TSO - Technical Standard Order Aviation Parts

Posted on July 23, 2020 James Williams TSO - Technical Standard Order Aviation Parts

When shopping for parts and components for your aerospace operations, you may eventually come across those that are considered “TSO parts”. As there are a multitude of specialized parts, procedures, standards, grades, and more involved in such a developed and standardized industry, being aware of each acronym’s meaning may be difficult. In this blog, we will discuss what TSO parts are, and how parts become considered as such.

A TSO, or Technical Standard Order, is a performance standard that is set forth by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that parts meet minimum requirements. In general, these encompass specific materials, parts, processes, and appliances that are used for civil aviation and aircraft. Parts that are considered TSO parts by the FAA are designated as “airworthy”, meaning that they meet certain specifications that allow them to maintain safety of flight. When individuals order TSO FAA part types, they are often doing so to replace older components or systems with approved, airworthy components. To receive authorization for an item to be considered a TSO part, one must apply through the FAA to have their design and production approved.
In general, a part must prove that it meets the certification bases for a particular aircraft model before it can be considered airworthy and be installed onto an existing aircraft. To do this, a manufacturer must provide sufficient documentation and data to show the FAA how the article meets minimum performance standards independently of their intended installation. Once this is established, the manufacturer then must receive a separate FAA approval for the article to be allowed on an aircraft.
If a TSO does not meet certain requirements, or becomes inactive, a TSO may either become a “Canceled TSO” or receive a “Withdrawal of a TSO authorization”. When a TSO is canceled, it has been considered inactive by the FAA and thus will no longer receive new TSO authorizations. This means that upstanding TSO authorizations that were awarded before the cancellation are unaffected and may continue their manufacturing in accordance to such authorization. When a part is withdrawn, however, the TSO for that specific part is terminated. This means that the TSO may not be manufactured as a TSO approved part whatsoever, and must not be labeled as such.
TSOs may also be obtained for parts that are manufactured outside of the United States, and such parts may receive approval through a bilateral agreement. To obtain this, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will oversee the design and production of articles, and applications may be made through the exporting CAA with a request that the documentation is sent to the FAA. The CAA and FAA will then work together through policies and procedures before an approval is issued or denied. If approved, the FAA will then issue a design approval for the specific part, and then the manufacturer may follow set procedures for manufacturing and implementation.
When it comes time to begin sourcing the TSO parts that you need for your operations, Aerospace Purchasing has you covered with everything you are searching for. Aerospace Purchasing is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the TSO parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete, with our TSO parts lookup service. We also offer our customers parts from a variety of trusted manufacturers, including those such as Rockwell Collins, Honeywell International, and Rockwell International Aviation. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B, AS9120B, and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aerospacepurchasing.com or call us at +1-412-212-0606.

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