What Key Factors should we Consider while Selecting Aircraft Parts – OEM Or PMA?

In recent times, it is not very common to hear about Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) producing doubts over aircraft parts safety produced by companies complying to a FAA-issued Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA). In the past, there was a time when OEMs looked down on PMA parts produced to compete with their products. Their comments usually focused on safety claims and abuse of OEM warranties.

Due to the request made by OEMs, the FAA and EASA went through a lengthy investigation into these safety claims in 2008. The investigation revealed that there was no evidence of PMA parts being unsafe and the investigation concluded that there were no issues with their process of approving PMA parts.

Many individuals do not understand the difference between OEM and PMA, and what makes a part “approved.” If a part is approved, this means the FAA has given a specific type of approval, whether it is for an individual item or as a part for an engine, etc. Parts in aircrafts, engines and avionics need to meet the standards of the FAA that are specific to the role of the part.

An OEM holds a “Type Certificate (TC),” and TC holders can manufacture parts under the certificate. The parts that are manufactured need to be shown, labeled and documented to meet the standards of the approval. By holding a Type Certificate, the OEM has proven that the parts work safely for the higher end product they have been produced for.

PMA parts can be produced by any individual or company that chooses to go under the process of designing and documenting an OEM part’s equivalent. There is am important process a business or person must undertake for the PMA part to be approved. First, they need to submit the design for the PMA part to the FAA to make sure it is sage and meets the requirements of regulation. Second, the hopeful PMA supplier needs to pass an FAA review of quality assurance to make sure a quality assurance system is in place and to verify the part manufactured falls under FAA design approval.

ASAP Buying, which is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a leader in the procurement of aircraft parts, NSN parts and more. As an aircraft component supplier, ASAP Buying can source more than 30 million parts from over 5,000 manufacturers. The website has been designed to help customers source for a range of parts such as connectors, alternator, turbine tool parts and more.


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