The History of AS9100 the Aerospace Standard

A Brief History of the AS9100 Standard

Take a moment to learn the history of AS9100 and how it has evolved over the years to become a global aerospace standard for the Aviation, Space and Defense (AS&D) industries. AS9100 was developed to provide suppliers with a comprehensive quality management system (QMS) to satisfy customer expectations and to ensure airworthy, safe and reliable products for the aerospace industry.

Prior to 1997, the Department of Defense (DOD), FAA, NASA, and each prime contractor and subcontractor, had unique requirements and interpretations of standards and specifications which created a huge burden on the AS&D supply base.  To address this, a consortium of aerospace prime contractors developed AS9000 (the Aerospace Basic Quality System Standard which was based on ISO 9001) to streamline aerospace quality standards.

AS9000 was the precursor to AS9100, the latter was released in October 1999 by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in the Americas and the European Association of Aerospace Industries (now the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe), and shortly thereafter by standards organizations in Japan and Asia. The standard was a collaborative effort of the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) which combined the requirements of SAE’s AS9000 and Europe’s prEN9000-1 standards. The development of the AS9100 series of quality standards eliminated redundant auditing and improved time and monetary value to suppliers and the industry.

In 2016 the IAQG revised the AS9100 standard. The latest version, AS9100D, adds requirements for product safety, counterfeit parts, formal processes for operational risks, awareness, and ethics and human factors. Read more about the progression this pivotal standard has taken over the years.



The Evolution of AS9100

AS9100:2016, also referred to as AS9100D is the most recently published version of the standard which has gone through four revisions since 1999. 

AS9100 – The original AS9100 was the “Aerospace Model for Quality Assurance in Design, Development, Production, Installation and Servicing”, and it included the requirements for ISO 9001:1994 and 55 additional aerospace industry specific requirements.

AS9100A – The AS group worked closely with the ISO committee and published this version in 2001 to correspond with ISO 9001:2000’s organizational and philosophical changes.

AS9100B – “Quality Management Systems – Aerospace – Requirements” was released in 2004 and was a minor administrative revision.

AS9100C – “Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense Organizations” was aligned with ISO 9001:2008 and released in 2009 to address the issue of late delivery or non-conforming product through elevated risk management requirements. Nearly 100 additional requirements specific to the aerospace industry were included. Auditing was also made more rigorous and evidence-based through the AS9101 auditing standard, which eliminates the clause-based compliance checklist and requires organizations to provide evidence of effectiveness of their systems and processes.

AS9100D – “Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense Organizations” was published in 2016 to incorporate the new ISO 9001:2015 10-clause structure and requirements. In this revision there is an expanded focus on stakeholder satisfaction and company performance and on external processes, products and services.  AS9100D also added AS&D industry requirements for:  product safety, counterfeit parts prevention, data management, a formal process for operational risks, awareness of individual contributions to quality and safety and ethics, and consideration of human factors.

Serving aerospace and defense manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and repair stations since 2005, simpleQuE offers customized AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120, or ASA-100 (FAA AC00-56) consulting, internal auditing, and training services. Whether you have a management system in place or are just developing one, understanding the requirements and having an experienced aerospace consultant by your side is key.  Our team members have 3rd party auditing experience, aerospace industry-related work experience, and first-hand knowledge of what is required to pass an AS9100 certification assessment.

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