International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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Air transport


Air transport

Air transport

Air transport safety is a complex and multi-dimensional issue. IEC Standards are central to two of its major aspects: navigation and communications, which depend on avionics; and the movement of aircraft both in the air and on the ground as they land or take off, which is guided by AGL (airfield ground lighting). The current highly advanced state of both these aspects is the result of decades of technical developments and of the introduction of ever more advanced standards.


Who is involved?

ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization)

Air traffic safety is guided at the international level by the 1944 Chicago Convention which established the ICAO, a UN agency that organizes and regulates air transport. The Convention (now in its ninth edition) contains annexes supported by SARPs (standards and recommended practices). SARPs are specifications that are recognized as necessary or desirable in the interests of the safety, regularity or efficiency of international air navigation.


The ICAO recommends or mandates that certain types of avionics systems are fitted to civilian aircraft of particular categories.


Operational requirements for AGL are specified in Annex 14 to the Chicago Convention, which applies to the design and operation of aerodromes.

ACI (Airports Council International)

ACI (Airports Council International), the global trade body that represents 1,861 airports in 177 countries and territories, is a customer of IEC Standards for AGL.

IEC TC 107: Process management for avionics

IEC TC 107 does not prepare International Standards for the components (integrated circuits and assemblies) used in the avionics industry. This task is handled by other IEC TCs. What TC 107 does is to develop processes for using and managing these components in meeting the requirements of the avionics industry (cost, lifetime, quality, reliability, safety, performance, etc.). This must be achieved despite the preoccupation of the electronics industry with high-volume applications, rapid change, obsolescence and problems of wear. IEC TC 107 is a supplier of Standards to ISO/TC 20: Aircraft and space vehicles, and ISO/TC 20/SC1: Aerospace electrical requirements.

IEC TC 97: Electrical installations for lighting and beaconing of aerodromes

IEC TC 97 prepares International Standards for design, installation, operation and maintenance of aeronautical ground lighting of aerodromes. The activity covers requirements which apply to the whole system from the incoming power to the aerodrome up to and including the luminaires used in aeronautical ground lighting.