FAA- PMA stands for “Federal Aviation Administration – Parts Manufacturing Approval”. It is most easily thought of as a FAA manufacturing license in that it is one method by which the F.A.A. conveys airworthiness to an aircraft part. A PMA part is typically a replacement for an Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) part.
The two biggest reasons are price and availability. OEM parts are becoming hard to get or they are becoming much too expensive.
No. this approval is independent of a repair station approval.
Yes, FAA-PMA’s are non-exclusive approvals, but there is a high barrier to entry to obtain them. A FAA-PMA holder must demonstrate to the FAA, not only that their replacement part is “Equal to or better than” the part it replaces. But they also have to have manufacturing quality system that demonstrates that they are capable of manufacturing an aircraft part.
Yes. We use an FAA approval method, call Test & Analysis or Test & Computations (sometimes referred to as reverse engineering).
A PMA part must be marked with the letters “FAA-PMA” on the part itself and/or the packaging. A PMA part must also be supported by a PMA supplement letter that shows what part it replaces and its installation eligibility.
NO. we can also get FAA Approval for Certified Repair Stations to use replacement parts through a repair process specification.
Remember two things: 1) Both OEM and PMA suppliers adhere to the same rules, and 2) PMA parts are considered equivalent and interchangeable by the FAA and other certifying regulatory authorities.