According to Bravener (2005), “AS9003, Inspection and Test Quality System, represents the return to a traditional aerospace industry approach to quality management that existed before the adoption of the ISO 9000 quality standards. While most large manufacturers and suppliers have been able to make the transition to ISO 9000, smaller organizations and nonaerospace organizations with limited aerospace industry association have continued to struggle and have been reluctant to make the switch. Developed by the America's Aerospace Quality Group, AS9003 is less than AS9100, but is still a system that ensures product and process integrity. Its basic intent is to define a quality inspection system, not a quality management system. While it is difficult to say whether this approach will be suitable for other industries, a well-planned inspection and test system may fill the gap between nothing and a complete QMS.” http://asq.org/qic/display-item/?item=19776
“This standard includes selected quality system requirements from ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100:2009 applicable to noncomplex products and associated manufacturing processes. ISO 9001 text incorporated into this standard appears in standard font; while aviation, space, and defense industry additional requirements, definitions, and notes are presented in bold, italic text. The requirements of this standard are intended to be applied in whole, without any exclusions. Compliance with all corresponding AS9100 requirements is considered to meet/exceed compliance with the requirements of this standard. The requirements specified in this standard are complementary (not alternative) to contractual and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Should there be a conflict between the requirements of this standard and applicable statutory or regulatory requirements, the latter shall take precedence. The process approach described in ISO 9001 and AS9100 applies to this standard.” http://standards.sae.org/as9003a/
“This standard has been revised using AS9100:2009 as the baseline document. AS9100:2009 requirements applicable to noncomplex products and manufacturing processes have been incorporated into this standard and modified, as necessary, to reflect the intent of this standard. The standard’s clauses have been renumbered accordingly.” http://standards.sae.org/as9003a/
Bravener, Lee C. 2005, AS9003: An aerospace standard for the little guy. Quality Progress, 38(3), 39-43.