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PMA stands for ‘Parts Manufacturer Approval’
Checking the FAA homepage, you will find the following explanation:
PMA is a combined design and production approval for modification and replacement of articles. It allows a manufacturer to produce and sell these articles for installation on type certificated products.
- PMA design approval:
The design approval phase of PMA certifies that a replacement or modification article complies with the airworthiness standards of eligible products (aircraft, engine, or propeller).
The applicant shows this compliance through tests and computations, unless the article is identical to the article design on a type- certificated product.
Identicality means that an article is the same in all respects to an article design in a type-certificated product.
Evidence of license agreement shows this identicality.
- PMA production approval:
A PMA production approval allows to produce and sell FAA approved aircraft articles that are eligible for installation on FAA type certificated products.
An PMA is an approval issued to an organization to manufacture copies of an original part, and having the authorization to sell such a part on the market.
The approval is specific to a part number, and not a general production organization approval.
Consequently, for every additional part number, a new approval must be applied for.
Examples of Exceptions to the PMA Rules for Producing Modifications and Replacement Articles:
- Example 1:
An aircraft owner or operator may produce articles for installation on their own product without a Parts Manufacturer Approval. The installation of those articles must comply with 14 CFR part 43
If an owner or operator intends to sell these articles for installation in another’s product, then the producing owner or operator requires a Parts Manufacturer Approval.
- Example 2:
An air carrier, operating under 14 CFR part 121 or part 135, may produce articles for installation on its own product without a Parts Manufacturer Approval, provided the installation of those articles is approved in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 43 and complies with the air carrier’s accepted maintenance procedures manual and instructions.
If the article is produced with the intent of selling it for installation on a product other than the owner’s or operator’s, then a Parts Manufacturer Approval would be required.
- Example 3:
An article produced by a FAA certificated repair station with the intent of installing it on a type-certificated product that the repair station has in-house for repair.
Such articles may not be offered for sale as separate items.
See FAA Advisory Circular 43-18 Fabrication of Aircraft Parts by maintenance Personnel.
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