Quality in the Aerospace Industry

Although all Quality Management projects share some fundamental Quality principles, the way in which different industries apply these principles can be very diverse. Each industry has its own priorities, compliance obligations, and business requirements, so each of them must understand and apply the Quality principles in a unique way. 

The aerospace industry is responsible for the quality of thousands of aircraft carrying millions of people around the globe every day. Aircraft components frequently have a service life of more than 50 yearsI, which means that Quality practices must be embedded at every stage of design, production, operation, and maintenance to ensure reliable processes that can withstand rigorous use.  

The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) developed the AS 9100 series of QMS (Quality Management System) standards to set a global benchmark for the aerospace industry. AS 9100 applies to the entire aerospace supply chain, including design, manufacture, replacement, and maintenance. This standard developed as a result of the inadequacy of previous standards that had been applied to the aerospace sector, including the United States Department of Defense standards MIL-Q-9858A and MIL-I-45208A, and the subsequent ISO 9001 commercial standard.viii In the early 1990s, a group of aerospace manufacturers including Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin, and several others developed an aerospace application to address the shortcomings of ISO 9001. These manufacturers worked closely with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which manages the Quality standards for the airline industry. The SAE released AS9000 in May 1997, and it is now the global standard for aerospace Quality programs. 

Find out how other industries are approaching Quality Management by downloading our free Insight Report, A Cross-Industry Look at Quality Management.


AS 9110 – Quality Management Systems for Aerospace Industry,” SGS, http://www.sgs.ca/en/industrial-manufacturing/services-related-to-suppliers/as-9110-quality-management-systems-for-aerospace-industry#

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