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Wiki says: A Technical Standard Order (TSO) is a minimum performance standard issued by the United States Federal Aviation Administration for specified materials, parts, processes, and appliances used on civil aircraft.

I am unable to figure out why is it named Technical Standard Order. Does order imply it is a mandatory standard to be met?

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An "FAA Order " is considered an "internal agency mandate"

Description of the meaning of FAA Orders from the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA):

Orders, Notices and Bulletins

FAA orders, notices and bulletins are documents that provide information to FAA employees. These documents are essential sources of information on what the FAA expects of applicants and certificate holders. Most of these documents can be obtained on the FAA’s regulatory and guidance library.

An order is considered an “internal agency mandate”. It is issued by the agency, to agency staff to explain a position on a specific question not directly addressed by a statute or regulation. Orders, like other non-legislative rules (e.g., ACs, notices, general statements of policy), are not created under delegated authority from Congress and most do not have to go through notice and comment under the APA.

Orders are meant to be binding (or provide direction) only to FAA employees, and not the public at large. However, if an inspector feels bound to act in a particular way because of direction in the “handbook”, that decision has real practical effect to those subject to FAA regulation. Therefore, internal government documents cannot be contrary to the plain language of the regulation or any clarification in the agency’s preamble to the rule.

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  • $\begingroup$ @quietflyer So, for example, if an FAA Order specifies a "standard" that must be achieved before an aircraft part can be "approved," the FAA approval office (e.g, Inspector, etc.) will be bound by the standards specified in the Order. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ Re "Orders, like other non-legislative rules (e.g., ACs, notices, general statements of policy), are not created under delegated authority from Congress and most do not have to go through notice and comment under the APA." -- so does it really seem correct for an FAA Order to be designated to be part of the FAR at all? (See FAR 71.1 - law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/71.1.) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ And even if this is somehow acceptable, would it be acceptable for the FAA to make a significant rule-making action simply by changing the structure and language of one version of this order (Order 7400.9A) compared to another (Order 7400.9), with no notice and comment? Maybe grounds for new ASE questions... $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ @quietflyer Maybe a better question suited for the SE Law site. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yes perhaps that is right $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 18:43

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