Airworthiness Design Standards Manual

The Airworthiness Design Standards Manual (ADSM) is the companion document to the Technical Airworthiness Manual (TAM). Together, they form the cornerstone of the DND/CAF Technical Airworthiness Program. While the TAM contains rules and standards related to the Technical Airworthiness Program as a whole, the ADSM contains standards related to aeronautical designs.

The ADSM provides details of the airworthiness design standards that are acceptable to the Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA) for application to both new designs and proposed design changes to an approved design. These standards, therefore, reflect the acceptable level of aviation safety, within the Technical Airworthiness Program, for military aeronautical products.

The ADSM also provides:

  • explanations and background information on various international civil and military standards
  • guidance information relating to the selection and application of airworthiness design standards as they relate to the design, manufacture, maintenance and materiel support of military aeronautical products

The introductory chapters, explaining the outline, purpose and use of the ADSM, along with a number of specialist chapters that provide details of standards for specific products or design areas, are available for use. As further specialist chapters are developed and finalized, they will be added to the manual.

In an effort to keep the document in line with the latest developments in the domain, the ADSM has undergone several revisions over time. The version in effect at this time is Change 1, dated 1 April 2017.

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How to read the ADSM

The ADSM format is based on Canadian Forces Technical Order (CFTO) conventions. The format is identified by the National Defence Index of Documentation (NDID) number C-05-005-001/AG-002. The ADSM is divided into five parts. Each part is divided into chapters. Parts 1 and 2 of the ADSM:

  • provide general insight into the context, scope and purpose of the ADSM
  • establish the format, structure, scope and content summary of each chapter in the ADSM
  • describe the general strategy used within the Technical Airworthiness Program and by other major aviation regulatory authorities to ensure that airworthiness standards are maintained through the regulation of design compliance and the applicable airworthiness standards

Parts 3, 4 and 5 detail:

  • airworthiness design standards for specific categories and types of aeronautical products
  • standards associated with technologies and engineering specialties
  • design specifications and standards that apply to both approved type design and/or in-service aeronautical product  

These three parts of the ADSM follow a standardized format. Each chapter is arranged in four general areas:

  • introduction
  • standards
  • guidance Information
  • associated Publications and Standards

The page numbering system identifies each Part, Section and Chapter (including Annexes) that a page is associated to. For example, on page 1-2A-1, “1” identifies Part 1 of the ADSM, “2” identifies the chapter, “A” identifies the annex and the final “1” identifies the actual page number.

Change request process

An ADSM Change Request (ACR) form is used to formally request an amendment to the ADSM. The form is to be sent electronically to DTAES 2-2-3-2.


  • To obtain a copy of the ADSM, or a copy of the ACR form to initiate a request for change to the ADSM, please contact the Directorate of Technical Airworthiness and Engineering Support (DTAES) 2-2-3-2:
    • by email, or
    • by phone, at +1-819-939-4786.
  • To obtain more information about the ADSM, please contact DTAES 2-2, the ADSM contact officer, or DTAES 3, the ADSM OPI:
    • by email, to DTAES 2-2 or DTAES 3, or
    • by phone, at +1-819-939-4796 or +1-819-939-4835.