The Importance of an STC Certification

What Is an STC Certification?

A Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) certification is the Federal Aviation Authority's (FAA) way of allowing the ingenuity of mechanics and engineers to flourish while maintaining safety for everyone who takes to the air. Each certificate represents a specific change to an already approved and existing model.

An STC can apply to a single aircraft, a specific year and model of aircraft, individual parts like a propeller or engine, and so forth. They are typically reserved for changes that would be considered major or outside the normal scope of the craft's design; replacing one radio with another will likely not require an STC, for example.

Receiving an STC Certification

To be issued an STC from the FAA, the applicant has to demonstrate that the adjustment is technically sound through a vigorous process that begins with an assessment of the design idea to determine which aspects are considered significant enough for examination. Afterwards, a certification plan is created and enacted that will cover everything from the draft and design phase to in-flight testing of the modification. If the modification passes through the plan to the satisfaction of the FAA, an STC will be issued to the applicant.

Making Use of STC Certifications

Once you have been issued an STC for a modification or product, you have the power to put the change into effect on any approved model or part. Even though the FAA will only issue their STCs to U.S.-based manufacturers, STCs are frequently able to cross borders through bilateral agreements with the destination nation. The holder of the STC may sell or transfer the ownership to entities within the U.S. or who possess such an agreement with the U.S, provided that you notify the FAA appropriately.

Any questions? Contact our experts at AeroDesign Services & Engineering today!

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