Are we there yet? A Practitioner’s View of DO-178C/ED-12C

  • Dewi Daniels
Conference paper


RTCA DO-178B/EUROCAE ED-12B is the industry-accepted guidance for determining that the software aspects of airborne systems and equipment comply with airworthiness requirements. DO-178B/ED-12B, published in 1992, is being updated to DO-178C/ED-12C. Nearly six years in the making, DO- 178C/ED-12C is expected to be completed in December 2010. It will be accompanied by a new set of supplements providing additional and much-needed guidance on tool qualification, model based development and verification, objectoriented technologies, and formal methods. Written by a member of the DO-178C/ED-12C editorial team who is also a practising software developer and verifier, this paper provides a practitioner’s view of the new standard and its supplements. It explains how they will affect your organisation, focusing on the practical implications of the many changes between DO-178B/ED-12B and DO-178C/ED-12C.


Formal Method Certification Authority Software Requirement Object Code Federal Aviation Administration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. ATSB (2007) In-flight upset event 240 km north-west of Perth, WA Boeing Company 777-200, 9 M-MRG, 1 August 2005. ATSB Transport Safety Investigation ReportGoogle Scholar
  2. Boeing (2010) Statistical summary of commercial jet airplane accidents worldwide operations 1959-2009. Boeing Commercial AirplanesGoogle Scholar
  3. CAST (2001) Rationale for accepting masking MC/DC in certification projects. CAST position paper CAST-6Google Scholar
  4. CAST (2002) What is a ‘decision’ in application of modified condition/decision coverage (MC/DC) and decision coverage (DC)? CAST position paper CAST-10Google Scholar
  5. CAST (2003a) Merging high-level and low-level requirements. CAST position paper CAST-15Google Scholar
  6. CAST (2003b) Structural coverage of object code. CAST position paper CAST-17Google Scholar
  7. CAST (2004) Clarification of structural coverage analyses of data coupling and control coupling. CAST position paper CAST-19Google Scholar
  8. CAST (2006) Verification independence. CAST position paper CAST-26Google Scholar
  9. Chapman R, Amey P (2008) SPARK 95 – the SPADE Ada 95 kernel (including RavenSPARK). Praxis High Integrity Systems LtdGoogle Scholar
  10. Clutterbuck DL, Carré BA (1988) The verification of low-level code. Softw Eng J UK 3:3:97-111. doi:10.1049/sej.1988.0012Google Scholar
  11. DGA (1994) Commission d’enquête sur l’accident survenu le 30 Juin 1994 a Toulouse-Blagnac (31) a l’Airbus A330 Nº42 d’Airbus Industrie Immatricule FWWKH. Rapport préliminaire. Direction Générale de l’Aviation. Accessed 6 September 2010
  12. FAA (2004) Handbook for object-oriented technology in aviation (OOTiA). Federal Aviation AdministrationGoogle Scholar
  13. Hayhurst KJ, Veerhusen DS, Chilenski JJ, Rierson LK (2001) A practical tutorial on modified condition/decision coverage, National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGoogle Scholar
  14. Jaffe MS, Busser R, Daniels D, Delseny H, Romanski G (2008) Progress report on some proposed upgrades to the conceptual software engineering underpinnings of DO-178B/ED-12B. Proc of the 3rd IET Int Syst Saf ConfGoogle Scholar
  15. Ladkin (1996) Report on the accident to Airbus A320-211 aircraft in Warsaw on 14 September 1993. Accessed 10 September 2010
  16. O’Neill IM, Clutterbuck DL, Farrow PF, Summers PG, Dolman WC (1988) The formal verification of safety-critical assembly code. Proc SAFECOMPGoogle Scholar
  17. RTCA (1992) DO-178B. Software considerations in airborne systems and equipment certification. RTCA, Inc.Google Scholar
  18. RTCA (2009) Terms of reference for software joint special committee/working group software considerations in aeronautical systems. RTCA, IncGoogle Scholar
  19. SAE (1996) ARP 4754 Certification considerations for highly-integrated or complex aircraft systems. SAE InternationalGoogle Scholar
  20. Souyris J, Wiels V, Delmas D, Delseny H (2009) Formal verification of avionics software products, FM 2009: FORMAL METHODS Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5850/2009: 532-546. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-05089-3_34Google Scholar
  21. Spivey JM (1998) The Z notation: a reference manual, 2nd edn.∼mike/zrm/zrm.pdf. Accessed 6 September 2010
  22. Thomas M (2007) Unsafe standardization. IEEE Computer 40:11:109-111. doi:10.1109/MC. 2007.407Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dewi Daniels
    • 1
  1. 1.Silver AtenaMalmesburyUK

Personalised recommendations