White paper on performance-based certification of military airborne systems to meet civil ATM/CNS requirements

Certification is one of the processes used to manage and ensure common and harmonised safety levels in aviation.

In the Single European Sky (SES) regulatory framework, systems have to be certified to be deemed interoperable.

In most countries, the military have the power to certify their systems in their own certification environment. The military processes are mostly unknown to the wider international civil aviation community, they suffer from a lack of consistency/harmonisation between the various military authorities, and documentation is sometimes restricted in nature. Because of these issues, this situation results in uncertainty about the validity of these processes when considered at the civil regulator’s side.

In addition, SES interoperability requirements are sometimes not covering specific military requirements because of a lack of coordination between civil and military authorities during the drafting phase of the regulations. Where such a situation occurs, it ultimately leads to a loss of air operations effectiveness and to shortcomings in terms of capacity, performance and safety.

Several previous documents, statements and studies pointed out the need for a certification environment based on performance levels for military aviation to comply with civil ATM/CNS requirements. In this document, performance means “the manner in which something reacts or fulfils its intended purpose”1 . It does not refer to any economic efficiency unlike it is nowadays often used in new ATM regulation.

The objectives of this White paper on performance-based certification of military systems to meet civil ATM/CNS requirements are to:

  • contribute to the development of national certification processes which will use technical performance levels as a basis,
  • propose an alternative to equipage derogations or exemptions as regards ATM/CNS compliance which result in reduced airspace capacity for all airspace users, 
  • provide additional options for military operations planners generated by aircraft certified in a way which meets ATM/CNS requirements and
  • provide a common and harmonised process for performance-based certification.

In this document, the performance-based certification (PBC) concept addresses the requirements for the certification of airborne systems.


White paper on performance-based certification