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How document management supports compliance in North American aviation

Nov 30th 2018
Learn how document management supports compliance in North American aviation

In the aviation industry, there are numerous requirements that need to be adhered to in order to ensure operations are running efficiently and safely at all times. In North American aviation, for instance, there are several compliance measures for the management of mission-critical documents required on board. As such, using the right document management system can not only help to manage, publish and distribute your documents, but to help support your compliance requirements at the same time.

Support for ‘ARROW’ documents

In North America, the documents that are required to be on board by FAA inspectors are commonly referred to as ‘ARROW’ and include the following:

This combination of documents alone can amount to hundreds of pages and for those airlines still including all of these in their physical paper format will increase the load, which in turn will affect fuel costs. A document management system on the other hand, can save an airline in fuel costs by replacing the need for physical flight manuals with an iPad. As an example, American Airlines claimed that by replacing a 35 pound flight manual with an iPad weighing an average of 1.5 pounds, saves $1.2 million a year in reduced fuel costs.

Using a document management system that includes a mobile viewer will fully support your ARROW requirements as well as any other operational and OEM documentation you need to be available to you and other members of your organization on a number of devices (including iOS, android, Windows).

A document management system can give you access to a centralized documentation library and is able to include all the required documents without the need for paper. You will also have the ability to include personalized annotations against your personal copies of those documents.

Additionally, these documents can be accessible to be downloaded to a range of device and browser types by the crew. A document management system will also ensure you have the most up to date versions of these documents due to its cloud-native nature.


Support for better audits

Preparing for audits means an airline will need to provide a true record of changes to OEM and operational manuals to regulators - but the task of managing these documents in-house can become overwhelming and important details may be missed.

When you use a document management system, you’ll be benefiting from having all your mission-critical documents available in one place and you’ll be able to meet your compliance requirements during peak times through a more organized solution. For audits, you’ll be able to demonstrate:

  • Date and time-stamps against revisions in documents
  • Which employees have access to certain documents
  • The right formatting conventions set by auditors
  • How employees are informed of processes and procedures
  • Evidence of whether employees are following procedures


Ensuring your document management processes can handle the volume and complexity of your manuals and documentation is vital for compliance. However, if you’re up against the clock and your in-house team is stretched too thin, it can be a cause for errors to start cropping up and you risk failing to comply. And failing to comply could mean paying the penalties.

However, by ensuring your documents and manuals are up to date and delivered on time, you can reduce this risk. Even more so, using a unique partnered system means you can have access to a skilled team to help ensure that you can access the right documents at the time, increase employee utilization rates and ensure your audit and compliance requirements are always met.

Learn how a document management system can support your airline's quality objectives and help you better prepare for your next audit.

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