The aerospace and aviation industry, as you can imagine, is a very strictly regulated one. In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the body that regulates all aspects of civil aviation — including the aircraft “aftermarket parts” industry. Unlike the automobile industry, replacement parts not manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) have to go through thorough scrutiny in order to get the parts manufacturer approval (PMA).
The PMA is approval granted by the FAA to a manufacturer of aircraft parts. In general, in the US, it is illegal to install replacement or modified parts on a certified aircraft without airworthiness approval. An applicant for a PMA can apply in several different ways: they can try to convince the FAA that their part is identical to the OEM part; they can provide evidence that they licensed the part data from the OEM; or they can undergo a thorough analysis and comparison process to the OEM part. But, in order to apply for a PMA and airworthiness, applicants need to identify a least one eligible installation in their application.
PMA applicants need to identify the intended installation in the application in order to permit the FAA to consider the airworthiness of the part. Without the context of an actual design in which the part will be used, airworthiness would be rather difficult to accomplish. Not to mention, it would be meaningless. To this end, the FAA only approves PMA parts in context of an existing aircraft, engine, or propeller product, and not in the context of a sub-assembly or as a mere replacement. Of course, applicants are not limited at only one eligible installation. It is up to their discretion to identify other installations. Afterall, the purpose of the FAA and PMA is not to hinder non-OEM manufacturers, but to create and enforce uniform quality standards in order to ensure aircraft safety.
ASAP 360 Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a leading supplier of aviation “aftermarket parts” both new and obsolete. We’re very dedicated to offering our clients the highest quality parts and components, whether PMA or from the OEM, so that we can meet all of our customer’s mission-critical and AOG requirements. If you interested in learning more or in requesting a quote, call us at +1-469-319-8300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is available and ready to help 24/7x365.
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