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What Does ATA Stand For and What Does it Include?

If you are involved or well versed in the aviation world, you may know the ATA 100 list and the various ATA codes that are included within. As a referencing standard for commercial aircraft documentation, the ATA 100 has been a useful tool for countless pilots, engineers, and aircraft maintenance technicians for a number of years. Although some may be familiar with the list itself, many may not know what ATA stands for, or may be unaware of the contents that it includes. In this blog, we will discuss the history and the included information that the ATA 100 provides for the benefit of all those involved with the aerospace industry.

The ATA name comes from the group Air Transport Association, which is an American trade association and lobbying group that now operates as Airlines for America. With a mission to ensure safe and secure air transportation for the good of the United States economy and aviation industry, the Air Transport Association published the system of ATA numbers in 1956. As the aviation industry continued to flourish and grow, the ATA 100 list was slowly expanded, and the list has since been superseded by later documentation standards as of 1999. Nevertheless, the ATA 100 and its list of ATA codes still remains extremely useful for information on a grand number of systems and components.

For many airliners across the country, the ATA numbers list aids in maintenance endeavors for in-service parts and components. As a comprehensive guide and numbers system encompassing many major sections of aircraft, the ATA chapters list serves to provide guidelines for technical manuals. Since 2015, the ATA 100 has become fairly outdated for its information on general aviation, but Airlines for America has since published the ATA iSpec 22, that of which has merged the information from the original ATA code list.

When utilizing the ATA 100, one may notice that it has been separated into a number of chapters with a specific numbering system, and each of these serves to categorize and denote a particular section. As an example, the ATA codes 20 through 49 are within the aircraft systems list, and chapters include important documentation on aircraft parts and systems such as fuel, communication, landing gear, ice and rain protection, navigation, and more. From major structures to miscellaneous components and systems, the ATA code list has greatly benefited many over the years through its publication.

One of the major benefits of the ATA list and its successors is the fact that the chapter numbers may be relevant for all aircraft, rather than a specific model. As such, chapters that provide information on a model such as the Boeing 747 will also be useful for those who are working with other Boeing aircraft, or those such as Airbus aircraft and the BAe 125. Additionally, chapters that discuss oxygen, electrical power, and doors, and other components all include general information that can benefit pilots, engineers, and workers working with diverse aircraft, ensuring that continued compliance with standards is continued for safety and efficiency.

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