8900.1 CHG 519



Indicates new/changed information.

Section 17  Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE) Guidance

4-14-17-1    OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance to aviation safety inspectors (ASI) regarding the acceptability of equipment designated as Non‑Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE).

4-14-17-3    GENERAL. The primary audience for this guidance is Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), certificate management office (CMO), International Field Office (IFO), headquarters (HQ), and regional personnel who are responsible for certificate management, oversight, and policy. This guidance applies to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 23, 27, 29, category and predecessor aircraft, as addressed in Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) Policy Statement PS-AIR-21.8-1602. It excludes 14 CFR part 25 (transport category) and unmanned aircraft for all aircraft categories. Inspector responsibility is limited to normal surveillance activity to ensure compliance with regulatory policy.

4-14-17-5    BACKGROUND.

A.    AIR Policy Statement. The purpose of this guidance is to highlight changes in AIR’s policy regarding equipment approved as NORSEE, outlined in PS-AIR-21.8-1602.

B.    Background. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. AIR: 2018, the vision of the FAA’s future state, calls to improve aviation safety through a variety of methods. One method is “to encourage and enable voluntary safety enhancements” as found in the AIR 2015 Roadmap for AIR: 2018. Before NORSEE guidance was established, the FAA had not differentiated between non‑required equipment and the special class of non-required equipment that can enhance safety. To support its mission, the FAA is implementing an approval process to allow installation of NORSEE in the General Aviation (GA) and rotorcraft fleets. The intent is not to bypass the existing certification processes or the current level of FAA oversight, but to standardize the approval process specific to NORSEE. Equipment approved as NORSEE has a variety of uses, including the following:

    Increasing overall situational awareness;

    Providing additional information beyond that provided by the aircraft’s basic instrumentation;

    Providing independent warning, cautionary, or advisory indications; and

    Providing additional occupant safety protection.

C.    NORSEE Equipment. Most NORSEE categories fall under the avionics, electronic instrument, and display categories. However, mechanical and other NORSEE categories can use the same methodology and evaluation approach, as outlined in this policy statement. The types of equipment that may be considered NORSEE include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Traffic advisory system (TAS);

    Terrain advisory (such as a Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS));

    Attitude indicator;

    Weather advisory,

    Crashworthiness improvement;

    Configuration advisory (e.g., gear advisory for floats and takeoff/landing configuration);

    Supplemental indication (e.g., a fuel flow or a fuel quantity indicator);

    Monitoring/detection system (e.g., a smoke, carbon monoxide, or fire detector);

    Extinguishing system (e.g., a fire extinguisher); and

    Stability and control (e.g., an autopilot or stability augmentation system).

NOTE:  The goal is to establish one policy that is scalable and adjustable to accommodate and encourage the installation of new technology safety enhancements into all aircraft product types.

D.    Design Approval. The design approval holder (DAH) will receive a letter of approval from the FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) that granted the approval.

E.    Production Approval. The DAH is required to control both the design and the quality of the equipment. To meet the quality control (QC) requirements, the manufacturer must build the equipment in accordance with its approved design. Applicants who already hold production approval under 14 CFR part 21 may produce a NORSEE under their existing quality system. Applicants who do not hold a part 21 production approval are required to have a quality system.

F.    Marking Requirements. All major components of the equipment produced under this approval must be permanently and legibly marked with the DAH’s name or abbreviation, part number, and “21.8(d).”

G.    Installation Instructions. Installation instructions are required to be included as part of the design approval. The installation instructions should describe the installation in adequate detail (i.e., pictorial or descriptive) such that follow-on installations result in a consistent installation that complies with the manufacturer’s instructions when properly followed.

H.    Installation Approval. NORSEE approval under this policy is not an approval for installation on the aircraft. The equipment becomes eligible for installation on the aircraft after approval. There may be a situation in which installation of the equipment on the aircraft requires modifications that are considered a major change to type design or major alteration to the aircraft. In these cases, the applicant is required to pursue appropriate certification path (such as a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC)) or field approval process, regardless of the “non‑required” designation.

I.    Maintenance/Operation Information. The DAH is responsible for developing and providing instructions for continued maintenance and operation, including providing documentation of recommended methods, practices, inspections, repairs, maintenance intervals, calibration, processes, and procedures similar to Figure 5-1 in FAA Order 8300.16, Major Repair and Alteration Data Approval. The maintenance information outlines the methods used in maintaining the equipment in proper condition and ensures continued safe operation of the equipment as it was intended.

NOTE:  Maintenance information is not the same as instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA) required pursuant to part 21, 21.50. The manufacturer is responsible for providing documentation to satisfy the maintenance information requirement.

J.    Operating Limitations. The operating limitations that are part of the maintenance information may include the following or similar statements:

1)    “The XXX system is not a required system and may not be used as a substitution for the certificated aircraft system.”
2)    “No operational credit may be taken for installation of XXX system.”

4-14-17-7    PART 21 AUTHORITY. Part 21 subpart A prescribes the general certification procedures for products and parts. Section 21.8(d) provides for the approval of articles in any other manner approved by the FAA.


A.    Field Inspector Actions. Be aware of this new classification of equipment. It will be marked with the DAH’s name or abbreviation, part number, and “21.8(d).” Expect to see a 14 CFR part 43, 43.9(a) or (d) maintenance record entry to install the equipment in accordance with installation instructions, as with any other major or minor alteration. Additionally, any deviation from the installation instructions may result in a major alteration and should to go back to the approving ACO for consultation, as per FAA Order 8300.16 and the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300) Major Repair and Alteration Data Approval online job aid. Installation instructions should contain information on how to maintain equipment as appropriate.

B.    Additional Information. If you require any additional information or clarification on NORSEE guidance, refer to PS-AIR 21.8-1602 or contact the Design, Manufacturing, and Airworthiness Division (AIR‑100).

RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-14-17-11 through 4-14-17-25.