I would like to confirm that we are only required to perform/complete an AS9102 First Article Inspection Report (FAIR) when it is specifically requested/ordered by a customer. Otherwise, if a FAIR is not requested by the customer, we reserve the right to use the AS9102 as a "guideline" and create our own standard or means of recording the requirements met?
You are correct. In clause 184.108.40.206 of AS9100 Rev D, which covers Production Process Verification, there are the requirements which are referred to as First Article Inspection (FAI). The requirements within this clause make no reference to AS9102, and therefore the process of AS9102 is not a requirement of AS9100 Rev D. So, unless you are required by customer to use the AS9102 process and forms these requirements can be fulfilled in other ways as you determine adequate.
For more information on this see the article: https://advisera.com/9100academy/blog/2017/11/07/how-does-first-article-inspection-fit-into-as9100-rev-d/