The development of recommended specifications for industry is an important function of trade associations such as ATA. These specifications allow industry participants to achieve major cost savings through the use of common systems and procedures.
ATA's role is to facilitate this process by bringing industry members together to reach a consensus that all can support and implement. Thus, ATA specifications ("SPECs") are voluntary industry agreements on accepted means of communicating information, conducting business, performing operations or adhering to accepted practices.
The specifications used by the commercial airline industry must satisfy its rigorous safety and reliability requirements and be maintained so that any new technology is introduced in a timely fashion. They may be formulated as recommended practices or implementation guidelines and deal with such diverse concerns as formats for developing technical maintenance publications or approved parts acquisition.
U.S. airline industry specifications should be in agreement with international ones to the maximum degree possible. In the engineering arena in particular, adherence to international specifications facilitates the international servicing and support of aerospace products.
Likewise, the use of international specifications in the automation sector provides the industry with access to cost- effective, broadly supported software and hardware solutions. Some ATA specifications are formulated for the international aeronautical community. Others – developed for the U.S. domestic industry – may serve as a starting point for, or complement to, related international ones.
If you would like to know more about the Airline Transport Association, visit their Web site: http://www.air-transport.org.