When it comes to being an aircraft manufacturer, today's leaders have more regulations than the Wright brothers did when they began their quest for flight. Before airplane manufacturers can even begin the process of building a plane for commercial use, all the parts must qualify for the minimum performance standard, known as Technical Standard Orders, or TSO authorization.
Because the industry covers such a wide variety of aspects, you may need to rely on an aircraft manufacturers industry overview to help you wade your way through the red tape and regulations.
1. Learn which government agencies regulate the airplane manufacturing industry.
2. Determine the types of aircraft an airplane manufacturer specializes in making.
3. Find associations related to specific types of aircraft.
Be familiar with the agencies that regulate airplane manufacturingThe airplane manufacturing business must adhere to more regulations than the majority of industries operating in the United States. There are regulations regarding the design of aircraft, the flights and paths for airplanes and pilot training. Keeping the sky safe is a major priority for the US, especially following the aviation attack of September 11, 2001.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates every aspect of airplane manufacturing including aircraft registration, airworthiness certification, design approvals and technical information. It provides a comprehensive overview of the industry that covers every imaginable aspect. The General Services Administration, known as GSA, provides government regulations for aviation manufacturers that specifically deal with government aircraft. It provides high-level guidelines for federal organizations looking to implement their own safety standards.
Look for light aircraft manufacturersTypically a light aircraft has one or two engines and seats up to eight people. This type of aircraft works well for business jets and utility turboprops. You'll typically see light aircraft at small airports.
Fly high with commercial aircraft manufacturersThe larger the plane, the more rules and regulations a manufacturer must follow. Industry leaders in the commercial sector often work across the industry in other areas like government aircraft. With an industry leader, you can expect the most complete selection of aircraft, support, products and services.
- Even an aircraft maker that makes products like hot air balloons or rockets sometimes falls under the jurisdiction of the FAA.
- Used aircraft must meet the same safety regulations as new aircraft; factor in the cost of bringing a used plane up to code before you opt to buy used planes.