When is an AD issued?

The FAA issues an AD addressing a product when we find that:
  • An unsafe condition exists in a product; and,
  • The condition is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

How are Airworthiness Directive (AD) documents tracked?

A decision to issue an AD begins when an Aviation Safety Engineer (ASE) in the accountable Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) or Directorate prepares an AD Worksheet. The accountable Directorate then assigns a Directorate identifier to that worksheet. The Directorate identifier is the primary tracking number for AD actions involving a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and for a Final Rule, request for comments (commonly referred to as an Immediately Adopted Rule). All Final Rule ADs will be assigned an AD number and a 14 CFR part 39 amendment number when issued and sent to the Federal Register for publication.

Where are ADs published?

The Federal Register is the official daily publication of the United States government. It is the printed method of informing the public of laws that are enacted or will be enacted. Electronic versions of ADs are available from the Federal Register and from the FAA Regulatory and Guidance Library (RGL).

How do I find and obtain copies of ADs?

The RGL contains all ADs. You can search for ADs by manufacturer, model, or AD number. You can download electronic copies of ADs from RGL to your computer. Also, you can subscribe to receive electronic copies of ADs by email:
  • On RGL home page,
  • Click on the link, "Subscribe to ADs and SAIBs"
  • Enter your email address, and
  • Select the aircraft and engine makes and models for which you want to receive ADs and SAIBs.

After you subscribe, when we post to RGL any AD or SAIB that pertains to aircraft and engine makes and models you selected, these documents are attached to an email and sent to you within minutes of the document posting.

How do I comment on an AD?

The FAA provides an opportunity for the public to comment on notices of proposed rulemaking. We also request comments on final rule ADs that are published without prior notice. They are all published in the Federal Register and include information on how to submit comments. We do not request comments on Emergency ADs at the time of their issuance. However, we do request comments when they are published as a final rule AD in the Federal Register.