If you develop software that is used at the airport and integrates into a departure control system (DCS), is it required to undergo some IATA certification processes?

When I search for IATA regulation on software used at airports, I can not find much. Actually I haven't found anything that states that, for example, a departure control system (DCS) must undergo some certification process.

I therefore ask, are there any certifications or validation requirements for software used at airports? For example if you develop a new DCS, would you be required to undergo IATA certification? What other hurdles (FAA, EASA, ...) are their for software used at airports?

Note, I explicitly want to exclude software that is used for air traffic control.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Do the existing DCS descriptions on vendor sites mention compliance to standards? $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Mar 15, 2017 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


The short answer is yes, With larger airlines, they may own and manage their IT infrastructure at central hubs, so the airline will need to ensure their software works with their chosen peripherals. At smaller airports where this is not possible, many airports use a common use computer platform, managed by both the airport authority and commercial IT vendors. Ultra is one such example. Airline DCS software would need to undergo validation to ensure it will correctly interface with the various devices at the airport: bag tag, boarding pass, document printers, self-check-in kiosks, and gate scanners.

The Passenger and Airport Data Interchange Standards (PADIS) Board as well as the Common Use Working Group (CUWG) provide direction to IATA for creating technical standards. CUPPS (Common Use Passenger Processing Systems), is the IATA standard recommended practice for such common use computer systems.

DCS systems also must be able to transmit advance passenger information to government agencies, for example TSA to verify the passenger is not on a terrorist watch lists. Requirements for transmitting such information is set by the UN EDIFACT PAXLST specification, but not all passenger information transmissions will be sent from a DCS system.

EASA and FAA are more focused on flight data (flight plans, ATC, and weather) and have specifications for receipt and transmission of that information, but the transmission is usually done by separate software.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .