Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Aviation Systems

Major Professor

R. B. Richards

Committee Members

Charles J. N. Paludan


The purpose of this study was to examine the origin and evolution of the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Program and to address challenges facing the present day NATOPS Program. The NATOPS Program, developed in the 1960s as an effort to improve the safety and readiness of Naval Aviation, has evolved into an effective safety program that provides operating procedures and technical data all Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

Much of the data used in this study were found in the paper and digital records transferred to the Naval Air System Command NATOPS Office from the former Chief of Naval Operations NATOPS office in Crystal City, VA.

This study investigates solutions to issues that have affected the NATOPS program since its inception and that are still relevant today. These issues include obtaining adequate funding to maintain an effective NATOPS program, maintaining effective communication amongst NATOPS program participants, achieving successful NATOPS product distribution, conducting timely changes to NATOPS products, maintaining NATOPS program effectiveness during times of increased operational tempo, development of useable NATOPS specifications, increasing NATOPS Model Manager effectiveness, and engaging engineering organizations to ensure technically accurate data in the NATOPS products.

A healthy NATOPS Program is vital to the continued success of Naval Aviation. Significant improvements have been made and continue to be made to the NATOPS Program processes and support structure that improve the program’s ability to support the Naval Warfighter. With sufficient support, the NATOPS Program will continue to maintain its commitment to the fleet as well as fulfil the mission established by its founders, of improving the safety and the effectiveness of Naval Aviation.


Disc included with thesis.

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Aviation Commons