the standard of civil aeronautics

What Is the ATA Standard?

A small history of the ATA Standard

ATA (Air Transport Association) is an American association created in the early 1950s when civil aviation was gradually becoming an industry in its own right. Back then, it involved a large number of stakeholders including aircraft manufacturers, airline companies, states and governments, as well as certification bodies who worked towards developing means of achieving standardisation and setting production requirements for civil aviation documentation. Thus was born the ATA standard.

Currently, any ATA spec produced is managed by the ATA eBusiness Program.

Les principales spécifications de l’ATA

L’ATA 100

Still in use today, ATA 100 is behind many concepts that more recent standards, such as S1000D, continue du rely upon. It provides a disaggregation system for technical documentation which involves segmenting it in ATA chapters, sections, topics, and numbering. This allows any well-versed actor to quickly identify the theme of the topic in question. For instance, Chapter 32 will always be about landing gear regardless of the manual (AMM, IPC, etc.).

ATA 100 also provides representation models for paper deliverables and documents the main manuals already in use:

  • AMM (Aircraft Maintenance Manual) which presents all maintenance procedures
  • IPC (Illustrated Parts Catalog) which presents all the spare parts and is sometimes broken down into several manuals (AIPC for Aircraft IPC and PIPC / EPIC for Power Plant IPC and Engine IPC)
  • TSM (Trouble Shooting Manual) which documents failure detection procedures
  • CMM (Component Maintenance Manual) which documents equipment maintenance
  • WDM (Wiring Diagram Manal) which presents the wiring network
  • SRM (Structural Repair Manual) which presents repair procedures for structural parts.

L’ATA iSpec 2200

Developed in the 2000s, ATA iSpec 2200 is a more modern version of ATA 100. It brings additional specifications and makes it possible to produce SGML data, which the XML format derives from.

ATA iSpec 2200 provides DTD (Document Type Definition) as well as operating rules to allow manufacturers to produce all the documentation necessary for them to keep their aircraft in optimal operational condition.

It became the reference at the time and a large majority of aircraft to date still have ATA iSpec 2200 standard documentation, including most Airbus (the A320 family in particular) and Boeing airliners. The 787 remains the exception.

However, as the SGML format and the technology associated with it became obsolete, manufacturers were forced to move away from this specification and to favour the more recent versions of S1000D for their latest programs. Civil aircraft manufacturers have indeed carried out a significant amount of effort for the convergence of standards to make it easier to use within the scope of their projects.

L’ATA 1000BR

ATA 1000BR states a number of business rules and output specifications for the maintenance manuals provided by suppliers. It is still widely used today, and some aircraft manufacturers impose it as a requirement their suppliers need to abide by.

This is why a PDF 1000BR output is available in ADAM Publisher.


ATA 2300 was first introduced in 2009, then amended in 2011. This ATA standard is therefore quite recent, which is why it takes all current technology into account.

It provides schematics and operating rules for the production of flight manuals – also called Flight Ops (Flight Operations Manuals).

Very widespread and rapidly expanding, ATA 2300 delivers substantial additional value.

Although S1000D is the most relevant standard for maintenance documentation, for Flight Ops, ATA 2300 is THE recommended standard.

This ATA standard does feature several concepts derived from the S1000D specs. The identification of documentary units, traceability, as well as some basic structures are quite similar.

The concept of Data Module is certainly present as well, making it possible to manage the configuration of each documentary unit. ATA 2300 goes further still than the S1000D standard by externalising Data Module identification. Thus, the content and meta data are decoupled and treated as two separate documents, setting the stage for even more successful reusability than with S1000D.

Some manufacturers have chosen to use the S1000D specs for their maintenance documentation and the ATA 2300 standard for their operational documentation, taking advantage of the high degree of technical similarity, which facilitates production and complementarity between both standards.

It is in this sense that ADAM features an ATA 2300 element to offer the same software environment for all manufacturers to produce their entire documentation.