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DER – Designated Engineering Representative

Designated Engineering Representatives – A FAA designee, a DER  may approve engineering technical data within the limits of his/her authority by means of FAA Form 8110-3 and, when authorized by the ACO, may witness FAA compliance tests and perform compliance inspections. DER’s will follow the procedures of FAA Order 8110.4, Type Certification Process.

The specific role, authorized areas, and responsibilities of the DER will be established by agreement between the ACO and the DER.

DER Categories: 

Company DER – An individual may be appointed to act as a company DER for their employer and may only approve, or recommend approval to the FAA, technical data for the company. Company DER’s may perform their FAA functions at different administrative levels, as agreed upon between the FAA and the company. In some cases, a DER may personally evaluate and approve technical data. In other cases, a DER may ensure, through the company management system, the proper evaluation of technical data by other persons; then the DER will approve that data by certifying that the data complies with the applicable regulations.

Consultant DER – An individual may be appointed to act as an independent (self-employed) consultant DER to approve, or recommend approval of technical data to the FAA for a client.

DER Dual Appointments –  An individual may be appointed to act both as a company DER and a consultant DER. In such a case, two separate appointments will be made and separate certificates of delegation issued. The ACO will advise the DER that the employer should be informed of the dual appointment. In the case of dual appointments, the consultant DER delegation may be authorized for areas different from the company DER delegation depending upon the applicant’s experience and the limitations the ACO may place on the DER.

DER Candidate –  If an applicant meets all the requirements for a DER designation except for significant experience in a direct working relationship with the FAA, the applicant may be identified as a DER candidate. Candidates do not have the authority to approve data, but must review and submit data to the FAA to demonstrate their ability to function as a DER. After demonstrating this capability, the DER candidate will be delegated authority as a DER providing the ACO has a need for the DER and the ACO has the ability to manage the DER.

DER Designations


  • Structural DER’s
  • Powerplant DER’s
  • Systems and Equipment DER’s
  • Radio DER’s
  • Engine DER’s
  • Propeller DER’s
  • Flight Analyst DER’s
  • Flight Test Pilot DER’s
  • Acoustical DER’s


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