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By Eugene M. Barker

Representing the first international effort to formulate a quality management system standard for the aerospace industry, the two-year-old AS9100 is beginning to show its long-term value. The standard supplements ISO 9001 by addressing the additional expectations of the aerospace industry. Already, reports along this complicated manufacturing chain attest to–among other benefits–AS9100's contribution to more consistent verification methods and fewer verification audits.

 Initially released in October 1999 by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the Americas and the European Association of Aerospace Industries in Europe, and shortly thereafter by standards organizations in Japan and Asia, AS9100 was a cooperative effort of the International Aerospace Quality Group. As such, it combines and harmonizes requirements outlined in the SAE's AS9000 and Europe's prEN9000-1 standards. Recently, AS9100 was revised to align with ISO 9001:2000.