As known, ATA stands for “Air Transport Association”, an American organization. But when talking about it now, ATA 100 refers to a methodology of reference for numbering the aircraft documentation. Allowing the ease of understanding the procedures and topics of a specific item or part of the aircraft. Within the aviation field, this numbering system of ATA is known to pilots, technicians, mechanics and engineers.
The FAA developed this numbering system in a wide shape and named it as JASC/ATA code, “Joint Aircraft System/Component”. This approach in time was getting more attention because of its utility in the industry. The aviation authorities from different countries have worked on implementing a common system to reduce time in process and to have a harmonized code. This is not compulsory for aircraft manufacturers but sure that it works for them as an advantage with common benefits for all industry and the clients.
ATA issued the specification or standard for the commercial aviation industry, providing the format and content as convention for the technical maintenance documents, this is called ATA Spec 100.
The advantage of this system and the numbering approach in the chapters of aviation maintenance documentation can be seen in looking for the same component on different aircraft manufacturers. For instance, an Airbus A321, a Boeing B737 and even helicopters (MD500) have the same number for the chapter related to fuel system, the ATA number 28.
In this way it is possible to observe the common chapter 28 dedicated to the fuel system information for the plane or the helicopter. Therefore, the aircraft technical documentation in most of the cases is arranged using this ATA chapters.
|ATA Number||ATA Chapter name|
|ATA 01||MAINTENANCE POLICY|
|ATA 04||AIRWORTHINESS LIMITATIONS|
|ATA 05||TIME LIMITS/MAINTENANCE CHECKS|
|ATA 06||DIMENSIONS AND AREAS|
|ATA 07||LIFTING AND SHORING|
|ATA 08||LEVELING AND WEIGHING|
|ATA 09||TOWING AND TAXIING|
|ATA 10||PARKING, MOORING, STORAGE AND RETURN TO SERVICE|
|ATA 11||PLACARDS AND MARKINGS|
|ATA 15||AIRCREW INFORMATION|
|ATA 16||CHANGE OF ROLE|
|ATA 18||VIBRATION AND NOISE ANALYSIS (HELICOPTERS ONLY)|
|ATA Number||ATA Chapter name|
|ATA 20||STANDARD PRACTICES – AIRFRAME|
|ATA 21||AIR CONDITIONING|
|ATA 22||AUTO FLIGHT|
|ATA 24||ELECTRICAL POWER|
|ATA 25||EQUIPMENT /FURNISHINGS|
|ATA 26||FIRE PROTECTION|
|ATA 27||FLIGHT CONTROLS|
|ATA 29||HYDRAULIC POWER|
|ATA 30||ICE AND RAIN PROTECTION|
|ATA 31||INDICATING / RECORDING SYSTEM|
|ATA 32||LANDING GEAR|
|ATA 38||WATER / WASTE|
|ATA 39||ELECTRICAL – ELECTRONIC PANELS AND MULTIPURPOSE COMPONENTS|
|ATA 41||WATER BALLAST|
|ATA 42||INTEGRATED MODULAR AVIONICS|
|ATA 44||CABIN SYSTEMS|
|ATA 45||ONBOARD MAINTENANCE SYSTEMS (OMS)|
|ATA 46||INFORMATION SYSTEMS|
|ATA 47||INERT GAS SYSTEM|
|ATA 48||IN FLIGHT FUEL DISPENSING|
|ATA 49||(AIRBORNE) AUXILIARY POWER UNIT|
So, the list has more numbers of chapters, but those are examples only. All aviation maintenance staff, technicians, mechanics, engineers and even pilots are familiar with this specification and that the aircraft they operate have similar systems, not the same when talking about the model system but the functional system or parts of the aircraft.