What Are ATA Codes?

Curious about ATA codes? In this article, we will cover information frequently asked about ATA codes and ATA chapters, and why they are standard for commercial aviation applications. 

ATA chapters, also known as ATA 100 System Codes, refer to the ATA 100 numbering system that was created in 1956 by the Air Transport Association (ATA). It is a common referencing standard for aircraft documentation and is used as a way of categorizing general systems and overall areas fabricating aircraft, as well as providing pilots, engineers, and maintenance crew with easier solutions to learning about particular vehicles. While the ATA 100 numbering system is no longer used and is considered out-of-date as of 2015, standard regulations regarding current ATA 100 chapters were reconstructed and modified in 1999 with the implementation of Joint Aircraft System/Component (JASC) Code Tables.   

However, in continued effort to further clarify ATA chapters, the ATA Technical Information and Communication Committee (TICC) consolidated new specifications which would apply directly to the commercial aviation industry as of the year 2000. Known as ATA iSpec 2200, these specifications take on an industry-wide approach for the organization and documentation of aircraft system numbering, formatting, and data content standards. Overall, these changes were designed to mitigate cost and labor for manufacturers and operators, efficiently facilitate manufacturer data to an operator, and increase information relay and timeliness. While additional amendments have been made to accommodate modern aircraft, such as the implementation of standard S1000D, XML, and others, the ATA 100 chapters remain relatively the same. 

Regarding its contents, ATA 100 chapters consist of 5 sections overarching an aircraft’s general structure, those of which include separate categories relating to particular systems in aircraft, its structure, propeller/rotor, power plant, and miscellaneous items. Moreover, military vehicles have the advantage of an additional 6th chapter which can be utilized for specialized equipment with requirements beyond those needed for commercial planes. These include subsections relating to electrical power multiplexing, surveillance, weapon systems, crew escape and safety, and much more. 

To identify certain areas of interest within ATA chapters, they are typically configured in the format “12-34-56” with each chapter and subsection denoting specific products and their location on aircraft. These categories can comprise multiple sub-categories for various parts and are generally found within any Component Maintenance Manual (CMM) onboard a designated location in aircraft. As ATA chapters serve to provide technicians, airliners, suppliers, and various others with clear and concise information on what parts are, what they do, how to repair them, and beyond, it is imperative that they are always referenced before proceeding with the repair or replacement of components.   

For direct access to an extensive ATA Chapters list, we invite you to peruse our ATA chapters to find all the corresponding items you require quickly and effortlessly. For ease of part navigation, each ATA chapter listing is categorized by part number, alongside its applicable description, ATA number, and ATA chapter for your benefit. If there is a particular ATA chapter part that you are interested in, simply fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form as found throughout our website, and a dedicated account manager will be in touch with you in 15 minutes or less.   

At Purchasing Synergy, we are a top-to-bottom parts distributor catering to numerous industry verticals while providing top notch, around-the-clock customer care availability. If you require specific components recommended by a manufacturer, we invite you to browse our website and take advantage of our dedicated search engine and filters. This allows customers to filter for parts by CAGE Code, National Stock Number (NSN), manufacturer, part number, part type, and many others. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we harbor an inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, electronic, and industrial markets. Our dedicated account managers and experienced quality assurance specialists can also provide you with expedited shipping, rapid lead times, and cost savings on all orders. To begin the procurement process, simply fill out and submit an RFQ form today! 


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