20-171 - Alternatives to RTCA/DO-178B for Software in Airborne Systems and Equipment

Date Issued
January 19, 2011
Responsible Office
AIR-120,  Aviation Safety - Aircraft Certification Service, Aircraft Engineering Division
Description

On January 11,1993, we, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), published Advisory Circular (AC) 20-115B recognizing RTCA/DO-178B, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification, dated December 1, 1992, as a means, but not the only means, to seek FAA approval of airborne software. RTCA/DO-178B is recognized by industry and certification authorities as an accepted approach for assuring that software in airborne systems and equipment has been developed to meet the safety objectives of the regulations.

 

This AC identifies what you, as an applicant, will have to address and document when you propose an alternative approach to that defined in RTCA/DO-178B. This AC is intended to provide you, the applicant, with guidance on how to establish that your proposed alternative provides the same level of assurance as that provided in RTCA/DO-178B for airborne software.  Your proposed alternative should be evaluated in conjunction with the certification process and applied to airborne systems and equipment (containing software) for which you are seeking FAA approval in order to obtain a Type Certificate, Supplemental Type Certificate, Amended Type Certificate, or Amended Supplemental Type Certificate.