA Order 8900.1. The Aircraft Electronics Association looks forward to working with AFS-300 and AIR 140 while a final amendment and update to the field approval guidance is developed.

Contact Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, by email at ricp@aea.net or by phone at 202-589-1144.